One of my goals on this trip is very simple; put people in contact with each other. PMI members and volunteers are the perfect ambassadors for project management best practices, so I'm always on the look out for opportunities to have people meet their local chapter. PMI-Montreal partners SUCO proved to be the perfect example of this.
A misconception of project management is that it is complicated, intimidating, that you have to follow a methodology A to Z in order to do it right. In reality, simply learning a few techniques or adopting some tools can make your project more efficient and increase its chances of success, no matter how small the project.
When discussing my trip with the Sara Toulouse, Volunteer Coordinator with SUCO in Peru, we identified cities along my trip where their volunteers are working with local people on sustainability projects. These cities happened to also coincide with the PMI Tour Cono Sur, the conference series in South America that I discuss in more detail on the PMI-Montreal blog site here.
SUCO in Peru
Ricardo Vargas, located in Piura, and Mercedes Urbina in Cajamarca, are volunteers with SUCO in Peru working with local communities to find ways to market local fresh organic produce at fair and sustainable prices to a larger community. The goal is to create a secure supply chain to improve quality of life for local producers, empower entrepreneurs, and highlight the importance of environmentally sustainable production techniques. Ricardo and Mercedes work to create partnerships with local transportation and sellers at markets in extended areas. Their work touches on many project management knowledge areas; communication, stakeholder management, procurement management, and in general working in a country where following the "rules" is in itself a challenge to getting things done. This specific contextual reason is why contact with local project managers and PMI Chapters can provide important insight and experience for their projects. Ricardo and Mercedes joined me for the PMI Tour Cono Sur in their respective cities, where presentations on many of these important topics as well as the future of sustainable project management in South America were top of mind.
A simple idea
PMI chapters should be a resource for organisations and people working in the not-for-profit sector who require project management support. Not only does this provide valuable volunteer opportunities for members (a meaningful way of giving back and maintaining their credentials), but the perfect ambassadorship for demonstrating that project management methods aren't only applicable on a large scale.
Why specifically not-for-profit? Because this is the perfect way of showing both the capacity and social value of project management; where resources are much more finite, budgets are more than constrained, and where every little bit can help to make a social project into reality. Offering meaningful volunteer opportunities, seeing projects make lives better; this is where you can find chapter growth and influence, by making a difference in the world. These are key to attracting the next generation of project managers, who seek meaningful work over compensation (Millenials: Your Best Resources for Project Management in the World of NGOs).
By leveraging relationships with not-for-profit organisations through access to project management expertise we create win-win partnerships. Best practices are shareable simple ideas that we can feed through volunteering project management knowledge at a grassroots level.
Project Management Mentoring
As part of the PMI-Montreal SUCO partnership, a new mentorship program was created for project management volunteers working abroad seeking advice from experienced project managers in the PMI network. Read more about this partnership and program here.
What project management best practice do you believe would make the world a better place?