The Project Management Contribution to Volunteer and Community Projects
By Ray W. Frohnhoefer
A PM Hut reader writes “what benefits, if any, do PM techniques bring to voluntary and community projects?” This is a great question for me to answer since all my work with the Project Management Institute is voluntary and contributes to the Project Management Community. However the professional community isn’t the only community that can benefit from PM expertise.
Of all projects, those with limited resources, time, and budgets can benefit the most from PM techniques. Keeping such projects on track is important to conserve limited financial resources and meet critical deadlines. The Project Management Institute’s Education Foundation publishes a disaster management methodology and offers training to NGOs. You can read more about these efforts and their benefits at http://www.pmi.org/pmief/humanitarian/.
Project Management students at the University of San Diego also help out locally here in San Diego. Every year at Thanksgiving, they rebuild and/or renovate a home using basic project management techniques. You can read about the 2008 Thanksgiving House http://www.sandiego.edu/thanksgivinghouse/.
So if have a community project, there are benefits to the discipline and innovation project management brings to the table. And if you are a project manager, consider some of the many opportunities to use the profession for community improvement.
Ray W. Frohnhoefer, MBA, PMP is the Director of the Project Support Office at EDmin as well as a consultant, speaker, writer, educator, and mentor on Project Management. Ray is currently serving on the Component and Community Relations Governance Committee of the Project Management Institute, a past Component Mentor for PMI Region 7 (Southwest North America), a Past President of PMI, San Diego Chapter, Inc., and an adjunct faculty member at three San Diego universities. You can find out more about his professional roles at http://www.edmin.com/company/index.cfm?function=showBioDetail&id=80 and through his blog, The Project Notebook, at http://projectnotebook.blogspot.com.