Elodie Josse is the Outreach Director of the PMI Luxembourg Chapter. Mrs. Josse leads business development activities, strategic partnering, community outreach, sales, and marketing activities. Outside the PMI Luxembourg Chapter, Mrs Josse works as a project manager at Vectis PSF a consulting firm specialized in governance for the financial sector.
First, could you please explain the operations and goals of PMI?
Since its founding in 1969, the Project Management Institute (PMI, www.pmi.org) has grown to be the organisation of choice for project management professionalism. With more than 330,000 members worldwide in over 192 countries, PMI is the largest and leading non-profit professional association in the area of project management, dedicated to the development of the project management profession.
PMI sets industry standards for project management, provides seminars and educational programs, conducts research and provides professional certification and exchange opportunities designed to strengthen and further establish the profession. PMI advances the careers of practitioners, while enhancing overall business and government performance.
PMI is also structured in local Chapters in countries, and into Communities of Practice (CoPs). A CoP focuses on project management topics related to its industry or interest area whereas PMI Chapters are geographically based groups of project management professionals. There are today more than 250 Chapters in more than 70 countries worldwide.
And what about the Luxembourg Chapter?
The origins of the Luxembourg Chapter go back to around 2003, when a small group of PMI Belgium Chapter members in Luxembourg saw the need for a local presence. The concept of a local Luxembourg Section began to gain credence, and with the full support of the Board of PMI Belgium from March 2005, the Luxembourg Section was formally launched in January 2006, at an event on Organisational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3).
One further event was held in 2006, and from 2007 onwards the Luxembourg Section has organised at least four events per year, together with regular participation in the annual Congrès Gestion de Project (Project Management Congress) organised by Luxembourg’s Centre de Recherche Public Henri Tudor.
The PMI Belgium Chapter provided the PMI Luxembourg Section with a great deal of autonomy, and over the course of time the need for a local Chapter became more evident, and with the full support of PMI Belgium an application was submitted in early 2010 for a separate PMI Luxembourg Chapter. This became a reality in June 2010.
The PMI Luxembourg Chapter is incorporated in Luxembourg as an ‘Association sans but lucratif’. The Chapter is managed by a Board of Directors composed of 11 people. (http://www.pmi.lu/aboutus.shtml)
How did you become involved with the PMI and what inspired you to do so?
As a junior project manager at Vectis PSF, I followed one training session on the preparation of the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. That’s how I first learned about PMI. At that time, I also wanted to get in contact with peers in Luxembourg and contacted the PMI Luxembourg Section. I was invited to the official launch of the Luxembourg Chapter in June 2010.
The idea of being involved in an association promoting the project management profession from where I could learn a lot from others’ experiences and standards attracted me a lot. I thought that offering my times and ideas was of interest. Everything went fast: I became a member in September 2010 and stood for the elections to the Board. I was elected in January 2011 for a 2-year mandate as Director of Outreach. That’s how it happened for me…
What are your reponsibilities as Director of Outreach for the Luxembourg Chapter?
My key responsibilities as Director of Outreach are:
- Implementing an account management process to ensure a coordinated and professional approach to organisations in Luxembourg and the surrounding countries, cooperating where necessary with PMI Chapters responsible for the country;
- Monitoring and coordinating all contact with external stakeholders;
- Organising marketing materials, including presentations, to organisations interested in the activities of PMI.
The Outreach activities can be considered as a means of contacting organisations or individuals on behalf of the Project Management Institute and promoting project management as a profession. This means constantly interacting with the other Directors such as the Director of Professional Development, the Director of Events, the Director of Membership and Volunteers , etc.
In that context, what kind of activities do you perform/offer to contact interested organisations/individuals?
The two main outreach activities are:
- Corporate presentations: We are ready to come to company offices to present PMI and our Luxembourg Chapter. We will help the company to understand more about PMI, its purpose and objectives, its certifications, and of course how PMI can help the company and its project managers.
- Social events: The idea of social events is to come and meet the Board of Directors, volunteers, PMI members and other project management professionals in the PMI Luxembourg community, to discuss with your peers and have a good time in a relaxed atmosphere. We invite people to come along to find out more about the chapter and how membership gives you value and how YOU can help us build the community as a volunteer!
To provide those activities and help me develop them, some active volunteers take part in the outreach workgroup.
Since the beginning of the year 2011, we mainly focused on the following:
- Preparation of a presentation for companies interested in the activities of PMI
- Reflections on targets we should address
- One corporate presentation at a well-known bank in Luxembourg which uses the PRINCE2 methodology.
Do you only focus your outreach activities on the Luxembourg market?
Of course not, even though until now it has been the case. As Luxembourg is a very small country we are also open to foreign companies near the border that would be interested to learn about us and to become involved with us.
How do you establish contacts with potentially interested people/organisations?
Before the elections of January 2011, the position of Outreach Director didn’t exist. So in the past, the contacts used to be taken based on the networks that the Chapter’s board members already had.
Another contact source is the events that we organise. As the Chapter is organising at least four to five events per year, contacts can be established there with attendees who would be interested to learn a bit more about the PMI and our Luxembourg Chapter.
Our purpose is also to attract new people or organisations interested in project management that don’t yet know about PMI and our Luxembourg Chapter and that would be interested to learn a bit more about us.
In Luxembourg, are there other local PM groups?
There are the following local PM groups:
- The Agile Interest Group Luxembourg (AIGLU): a core group for Agile Methods users – Scrum, Lean and XP practitioners. This Group operates in Luxembourg by organising monthly conferences, workshops and other masterclasses. (http://www.aiglu.org/)
- GestionDeProjet.lu: www.gestiondeprojet.lu is a website, managed by the Centre de Recherche Public Henri Tudor, dealing with project management topics in Luxembourg.
The project management community is quite active on the Luxembourg marketplace and there is a high local demand; so PMI and the local Chapter can really become major actors and develop their presence.
For interested readers, can you please tell us what is the next event/activity of your Luxembourg Chapter and how to enter in contact with you?
For any further question, please do not hesitate to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn about our forthcoming events and activities, you can consult our website at www.pmi.lu/events.shtml, or you can sign up to our mailing list at http://eepurl.com/dw0SD.