“A great opportunity to apply our project management knowledge”

Op zaterdag 23 mei vond de nationale finale van de Project Management Championship plaats. Inmiddels de 3e editie op rij, georganiseerd vanuit de IPMA YoungCrew in samenwerking met IPMA-NL en Microsoft.

Team Pink won de finale. Dat betekent dat Jana Westerhaus, Fiona Bauhofer en Tieko Obuodi Nederland zullen vertegenwoordigen bij de Internationale Finale op 26 juni (gehost door IPMA & YoungCrew Litouwen), waar zij zullen strijden tegen 13 andere Europese landen.

We stelden de winnaars in het Engels een aantal vragen over hun ervaringen.

Why did you decide to participate in the Project Management Championship?

“We decided to participate because we knew that the competition is a lot of fun. Some of us already took part in earlier versions of the championship and very much enjoyed it, as it’s a great opportunity to apply our project management knowledge. In addition, we were also very curious to see in what way the approaches and solutions of the different teams deviate from each other due to differences in backgrounds, studies, etc.”  

What were the challenges you faced in the case, how did you come to a solution for these challenges/problems? What did you think was difficult in the case and how did you approach it?

“Well first of all, we had some technical difficulties in the beginning, as we had to adapt to working together remotely. Another challenge we faced has been the budgeting, as this is not the strongest focus of our study and we struggled a bit with recalling everything from the finance classes we had in our first year. In addition, we were challenged by the lack of personal stakeholder interaction. Being able to talk to the stakeholders in real life would have helped us a lot during the process of idea generation and strengthening. But we were able to deal with all these challenges because we already knew each other before the competition. As we’re all studying the same and have been working together before, we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Thus, we stayed pragmatic and goal oriented. We just focused on finding an alternative for everything that didn’t work out. Being solution focused and looking at the bright side helped us to navigate around all emerging obstacles.”

How did you experience your internal collaboration as a team, did you divide roles and responsibilities, what were your team values and how did these enable you to become the winners?

“As mentioned earlier, we have already been friends before the championship, so we knew how we function as a team. As we have a similar educational background, we were also aware of each other’s skills and knowledge. So we divided tasks based on our former experiences and personal strengths. Our team values were honesty, respect, collaboration, clear communication and having fun. Having these values enabled us to speak our mind when needed, but it also allowed us to trust each other’s work. One of our team strengths that might have contributed to us becoming the winners is that we all focus on the needs of the team rather than on individual performance.” 

You received feedback from an experienced jury, how did you experience this and what did you learn from it?

“First of all, we didn’t expect to win this competition. Thus, getting feedback on our work made us realize that we might have had quite high standards when judging our work. In addition, it has been very interesting to have the direct comparison with the other participating teams. We became aware that we can effectively work together even under difficult circumstances, as we have the skill and knowledge set to be responsive to any situation. We just focused on being flexible and adaptive by sticking to our initial idea, but really starting to shape it along the way.”

Next up: the international final

“We’re very excited to take part in the international final! Of course, it’s sad that we cannot be there in person, but we’re still very much looking forward to this unique online learning experience. We’ll be trying our best while at the same time simply enjoying the competition.”

About the case

The final case was about a Dutch supermarket chain that was struggling with the impacts of the corona crisis. They wanted to figure out how they could continue their constant expansion during this time of crisis and how they could adapt to the 1.5m economy. Thus, the objective was to redefine their brand position and to help them making the best our of this crisis situation.

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