PM² inlcudes a set of mindsets to follow – interview with Marc Berghmans

Date: 07/03/2023| Category: Tips and interviews| Tags:

We asked Marc Berghmans, Project Management expert and PM² Ambassador of the European Commission, some questions regarding the open source Project Management Methodology PM².

Can you share a little about yourself, your current role and your link to PM² ?

I joined the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Informatics in 2014 and have since been working for the Centre of Excellence in PM² (CoEPM²). It is a team that promotes the use of PM², PM²-Agile, PM²-Programme Management and PM²-Portfolio Management to European Institutions, agencies, bodies and Member States.

I currently lead the CoEPM² and as the PM² Ambassador, I represent PM² and related offering internally within the European institutions and externally with public authorities, academia, etc in Member States. Our aim is to promote and increase the use of PM² in and outside the EU institutions.

How is PM² linked to the European commission?

The PM² methodology and related offering were developed by the European Commission to better support the specific needs of public administrations and more particularly the procedures of the European institutions.

There are multiple Project Management methodologies. What makes PM² stand out as a project management methodology?

As mentioned above, PM² was developed specifically with the needs of public administration in mind. In this regard, the methodology is:

  • Lean and concise, with around 100 pages
  • It includes templates for all the artefacts that are used in the methodology. These artefacts explain in detail how they need to be completed
  • Customisable
  • It has a clear governance structure
  • And most importantly, it includes a set of mindsets to follow. These are related to the behaviours project managers should apply when implementing the methodology

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the PM² methodology for you?

The advantage of PM² is that it provides a common project management methodology that enables project managers in the EU institutions, Member States, etc to effectively manage the lifecycle of their projects. This means, it provides a clear and comprehensive set of processes on managing projects.

The disadvantage I see now is that we are unable to offer our training and certification programme externally.

You are highly experienced in Project Management. Can you give an example of a particularly challenging project you have managed in the past and how you overcame any obstacles?

A very challenging project was the Visa identification System (VIS). A European Commission project that resulted in a data exchange system between the Schengen Member States on visas. The stakeholder group was highly diverse and consisted of the European Commission, the French National Police, 27 Member States, several companies and my team. The biggest challenge we came across was maintaining clear communication.

We managed to overcome all the differences by implementing clear and transparent communication. Another rule that helped us a lot is the “no surprise” rule. This means that you never surprise other stakeholders, neither with good news nor with bad news. Our rule was to communicate as soon as there were deviations.

We are seeing that the work environment becomes more hybrid, in the sense that many teams are mixing smart working and office presence. How can PM² support this in your opinion?

For the PM² methodology, we have seen no difference whether people work in the same surrounding or far away from each other. Of course, working close together in the same office has the advantage of providing easier informal contact.

In hybrid settings, the communication plan and the rules for communication need to be set. These can be simple things such as agreeing on the working hours, on the way of communicating (as to avoid people spamming each other, etc).

In your experience, how do you think PM² responds to the growing need to be Agile?

I think that PM² responds very well to the growing need to be agile. Our PM²-Agile methodology and certification is a good example as it is fully linked with the PM² project management methodology. Project managers who want to use PM²-Agile in their projects will appreciate the integration between the two. You can download the PM²-Agile from the EU website.

For more information about PM², please visit the EU website.

More PM² reading

Continue reading about the PM² project management methodology with this interview with Reinhard Wagner, a case study of the first paperless College meeting of the European Commission and the history of PM².

Berghmans Marc

Marc Berghmans

Marc is an insightful, solutions-driven executive with 30+ years of success planning and coordinating large-scale projects (budget up to 80M€), programmes, and business process improvements for diverse organisations across financial, telecom, government, and transportation sectors. He is well-equipped with M.S. in Information Technology and PM², Prince2, ITILv3 and Agile Certifications. Since 3 years Marc is the PM² ambassador for the European Commission and leading a team of senior project managers and Agile specialists.

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