Project Management

Paperless Projects

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and project manager living and working in London. She runs The Otobos Group, a project communications consultancy specializing in project management.

Everyone’s talking about going green, but many organizations are getting bogged down in how and where to start. When it comes to the document-laden world of project management, going paperless is a modest but important first step. It not only helps the environment, it can be more cost-effective and save you time.

Project management is a paper-hungry profession. Each project needs a set of project management documents, from project initiation to post-implementation review, and many of these are printed out so they can be physically signed off. Then they are filed away to create a permanent paper archive. We all know where paper comes from, and that there are environmental benefits to reducing the amount we use. But as project managers, it’s hard to shake the feeling that we need to have hard copies and project folders as “proof” of various stages in the project lifecycle.
Changing your habits to manage projects in a more environmentally responsible way isn’t difficult. “Not printing email messages is an excellent start,” says Corbett Kroehler, a green building expert and the global warming expert at Keyboard Culture. Many companies are now adopting a standard line to add to email signatures, something along the lines of “Please think twice before printing this message.” A project team can add a similar statement to…

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It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all the answers.

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