Project Management

What’s Our Role in Influencing Organizational Social Impact?

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 [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

When I saw this month’s theme was social impact project management, my immediate thought was that I had a lot of research to do before I could start writing anything even vaguely insightful. And then I thought about it a bit more, and I felt a bit ashamed about that. Shouldn’t I be more aware of how projects and project managers can influence society? Shouldn’t I be suggesting ways that projects can make the world better?

Just take a look at the 2021 Megatrends report from PMI. Two of the five are clearly geared to social impact—the climate crisis; and civil, civic and equality movements. You could also argue that at least some of the others have social impact elements to them. And that paper doubles down on social impact by identifying the need to make social impact projects a strategic priority as one of the megatrend multipliers.

But I think I’m in the majority by not being as aware of how projects can influence social impact as I should be—the vast majority. I’ll go further: I suspect that most project managers, no matter how committed to one or more of these societal priorities, don’t see how they can influence progress on this issue.

So that’s what I want to explore here. What can we do? How can we push the social impact agenda?

You have a voice
Another recent piece of PMI research (The Pulse of the …

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