Project management is a combination of science and art. You need a methodology to enable productivity. And people to live up to it. DHL Supply Chain has always invested heavily in training their own PM methodology DePICT®. Changing to the ‘new normal’ has been a challenge and, much to my surprise, created more opportunities. Working from different locations, using online tools can create healthy team dynamics. And even advantages compared to the past. This we learned from the new approach of DePICT® Web Workshops, initialized last year by the German DSC L&D organisation.

The key is to fully utilize the possibilities of modern technology. Commitment and engagement are strengthened in a number of ways:

  • Video meetings can stand the comparison to live meetings if everyone turns on the video. Wi-Fi or WLAN has to be fit for purpose. The benefit is that you meet your colleagues in their own setting, which already shows a bit of their world and preferences. Good for team spirit.
  • The benefits of home office are enormous.
    First; you can agree to meet on a time of day that suits everyone, yet the actual work can easier be planned to the individual needs and circumstances. It’s not limited to 9 to 5; time it to your bio-rhythm which gives you most energy.
    Second: home office saves a lot of travelling time.
    Third: as a result, it’s easier to create a planning of more frequent, shorter sessions. Like the Scrum sprints it creates a heartbeat and keeps momentum.
  • Online tools like Limnu, Miro and Mural enable teams to both work together on an activity and continue to improve the work individually at your own preferred time. We use Mural.
  • And very basic; teach employees how to apply all of these tools. We start our 4 session Web Workshop with ½ hour of tutorial. Of course on day 1 we stumble and fail, but on day 4 everyone is digital savvy. Thus, we connect to create a connection.

Ever since 2006 I have the pleasure of being facilitator for the foundation training of DePICT®. On both science and art their methodology has improved tremendously. Tools were added and application stimulated by supporting programs. Part of that improved application is certainly the PM101 training itself. Over the years we made the training more interactive. Simulating workshops to learn the step flow, team building and creating a network. Honestly, given the success of live sessions I didn’t want to risk a virtual approach. Until we had to do it, and the downside of distant cooperation turned in the upside of swift learning. Amazing progress based on a higher frequency and active feedback loops. It’s energizing to become a better scientist and artist.

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