OSPMI Humanitarian Project Initiative
What is the Humanitarian Project Initiative?
It’s a free mentoring service where our members earn professional development hours (i.e. PDU’s) necessary to maintain their PMP certification by providing free mentoring in project management best practices to local non-profits.
Our goals for this initiative include:
- Providing value to our chapter members by giving them a unique way to enhance their project management skills and experience in a volunteer capacity
- Promoting the profession of project management throughout our community by teaching best practices from the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)
- Giving back to our local community by assisting non-profits achieve better project results
How does the process work?
This program matches a project management volunteer from within our chapter with individuals working on projects in local non-profit sector.
The mentoring typically consists of weekly 1-hour sessions at the non-profit’s worksite at a mutually agreed to day of the week and time of day (best times are typically at the end of the work day and/or just after work)
Our mentor provides insights and approaches that lead to greater project success within the context of an actual project being undertaken by the non-profit organization.
We have found that the tips, tools, and approaches that professional project managers in large corporate organizations can easily scale down to be used in small non-profit organizations with great success. A typical mentoring assignment will last 3 – 4 months but will vary based on the particular needs and circumstances of the non-profit’s project.
What’s needed in order to get started?
How long has this initiative been going on and what organizations have utilized it?
The OSPMI launched the first mentoring engagement in the summer of 2013 and has since mentored many local non-profit organizations.
Past groups that have benefited from this initiative include:
- Foster Forward, East Providence
- Bridges, Inc., Jamestown
- Children’s Friend, Providence
- Gloria Dei STEP UP Center, Providence
- Family Resources & Project Learn, Woonsocket
- United Way of RI, Providence
- ServeRI, Providence
- The Keystone Group, North Kingstown
- Gateways to Change, Warwick
- St. Vincent de Paul Society, Cranston
- Crossroads RI, Providence
- Amos House, Providence
What have been the results?
This process has been extremely successful for all involved. Here are a few examples of the type of feedback we have received from those we have mentored:
- “Helped us develop a process to focus on priorities and mission critical items.”
- “I learned an incredible amount about project management in a short amount of time.”
- “It opened my eyes to the need for a formal role to drive projects forward.”
- “We experienced far superior outcomes.”
- “Our mentor was consistent, patient, had good energy and communication skills”
- “The mentoring really helped us focus our deliverables and align them with our primary objectives and goals.”
- “Helped us get much more organized in our thinking and approach to the project.”
- “Helped with our confidence to pull people together from diverse community roles to meet with us.”
- “Provided us with a different thought process and perspective; in a good way!”
- “Our trade organizations and affiliates may benefit from an OSPMI presentation.”
Here are a few examples of the feedback we have received from our chapter members who have provided the mentoring:
- “It was so easy, yet, I got so much out of the experience.”
- “I made a big difference, and directly helped my community in such an inspiring way.”
- “I was getting ready to retire and still wanted to contribute to something in a meaningful way.”
- “What my non-profit stood for was so meaningful to me.”