Behind the Scenes at PMCamp Barcelona

Behind the Scenes at PMCamp Barcelona

My boys have only been to Barcelona for PMI EMEA. I take them to all the great places! My youngest asks every time he sees an airplane if it’s going through Barcelona. It’s amazing that he can remember it at all, considering he was only 2. Perhaps the fact that he cried through takeoff was enough to cement it in his mind. His ears hurt.
Sinead Quigley MahaerSo, we have fond memories about Barcelona and there’s another incredible event there later in the year.
Sinead Quigley Maher, and Klaus Hofeditz were the Co-Organisers for PMCampBCN. I wanted to learn more about this unusual unconference.
Where did the idea to hold PMCamp Barcelona originate?
Stefan Hagen in Austria created the PMCamp movement in 2009. Stefan Hagen, who wrote a popular blog about project management, suggested that a BarCamp be established for project managers. It would be based on a participant-driven conference held by Tim O’Reilly in 2003 for the IT industry.
Klaus HofeditzThe idea was finally realized in 2011, when the first PMCamp was held in Dornbirn in Austria. It continued on through Switzerland and Germany over the next few years.
BarCamp was inspired by the success of the concept and expanded its goal to bring together people from all over Europe. In 2015, the first PMCamp was held in Barcelona.
More than 1200 people have participated in PMCamps across eleven European cities.
Wow. Who put all this together? Tell me about yourself.
Despite our diverse backgrounds, we are all volunteers and all are project managers. We want to encourage and support people in similar roles to get together to share their knowledge, make contacts, and exchange ideas.
Many people feel that the way companies run their organisations and structure work is flawed. We share the frustrations of a growing number people who want to be more productive and happier at work. This includes avoiding politics and ego games that can exhaust our efficiency and effectiveness.
We are against this bureaucracy because it is not beneficial to the organization, its product, or its customers.
Okay, let’s discuss more about the idea for an “unconference”. What does this actually mean?
PMCampBCN can be described as an unconference that is loosely structured.
It is more than that for us. Unconferences are more about the exchange of ideas and information than on formal structure. Participants are encouraged to participate in the event content and can lead sessions, which makes it more engaging and interactive.
We have gotten rid of the exorbitant fees, sponsored talks and self-promotional material for “Open Space Technology” or “Learning by Teaching”.
PMCampBCN, for example, starts the day with a keynote or lightning talk. This is where any resemblance with conventional conferences ends. The session planning begins, and all attendees are involved.
Participants who plan to lead a session will give a brief description of their topic to the group. Next, they will add their topic and name on a slot on a bulletin board. After all session slots have been agreed upon, sessions can begin and participants can choose the sessions they wish to attend.
Sessions are usually interactive and fun. However, if a participant is not learning or contributing to the session, they can use the “Law of Two Feet” to find another session or participant.
Awesome! This is awesome!
We believe PMCampBCN will appeal at a variety of levels to participants. The BarCamp concept eliminates the “them & us” barrier and gives participants parity and approximate.