Chapter Communications Blog

Editorial PMI Switzerland Newsletter November 2022

Author: Shalini Krishnan, PMP

Shalini Krishnan

Dear Members and Subscribers,

The days are getting shorter and the morning air is getting chillier, yet the Swiss sun continues to shine bright - just as our PMI Switzerland Chapter volunteers do! 

This month's newsletter recaps a successful Volunteer Day in Lucerne on October 8, as well as encourages YOU to join our small but mighty Newsletter Team.

Among other networking events, we also invite you to join an International Project Management Day event on November 3 in either Geneva or Zurich

We hope you enjoy this month's lineup; happy reading and happy November :)



News from our Partners

Author: Adi Muslic, PMP

VP Sponsors & Partners

Adi Muslic NEW 100x100


Our aim is to enlarge the Swiss community of project managers and change makers. This is why we have been engaging with other professional associations and non profit organizations.

This time, I would like to tell you about our renewed collaboration with SMP - Société suisse de management de projet. While this collaboration is mostly related to the French speaking regions of Switzerland it can still generate benefits for all our members and volunteers. The knowledge and experience sharing are very enriching and as result our organizations can provide better services and more value to the whole community.

The next big SMP’s project management event will take place in April 2023 in Lausanne. As the event partner, we are calling all interested speakers (presentations in English are welcome too) to submit their applications by the end of November. For more information please click here.

On Change Management and Sponsoring

Author: Florian Puschmann, PMP


I recently came across one of the classic reads on change management: Switch – How to change things when change is hard by Chip & Dan Heath. Picking up the book was both enjoyable and instructive. 

The Heath brothers' framework consists of three elements: 

  1. The driver - the rational mind
  2. The elephant - the emotional side
  3. Shaping the path - providing explicit instructions on how to implement the change

This simple framework is highly instructive as it is a powerful reminder that providing facts alone won't convince anyone. It is even less likely to lead to the needed or desired change. As put by the author and entrepreneur Seth Godin:

"No spreadsheet, no bibliography, and no list of resources is sufficient proof to someone who chooses not to believe. The skeptic will always find a reason, even if it's one the rest of us don't think is a good one. Relying too much on proof distracts you from the real mission – which is emotional connection."

One of the many compelling examples provided by the Heath brothers is an executive at a large manufacturing company who identified a significant opportunity for cost saving through the procurement process harmonization of various items used by the company. 

Frustrated by not getting any traction by appealing to the driver only or, more explicitly, making the case with numbers, tables, and forecasts to his peers, he changes his approach. 

First, he tasks a summer intern to pick one item procured by all company sites, which turns out to be protective gloves.

Next, the student physically tracks down all 424 gloves procured from various suppliers. 

Finally, for every glove, the student tracks down the price paid and labels each glove with a price tag. 

As it turns out, many of them are the same glove, sometimes sold for $5 or $17 by different suppliers. 

The next time the executive makes the case to his peers, he invites them to the conference room. He covers the entire conference table with all 424 gloves informing his colleagues that, yes, these are all the different gloves at drastically different prices that the company is procuring. After he allowed his peers to wander around the table and pick up and evaluate this "glove shrine" in disbelief and shock, he finally engaged their emotional side, "the elephant." This enabled him to get commitment and buy-in for the path he shaped on how to initiate and realize a procurement change initiative to capitalize on the saving opportunity in front of their eyes. 

Personally, I experienced this effect of building an emotional connection to the change many times, driving innovation or improvement projects for customers. Although it typically always made sense “running the numbers”, the most effective way to get the project underway was to bring all key stakeholders into one physical place and let them hands-on experience the new innovation or problem to build an emotional connection. Only then did most projects get buy-in and traction.

However, what does this all have to do with sponsoring? In a world with fierce competition for attention, sponsoring opportunities big and small offer a great sponsor a great platform to emotionally engage project managers in various industries to initiate or drive change. 

Examples of such opportunities are the events scheduled throughout the year and the yearly hosted PMI Switzerland conference. And normally, the story would end here but … We realized that sponsoring was not only about events. It can be much more. 

Our sponsoring strategy, designed in 2021, is based on numbers, tables and forecasts. Making sure the “driver” is on board matters, of course. However, to drive engagement, we decided in 2022 to also focus on the elephant - the emotional side. We started developing relationships with other partners interested in project management and fueling change in line with our vision to build an engaged community. Today we are a team of 12 (and growing) working on developing engagement with for-profit corporations and non-profit organizations such as NGOs or universities, allowing communities to build their power skills further. 

Thus our 2023 sponsoring strategy will continue the focus on both the driver and the elephant to enable members to thrive in the environment of change at an ever-increasing rate.

If you are interested in getting involved either as a sponsor or a partner or as a member of the team supporting our various sponsors and partners, please reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


IPM Day 2022, Geneva

Author: Patryk Nosalik, PMP

Patryk Nosalik


IPM day is celebrated in PMI Switzerland with Agile centred events in both Geneva and Zurich. For more info about the event; click here

In Geneva, our speaker – no – this is an interactive event – so guru – no, don’t call him a guru – so guest facilitator, is Dr Serge Schiltz PMP. He is going to share some interesting knowhow and insights on agile project and business delivery. There is the misconception that Agile projects are wonderful: No scoping, no requirements analysis, no specifications, just evolutionary solution building and feedback. And as a client, you don't even need to know what you want! Well really..? So to explore Agility in project management, and to reach out to our networks on Linkedin, I ended up having a bit of a Q&A session with him under one of the posts promoting the event, which I share a version of here:

  • (Patryk Nosalik) if pure Agilists do away with PM's, why should a PM on IPM day come to an event promoting Agile methods? 
    (Dr Serge Schiltz) So-called pure agilists tend to ignore the fact that even the Agile Manifesto does not suggest to completely omit formal structures and documentation, the authors just “prefer” for example human interaction and working software over excessive structure. And the fact is that projects are financed by management or by clients who have a need to and are entitled to knowing how the project is progressing and what it is doing. This is a project manager’s job. His way of functioning may be different in an agile context as he must include flexibility in his management style, for example by allowing teams to self-organize and thus work with tolerances instead of clear and precise work package definitions. But this role is as important as ever.

  • (PN) in the event description it says "Changing an organization to become agile" in your experience what influence do PM's really have on this?
    (SS) Project managers can provide arguments for organizations to become agile. They have to make it clear that agile projects can be efficient and effective only if the organization is prepared in consequence. If an organization does not build and maintain the organizational knowledge such for example in the form of an enterprise architecture, each and every project will have to establish it’s subdomain knowledge by itself, which will prevent agility in these projects.

  • (PN) what were some of the reactions at the PMI Conference that make you want to repeat the experience in Geneva?
    (SS) I felt that for many of the participants at the PM Conference, the session was an eye opener, not just a theoretical exercise. They discovered the conclusions I was making through the case study even before I could express them. We had so many interesting discussions!

  • (PN) what will be different here?
    (SS) Kirsten’s and my experience for example. We did this for the first time in Zurich. A few adjustments, but no major changes. However, one should not underestimate cultural differences: Geneva is not Zurich. I expect development of discussions to be different.

  • (PN) if everyone's heard of agile, what could possibly be counterintuitive? /could you share a sneak preview of something that may be counterintuitive?
    (SS) Well intuitively, people think that agile is without structures or documentation. How could anyone think of building and maintaining such a big thing as an enterprise architecture in an agile environment? Well, it is a requirement! And that is very counterintuitive.
  • (PN) let me know a little of your background that should draw PM's to our event.
    (SS) Hm, I first studied mathematics and physics in Luxembourg, moved to Switzerland and changed my minor physics to information system to finally switch major and minor (smiles). So I first graduated in information systems, then mathematics, followed by a PhD in information systems in Fribourg. After a brief episode as a database expert for an international insurance company, I caught interest in the needs of business and moved to project management. After an MBA, I was able to change to the international business unit of the insurance company and specialized in project management. After the PMP and an MSc in Project Management, I fully specialized in this discipline.  After a number of years, I specialized even further in the business process management topic. Eight years ago, I founded my company processCentric, which – as the name says – is focused on BPM. I of course still do project management to deliver my client’s projects and somewhat for fun, I continue to teach project management courses: PMP, PRINCE2, PRINCE2 Agile, HERMES.

So if you’re in the Geneva environs on 3rd November,  come to this counterintuitive event where we’ll onboard you at our fictitious “creditCentric Bank'', which has recently started an agile project to digitize its mortgage approval process. It will be your responsibility to make this project a success, run by Dr. Serge Schiltz and Kirsten Hauck who've proved how good they were at the recent PMI Conference!

2022 Volunteer’s Day in Luzerne

Author: Ganesh Gopalan, PMP

Ganesh Gopalan


 “Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless”- Sherry Anderson

The above adage holds fit, as could be seen on Volunteer’s Day held on October 8th, 2022, in the beautiful city of Luzern. PMI Switzerland Chapter treated its volunteers in a very special way. It was a full day program neatly chalked out that started with a ship ride from Lake Lucerne to the foothills of Mt. Pilatus. The one-hour ride was marked with a lot of selfies, great networking, serious discussion, and friendly banters amongst the volunteers. From there, we took the Cog train to the top of Mt. Pilatus. What an amazing climb over the steep mountain, that was! From there, we further trekked to the peak and were stunned by what nature has to offer it to us. We were literally on “top of the world” 😊. Such breath-taking views, with the mild fog, light drizzle – volunteers munching chips, snacks with a lot of “Camera, Action” – the experience was truly amazing. In fact, the weather went out of way to support us by not raining heavily and spoiling the show! After spending a good amount of time, we stepped down to the beautiful restaurant for lunch.

The restaurant was spacious, and we treated ourselves to a sumptuous gourmet meal. Over “innocent” chit-chat we discussed Project Management, Agile, PMI etc., and made new friends across the table. The return was on a different route with another new experience. Yes - we returned via Cable Car and needless to stay, it was one of the best experiences ever. We got to see lush green trees shedding their autumn leaves in hues of green and red, followed faintly by the jingling of bells far away from the herding of Cows. We equally admired the architectural marvel of installing heavy poles for the Cable Cars in such rugged mountains, years ago! We reached the last stop at ground level in Luzern and quickly rushed to the venue for a workshop on “Speaking with Impact”.

“Speaking with Impact” workshop was conducted by Mr. Damien Gauthier, a well-known actor, director, TEDX speaker and an UX lead and team manager. These were the key take-aways from the session:

1.     Enunciating with presence (physical)

2.     Conveying a clear idea (intellectual)

3.     Being attentive and open (relaxed posture)

4.     Intonations and body posture

5.     Delivering a pitch talk perfectly

6.     Pre-exercises before attending an important meeting – In-person or Online

Several tips and hacks were taught to us on how to make ourselves more presentable in a group, how to ensure our ideas get across the audience and how to be as effectively as possible to win over in a discussion. Lot of emphasis was laid on clarity of thought and communication and the sync between them and its nuances. The 4-hour session was interspersed with real time scenarios, anecdotes, and several foods for thought. The instructor answered all our questions patiently along with a few video visuals to point out the general flaws made while talking in public and how to overcome them with great ease. The workshop was highly satisfying to all the volunteers and a special thanks to PMI Switzerland President, office bearers and more importantly to VP Volunteers – Joachim Dehais for organizing such an event impeccably under his guidance. Joachim was instrumental in ensuring each of us were well taken care of and the event went smoothly without any glitch.

Overall, this was one of the best events of the year and we look forward to more such great events in future. Thanks to all those who participated and gained out of this event.