Chapter Communications Blog

How to Foster and Build Teams to Solve Complex Problems - Event

Leandro Benda

Author: Leandro Benda, PMP


“The only sustainable competitive advantage is an organization's ability to learn faster than the competition.”


Have you ever wondered what the difference is between simple, complicated and complex problems? Do you want to learn how to build a powerful team that can work together effectively to find innovative solutions to complex problems? If so, then you won't want to miss our upcoming presentation on "How to Foster and Build Teams to Solve Complex Problems."


In this 60-minute talk, our speaker will share their insights and practices for forming and growing teams that can tackle even the most challenging problems. You'll learn how to foster a collaborative culture, and use effective communication to ensure that the team is able to work together efficiently and effectively.


Don't miss this exciting opportunity to learn from a seasoned expert and take your problem-solving skills to the next level. Sign up now to reserve your spot


Time and Location

On Wednesday, March 1st, the talk will take place in an in-person event at the Viadukt Bogen D in Viaduktstrasse 93, 8005 Zürich from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM. 



18:00 – 18:30 Registration

18:30 – 18:40 Welcome and introduction

18:40 – 20:00 Lecture and Q&A

20:00 – 21:00 Closing and Apero


Outline of the Talk

1. What are complex problems?

2. Teamwork is hard. Why do we need them?

3. What are Teams and how do we foster and develop high-performing teams?

4. How do we work together and interact on a team. What are good norms?

5. How do we communicate effectively with each other.


About the keynote speaker: Martin Ahlstroem

Martin is passionate about high-performing teams and how to foster the environment needed to solve complex problems. He has a diverse experience ranging from 3 years in the military, 10 years in a large technology company, 4 years in the financial industry and he joined a telecommunication company end of last year as an agile coach.


His beliefs can be summarized by Peter Senge quote.

'The only sustainable competitive advantage is an organization's ability to learn faster than the competition.'



Non PMI Switzerland Member: 55 CHF

PMI® Switzerland Chapter Member price: 30 CHF

Early bird: 5 CHF discount until 22th of February.

We look forward to having you at this event - register here



Strategic (Business Acumen) 1

Leadership (Power Skills) 0.5


Other events

All our events can be found via this link

Project Management in Football

Leandro Benda

Author: Leandro Benda, PMP

“Failure is often part of the journey and learning process, and without disappointments it is impossible to achieve success”

You may be wondering what an article about football has to do with a PMI newsletter? There are perhaps more analogies with project management than one might think as recent history shows.

In football, success is defined as a win. Teams win consistently when the coach is a good leader. In project management, success is defined as full scope, delivered on time, and on budget. Projects succeed when the project manager is a good leader.

Knowledge of basic football techniques and the “Laws of the Game” is essential for the football coach but does not ensure success. Similarly, knowledge of basic project management techniques and the “PMBoK” is essential for the project manager but does not ensure project success. The distinguishing characteristic of both the successful coach and the successful project manager is the ability to lead.

Many analogies can be drawn, and many leadership lessons can be learned from studying the dynamics of a football team. Understanding these lessons and their applicability on a project team can help ensure success for the project manager.


In sports, it is clearly understood that the coach is ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the team. The coach has (or should have) everything at his or her disposal to succeed. When the team fails, when the team does not win consistently, there has been a failure in leadership, and we all naturally expect that the owners will fire the coach. It is leadership ability that distinguishes the most successful coaches.


The World Cup Final Match

Argentina won the World Cup in Qatar after a spectacular match against France. The most exciting final that recent generations of fans have seen. 3-3 after extra time and 4-2 for Argentina in penalty kicks. This competition was a good example showing that it is not only the coach who is a leader in a team, there are also some key players like Mbappé (scorer of a hat trick) and Messi (double), both of whom also scored on penalties. But in the end Lionel lifted the cup after a match played better by Argentina, which was in control of the match. Details often make the difference in competitions as well as in projects, the phase of monitoring all the elements of the project, including penalties, was key in this case.


An incredible Leader: Messi

An entire national team and an entire nation taken to the roof of the world at the age of 35, with a one-two punch in one of the most incredible finals in living memory. 

The supreme crowning achievement of an unrepeatable career.

Dozens and dozens of personal records broken in football history, football could not fail to give him a World Cup.


How many times have you dreamed of this moment, this instant? 

Since you started playing, from the Cantera, from the growing pains, after the tears 8 years ago, after the defeats in the Copa America finals with the decision of wanting to leave the national team.

But as the leader that you are, you got up and came back even stronger to plan, execute and monitor every step of your team's success today.  As Messi himself said: “Failure is often part of the journey and learning process, and without disappointments it is impossible to achieve success”. 

8 years ago, you didn't lose, you learned.

Thanks for everything Pulga, now you are finally on the roof of the World.


This World Cup has also highlighted the leadership skills of a great footballer: Kylian Mbappé

You can say that you tried to the last, that you couldn't have done more.

You lifted your team in 10 minutes, you again scored the equalizer when it all seemed over, and you stood in front of the penalty spot on the first penalty and scored it by leading by example

But that can't be enough.

Because you lost a World Cup at the last second.

Because you fought against an entire nation, and it was not enough.

Because in football only one team wins and yours lost today.

But Kylian Mbappé did not lose on Dec 18th, because once again he shone in front of the eyes of the whole World.

These lessons learned will certainly be very useful for future victory projects

Tribute to Pelé

How can we not end this football parenthesis with a tribute to the great Pelé,

Surely one of the most touching is that of Kylian Mbappe:

“The king of football has left us, but his legacy will never be forgotten. RIP KING”

Annual Members Meeting Invite - 02.02.2023

Leandro Benda

Author: Leandro Benda, PMP


Bye, bye Project Manager

Is Agile Disrupting Project Management?


Let’s welcome the year 2023 with our long-awaited in-person Annual Members Meeting!

This year the event returns to live after 2 consecutive years in virtual. We look forward to seeing you and sharing good times in person. Agility will be at the heart of the debates with our keynote speakers Christoph Wolf and Stephan Adler. On top, we have a few surprises in store for you. 

Don't hesitate to join us for enriching exchanges and an exciting evening at the PostFinance Head Office in Bern on February 2nd 2023.

Spots are limited so register now!

Time and Location

On Thursday, February 2nd, the Annual Members Meeting will take place in an in-person event at the PostFinance Headquarters in Mingerstrasse 20, 3030 Bern from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. 

The topic will be “Bye, bye Project Manager - Is Agile Disrupting Project Management?”


4:45 PM Doors open

5:00 PM Welcome attendees

5:15 PM Chapter summary of the year 2022 and outlook for 2023

6:00 PM Break

6:15 PM Keynote and Q&A

7:30 PM Networking & Apero

About the keynote:

Bye, bye Project Manager - Is Agile Disrupting Project Management?

For projects like building a power plant or a train tunnel, tough project managers are needed. But when it comes to developing digital or physical products, the role of a project manager has an increasingly difficult standing. During agile or digital transformations, new roles emerge to take over project management tasks. So, are project managers needed in these areas in the future?

After an introduction on how agile is disrupting product and service development, Christoph Wolf and Stephan Adler will show how project management tasks are handled in a lean and agile environment. They will discuss the new roles and show a way how project managers can fit into this setting and have an active discussion with the participants.

About the keynote speakers:

Stephan Adler (MBA, SPC)

Stephan studied physics, computer science and business and is certified as a program consultant for SAFe (Scales Agile Framework). He works in all roles related to software development - from developer to manager - in agile and waterfall processes, in small and multinational companies and projects.

He joined SwissQ in 2013 and is currently employed as a principal consultant. He has helped various customers to improve their processes and product, and works as a trainer for requirements engineering and agility.


Dr. Christoph Wolf (PMP)

Chris studied mathematics and then has taken many roles in the development of digital products and services. Among other things, he worked for eight years as a project manager. Since 2014, he has been employed by SwissQ as a Principal consultant and currently he works as a business analyst for SBB.

His passion is to spread knowledge as a trainer, as a lecturer in Digital Transformation at the University of Berne and by helping to organize the Bärner Requirements Night.



Non PMI Switzerland Member: 55 CHF

Early bird: 5 CHF until 26th of January.

PMI® Switzerland Chapter Member price: Free

We look forward to having you at this event - register here



Strategic (Business Acumen) 0.5

Technical (Ways of Working) 1

Leadership (Power Skills) 0.5


Other events

All our events can be found via this link

PMI Leadership Institute Meeting - European Region

Nikola Goran Cutura 100

Author: Nikola Goran, PMP


Prague, Czechia! Rings a bell?

Charles The Great? - Uhhmmm… Dvoržak, polka? - Maybe… Beer? - Of course! Beer, what else!

Project management? - WTF?!?

Well, That Fits, too! During the last 4 days of October, Prague was the capital of European project management. More precisely, Prague was the host of the PMI’s Leadership Institute Meeting for the European region. Representatives from nearly all European chapters - from the UK on the west to Kazakhstan on the east, from Finland on the north to Spain on the south -  gathered in Prague to exchange experiences and know-how in Chapter leadership, volunteering, event organization, and making social impact… Project management professionals from various walks of life, areas of engagement and levels of management joined in discussing common challenges we all have as professionals, citizens, consumers, members, volunteers… From chapters struggling with establishing and maintaining basic practices and processes to the highly performant with many volunteers contributing to activities at all levels, we could hear the true stories from the true people, engage with them, learn from them, advise or otherwise help them.

Some of the topics that attracted my attention were:

  •     Citizen development - many platforms that offer LC/NC allow efficient performance of simple tasks. This approach lends itself to small organizations or those that are starting their mission. Without the need of strong IT experience, some simple recurring tasks can be automated thus saving time and effort for essential challenges. And if you have IT/development experience, you will be able to resolve more complex issues, too.
  •     Inclusion & Diversity - most of the West European chapters have a high ratio of expats among their members. That is also reflected in the chapter leadership structures as well as in their presence in Prague. The Swiss chapter is no exception to this common fact.
  •     Volunteer engagement - Different chapters have different approaches to this hot topic and it was quite insightful to hear what other organizations do to attract and keep members and volunteers. Still, one thing emerged as common to all successful chapters - youth. It is no secret that we have more energy in the beginning of our (professional) life and exchange it for the experience and knowledge as we go. Besides attracting experienced PMs, strong chapters look at the academic institutions where they search for motivated students who carry on many important challenges in chapter activities. Very important insight and suggestion for our chapter, too!
  •     Public presence - chapter events are its primary interface with the public. It is an opportunity to share knowledge and experiences, to network with other professionals, to present the chapter to the big public and to connect with and install itself into the environment. The strength of a chapter is reflected in the variety of its events.

These and many other topics kept us all busy for a couple of days in the Prague Congress Centre - so I’ll need to go to Prague one more time to enjoy the city! But I’ve talked too much - time for a beer!

IPM Day Zurich - Retrospective

Saahiti Prayaga

Author: Saahiti Prayaga


As the newly cold air welcomes the grace of winter time, another long-awaited IPM event arrives! On November 3rd, thirty-two participants of different backgrounds spilled into the brightly lit halls of the Credit Suisse towers, eager to learn the secrets that run the office life from within, as summarized by the event's promising title: "Agile is simple - It just isn't easy". 

The event opened with a surprising speech by Sangamitra Prayaga, who is part of the Switzerland chapter Zurich events team and working as Scrum Master at Credit Suisse in Payments domain. She announced that not only one, but two high-profile speakers would take the stage that night: Stephanie Hoogenbergen, a Managing Director of Credit Suisse and COO of Global Technology Operations, and Hans Martin Graf, Managing director of Credit Suisse and head of Corporate Products and Operations IT. They would be answering questions from the audience together in a fireside chat, which made this event unprecedented and exciting. 

Stephanie first walked us through the transformative journey that Credit Suisse underwent, which accelerated the implementation of agile across the organization. This included making agile principles, which are usually accredited to the IT sector, work on every level: Enterprise, Organizational, and Team. Concretely, this means moving from program organization to product organization, by having IT and Business work together on challenging issues. It requires bringing work to the people - instead of bringing the people to work, dissolving roles that were previously there, and going from being told what to do to being empowered. Restructuring the chain of management to adapt to these principles was the leap that Credit Suisse dared to take, which wasn't easy ( ;) ), but resulted in pioneering success. 

With colorful metaphors, Stephanie then explained the Agile Manifesto to us: It is often misunderstood that agility equals speed, but agility was created to give you a steering wheel, not a gas pedal. Its core values are about swiftly steering to adjust to the clients' needs, and to not be afraid of embarking on unknown paths.    

After Stephanie's speech, a fireside discussion with Hans Martin Graf opened, who is a passionate leader in the Agile- and People-skills domain, and contributed to changing the mindset of people towards agile - a unique opportunity for an audience to pose challenging questions to two high-ranking executives of a company. Kudos to the PMI Switzerland team for managing to put this together! 

The discussion was moderated by the charismatic Patrick Taylor, and it wasn't long before the audience got in on the fun. It was refreshing to see that the PMI Switzerland team created an atmosphere where people were not afraid to ask hard questions. The speakers were peppered with valid questions about the possible limitations of an agile approach, which they both answered honestly and frankly. Past failures were positively reframed as an opportunity to learn, and yet another agile principle was put in the spotlight: 

The fact that impediments aren’t in your way, they are your way. As Stephanie put it, “if you can move the stones on your road, you can be faster!”

As Hans Martin and Stephanie spoke with calm and eloquent encouragement, one could notice that they were practicing what they preached: They had the mentality of humble leaders, someone who knows that knowing it all isn't what matters, but rather the readiness to constantly learn and evolve. This is exactly the difference between doing agile - which can easily be learned through training - and being agile, which is a lifelong practice, since it requires constant reminders to be aligned on a vision and strategy, and to not fall into your old ways of acting. 

The discussion was wrapped up with some advice to current and future Project Managers:  

"Make sure your business is sustainable, help us broaden the movement, become an interested party, and try to adapt your own thinking and own way instead of just taking historical principles per se”.

All in all, the agile program can be summarized with the following sentiment: Skip the search for the guilty, the punishment of the innocent, and the praise and honors for the non-participants. 

Finally, the audience was invited to get to know each other over an Apéro - a perfect networking opportunity accompanied by delicious food and pleasant ambience.

On a personal note, when I first took my seat in the front row and watched the room fill up with project managers and high ranking executives, I couldn't help but wonder if I, being a simple Computer Science student, was a bit out of place. Little did I know that merely 12 hours later, I would be recounting all the facts I learned at a job interview the next day! I find that a nice testimony to how agile principles can be found anywhere.

Furthermore, as a first-time volunteer at the event, I was impressed by how welcoming and reassuring the PMI Switzerland team was towards new members. I was taken seriously and encouraged to join, experiment, and most importantly, fail! So if anyone is still on the fence about volunteering for PMI, I can highly recommend trying it out, as it is an incredibly supportive platform to expand your comfort zone :)

Looking back, I can attest that the evening was full of pleasant surprises and inspiring people. What a truly exciting way to celebrate International Project Management Day!

P.S: For anyone who would like more information about how Agile and Data Science could go hand in hand, this article by Malou Ockenfels could be an interesting read:

For further inquiries, I can be contacted on Linkedin