Magazine article PM Network

The Giving Network

Magazine article PM Network

The Giving Network

Article excerpt

Use your project management skills to help those doing good.

Helping those in need, giving back to our community or supporting a worthwhile social cause is one of the most rewarding activities someone can undertake. In short, giving makes you feel good.

As project managers, we have the great opportunity to use our knowledge and skills to help those less fortunate. There are many ways to help, but two specific activities are well within our reach and are worth exploring:

1. Teach Project Management

Just like for-profit companies, many not-for-profit organizations rely on projects to accomplish their goals. But unlike corporations with mature processes, not-for-profits may not have the project management expertise. Donating your time to teach project management to members of these organizations will benefit their causes in ways you can't even imagine. It may very well be that basic scheduling and budgeting techniques are the most important tools they will need. And a good scope management plan is almost always needed.

I will always vividly remember the eye-opening experience that members of two charitable organizations had in recent courses that I had the joy to teach. An organization that built a foster home for orphans in Panama and a group that helps sexually abused children in Mexico became more effective and efficient through better planning and organization using project management. If you are willing to teach, it's easy to find someone who is willing to learn.

2. Donate Your Expertise

Another great way to help not-for-profits is by donating your time and knowledge to manage their projects) no matter the scope. This is especially important given the perennially scarce resources of most not-for-profits. For the past three years, my good friend Hans Meijer, PMP, has been managing projects for Rafael Giraldo, a middle school teacher in Weston, Florida, USA. …

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