IPMA International Project Management Association
16 January 2020 / 9:00

Coaching and Mentoring for YC development

Its 6 am. I wake up, and my first steps lead to the bathroom. I pick up the toothbrush, toothpaste and the process of “making my smile my best accessory” begins.

But, it was not always like that. Honestly speaking, I was always forced by my mother to do so. She made me clean my teeth, at least twice a day. And I hated it. I hated it, almost as much as I hated visiting a dentist.

Of course, my mother simply knew what is best for me. And she requested it since the early beginning. Every morning, every night, every school day, every weekend – until it became a habit.

But not only she knew what is best for me. My mother also needed to show me how to do it properly. How to clean my teeth in the best and most efficient way. Which toothbrush and toothpaste to use. It would not work without those two elements – request, and support.

Let us move in time now. It’s Wednesday, January 2017. I have to finish my job a bit earlier because at 5 pm I am meeting my new friends. I do not know them very much, but I don’t want to disappoint them by coming late. Something is telling me that even though they are new to me, there is something about them.

It is the first meeting of Young Crew Slovakia in 2017, and we are going to work on the activities plan for the whole, new year. Just a month ago, YC Slovakia had become a Full Member, and it was a great satisfaction for us. And not only for us. IPMA Slovakia was happy as well. They wanted to have a YC for several years and finally, we got there, alive. Why not earlier? Obviously, there was a need to build and sustain a group of young project management enthusiast even before 2017. Can you guess what has been missing?

The Support. People do not behave in a certain way, only because they lack information. There is plenty of available information on the web. Maybe even too much. People behave one way or the other because it is a habit. To have established a sustainable YC, running it, had to become a habit. And in order to introduce a habit, simply requesting it is not an option. There has to be supported on how to do it.

It’s easy to teach somebody a skill you already have, or somebody else taught you. But what if it is a topic that you are not experienced enough in? Yes, it is quite an easy one. You need to find an Expert.

At that time in 2016, when we had started YC, our Coach and Mentor, Hajnalka Collado, has helped us a lot. Mostly by guiding and mentoring. Explaining “who is who” in the IPMA, what are the main products offered by IPMA YC, and mostly – what to do to achieve what we want – to become a full member. And we had succeeded.

Now it is even more comfortable to succeed – because of the work of the YC Membership Team. Katia Sarachuk with her team is constantly developing several processes to make applying and approval of YC organizations as smooth as possible.

In 2019 IPMA Young Crew Slovakia was awarded for an Outstanding Process: Establishment of IPMA Young Crew Slovakia organization in Kosice. And many other Young Crews as well. We are learning together, we are working together, we are inspiring one another.

Today, being at my position, Head of Coaching and Mentor program, I am 100% sure that the key success factor for any YC is to be in touch with their Coach. And this has to be requested by MA. To require to build a YC is simply not enough. There has to be an explicit request of MA for YC to communicate with their Coaches. Why? Because Coaches provide the right support. They mentor YCs to become Full members, they coach them to achieve their own goals and challenges and to sustain their work.

Coaches and Mentors program is operating for several years already. It is a formalized group of experienced volunteers supporting Transitional YC to become Full members and ensuring the sustainability of Full members YCs from the early stage.
Currently, the IPMA Young Crew Membership team and Coaches and Mentors program is supporting 55 Young Crews around the world, out of which 43 are as Full Members and 12 as Transitional ones.

And the numbers are growing…




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Marek Demcak

Author of this post

Marek works as a LEAN Coach at Vaillant. His main job is to coach and develop sustainable culture of continuous improvement industrial plants of the Vaillant Group in Slovakia and England. Besides his love in Process improvement, he is very enthusiastic about project management as well. Marek founded and developed IPMA Young Crew in Slovakia. Currently, he is the Management Board Member of IPMA Slovakia and since march 2019 also the Management Board Member of Young Crew Global, responsible for GYCWS and Coaches and Mentors program. His hobbies range from books to different kinds of sports such as Crossfit and climbing iron ways. Why is he so involved in IPMA? As he says: “Whatever we do in our lives has the impact on the world and other people, therefore we should do the right things, be more professionals but never forget to have fun” :)