Project managers can also help with volunteer work

Monday, November 11th, 2013 By Jack Nevison

A volunteer organization can benefit form the expertise of certified project managers as much as a business can. In fact, since these groups tend to deal with tighter budgets (if they have budgets at all), skilled project managers are, if anything, even more vital.

Business 2 Community contributor Esther Schindler recently wrote an article about her own experience with volunteer organizations. She argues that it is often more difficult to keep a team on task when they do not have a financial incentive.

"People have to be motivated to get the job done, and they do it for every possible reason besides being paid," Schindler wrote. "As the person in charge of the project, it means you need to develop different motivational skills, some of which do not come naturally."

Schindler recommends that you find out what your volunteer team members "are proud of, and enable them to share it." Meet with each volunteer individually, and ask them to tackle a specific task. If possible, show how the work might benefit an individual's resumé.

"A woodworker who wants an excuse to teach himself a new technique might be motivated by contributing his skills to a project he believes in," she wrote.

Volunteer and professional project managers have a lot in common. The good news is that "these volunteer management skills are transferrable," because if you can get someone to perform well "when money isn't a factor, you'll be great at motivating them when it is."

New Leaf Project Management understands that project management skills have many applications in both business and non-profit contexts. Our program, "Leading Project Teams," and our free white paper, "How Not to Run a Meeting," will help you get the most out of your team, whatever your work environment.

In addition, QPM, an online estimating game, lets you learn while you earn PDU credits for PMP recertification.

"PMI®," PMP®," and "PMBOK®" are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

"QPM™" is a registered mark of New Leaf Project Management. All rights reserved.

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