Thoughts on “HERMES 2022 Advanced”

I have recently passed the ‘HERMES 2022 Advanced’ exam and a question remained in my mind: What will it be like to lead a project where the project leader cannot interfere either in the management of the development team or in the management of future users, tasks which are in HERMES 2022 intended for the user representative (“Anwendervertreter”, AVer)?

The interaction between project manager (PL) and AVer thus becomes crucial to the success of the project: it is like driving a car in two, if they do not steer, accelerate or brake in unison, there is a big risk of crashing, which in the context of a project is tantamount to creating pure chaos.

Therefore, the choice of the PL and AVer pairing must be made by management specifically and wisely. If the two people do not know each other or have never worked together before, a period of observation by the mandate of the project (sponsor) is a must.

The argument used in HERMES 2022 to justify this is that so the PL can also be external and does not have to know the business. I have been a project manager for many years, and it has never been a problem not to know the customer’s business at the beginning. On the contrary, I consider this aspect to be both an advantage and a motivation: an advantage because you do not start from assumptions or preconceptions that may later turn out to be wrong; a motivation because it is nice to discover new businesses, to inform oneself by reading, researching, and asking questions about new “worlds”.

Finally, I wonder without knowing anything about the project business, is it possible to be in charge of it?

Will AI help the project manager track critical paths, or perhaps identify and manage risks, or even prioritise the decision to be made?

The Potential of AI in Project Management

As curious as I am about the potential of AI? It’s amazing to see the current impact of AI on a wide range of industries, already affecting everyone daily.

Will AI help the project manager track critical paths, or perhaps identify and manage risks, or even prioritise the decision to be made? In multilingual project teams, it already facilitates communication with tools such as Deepl. Perhaps in the future, automatic AI translation during conference calls would make the work easier? Another area of application for AI in project management is the industry of PM tools (such as Asana, Monday, Trello, ClickUp or Microsoft Project, among others).

Have you ever asked ChatGPT to identify the risks of your project? I did a test for one of our projects that involved moving a data centre. The following were the first 3 suggestions in the response, which consisted of 12 risks:
1) Service interruption risk
2) Risk of data loss
3) Risk of equipment damage

Probably any PM would have identified these. However, in the plethora of answers (you can ask for “more risks”), you may identify a few that you had not thought of that are relevant to the specific situation/context of your project.

I went on to ask “How long will it take to complete this project?” and the answer surprised me:

“It is important to work closely with experienced project managers and vendors to create a detailed project plan that takes into account your unique requirements and minimises downtime during the move. This timeline is a general estimate, and your actual duration may vary”.

Hurrah! Project leaders should survive AI.

What I’ve learnt: It’s nice to play with AI in the context of planning a project and identifying its risks, but it takes time to check lots of generic answers to see if they can add value.

After all, projects rely on human interaction – at least for another year or so.

How do you use AI in your line of work?

Navigating Challenges: A Personal Reflection on Daily Motivation in Project Management

Do you love what you do?

After over 20+ years in the field of project management, I can still confidently say that I love my work. I ask myself: How is this possible? What is it that I love about project management? What motivates me, day in and day out?

I love the thrill of starting a new project, forming and integrating a new team, bringing an idea to life, driving transformation. Additionally, I find joy in small and large daily challenges, the diverse perspectives, and the constant need to ask: What’s important now? When do we need to make crucial decisions? Where does the current plan have a critical point?

While project management processes remain consistent, each day as a project manager is unique. Throughout projects, there’s always something new to manage and learn.

So, where does this motivation come from?

First, it comes from leading the transformation of team members into dedicated team players, which continually demonstrates the power of collaboration. Second, it’s fueled by the positive impact on our clients’ businesses, knowing that our work directly contributes to their success.

Project management isn’t just a job; it’s a passion that keeps me engaged day after day.


How about you? Do you love what you do, and what motivates you?


Projekt Atelier: A Journey of Success. Our Story, 3 Years In

Projekt Atelier was founded a little bit more than three years ago. What began as a leap of faith is now a team of three committed professionals, excelling in project management and navigating the challenges that come our way.

The vision of Projekt Atelier has remained the same since day one: to drive success in every project we take on.

What does that really mean?  What defines success in project management? 

Meeting delivery deadlines, the planned budget, the required quality, and not least the satisfaction of the people involved are all good indicators of a project’s success.

But we believe there is also a deeper aspect, which is that of change. A project is about accomplishing something new or different, it’s about fostering meaningful change.

How do you measure the success of change?

The key here is simple: allow for a sufficient time post-change to truly gauge its impact. This involves a careful evaluation, like asking if the new application consistently meets long-term needs, or if that shiny new infrastructure delivers the anticipated cost savings, among other.

Change, as we know, is never easy. It’s often laden with challenges, sparking debates over its necessity and execution. So, here’s the real question: Is the change worth it? More precisely, what’s the driving force behind initiating a fresh project? Your response to this inquiry sets the tone for any project’s success. It doesn’t just encapsulate the project’s status upon completion; it projects a vision into the future.

We express our heartfelt gratitude to all clients, partners, and team members who have propelled Projekt Atelier’s notable three-year trajectory.


Product owner or project manager?

Product owner or project manager?

In the agile software development method SCRUM (, the role of the project manager is no longer foreseen. One reason for this is that development takes place in short, regular cycles (iterations). The actual progress achieved is constantly monitored in this way. The project can react more flexibly to changes in the market.

The product owner defines the work packages (user stories) with priorities for the development team. In this sense, the product owner replaces the project manager.

To start a project, stakeholders still need a business plan with costs and deadlines and, as the project progresses, regular reporting.

In addition, coordinating the work before and during iterations requires many project management skills, such as stakeholder and risk management, leadership, teamwork. The latter are partially subsumed under the product owner role in SCRUM.

This means that certain project management tasks are indispensable for the product owner.

On the side of the “classical” project management, the project manager role is provided, which often includes tasks and competencies that are assigned to the product owner in SCRUM. For example, the project manager must address the concerns of the business, define the work packages and prioritize them.

Ultimately, the person who takes the lead role is essential to the success of a project. She should be passionate about the project and / or the product and take full responsibility towards the stakeholders. She should focus on the project and / or product vision and continually inspire the team and project stakeholders.

The (First) Project Management in a Pandemic

The (First) Project Management in a Pandemic

What has changed in project management with the Corona pandemic? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages? What are the risks and the opportunities?

Projects can be very different, but today all project leaders have something in common: managing a project during a pandemic. Lockdown, teleworking, delays in product manufacturing and deliveries, days of virtual contact with the project team, complex travel arrangements and hours of face-to-face time, new meeting room design.

The pandemic has been going on for months now and no one knows if and when we will be able to live and work as we did before.

What does this mean for the project management?

There are concrete risks, such as the delay of deliveries or the absence of employees, which mean that project planning in general becomes more uncertain. Despite previously defined measures to minimize risks, project management must revise plans, and these may have to be reworked. When teleworking and home office are mandated and coffee machine conversations are no more possible, the project manager loses informal exchanges and important information. Holding “delicate” conversations or negotiations as well as celebrating successes becomes more difficult. The implementation of change projects, in which new organizations and / or processes are defined and implemented, is more complicated.

As a further aspect, the fears of employees who must go to the office, for example, have to be taken into account. The project manager must take measures to protect the employees.

The creativity and organizational talent of each project manager are particularly needed in the current situation.

What can we use as a guide?

The current situation is not completely new; for example, we find similar challenges in offshore projects that can inspire us to find solutions. In these projects, the employees or the teams are geographically distant from each other and communicate virtually. When planning offshore projects, the aspects of distribution are taken into account, for example, by allowing time and/or monetary reserves for communication and travel.

Are there also advantages?

Leading with virtual means such as (video) calls dan improve the culture of trust and goal orientation that are the foundation of agile software development methods and lean management. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter when or where employees work on work packages. What matters is that they get it done, according to expectations and deadlines.

Another opportunity is the work-life balance, which in the home office benefits all employees, including the project manager.


Depending on the type of project, the advantages and disadvantages of the current situation can compensate each other. Many things that were considered impractical yesterday work without problems today. The end of the pandemic is difficult to plan. The development of the current situation and the influence in the respective project should therefore be kept in mind to be able to act as proactively as possible in the project – to determine it oneself – and not to have to react – to be externally determined.