In today’s guest post, Roland Pfister from the =mcm Media & Communication Institute of the University of St. Gallen writes about the downsides of using PowerPoint and pre-printed handouts as collaboration tools in meetings. He explains how new sketching concepts can stimulate systematic, collaborative and creative thinking in meetings, and illustrates this with the example of the Root Cause Iceberg sketch, one of 35 sketching templates presented in the guide “Sketching at Work” by Martin Eppler and Roland Pfister. (more…)
Archive for September 2010
By Manuel Flury
Three words are written in big black letters on a flip chart in front of the workshop room: “CONTEXT”, “OPPORTUNITY”, “SOLUTION”. Eleven specialists from human resources, IT, project management from different Swiss Federal Offices sit behind the u-shaped tables – painted in the usual grey colour – in one of the training rooms at the lower floors of the Federal Office for Personnel Affairs. Outside of the room a remote lawn mower makes its eternal turns over the nice green in between two tall buildings. The summer weather would invite strolling along the nearby river Aare. In the mid-afternoon, the guest speaker takes the floor. (more…)
- The project manager is an agronomist by training. He does his best. But since the project is to support the development of municipalities, he is on a very steep learning curve.
- The project management team was planned with 4 professionals. Since some of the funding proposals were turned down by donors, the partner organization only recruited 2 staff. They did not adapt the activity plan, though, so staff are constantly overstretched.
- And so on: the IT system is not working properly and project staff therefore cannot access guidelines and templates in head office, the desk officer is on maternity leave and the project team therefore is cut off from advice and governance, the project was conceived without Government consultation and therefore is not integrated into the national dynamic, the partner organization is new in the country and therefore has no allies yet etc etc..
Bad, really bad. Not entirely unfamiliar, though. But what really left me speechless was my friend’s conclusion: “I will make sure this agronomist is put through an at least 5 day project management training next year”. (more…)
By Michèle Marin
By now, a series of the SDC networks have come up with their first international f2f meetings. The experiences reveal a few recurrent lessons to be learned, and trigger questions on how to best manage a f2f event. The SDC Learning & Networking team reflects upon them in a loose series of blog posts. This first post considers the f2f event as a key moment of network development, and explores the adequate level of participation of network members before and during the meeting.
How do I organise a f2f event of a thematic learning network? Shall it rather be a thematic training or a network-development event? How much member-involvement in programming and preparation makes sense? Coming up with their first f2f-event, a series of SDC thematic learning networks have been facing this kind of questions. (more…)