Project Process and Culture Goes Green

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

As project managers, we can do a lot to influence environmentally conscious behavior on our projects. We set an example for our team, and if we lead by example then our team members will soon start to follow suit--recycling, avoiding unnecessary printing, turning off lights, etc. The same is true of an organization--if it starts “walking the walk” of creating a greener office environment, then employees will follow the lead.

That can only go so far, however--people will be tempted to resort to the path of least resistance and bad habits will start to creep back in. To really get environmental awareness to stick in an organization, you have to be prepared to go beyond setting an example and start to define green-aware policy and create a culture of sustainability.

For the project management arena, that has to start with the project methodology and associated processes and templates along with the way that those processes are implemented. That’s what I want to focus on in this article and look at some practical, easy-to-implement ways that you can start to have a smaller environmental footprint when you execute on projects.

The basics
Project management approaches and processes are not inherently unfriendly to the environment. While they generally require a fairly high degree of formality and documentation, the vast majority of that material is …

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If you can't convince them, confuse them.

- Harry Truman