Een verslag van de Internationale Finale van de IPMA Young Crew NL competitie Project Management Championship.
In het weekend van 11 en 12 juni vond de Internationale Finale plaats van dé competitie op het gebied van projectmanagement: de Project Management Championship (PMC). Dit jaar was Berlijn de hosting stad. We interviewden de drie studenten die namens IPMA Young Crew NL meededen aan de competitie. Zij behaalden een prachtige tweede plaats! Ook deelt Jason Tzanakakis zijn ervaringen over de reis als bestuurslid van IPMA Young Crew.
Did you expect to win 2nd place?
Maya: “No, I did not expect it. A couple of weeks before the international finals, we had a meeting with previous finalists who represented the Netherlands to discuss their experience. They advised us to enjoy the weekend and do not prepare much in advance. So, that was our plan. During the BBQ on Friday, we had the opportunity to get to know the other participants and I felt an atmosphere of excitement and competitiveness among the contestants.
The competition itself was really challenging. We had to take on the role of a project manager that was transferred to a project that wasn’t performing well in simulation software. At first, we discussed the re-assignment of almost all personnel and managed to get the project on schedule, on budget, and had great motivation among the employees. However, that quickly changed, and our performance indicators were dropping drastically. After finding out several functionalities in the software (risk analysis, quality control), we managed to increase our performance indicators to a solid level. In our presentation about the results, we focused on our strategy, process, and learning points, and especially the latter was a lot.
I was really impressed by the results and presentations of the other contestants but was happy with our results and presentation as well. Now, it was up to the jury to decide on the scores. All in all, we left with a good feeling but didn’t expect to win 2nd place!”
Mirko: “This year’s case was a simulation case, in which we had to simulate a reorganization. When starting with the simulation, we were quite unfamiliar with all software possibilities. Therefore, we had a rough start, which subsequently led to mediocre scores in the end. So, no, I did not expect to win 2nd place. It was eventually not our scores that made our 2nd place, but more our presentation!”
Mart: “At first, I did not. Some other teams were also really well and compared to previous performances we could have done better with the simulation and presentation. The other team had also some interesting qualities, and backgrounds and deserved to be second or in the top three. What gave me some confidence was our different approach to the project with the vision, mission, and approach strategy. This distinguished us in the competition and of course our team! When the presenter introduced the 2nd place, many of the things we did were called. Then we were pleasantly surprised by becoming second which was above expectation!”
How did you experience the international final?
Maya: “It was an amazing experience, and I am very grateful that I got the opportunity to go to the international finals. Especially, the mix between the competitiveness during the finals and the friendliness of all the other contestants afterward made the experience so much fun! It was great to get to know many people with a passion for project management and it was a great opportunity for me to expand my network.”
Mirko: “The international final was a well-organized and fun day. Meeting people from all these different countries with the same passion was inspiring. Although the final itself was an intense day, we had lots of free time to explore Berlin and to hang out with the other finalists.”
Mart: “Tense and challenging. In the beginning, we were social, joking, and connecting but when we began we all flipped the switch and focused on what was needed. Knowing what we wanted to do we went ahead. Funny to address is that we knew what each of us excelled in and therefore trusted one another in doing our part in the final.”
What did you learn during your journey that you could not have learned in class?
Maya: “How to apply my project management knowledge into practice, and through the simulation software directly seeing the effects of certain decisions. It has taught me that project management is much more than sticking to a budget and schedule, it is about finding the perfect balance between a lot of factors that influence projects.”
Mirko: “In class all different project management aspects, e.g. risk management and stakeholder management, seem rather isolated from each other. However, when running the simulation all these aspects were interlinked. Due to the complexity, it was, therefore, important to set a vision and battle plan at the start and to adhere to that throughout the finale. Project management is much more than simply covering risks and such, it is for example also about the motivation among employees. In the end, project management is a people’s business!”
Mart: “Sometimes you just have to trust someone to achieve the goal. When the time pressure is on, you cannot evaluate everything, and things just have to be done and the choice you make affects the future in a big way. In these tense times, you can still have fun with your job and make some jokes to improve the atmosphere of the group. Undoubtedly there are more things I have learned but have not noticed yet. Overall I would recommend to other students to compete because it is nice to test your skill and learn new things in project management.”
Jason, how was your experience during the International Final?
“The weekend of the international final in Berlin was a bucket of fun, meetings with new people from all over Europe, challenge, and nice memories. All the ingredients were there to have a great weekend. Even though I was not a participant, therefore I was not in a competition mode the whole weekend, the experience was amazing for all of us. What can go wrong when you are surrounded by nice people, coffee, beers, and wine, in a nice city, in a well-organized event? Nothing!”
How was it for you to see our team get 2nd place?
“And the 2nd place goes tooooo the Netherlands! What a moment during the awarding ceremony! I felt very happy and proud of our team. You can be flooded with these emotions when you have traveled to an international final and competed with 13 other countries. We shouldn’t forget though that PMC and IPMC are not only championships but offer us special moments that we all need to enjoy as well. Thus, I am even happier that our team and I, had a lot of fun during this weekend. Cheers and see you in the PMC 2023!”