2020 - the PMI Germany Chapter starts to live
After overcoming many obstacles - most recently the corona crisis - the project team - consisting of Dr. Andreas Berning, Wolfgang Friesike, Jörg Glunde, Kurt Lehberger, Jens Liebold, Stephan Wolter and Thomas Wuttke - with the support of Lysan Drabon, Manager Chapter Development Europe, PMI Europe, and Merete Lange, mentor of PMI EMEA Region 8, succeeded in merging the three existing Chapters (PMI Southern Germany Chapter, PMI Frankfurt Chapter and PMI Berlin / Brandenburg Chapter) into the PMI Germany Chapter.
A Project for Project Managers
Usually as project managers we turn someone else ideas into reality. But can we as project managers not have a vision ourselves which is worth being made happen, and that is even for the benefit of project managers? This article describes such a project, trying to spot when and how this idea was born and why it took so long to tackle and ultimately finish it - the merger of PMI chapters in Germany and the foundation of the PMI Germany Chapter.
First more concrete planning towards increased collaboration between the four chapters Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin-Brandenburg and Cologne started in 2014 where representatives of these four chapters and staff from the PMI office Brussels met for a workshop in Erfurt close to the geographical center of Germany. Many valuable achievements were made like a so-called "landing page" where people could learn about PMI in Germany and find links to the websites of the four chapters existing at that time in Germany. A German-wide sponsoring model was established, too with benefits for the involved chapters and the sponsors as well.
In March 2016 we took the bull by the horns (if I remember the phrase my English teacher taught me correctly). And what an appropriate phrase this was we should learn throughout the whole project.
In late 2017 the first joint congress of PMI chapters in Germany was organized which turned out to be a great success. And the closer the collaboration of the four distinct chapters developed, the more obvious it became how much more beneficial a true merger of them into one single entity would be.
A merger of three associations by absorption during the Corona pandemic with the general meetings of the associations/chapters taking place in September 2020 were only made possible through the " Act to Mitigate the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Civil, Bankruptcy, and Criminal Procedure Law." was seemingly unique in Germany as we have been told by our notaries. And finally, on 21.12.2020 we received the final notification from the district court in Berlin-Charlottenburg - we're done... well partially.
In the meantime, the transition was completed thanks to the tremendous support of PMI staff without severe glitches. The foundational and interims paved the way for new elections by the joint member community which has already grown to make the Germany Chapter the 2nd largest in EMEA.
So, what is now the concrete benefit besides fewer administration (only one website, only one tax declaration, etc.) and more events to earn PDUs? More professional member service, new products like Communities of Practice, better collaboration amongst all volunteers across Germany, more volunteering opportunities, and all the good things the individual chapters had developed stayed as they were but became available to all members in Germany.
How did we achieve that? Rather than creating a "centralized bureaucratic monster" we built into our organization structure a fine balance between local service delivery, best-practice sharing and learning and centralized enablement. Contrasting to that face towards our members and volunteers from outside we appear as one large organization representing nearly 3200 members.
As foundational and now elected board members we have now reached another important milestone, but this is not the end of our endeavor. It is merely the launch into a new era of project management in Germany.
Milestones of the Program “One German Chapter”:
22.03.2016: Agreed the common goal of “Development of a model for a unified chapter in Germany”.
10.05.2017: Assigning the team to support the project.
18.07.2017: Workshop in Frankfurt with deputies of 4 German Chapters, Mattias Georgson Petrén – Region Mentor NW Europe lead the workshop.
18.11.2017: PMI Region 8 meeting, Malmö, “One German Chapter Program” was kicked-off with dedicated Program manager (Kurt Lehberger).
31.12.2017: Program Charter – “One German Chapter”
05.05.2018: Workshop in Berlin at PMI LIM Berlin
24.09.2018: Business Case developed with support from Anca Costache, Chapter Partner NW & Central Europe
and finally signed by the presidents of three chapters (Berlin/Brandenburg, Frankfurt, Munich) and
Lysan Drabon PMI Development Manager as our project sponsor.
11.10.2018: Publication of the positive results of our Chapter members survey and PMI members survey: 73% would like to join
a new unified chapter organization in Germany.
10.01.2019: Program Manager Thomas Wuttke
10.08.2019: Statute of the PMI Germany Chapter e.V. signed by the founding fathers. Dr. Andreas Berning,
Wolfgang Friesike, Jörg Glunde, Kurt Lehberger, Jens Liebold, Stephan Wolter and Thomas Wuttke.
26.09.2019: Foundation of the PMI Germany Chapter e.V. located in Berlin, Germany.
09.11.2019: Region 8 Meeting, Brussel: Merete Munch Lange, PMI Region Mentor Region 8, NW announces the new PMI Germany Chapter endeavor.
30.01.2020: New Statute for the purpose of the merge
14.03.2020: Merger agreement of PMI Southern Germany Chapter
16.03.2020: Merger agreement of PMI Frankfurt Chapter
26.03.2020: Merger agreement of PMI Berlin/Brandenburg Chapter
08.09.2020: Vote for merging by members of PMI Southern Germany Chapter at Virtual General Meeting
18.09.2020: Vote for merging by members of PMI Frankfurt Chapter at Virtual General Meeting
21.09.2020: Vote for merging by members of PMI Berlin/Brandenburg Chapter at General Meeting
21.12.2020: Merger agreement registered at Local Court Berlin. In accordance with the underlying merger agreements, the merger date is retroactivly 01.01.2020
19.01.2021: Website of PMI Germany Chapter pmi-gc.de went live.
01.04.2021: the new Board has been elected.
Dr. Andreas Berning, Kurt Lehberger