Project Management

PM Philanthropy: Going Beyond Managing Projects

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

Lao Tsu (founder of Taoism) said something to the effect of “give a hungry man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”

In many ways, this can be thought of in context to PM philanthropy. It goes something like this: Manage a project for an organization, the organization gets one project done; teach an organization to manage projects, the organization gets all its projects done.

Okay, it’s not perfect, but I think it makes the point. When it comes to PM philanthropy, there is more that can be provided to organizations in need beyond serving as a project manager. Helping organizations to become project management self-sufficient may be a higher calling than being someone who manages projects.

How can an accomplished project manager help organizations become more self-sufficient, you ask? Consider the following areas:

  1. Formal classroom PM training and OJT shadowing
  2. Mentoring PMs and teams
  3. Providing PM quality assurance (QA) and oversight
  4. Providing a PPM framework
  5. Setting up a PMO
  6. Serving as a board member/adviser

To be sure, the above services are geared for larger organizations—ones that have enough ongoing projects to support project teams, PMOs, etc. Let’s dive deeper into each of the above.

1. Formal classroom PM training and OJT shadowing
By providing a combination of formal …

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