May 25, 2012 | Author: PM Hut | Filed under: Project Management Advantages
Why Project Management Is Important to Not-for-Profit Organizations
By Michael Schiel
At a conference last year, a contact of mine who works in the not-for-profit sector reminded me of an old project manager joke: How are project managers and used car salesmen the same? At least the used car salesman knows when he is lying.
My old client used this joke to underline a point he was making: there are a number of reasons when many public sector managers don’t consider using project managers. At the top of his list was: inconsistent project results from past experiences, not enough time to find a good project manager, and insufficient funds to hire a project manager. But his main point was that he didn’t think they ever really needed a project manager for the type of work they did.
I have thought about this a few times since then. Here are some reasons why I think this point of view is completely wrong, and why I think it is vitally important for Not-for-Profit, Professional association and other public sector organizations to consider hiring project managers:
- Help achieve your goals - Many goals that NFPs and like minded organizations aim to achieve, are accomplished by small in-year or sometimes multi-year projects. A project manager would provide for better success and completion rates.
Assist Your Staff – Many NFPs have small staff. Project management isn’t considered a core competency, and from my experience most NFP staff do not have these skills. Hiring a project manager in a strategic way to teach your staff or set up a project management approach would be beneficial, without needing to hire a PM on fulltime.
Reduce Project Costs – Project managers are trained to find ways to complete projects on time and on budget. They will have a better chance at doing this than someone who does not have the experience and toolsets.
Focus on Your Core Competencies – By hiring a contract or part-time project manager to help you set up, run, or revise how your projects are managed, you can save your valuable time to focus on your core competencies of running your organization.
Help You Deal with Change - Most NFPs are dealing with considerable change on a regular basis. A good project manager can help you assess the projects required to manage the change factors that are impacting your organization, and plan how to implement those projects given your resource constraints.
Michael Schiel BA, MSc has spent the last 15 years trying to figure out how economics, politics, organizational design and human nature interconnect. He has an MSc in International Economics, and he has worked in the financial services, public sector and mostly in consulting. He focuses on helping clients in the healthcare and broader public sector figure out how to introduce and manage change. You can read more from Michael on his blog. You can contact Michael here.
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