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Project Management Best Practices Conference 2021

Conference ∙ Online Event


Project Management for Resilience and Recovery

This year’s Project Management Best Practices conference offered a series of presentations on current project management trends and devoted a special section on how PM2 Methodology and the mindset behind it can enable and support Greek National Recovery and Resilience Agency co-funded projects.

The event is offered by Global Business Management Consultants in association with the Hellenic American Union and it is supported by PM2 Alliance.

This event is also under the aegis of CRES - Center of Renewable Energy Sources and Saving.

9.00-9.15 - Welcoming - Dimitris Pefanis, Director of Financial & Business Content, / DPG Media, Moderator

Opening Remarks: Spyridon Economou, President, Center for Renewable Energy Sources & Saving. A necessity for a strong societal needs-policies-projects value chain.

9.15 - 15.00 - Theme A - PM² project management best practices and mindsets in the service of EU's National Recovery and Resilience program.

9.15 - 9.45 - The PM² Advantage: Best practices for public organizations and international institutions (EN)
Nicos Kourounakis
, MAsc, MBA, PM², IPMA-D, PMP, PM² Alliance Founding Member and CEO

9.45 - 10.15 - Managing the RRF portfolio of projects: the case of PM2 (GR)
Christos Bouras, Head of IT Unit - RRFA ICT Portfolio Manager at Greek National Recovery and Resilience Agency

10.15 - 10.45 - Structural Reforms in Greece: Process and Practice (GR)
Spyros Dimitriou, Associate Partner, Business & Public Policy Consulting, EY

10.45 - 11.00 - Break

11.00 - 11.30 - Digital Transformation as an integral part of the Greek RRF: The role of PM2 in the coordination and governance of the ICT Portfolio (EN)
Marios Skiadas, Key Expert in Digital Transformation, Expertise France

11.30 - 12.00 - The participation principle as a key enabler for the effective implementation of National Recovery and Resilience Plans (EN)
Nancy Routzouni, IT Portfolio Officer at DIGIT European Commission, Researcher and Ph.D Candidate at the University of Aegean

12.00-12.30 -  PM2 aspects in technical support reform-related projects (EN)
Daniele Dotto, Deputy Director, Head of Unit, Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM), European Commission

12.30-13.00 - From business justification to project implementation: mapping the alternative approaches of the RRF funded project (EN)
Dr. Ilias Katsagounos, PM², PMP, RMP, M_o_R, IT Portfolio Consultant at DG GROW (European Commission)

13.00-14.00 Break

14.00 - 15.00 - Panel Discussion: How PM2 Methodology and the mindset behind it enables and supports Greece's National Recovery and Resilience Agency Program. (GR)


  • Dr. Ilias Katsagounos, PM², PMP, RMP, M_o_R, IT Portfolio Consultant at DG GROW (European Commission)


  • Athina Manta, Policy Officer, DG REFORM, European Commission
  • Marios Skiadas, Key Expert in Digital Transformation, Expertise France
  • Christos Bouras, Head of IT Unit - RRFA ICT Portfolio Manager at Greek National Recovery and Resilience Agency
  • Athanasios Raptis, Director, Greek National School of Public Administration

15.00-17.00 Theme B – Project Management best practices and case studies

15.00-15.30 - Experiences from the Project Management of the euCONSENT project and the value of PM2
Kostas Flokos, General Manager, UpcoMinds

15.30 - 16.00 - Ai Stratis Green Island Project - Management challenges in Pilot Projects
Vera Krouska, Project Manager, Terna Energy SA & Anna Chatzifoti, Project Manager, Terna Energy SA

16.00 - 16.15 Break

16.15 - 16.45 - Project Managers' Value Adders in Managing Digitalization/Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (D.A.M) Projects (EN)
Gavin Oh Huan Khoon, Managing Partner, CEO, GBMC, Singapore

16.45 - 17.00 Closure

This event is targeted to project managers and middle- to senior-level executives involved in project design and implementation, as well as senior level executives who are involved in strategic development, R&D and corporate development. University faculty, students and consultants are also invited.

Up to 6 PDUs can be applied towards PMI® credential retention and 2 up to 5 CPEs can be applied towards ISACA’s credential retention.

Athanasios Raptis, Director, Greek National School of Public Administration


Athina Manta, Policy Officer, DG REFORM, European Commission

Athina Manta is a policy officer of the European Commission with experience in the provision of direct technical support and the management of projects (more than 8 years) linked to structural reforms in the areas of tax and customs administration, digital transformation, human resources and public administration in several Member States. Prior to joining the EC (2013), Athina had worked in private practice (international law firms in Brussels and in Athens) as qualified lawyer. Athina is also trained and certified in the PM2 methodology.

Christos Bouras - Head of IT Unit - RRFA ICT Portfolio Manager at Greek National Recovery and Resilience Agency

Christos Bouras is the Head of the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications of the Special Coordination Service of the Greek Recovery Facility (RRFA) and at the same time he is the portfolio manager of the Pillar 2 - Digital projects of the Recovery Fund. Except the above he is responsible for the setup of the IT tools for the management of RRF projects (RRF-MIS, RRF-BI).

Christos Bouras holds bachelor's and master's degree in Informatics, has programmed for several years in different programming disciplines and for the last 12 years has been working for EU funded programs (Cohesion Fund, Interreg) with different roles responsibilities (process analyst and designer, project evaluator and controller, project manager).

He has incorporated in his work IT project management methodologies, tools and technics (ITIL, Scrum, Agile, Kanban) and is an enthusiastic supporter of PM2 as a project management methodology. Christos Bouras teaches Business Process Modelling and E-Governance Basics in National Centre of Public Administration.


Spyros Dimitriou - Associate Partner, Business Consulting, Ernst and Young Business Advisory Solutions

Spyros is an Associate Partner within EY’s Consulting Services in Greece. He is responsible for Business Consulting Services for Government and the Public Sector. He demonstrates hands-on experience and academic background in public law and policy, as well as in understanding the function of European Institutions, having served twice in key positions in the Greek public sector. He also demonstrates significant experience regarding the implementation of structural reform projects, as well as the ability to analyze and assess cultural and behavioral issues and the capacity to understand the peculiarities of the regulatory framework and to propose feasible solutions. Spyros understands the grounds of public policies, perceives each project’s needs, and can structure and design the reform process, transforming public policies into tangible results and bridging the private with the public sector and vice versa.

Daniele Dotto - Deputy Director, Head of Unit, Directorate General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM), European Commission

Danielle joined the European Commission in 199, where he started his career at the Commission in the team supervising the deployment of the Single market. In '96, he moved to the Consumer Policy Department where he dealt with the consequences of the mad-cow crisis. In 2000, Daniele participated in the reform of the governance of the Commission, becaming Head of Unit of the Coordination Unit of the Department for HR and member of the corporate governance body of the Commission. He then moved as the Head of Unit - External and Trade Unions relations of the same DG. In 2013 he joined the Task Force for Greece (growth policy and EU Funds), and in 2015, he becase Head of Unit in DG REFORM - Governance and Public Administration. In this position, he supervised the Commission Competence Centre for Public Administration and Governance. He is a lecturer at Bocconi and Scuola Normale "Sant'Anna" Universities on management of large organisations and EU governance.

Spyridon Economou, Ph.D., Eng - President at the Center of Renewable Energy Sources and Saving (CRES)

Dr Economou has been the President at the Center of Renewable Energy Sources and Saving (CRES) since September 2019.

He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Sciences from Catholic University of Leuven (BE) and an Engineering Diploma from National Technical University of Athens (GR), Mining and Metallurgical Eng. Department.  

Dr Economou has 30 years’ work experience in Industry and Research Centres in Greece, Canada, Belgium, and the United Arab Emirates.  His research and innovation achievements in the fields of Energy, Environmental Technologies and Materials Engineering have been published in more than 40 scientific articles.

A European Commission innovations’ expert, Dr Economou has significant experience in the management and exploitation of European and national research and innovation projects.

Dr. Ilias Katsagounos, PM2, PMP, RMP, M_o_R, IT Portfolio Consultant at DG GROW (European Commission)

Ilias is one of the founding members of the PM2 Alliance . He is a Brussels based instructor and consultant with more than 15 years of experience in the field, currently working as an IT Portfolio consultant at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW). He holds a Masters’ Degree in Engineering - Economic Systems (NTUA) and a B.A. in Military, Diplomatic and Law studies (SSE). Additionally, he is a certified Project (PMP®) & Risk Management Professional (RMP®, M_o_R) as well as a PM2 certified trainer. Ilias also holds a Ph.D. in the field of Risk Management and Decision Making. His research was focused in providing viable solutions to the corporate world, by enhancing the decision making process through the provision of more accurate probabilistic forecasts, while taking under consideration the pragmatic scarcity of resources and available information.

Nicos Kourounakis, MAsc, MBA, PM², IPMA-D, PMP, PM² Alliance Founding Member and CEO

Nicos is a Senior Management Consultant and Trainer. Over the past 15 years, Nicos has been leading consulting projects with major EU Institutions and private organisations working both with large organizations and with smaller ventures and start-ups.  Nicos is co-author of PM² Methodology (2012, 2016, 2018), the Agile PM² Guide (2014), the PfM² Portfolio Management Guide (2019). He is a founding member, president and CEO of the PM² Alliance. He holds an MBA from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, an M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Victoria, Canada, and a B.Sc. in Physics from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.  

Athanasia (Nancy) Routzouni - IT Portfolio Officer at DIGIT European Commission, Researcher and Ph.D Candidate at the University of Aegean

Ms Routzouni is currently working with the European Commission as IT Portfolio Officer at DG DIGIT, contributing to the organisation's digital transformation. She has worked for twelve years with the Hellenic Government, providing strategic consultancy in the domains of digital transformation, open government and innovation in the public sector. She has also worked with the EC as an independent expert in ICT Research and Innovation, with OECD as a peer reviewer for the digital and open government review of Thailand, and with other governments as a digital transformation consultant. She has previously worked for ten years in the private sector, in the ICT and Banking domains. Ms Routzouni is also a researcher and Ph.D candidate at the University of the Aegean (department of Information and Communication Systems Engineering). She holds an MSc in Information Systems Engineering, an MBA, and is a lecturer at the Hellenic National Center of Public Administration.


Marios Skiadas - Key Expert in Digital Transformation, Expertise France

Marios Skiadas holds a BSc in Physics from University of Athens and an MSc in Medical Physics &Bioengineering from University College London. He has been working as project manager for government ICT projects in the healthcare and e-government sectors for the past 20 years. Lately he has been deeply involved in the Digital Transformation efforts of the Greek government through his position as key expert for Expertise France, within the framework of Technical Support projects funded by European Commission’s DG Reform. He is also advising contracting authorities on tendering processes, electronic procurement tools and procedures, RFP drafting and contract management. During the last 3 years he is actively involved in promoting the PM2 methodology in the Greek public administration with emphasis on the ICT project portfolio domain.

Michael Robbs, Business English & Communication Specialist, HAU Instructor

Michael Robbs holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Human Studies from University of Bradford, UK, and an MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from St. Michael's College, USA. He is an award-winning, published professional with 17 years of experience in teaching English for business. Michael has taught 60 open classes, and delivered more than 3000 hours of specialized Business English programs for Greek and multinational companies in all industries.
Michael’s motto is “Never miss an opportunity just because you think your English isn’t good enough”

Gavin Oh Huan Khoon, Managing Partner, CEO of Global Business Management Consultants (GBMC).

With more than 10 years of management experience with AT&T Bell Labs and Motorola, and another 20+ years in training and consulting, he is uniquely qualified in all aspects of business management. He has worked in Engineering, Sales and Marketing, Product Development and Strategic Planning functions. Gavin has successful line and project management experience with a variety of industries in different countries. Gavin has been providing project management training and consulting services to many organizations. With his passion for people development, Gavin has successfully assisted companies in their continuous development programs which have involved multicultural, cross functional and cross regional project teams.

Gavin received his B.Engineering in Electrical Engineering from the National University of Singapore, is a Certified PMP®, IPMA Level C  and PRINCE2 Certified Trainer and is proficient in English and Mandarin.

Vera Krouska - Project Manager, Terna Energy SA

Vera is a mechanical engineer and a certified project manager, with experience of over 10 years in RES, Biomass and Waste-to-energy projects as well as pumped storage projects. ​Her early professional steps began in TERNA ENERGY S.A., a member of GEK TERNA Group of Companies and one of the top companies in RES development in Greece and abroad. ​Through her professional carrier so far, Vera has been involved in several projects, from small hydro plants to large scale wind farms, and from pumped storage to Waste Management PPP projects. She has actively participated in all project phases (from initiating to closing/ operation), as well as in several project- finance processes, mostly managing internal resources and cooperating with major financial organizations and European institutions. ​Since 2016, she is a certified PMP and a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI). 

Anna Chatzifoti, Project Manager, Terna Energy SA

Anna is a civil engineer with over 27 years of experience in construction engineering and management as well as structural design projects. ​She began her professional career with GEK SA, one of the biggest construction companies in Greece at the time, which later developed to become the GEK TERNA Group of companies. ​As a member of the construction team of the Group, Anna has participated in very complex projects including, among others, specialized industrial projects, renewable energy projects, motorways, theaters, hospitals, athletic centers. In 2010, she began her cooperation with TERNA ENERGY as a project manager in several energy and infrastructure projects. ​Between 2012 and 2017, Anna moved to Canada to participate as a Senior Structural Engineer of Halifax Harbour Bridges in a unique suspension bridge project. After the project completion in 2017, Anna re-joined GEK TERNA GROUP as a project manager at TERNA ENERGY working on RES projects in Greece and abroad. ​

Kostas Flokos, General Manager, Upco Minds

Kostas is an Information Technology professional with more than 30 years’ experience. He studied Electrical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens and granted a PhD on Distributed Computing Systems from the same university in 1995. He started his first company in 1991 in the area of software development, while still at the university. In 1997, he started working as an independent freelancer in Brussels, Belgium, participating in projects in various organisations, such as Mastercard International, ING, Base, FICS, the European Parliament and the European Commission. During the same year, he founds Upcom Bvba, the first of the companies of the later Upcom group. In 2007, back in Greece, he founds Upcom Ltd and later in 2012, Upcom Cyprus Ltd, all trying to help organisations across Europe to become competitive using Information Technology. Today, the Upcom group of companies employs more than 130 persons and more than 10 freelancers.

George Merguerian, BE, PMP Senior and Managing Partner, Managing Director Europe, Global Business Management Consultants (GBMC), Project Management & PMP instructor

George is a highly experienced expert and trainer with more than 30 years of experience in senior technical/engineering, line management, marketing and management development positions in multi-national organizations. He has worked in industries such as  construction, engineering, engine manufacturing, oil services, executive development, information technology, and consulting. George is certified by PMI to offer PMP prep courses.

PM² aspects in technical support reform-related projects - Daniele Dotto

DG REFORM provides technical support for the implementation of structural reforms upon relevant request of the Member States. In this context, the PM2 methodology has provided inspiration notably for the implementation of projects related to digital transformations, reforms requiring sustainable results, complex stakeholder management and multi-layer governance. The challenges linked to each project are unique and can be addressed through the flexibility that this methodology offers. Mr Dotto will explain the mission of DG REFORM and the aspects of the PM2 methodology that are pertinent to the implementation of structural reforms

Managing the RRF portfolio of projects: the case of PM² - Christos Bouras

The Next Generation EU, adopted as the Recovery Plan of the European Union reaching a total 723.8 billion euros (31.16 for Greece) for the years 2021 - 2026 is definitely one of the largest development and reform programs ever implemented in Europe (considered widely as a new Marshal plan). Greece, as the other Member States,  is currently setting up the management framework for the implementation of the RRF projects.​In this context the scope of this presentation is:​

a) to delineate the structural elements that compose the RRF portfolio of projects i.e.: EU Regulations and Directives, RRF main actors (EC, Implementing Ministries & bodies, contractors, beneficiaries, final recipients ) management and control procedures, information systems​

b) to identify the difficulties and weaknesses that a Member State could anticipate in its effort to integrate the above structural elements in a uniform way.​

c) to highlight the need to adopt a project management methodology that could serve as the unifying factor of the above structural elements and therefore ensure the on time and on budget implementation of the RRF projects and reforms.  PM2 methodology as a suitable unification instrument. 

Structural Reforms in Greece: Process and Practice - Spyros Dimitriou

In view of the anticipated Greek Recovery and Resilience Plan, what needs to be taken into serious consideration is that structural reforms in the Greek Public Sector cannot be “ordered”. This should be the key starting point. Structural reforms need to be “performed” under a step-by-step, concrete process. This process should be engineered and managed taking into consideration both (a) methodology and (b) ad hoc characteristics of the Public Sector in multiple layers of the Administration. In other words, project management of structural reforms in the Public Sector in Greece is not “business as usual”. There are aspects in the project management that are prominent and others that entail risks and issues, which cannot be identified in ecosystems in the Private Sector. The “shadow” of the legality principle in every step of the way forward, public policies and politics, political and institutional interdependencies, cultural incompatibilities, define the field of play among others. “Serving the Public Sector” should resemble “serving in the Public Sector”, without being institutionalized!

From business justification to project implementation: mapping the alternative approaches of the RRF - Ilias Katsagounos

The presentation will cover the contractor’s perspective on the implementation of the GR RRF projects. It will outline a methodological approach on how to deliver proper project justification through an unbiased identification, analysis, and comparison of the available alternative implementation approaches and the selection of the most beneficial one, both for the contractor and the beneficiary.​

The PM² Advantage: Best practices for public organisations and international institutions - Nicos Kourounakis

The PM² Advantage: Best practices for public organisations and international institutions

The participation principle as a key enabler for the effective implementation of National Recovery and Resilience Plans - Nancy Routzouni

The goals of Greece’s recovery and resilience plan go beyond economic recovery. The projects aim to implement fundamental economic and social reforms towards a transformation that combines economic efficiency with innovation and digital transition with protection of the environment, social cohesion and justice. The Greek government, acknowledging that dialogue plays a key role in the formulation of the plan, followed a transparent consultation process and engaged in a constructive dialogue with key stakeholders and the wider public. The presentation will discuss participatory practices for further engaging with the stakeholders to strengthen ownership of reforms and support the effective implementation of the Greek National Recovery and Resilience Agency projects.

Digital Transformation as an integral part of the Greek RRF: The role of PM2 in the coordination and governance of the ICT Portfolio - Marios Skiadas

Digital Transformation (DT) is undeniably one of the cornerstones of Greece’s resilience and recovery plan, as became apparent during the recent CoVID-19 pandemic. The Greek government’s strategic approach for DT is reflected in the “Digital Transformation Book (DTB)” which includes no less than 400 projects as its backbone. To ensure fast, reliable, effective and efficient coordination & management of this Portfolio, the competent Ministry of Digital Governance (MDG) is well into the process of adopting a governance system based on the PM2 methodology and has taken steps towards linking the relevant previsions of the DTB to specific PM2 processes and tools, as well as to public procurement. This effort is orchestrated by the recently designed “PM2 Hub”, an initiative of MDG which has been elaborated under Technical Support measures funded by DG Reform. The results will be used by the competent national authority for RRP management, to ensure a homogeneous approach between stakeholders and funding mechanisms.

Regenerative leadership; not just another talk about sustainability - Michael Robbs

Sustainability is a hot topic these days, but with the planet in dire straits and the poverty gap widening, sustaining or ‘business as usual’ is not an option. In this talk we’ll unpack the next trend…Regeneration, and what regenerative leadership means. I’ll mention practical ways we can reflect and improve our own leadership skills to not just sustain a team, but empower them to go the extra mile, creating a better future for our company, our society and our planet.

Project Managers' Value Adders in Managing Digitalization/Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (D.A.M) Projects - Gavin Oh Huan Khoon

Typical expectations for a project managers is to manage stakeholders expectations and to meet the QTC (Quality, Time, Cost) criteria, thus producing values and benefits​ to the organization. They will bring along with them their experiences, past lesson learnt and deal with problems, conflicts, pitfalls, barriers along the way. Due to the ​dynamic nature of D.A.M projects, misaligned/changing objectives and oversight in risk management are typically amplified. This sharing session focus on the evolving ​and experimental nature of such projects and how would Project Managers better align stakeholders, define acceptance criteria and understand the importance of Data Quality.

Ai Stratis Green Island – Management Challenges in Pilot Projects - Vera Krouska & Anna Chatzifoti

The Ai Stratis – Green Island project is a pilot innovative project funded by ERDF and implemented by CRES on the island of Agios Efstratios for the benefit of Agios Efstratios Municipality. The project concerns the design, procurement, installation and commissioning of a Hybrid Power Plant for generating enough RES power to cover for at least the 85% of the island’s annual power consumption and a District Heating System to cover the heating loads of the buildings on the island.

This case-study presentation will talk about the management challenges that may arise in each process of the project’s management life cycle from initiating to closing, and discuss how PM knowledge is applied towards the successful execution of the project, by managing stakeholders from diverse backgrounds, coping with unforeseeable scope variations, confronting known and unknown risks among others.

Experiences from the Project Management of the euCONSENT project and the value of PM2 - Kostas Flokos

euCONSENT is a Pilot project of the DG CNECT of the European Commission addressing the need for Age Verification and Parental Consent in online digital services. Trying to address the requirements of GDPR and AVMSD, euCONSENT is an 18-month project developing an interoperable platform that is aiming to reduce the user friction associated with filtering mechanisms, such as Age Verification. Significant work is devoted to the overall protection of children rights, led by significant universities in Europe. The project management challenges relate to the number of partners, their diverse interests and priorities, as well as the tight deadline and the difficult commercial and governmental environment. PM2 is the chosen PM methodology of the project and a great help in managing those challenges. During the presentation the core elements of the methodology used are detailed and explained, in the context of the project. 

The Organizers

Global Business Management Consultants
Hellenic American Union
with the support of PM2 Alliance

The organizers

This event is offered by Global Business Management Consultants, a leading international project management consultancy, operating more than 50 countries in Europe, Middle East and Americas, in co-operation with the Hellenic American Union.

The event is also supported by PM2 Alliance. Founded by PM² practitioners, the Alliance brings together individuals from institutions, companies and the academia to inspire dialogue, share resources, and address the field’s challenges while promoting the wider adoption of the PM² Methodology.

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