Project Management

Did You Know That Project Management Can Change The World?

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"I wish I had me when I was you..." That expresses precisely how I feel each time a project manager or PMO leader tells me a story about their frustrations encountered while trying to create effective and sustainable change, build (or fix) a PMO, or deliver projects successfully. I always think to myself…I wish I knew then what I know now. I’ve made it my mission to share with you everything that I have learned while creating change and building PMOs in both large and small organizations for the last 24 years, many of those years as an employee in the "hot seat" responsible for building internal capability. I’m hoping these articles help you along your journey as you continue to evolve and develop skills and techniques to be the high-IMPACT leader you are meant to be. Learn more at

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Did You Know That Project Management Can Change The World?

Business leaders: Have you ever wondered the real value of the Project Management profession?

Project managers: Are you a project manager who knows darn well your value and wishes others would see just how valuable you are?

Are you sick of having your entire career called the accidental profession?

Everyone: Do you wish there was a more meaningful way for you to give back to your community?

Well, have I got a story for you!

Enter the Project Management Day of Service ® (PMDoS)  

What’s that?

Oh, only the record-setting event where we use the profession of Project Management to change the world.

Project Managers have mastered the skills to make things happen despite lack of time, lack of funds, not enough skilled staff, and lack of clear scope. And yet, even with these constraints, they are still effective.


But even more, project managers take inputs, and plan for specific outcomes…we plan transformation, we deliver change. Ultimately, we are delivery agents of change. Making change for organizations that are chronically hampered by resource constraints to achieve their missions, and with no time for the Project Management overhead; that’s the challenge.

And that’s always the problem, isn’t it? Not enough time to do it right, but enough leeway to either have to do rework, or just take the best product you can get, right? There is a whole sector that exists in this mode of operation all the time…the nonprofit organizations…

Many nonprofits, whose mission is to make a local or global impact, make do without the skills of project management, or they do it in the same incidental manner that has plagued our profession for so long. But, we have matured past that and we have the opportunity to step in and have an impact.

Nonprofits can achieve their mission of creating local and global change through the resources available to them in project management, and by using project managers. After all, what profession has more to offer than project management, a profession that focuses on planning within Scope, Schedule and Budget? We get things done!

From helping them with projects to beginning to educate and teach on the tenants of Project Management for their ongoing success, we have something to offer. 

This event engaged the project management community in a meaningful way to show that professional project management can have an impact; that we can do good work and make a difference.

The goal of PMDoS was very straightforward. We believe that all project managers have a role to play in helping clarify and strengthen the value proposition of Project Management. This event showed everyone that we can make a difference and that Project Management matters.

The first annual event was held on Martin Luther King Day, 2015, a national day of service. On this day, 350 project managers met with 100 nonprofits for an all-day Get. It. Done. event. These project managers volunteered their time to help nonprofit organizations define and scope a business challenge or mission project they wanted to undertake; and then together, they built a road map for execution of that project so that the organization could realize their mission objective.

Just imagine…100 nonprofits walking out of the room with a clear and specific path forward for their most pressing mission.

That’s what happened here. The work done on this day equaled $200,000 worth of project management services provided in a single day. Now, take the value created by all of those nonprofits achieving their project objectives and you have a $1,000,000 impact in the local community. IN ONE DAY!







THAT is what Project Management can do!

Project managers get stuff done for a living. These events give them an opportunity to use their unique and hard-earned skills to make a difference in their local communities, while shedding light on the ever-increasing importance of project management done right. Where else can they use project management to give back and have this kind of impact?

Our profession is about change, and it is also about intent and service. This event has ripple effects, as many project managers shared feedback that PMDoS has inspired them to become more active in their local nonprofit community.

Because of the work done by the Project Management Day of Service, there is now an established foundation and expandable opportunity for project managers to engage in pro bono service using their specific project management skills.

The movement has begun. This event has become a catalyst for creating opportunities for continued work to raise the profile of the Project Management profession.


This day of service model opens the door for us to understand as a Project Management community how we can begin to engage in even more assertive and continuous ways with our local communities.

  1. It gives project managers across the globe a framework to provide pro bono project management services to nonprofit organizations desperately in need of these services and connect with their desire to give back to the community in a meaningful way.
  2. Giving project management organizations an opportunity to provide high-value pro bono project management volunteer opportunities, and increase membership value and engagement. Adding additional meaning and purpose raises the profile of the Project Management profession globally.
  3. Providing nonprofit organizations an opportunity to see the value of the Project Management profession applied directly to a business challenge their organization faces; seeing real-time, impactful results directly.

Fast forward to today…

  1. The Project Management for Change team received the prestigious Daily Point of Light Award from Points of Light early in 2017 for their contributions to service in the nonprofit community. They have also been fortunate to have received recognition and the following speakers at the D.C. events:
  2. 2015 – U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker
  3. 2016 – U.S. Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), Maria Contreras-Sweet
  4. 2017 – U.S. CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), Wendy Spencer
  5. The Washington, D.C. team is gearing up for another event, the 4th one in as many years, but they are not alone. Take a look at the other events that are coming or have taken place around the globe: San Francisco; Hampton Roads, Virginia; Brisbane, Australia; New York City, New York; Edmonton, Alberta Canada; Atlanta, Georgia; and Houston, Texas; and who will be next?

So now what? How can you use your project management skills to make a difference? Do you want to put project management in the driver’s seat on the quest to change the world?

Project Managers can take mission and drive toward transformational outcomes that can literally change lives, save lives, and create a better world for us all.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are we doing for others?’

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

You now have a choice to make and you can choose to do good and have impact in a meaningful way using your Project Manager skills. 

Why? Because it matters!

Your skills matter, as does how you choose to use them.

Help us change the world, one project at a time!

Project Managers:

  1. Volunteer to scope and plan projects with nonprofits. Just a 6-hour commitment with breakfast and lunch provided!
  2. Find an event local to your area or start your own! You can reach out to your local PMI chapter or setup one through your organization. Just contact us at [email protected].

Nonprofits: Sign up today to receive pro bono project management services to help you with your toughest challenge!

Everyone: Help us raise the necessary funds to make the event happen. There are many ways you can contribute:

  • Donatedirectly on our website.
  • Use Amazon Smile to help us raise funds every time you shop.
  • Connect your organization to us to reap the many benefits of being a sponsor.

Help us get the word out!

Share this post with everyone you know. Send out to all of your social media networks! @PM4Change on Twitter / LinkedIn / Facebook

Thanks for taking the time to read this article.

I welcome your feedback and insights. Please leave a comment below.

See you online!



Posted on: April 02, 2018 08:00 AM | Permalink

Comments (14)

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Very inspiring, thank you for sharing. I will look for an event in my area

Great initiative Laura, this is real project management at work and it's good to see the turnouts.

Good article, Laura and thanks for sharing.

Great post, thank you so much Laura for,sharing.

Great points Laura. The title says it all.

Laura, it is very true looking at few historical projects few thousands years ago they still exist and they have impacted civilizations. ( for example. Haman was a PM for Pharaoh built the pyramids, second example is the hanging garden in Babylon)

Thank you for all your efforts which I believe, it will effect and change the communities much more to be aware to work well organize by using the templates, tools of project management,which will grant tasks with unique work, powerful plan and excellent control, right now I'm volunteering at TEDX event related to my community event, I tried to plan the scop with them but I didnt to get any chance for that but I join the planning team group to look for better ideas for this event. Also I like your idea and I want to participate in those service.

Very inspiring, thanks for sharing!

Thank you for your comments and kind words! Happy to inspire!

Good stuff!

Great article. Our Colleagues'' related opinions: "Can project management solve the world's problems?"

Dear Laura
Interesting your approach on the topic: "Did You Know That Project Management Can Change The World?"
Thanks for sharing

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I wanted to know more about "Sign up"
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