On May 18 and 19 I took part in a two-day PMI Wroclaw event, and then followed that up with a PMI Connect evening during the week. Below is my personal write up of these events.

4th Annual PMI Wrocław Conference

My first contact with PMI Wroclaw was exactly a year ago when a few of us from GOVECS bought tickets to the 3rd annual PMI Wroclaw Conference. With fresh PMP certificates in our pockets we were there to learn about project management. This was 2016.

I signed up to be a PMI Wroclaw volunteer shortly after and have been involved with helping out our local PMI chapter ever since.

Fast forward to 2017 and this year the conference focused on showcasing three projects taking place within our city of Wrocław.
One of the projects was a huge construction project with an Italian company called Astaldi.
The second project was a local city initiative called the European Capital of Culture.
But it was the third project that put smiles on our faces, it was us! GOVECS has done a remarkable job with project management within our company. From sending three guys for PMP certifications to a full fledged Project Management Office.
With six project managers, one program manager, and a PMO director, GOVECS has introduced a project management culture in a textbook manner.

Showcasing PMO at GOVECS was the first part of our presentation led by my boss Tomasz Pawlak. The second part of that presentation was the actual project that we came to present, and it was all about the Schwalbe scooter. I rode the Schwalbe into a hall full of people which definitely stood out from all other talks given that day. “You’re the guy with the scooter” people would say to me for the remainder of the conference, which was extremely cool. But we had a lot to talk about. There were a lot of firsts with that project for GOVECS, a lot of learning curves we as a company hadn’t gone through before. So when people would tell me afterwards that they could feel the passion in my delivery of the presentation, I was pretty honored to see that our hard work on a project that was materialized in a yellow scooter standing right there in front of everyone had paid off.

Of course we were just 45 minutes of the entire conference. As stated above, two more projects were showcased, and three keynotes were given that day as well. Gunter Verheyen gave a talk on Agile, Grzegorz Szałajko did a splendid job on showing us just how empathy can help our projects, and Bruno Kahne told us how we all had a thing or two to learn from the deaf community, communication wise.

Overall an awesome day that ended with a big gala with live music, open bar, and free massages.

NOTE: Whenever you see a great quality photo, that’s courtesy of Anna Kopeć, a professional photographer covering the event. Crappy looking photos are my iPhone shots.

Workshop Day

One day earlier I spent a few hours in a workshop given by Jakub Drzazga on Agile Product Management. Because agile is a very trendy project management word these days, and mostly due to projects within the IT sector, this workshop too focused on IT. But my takeaway from the workshop was pretty big nonetheless.

We played a game with a tool named Lean Canvas where our potential client sat in the middle of the room with some product in mind, and we as a group needed to figure out exactly what it was. This tool and the technique of asking as many questions as needed to get the product right felt great. I think it’s exactly what’s missing in most of our requirement documents when assembling a scope of a project. During our onslaught of questions, the customer himself started adding things onto the scope as he realized through the conversation of things he had either forgotten or simply didn’t realize until we told him about it. It felt like home.

PMI Connect

On Wednesday May 24 I attended yet another PMI event called PMI Connect. The event took place on the 13th floor of the Silver Tower Center in the offices of Luxoft, a local software house. The company takes up the entire floor and has a spectacular 360° view of the city below. While the event was organized by PMI Wrocław and hosted by Luxoft with office space and catering, it was a local training company called Octigo that took the floor and taught us about the importance of making connections. There was no room for introverts to hide or extroverts to parade as Octigo trainers quickly assigned us tasks to gather points through finding out information from complete strangers. There was some discussion, but mostly a lot of learning from the lecture on stuff like the Dunbar’s number (148) or the importance of thinking outside the box when looking for information.

It was a busy week for sure. From workshop learning, to the stress of giving a presentation on a project in front of other project professionals, finally to learning about connecting with people, it was a 1-2-3 combo week full of PMI. Thanks again to all those that made is possible.

NOTE:  Most of the photos below were taken by a Luxoft photographer who’s name I don’t know. Again, the crappy ones are my iPhone shots.