Daniel visits Riga

Last April 19th, I had the honor of being member of the jury for the Project Management Championships organized by Young Crew Latvia, part of the Latvian National Project management association. The Project Management Championships is a competition for students in project management. They first go through a pre-selection process, in which they compete on an online challenge with multiple questions on project management. Those who are best at it will make it to the face to face finals. They will have some hours to solve a case study and present it in front of a jury, who will assess which team is most capable and well prepared.
It was a great chance to get to see a selection of the best students in project management from the country! The case study that they had to solve was brought to them by the event’s sponsor, Swedbank, and it consisted of a re-planning of a project to bring to the market social network possibilities for their client. Not short of a challenge, it had strong requirements on marketing, security, and consumer satisfaction. Of course, within a project management frame of mind: they had to take care of planning and structuring tasks, and figuring out if they could do with the budget that was left from the original project!

I was glad to see the high quality in all the workpieces. Of course, they worked under a huge time pressure, so some inconsistencies were more than expectable, but the overal quality was really impressive. I think the guys at Swedbank might very well use some of those ideas in the real case!

If you’re from somewhere other than Latvia, you might be thinking don’t they do this sort of stuff in my country? (and some of you might be asking why as well). Well, chances are, such an event is being organized close to you right now! The Project Management Championships are part of the IPMA Young Crew products, in particular the biggest one targeted at students. And it doesn’t stop at national level: in 2014 for the first time we will see a World Championship in Project Management take shape. I’ll give more details about this, in due time!

The event ended up in a very pleasant evening award ceremony, duly followed by the relevant afterparty. The next day I had the chance of contributing to the Latvian Young Crew, by supporting them in their strategy meeting. We dealt with the topics of getting the word out (or getting seen), keeping the momentum and the motivation of volunteers, and promotion. My, there’s things happening in Latvia! We can expect to hear a lot from these guys!

Soon I’ll be visiting them again (mind the irony of both trips being so close), to speak at their event PM days. This time I won’t “only” address young project managers, but I’ll indeed talk about how project management can and should adapt to reflect today’s challenges, and to take advantage of todays young workforce. Will you be around? Join me! Drop me a line to know!

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