World Problems Require Project Management

From the Project Managers Without Borders Blog
by , , , , , ,
This blog provides project management content and tools for non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Our objective is to inspire project managers to volunteer and make a positive difference in the world through project management.

About this Blog

RSS

View Posts By:

Aliki Courmanopoulos
Deanna Landers
Romiya Barry
Marisa Silva
Jeffrey Cox
Veroni Brussen
Emma-Ruth Arnaz-Pemberton

Past Contributers:

Chelsa Dornian
Tony Van Krieken
Mario Trentim

Recent Posts

Millennials: Your Best Resources for Project Management in the World of NGOs

The Opportunity in Ambiguity

Increase NGO Value Through Project Closure

When the Only Constant is Change: Managing Projects in a World of Changing Stakeholders

Accra Flooding Initiative: A Real-Life Example of PMWB at Work



Project management is a unique profession that requires skills needed everywhere. Any time strategic initiatives are being implemented, anywhere there is a disaster or humanitarian relief effort, whenever there is innovation being brought to fruition, it’s through projects.

We focus much of our time on our careers, the jobs we are paid to do, and we improve our craft to increase our impact and reap the rewards. Some of those rewards are recognition, respect, greater responsibility, opportunity, and the satisfaction of a job well done. Our employers, clients, colleagues, management and teams benefit from the change that we manage. But what about those in the world who need change the most? 

The world is teeming with communities in need, people who could benefit tremendously from our project management skills and experience. Many humanitarian organizations have domain knowledge and passion for these communities, but are lacking basic project management skills and knowledge. By introducing or improving project management for these organizations, we can make their work for humanity more efficient and effective, thereby increasing the positive impact they have.

Let’s share what we know with those who need it most.

Whether that means facilitating meetings for an engineering nonprofit/NGO, coordinating the schedule for a medical mission, organizing a cub scout camping trip, or clarifying the scope of a humanitarian documentary film, our skills can support meaningful change.

You may even find that your employer will donate funds, software, or services to the humanitarian organization you volunteer for, increasing the potential impact of that organization even more. 

After your involvement, those benefiting, either directly or indirectly, are likely to understand and value project management more, and may even value it so much that they attribute their success to it.  

If you share your project management experience and skills with those who need it most, you will likely find it to be one of the most rewarding endeavors in your career, and life.

Interested to learn more about how you can use your project management skills for a better world? Keep an eye out for updates to this blog, connect with an organization that matches professional skills with need (e.g. Social Venture Partners, PMWB, Catchafire, etc) and search for NGOs and other organizations that are aligned with your interests. Then, enjoy the satisfaction of applying your project management skills to support communities in need. 

Project Managers Without Borders (PMWB) is happy to sponsor this new blog to provide project management content and tools for humanitarian organizations. PMWB  is a non-profit organization that engages the global project management community through collaborative and sustainable projects that make a positive difference in the world.

Posted by Deanna Landers on: June 21, 2016 03:01 PM | Permalink

Comments (10)

Please login or join to subscribe to this item
Thank you, Deanna, for the introduction to PMWB! I appreciate that you gave examples to recognize that contributions to humanitarian efforts can be "large" (coordinating a medical mission) or "small" (coordinating a cub scout trip). This is a great way to align personal interests with professional expertise.

Deanna - I wish you and your team all the success in the world with this endeavor. This is a good thing that you are doing and I am proud to call you a friend and colleague.

Great initiative!! In a sense its long overdue. How can we all help?

Sean: There are LOTS of ways to get involved, to share what you know in the area of project management with those who need it most. And there are lots of levels of involvement as well. You can take the initiative to find and support an NGO in your geographic area or area of interest and then do what you do best from requirements to closeout, making sure to leave behind tools/templates and enough information for the NGO to improve their own efficiency and effectiveness after you are gone. Alternatively, contacting organizations focused in this space (some are mentioned in the blog) can get you connected with one of their clients or provide an opportunity for you to support their internal efforts. Also, many PMI chapters have humanitarian initiatives that could use assistance. Then there's always the time-tested approach of talking with those in your network who are already contributing where your interests lie!

Hi Deanna
Here's another possibility. Why not look at some kind of a "project-manager-exchange" program. I want to go and help a with a project in Ghana, where I happen to have the right expertise. On the other hand - through our connections - for sure this is a Ghana PM that would love to come to Europe and be exposed to a totally different way of managing projects. Could lead to multiple happy stakeholders.
Take care.

Interesting idea, Kris. It could use a bit of fleshing out, but it sounds like it has potential. Are you interested in defining this better, determining feasibility, and pursuing it with the help of a team of volunteers?

Would love to. Count me IN.

Excellent! Thanks for your enthusiasm to make the world a better place through project management!

Thanks for s great article. Importent to show how our profession can play an importent part in the Society

Please Login/Register to leave a comment.

ADVERTISEMENTS

"You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair."

- Chinese Proverb

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsors