With coffee in hand, we left Zürich Hauptbahnhof bright and early and enjoyed the picturesque trip to our final location. Our kick-off discussion took an interesting format, as Stephanie (CEO) asked: “What are 3 facts about you that nobody here knows?”. It turned out that the Amazees are a talented bunch - we have a dancer, a person with extraordinary balance, a didgeridoo player and a seamstress, plus so much more.
After leaving the train at Chur and jumping on a bus to climb up the mountainside, we reached Workshop HQ. The team quickly settled in, unpacked and created a central hub, it was straight to business. Project Managers from New Build & Maintenance & Extensions Teams, combined with the unstoppable force of the Business Development team and, of course, our CEO Stephanie, kicked off the workshop in the only way possible -- with post-it notes and coloured pens!
On this first day, we set our sights on sharing best practices, building upon our experience and looking for ways to improve further. In sub-groups, we identified the good, the bad and the ugly of internal daily workflows, then later reconnected to prioritise our action points. Lunchtime, in the form of wonderful local meats, cheese and bread, came just at the right time and nicely fuelled us for the afternoon’s discussions.
During our train ride, in our Workshop Swag Bag, we were all given a pair of sunglasses and the meaning of these glasses soon became clear. The afternoon session was dedicated to looking at the Amazee experience through the eyes of the client - so on went the Client Goggles!
Similar to the morning, through a dynamic collaboration and brainstorming session, the goal was to see where we are currently and to devise an improvement strategy while staying focused on being output-orientated and having a tangible actions list to take away from the gathering.
The Client Goggles/Amazee Sunglasses came off when it was time to discover some excellent local food. Merely a stone's throw away from Workshop HQ was our restaurant for the night, where we enjoyed delicious local delicacies -- Pizzoccheri and Capuns with Salsiz. It was great to see everyone in the same place and meeting face-to-face.
The Amazee family is spread far and wide, but what makes our company unique is our culture of comradery and the feeling of friends working together to support each other -- so this meal really had the atmosphere of a family reunion.
The majority of the team are early birds, so by eight am the coffee machine in the house had already been working hard.
Reassembling at the Creative Hub (dining room table), the next task for the team was to be guided through the different aspects of the Amazee Group, from experts in each branch -- Thomas (DUX), Roger (Metrics) & Bryan (amazee.io). This informative kick-off helped to pave the way for the biggest challenge so far.
In forty-five minutes, and in groups of three, the Project Managers had to prepare a pitch to two potential new clients, detailing how all aspects of Amazee Group could fit into their company’s brief. But who were the clients? The Chairman of Amazee -- Greg, and Bryan -- Head of Business Development. The challenge was accepted and the thinking caps immediately went on. Feedback was given after each pitch and everyone agreed that the challenge was excellent! Not only did the pitch highlight how well the different brands weave together, but also how each project manager had their own way of managing their time while working under pressure.
The afternoon was set aside for some good old-fashioned team bonding and where better to do this than on a toboggan. The thrill-seeking team enjoyed a refreshing beer, then set off down Switzerland’s Longest Toboggan run. After all that excitement, the dinner was well-deserved, and once again, delicious local cuisine was enjoyed by all.
We packed up and left Workshop HQ then headed back to Zürich in 37-degree heat. The journey was definitely a hot one, but nothing could dampen the spirits of the team. Over the past few days, it was great to see such supportive and fun collaboration and everyone was only left with one question…. How long until the next PM Workshop?