Project Management Central

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Topics: Consulting
First Project Planning for Kids Corporation--Feedback Requested...
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I have started a project for Kids. I transport them to and from afterschool programs and daycares. I also am tutoring. I would like some feedback for deliverables and project costs and resources as I have created this under Projects on my profile. My BA is from UC Berkeley, my github account is sarikaricky.
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Interesting question and don't be taken aback by my response but it is to get you to think about this in terms of a PM...

My first question as a PM is why do you think this endeavor is a project, and requires project management? At a glance, I would say that if you are already doing this, it sounds like sustaining an ongoing activity rather than a temporary effort to move from a current state, to a desired state. Secondly, tutoring and transportation sound like they would be separate projects in a portfolio of services rather than a single project.

Now that I've said this really doesn't sound like a project, your job is to prove me wrong and understand for yourself why it is a project, or why you might take a different approach. Think about the scope and the requirements. Are you trying to turn an informal endeavor into a formal business? Are you trying to grow the corporation over a specified period of time? Are you trying to improve the services? Are there regulatory requirements like insurance, business license, first aid or CPR certifications you must meet? Is the tutoring ad hoc or do you develop lesson plans?

Before you can consider deliverables, costs, and resources, you must first clearly define the problem you are trying to solve, and the desired outcome. The problem statement is the most important part of any project: I am at Point A and want to get to Point B and here are the boundaries within which the solution must adhere.
Network:98182



Keith is right. Is your project temporary? Is it creating something unique? You must answer positively to both questions before you even start managing it as a project.
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1 reply by Sarika Mirchandani
May 10, 2019 1:31 PM
Sarika Mirchandani
...
I don't think my project is temporary, but it all depends on funding. Is it creating something unique? Yes because I would be project managing for kids.
Network:67



Hi Sarika. Perhaps sharing a bit more about the background of how/why you believe this is a project and what exactly you're looking for in terms of knowledge feedback will help. Although you've mentioned deliverables and project costs, it remains unclear if the feedback you're seeking is related to a new business or a new service within an existing business. For something like this, I would also recommend finding resources and networking groups for small business owners. That might be a better audience if you're starting a new business venture. They'll probably have lessons learned and valuable insight to provide from a small business perspective. Having that said, if you've joined PMI already, definitely that advantage of some of the resources available. There are many webinars and project based knowledge that can be transferable to other business areas including a new business venture.
...
1 reply by Sarika Mirchandani
May 10, 2019 1:27 PM
Sarika Mirchandani
...
Yes, I joined because I was in between jobs as usual. I have a Bachelors from UC Berkeley and it was in Political Science. I also have Masters degree coursework in International Affairs and Business from Columbia University in NYC, but I did not graduate. I have one child that is 8 years old, he loves gaming. I feel I want to contribute to his life from these webinars so I have been listening to the Podcasts and Videos. I was looking on Nextdoor app for something to do and ended up signing up to transport and educate kids in Fremont. I am unsure if this is a business without appropriate funding but it is just what I am doing with my time.

I was president of the Columbia International Consulting Club and also president of the South Asian Graduate Association, so I am using what I know to predict what I need. But I don't have my co-presidents with me to discuss. We used to work on projects like Krispy Kremes in Thailand and other things like that.
Network:35



Hi Keith,
Thanks so much for your prompt response! Kids Corp is a project management endeavor because I have stumbled upon parents from Nextdoor app, nothing planned, there was just a general "need" for tutoring, transportation, etc. I feel there is a continuum in all of these endeavors and if I disconnect the project mgmt of it, I don't feel my scheduling, resources, or activity schedule would not unsuffer.

I am only doing things for kids in the Weibel area where my son goes to school. I hope that answers why a project? I feel overwhelmed without a plan and like to use Whatsapp as one of the parents suggested, as I also like to communicate with them a lot. I started using Zelle for money transfers and I have enough gas and food money to run around town with the kid.

I also have one student hang out with my son who is an avid Roblox gamer. I have been spending a lot of my money on Roblux cards, as I do not want him to get bored and interacting with other children is having me focus on him not temporarily but more like developing him with other kids who have things in common with him. This "hang out" time me and the student thought of as in between classes time. I was very relieved to see he like to hang out with my son as well.

If I were to hire people and connect communities in the Bay Area, I feel it is a serious project that people would rely on because of the lack of resources for mothers in general in urgent yet very important kids activity. Communication and websites I think would help. There should be a social protocol about how the parents would obtain help with these activities, I think it would be a good idea to even make a portfolio of services including tutoring, transporting, I was also thinking mini field trips like ice cream for kid, shopping for kid, to parent-approved locations. One of the students right now enjoys Jack in the box after swimming and the parent approved of funds for his snacks we plan.

There is also a communication gap between kids and parents and administrators-- I feel a project mgmt perspective could help with the lack of attentions paid to the kid in the learning processes. Between after-school activities, reporting to parents on whatsapp, and dealing with administrators, I think the kid gets lost in the process.

Anyway, these are my thoughts as I was just doing this as a cash only business on the side and I felt all these project mgmt relations that were relevant as I am studying for the exam. I think I would make it a business idea for me to develop and then have it organized according to PMI.

I would like to develop this idea into a business, but I don't think I should open a Sole Proprietorship at a Bank because I am definitely NOT making a lot of money, although I have a ton of ideas on the subject.

I would also need help with funding a small business venture.
Network:2335



Sarika, great initiative!
Are you aware of the free resources to teach project management to kids by PMI Educational Foundation?
https://pmief.org/library/resources
...
1 reply by Sarika Mirchandani
May 10, 2019 1:18 PM
Sarika Mirchandani
...
Thanks. I will check it out!
Network:22120



Managing such a project is a little bit tricky. You really need to start from scratch.
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1 reply by Sarika Mirchandani
May 10, 2019 1:32 PM
Sarika Mirchandani
...
Do you have a favorite excel sheet you use to organize your projects?
Thanks.
Network:35



I am looking for funding and stakeholders, as I think stakeholders would be the parents of the kids. The project management schedule at high level would include students name, activities, and what the stakeholder is trying to achieve. Funding would be used for gas cards, maybe car seats, tutoring supplies, maybe even an office. Snacks would also need to be funded.

I am starting from scratch. Would I hire other project mgrs like myself or is there a company car, company office and how many employees? The high level of it would be projected in excel sheets maybe as goals of stakeholders and how the kids are doing in the schools and afterschool activities and then make like a well-rounded approach to the Monday to Friday regime.

I am just going back to tutoring, so I am still "building".
Network:35



May 10, 2019 3:52 AM
Replying to Thomas Walenta
...
Sarika, great initiative!
Are you aware of the free resources to teach project management to kids by PMI Educational Foundation?
https://pmief.org/library/resources
Thanks. I will check it out!
Network:35



May 09, 2019 10:09 PM
Replying to Alyne Padilla Lynch
...
Hi Sarika. Perhaps sharing a bit more about the background of how/why you believe this is a project and what exactly you're looking for in terms of knowledge feedback will help. Although you've mentioned deliverables and project costs, it remains unclear if the feedback you're seeking is related to a new business or a new service within an existing business. For something like this, I would also recommend finding resources and networking groups for small business owners. That might be a better audience if you're starting a new business venture. They'll probably have lessons learned and valuable insight to provide from a small business perspective. Having that said, if you've joined PMI already, definitely that advantage of some of the resources available. There are many webinars and project based knowledge that can be transferable to other business areas including a new business venture.
Yes, I joined because I was in between jobs as usual. I have a Bachelors from UC Berkeley and it was in Political Science. I also have Masters degree coursework in International Affairs and Business from Columbia University in NYC, but I did not graduate. I have one child that is 8 years old, he loves gaming. I feel I want to contribute to his life from these webinars so I have been listening to the Podcasts and Videos. I was looking on Nextdoor app for something to do and ended up signing up to transport and educate kids in Fremont. I am unsure if this is a business without appropriate funding but it is just what I am doing with my time.

I was president of the Columbia International Consulting Club and also president of the South Asian Graduate Association, so I am using what I know to predict what I need. But I don't have my co-presidents with me to discuss. We used to work on projects like Krispy Kremes in Thailand and other things like that.
Network:35



May 09, 2019 8:31 PM
Replying to Stéphane Parent
...
Keith is right. Is your project temporary? Is it creating something unique? You must answer positively to both questions before you even start managing it as a project.
I don't think my project is temporary, but it all depends on funding. Is it creating something unique? Yes because I would be project managing for kids.
...
2 replies by Sarika Mirchandani and Stéphane Parent
May 10, 2019 4:07 PM
Stéphane Parent
...
A project is an endeavour where you create a unique product, service or result within a specific timeframe. In your case, what you have is not a project but a business which is more operational in nature.

Your offering may be unique but you will be delivering it over and over again, as long as the demand works in your favour. You should manage it as a business, not a project.

As Keith mentioned, project management is simply a tailored version of general management. The main difference is that you simply cycle through the management groups over and over again. The management areas are pretty much the same.
May 11, 2019 11:44 PM
Sarika Mirchandani
...
I actually don't think there is a lack of demand. I have people coming out of my ears. But what I am having trouble with is the economics of it, like payments that are very high from some people and very low so I might not take this offer kind of thing. So the $$$ fluctuating that much is hard to deal with and I would have to work on the payments so that they are enough but I might just get another job soon. I passed my PMP inhouse exam 80 percent but the real thing I haven't tackled yet.
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