Synergy – a memory from 2011


This year on the 3rd of November we are celebrating 13th International Project Management Day (IPMD), which is always the first Thursday of November. IPMD was founded by Frank Saladis with the purpose of promoting appreciation for project managers, their teams and their achievements. Frank suggests doing 5 things in support of IPMD.

  1. First do something positive for yourself to increase your sense of personal power and self-worth
  2. Second, take the time to say thanks to your project managers and team members. Do something organizationally to recognize and appreciate those working on projects with you
  3. Third, participate locally in project management events
  4. Fourth, create or join a regional mission to enhance the public relations of the industry
  5. And finally, identify actions you can take to build your international network and become an international ambassador of project management.

3rd November is also special to me as it is my and my blog birthday. Not sure if I can join the Synergy event this year, which I’m really recomending, although I would like to bring you back to the first Synergy in 2011 – also on 3rd of November:-)

Synergy 2011, held in London at the O2, the world’s most popular music and entertainment venue, brought together more than 700 project management experts to recognize and celebrate the Project Management profession on 3rd November, the 8th Annual International Project Management Day.


The event was organized by a small team of committed and enthusiastic PMI UK Chapter volunteers under the guidance, pressure and worry, of a passionate project sponsor, the PMI UK President Chris Field.  During this day of entertainment, learning and celebration facilitated by Roy Sheppard, the conference moderator, we heard many stories about successful teams, successful projects and successful societies.

PMI Poland Chapter, Gdansk Branch was represented by Anna Erdmanska, Malgorzata Kusyk, Marta Kisielewicz and Zornitsa Markova. For Marta and Zornitsa the trip to London and the participation in the event was an award to recognise their engagement and achievements in the English Summer Camp 2011.

English Summer/Winter Camp is a charity program run by PMI Poland Chapter, Gdansk Branch since 2004.  Its goal is to deliver social projects as an opportunity not only to help children from orphanages, foster & poor families, but also to educate a new generation of sensitive Project Managers, Volunteers, by running a project professionally, using PMBOK®  Guide practices.

The Synergy event was opened by Ricardo Vargas, a project, portfolio and risk management specialist, followed by Louise Hardy, Olympic Park Infrastructure Director and Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, who walked us through the Olympic Park, a 6 year, „7 plus billion project which will deliver the infrastructure and venues for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games. The scale and complexity of the project was evident from some of the numbers presented: the construction of 26 bridges, 11 sporting venues and a village for 2,800 athletes. And the challenges a 500 member project team faced included managing and coordinating 12,000 staff on site, 500 vehicles movements per day, including 6 large ones; and an average spend of 130m/month (peaking at 185/month); 100 client changes per month, and much more.

Emile Faurie, one of the UK’s top international dressage riders and trainers, shared his story on how to build a relationship with a hot head horse Max to achieve success, quite an unusual and interesting experience.

Didi Hopkins, an actor from the National Theatre, presenting 10 ways of introducing herself, uncovered an action-based work that unleashes confidence and creativity in leadership and communication, bringing theatre and rehearsal room techniques into the business world.

Ken Livingstone, politician, Mayor of London in years 2004- 2008, delighted the audience with stories of leading London through minor and major change projects that have occurred over the past 30 years.

Stephen Carver, Lecturer at Cranfield University, engaged delegates in an activity that demonstrated how to achieve synergy in our projects using scrum methodology, agility, all with the support of a rugby team!

Claire Young, finalist of BBC1″s hit TV show, The Apprentice, shared the stage with participants from three PMI projects all aimed at developing Project Management skills in school children. They shared their experiences of working with some of the UK”s youngest Project Managers and explained the amazing results than can be achieved when passionate professionals are given the opportunity to work together with the Project Managers of the future.

You could also meet Mike Brearley OBE, psychoanalyst and cricket legend, someone who knows how to draw the very best out of the team.

Synergy was about celebrating and recognizing not only successful teams but also outstanding individuals. David Hillson, a.k.a The Risk Doctor, was awarded the PMI Eric Jennett Project Management Excellence Award at the event. Congratulations David!

The award „recognises and honours an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the practice of the project management profession, demonstrating leadership and initiative while advancing both theoretical concepts and practical applications”.


Finally David Armand, comedian, actor & writer, and Andi Osho, actress & comedian, performing at Synergy 2011, showed us all that project management can also be entertaining!

This great event would never have happened without the entire volunteer team who worked very, hard, day and night, to ensure everyone had a great time at the event.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the PMI UK Chapter and in particular Ian McAllister ” the Synergy Project Manager. Thank you very much for having a chance to be a part of it.

PMI, PMBOK are the registered trade marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.[:]

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