Project Management

Lending Your Expertise When You Have Limited Time

From the Project Managers Without Borders Blog
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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


View Posts By:

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

Past Contributors:

Chelsa Dornian
Tony Van Krieken
Mario Trentim

Recent Posts

How to be a more effective volunteer

Why Water?

The Art of Asking Questions

Lending Your Expertise When You Have Limited Time

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

“Everyone is interested in
making the world a better place and
we are interested in
doing that through project management.”

Deanna Landers, Founder
Project Managers Without Borders

Have you ever considered volunteering for a non-profit, but were afraid that you will be unable to commit to the project? Sometimes, organizations just need 2-3 hours of a project manager's time to get pointed in the right direction.  Consider lending your expertise in ways that minimize your time commitment. There are many opportunities to mentor, coach, or simply make professional connections. These options may be more suitable when you don’t have time to devote to an entire project.

  1. Volunteer to provide a professional development seminar for a short-term commitment with meaningful impact.

  2. Offer to serve as a mentor for PMs looking to improve or expand their knowledge and professional network.

  3. Host network events and help establish local communities of practice.

  4. Provide a professional assessment of a non-profit’s project that they can use as a guide for focusing resources. Highlight areas of risk or suitable for exploitation.

  5. Serve on the board of directors or on search committee tasked with hiring outside project management expertise.


What do you get from Mentoring, Coaching, or Teaching?

Teaching others and being able to immediately put into practice what one has learned produces the highest retention rate of all methods including practice by doing (75%) and reading (10%) [Brooks and Brooks]. In well-developed companies or project teams, the opportunity for teaching or coaching may be limited. Volunteering on a project at a non-profit organization may present opportunities to work with less experienced project managers or ones with different experiences who are looking to expand their knowledge toolbox. This may be especially beneficial to the nonprofit organization as funds for professional development are often limited. Additionally, you will benefit from the professional development experience.


Project Managers Without Borders


Opportunities with PMWB

You may be surprised by the opportunities that exist in your favorite organization. “Many organizations have ideas, but don't know where to start to implement the ideas,” says Eric Schempp, PMWB WaterRico Project Manager. That's where PMWB project managers can step in. PMWB project management volunteers have collaborated with Rotary Club International and Engineers Without Borders to supplement their Water Project teams. “There are lots of opportunities to volunteer with project management skills in areas where you have interest. Project management skills are applicable everywhere,” Landers encourages.






Brooks, J. and Brooks, M. (1993). In Search of Understanding: The Case for Constructivist Classrooms, ASCD


Romiya Barry is a clinical research professional using the project management framework to improve patient care and community health.  She is recognized by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals and PharmaTimes Inc. for her leadership in clinical project management. Romiya is on the Board of Directors for Health Horizons International, a healthcare NGO serving communities in the Dominican Republic. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Follow @romiyagbarry



Posted by Romiya Barry on: November 27, 2018 10:23 AM | Permalink

Comments (14)

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Thank you, Romiya. Inspirational post.

Very good suggestions, thank you!

Thank you Romiya

Very interesting, thanks for sharing

Thank you everyone for your feedback. I hope you consider the tips in this post and the other posts from our fellow PMs at Project Managers Without Borders!

Thank you Romia, Very interesting post

Thank you for sharing this inspiring post.

Something we all should be doing on a regular basis.

Definitely believe in hosting networking events. I just launched my first one in NYC next month, looking forward to meeting our organization's community of users for the first time! If you're interested, here's the link

Interesting set of suggestions, I like the fourth.

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