Andrew Whitmire Shares the Top Way You Can Use PM Skills for Social Good

 

21 November 2019

Published inPM for Social Good

 
Andrew Whitmire headshot

Andrew Whitmire, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Destination Imagination.

You might say Andrew Whitmire was destined to be part of the PMIEF community. He not only uses his PM skill set in his role, he also has been in the non-profit sector for the last 10 years, most recently as director of strategic partnerships and advancement at Destination Imagination. With a decade of experience making a difference through his PM skill set, he’s the valued featured speaker for the PM.com virtual Open House Event!

In the following Q&A, Andrew offers insights into how project management is making a difference in the lives of youth, his outlook on the profession, and the first step you can take to get involved today. And don’t forget: You can learn more about Andrew, PMIEF and how to make a positive impact in your community through project management and celebrate #GivingTuesday by attending the virtual Open House event on 3 December 2019. Circle the date!

The PMI Educational Foundation: What value does PM add to non-profits and the youth that they serve?

Andrew Whitmire: "The value of high-quality Project Management (PM) tools, techniques and staff with the skill set to use them can be transformative for a non-profit. While non-profits are mission driven, they still need to be able to operate like a business. However, since non-profits are often working with limited resources, they have to become masters of planning and efficiency. When non-profit staff are skilled in PM, they can approach projects with better skills, understanding and confidence that they are taking the right steps to complete the project on time, with the stated scope and within an (often tight!) budget." 

PMIEF: How do you/ your organization use project management for social good efforts? Please give us an example.  

AW: "At Destination Imagination, a 501c3 educational nonprofit, our staff uses PM to help us effectuate our mission. With more than 50+ licensee nonprofits around the world, our small staff has to juggle a lot of priorities and projects to continue successfully supporting and managing the organization. Beyond our internal use of PM, our educational experiences team, with the support of PMIEF, has spent the last 5 years integrating PM tools and techniques into our educational experiences.

For instance, our core team-challenge academic competition requires our student teams to manage multiple projects, a budget and a timeline in order to create their solution to one of our STEAM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) challenges. In the resources we provide to them, they have access to a variety of PM tools that they can employ to help them move through their creative process. Some student-centered tools that we offer include: a Deliverable Requirements Planning tool, Team Project Goals tool, Resources, Constraints and Assumptions tool and a Milestones and Tasks Sequencing tool -- and that's just a few."

PMIEF: Why should youth learn project management skills at an early age?

AW: "Becoming oriented to PM at an early age means that youth who are practicing and becoming proficient in these skills will be able to accelerate their ability to be a more effective leader in managing projects as they become more complex. That skill set will set them apart from their peers who do not have the language, context, tools or techniques to manage increasingly complex problems - whether they be business, social or even personal. 

Project Management can be beneficial for anyone at any stage of their life as they are attempting to complete any project and the more you practice the more able you will be when completing a project." 

PMIEF:  How can PM’s use project management for social good? What’s step number one?

AW: "For a project manager looking to use their skill set to do social good and make a positive impact, it is first important for the individual to make a self-assessment about what it is they care most about. What are your core personal values? Once an individual has made that kind of self-assessment, then they should begin to research causes that align with those values. For instance, if someone identifies that a core value of theirs is education, they can research causes that align with education. From there, they can research nonprofits that are in that space who may be looking for volunteers to help them achieve their mission."

PMIEF: What are some PMIEF resources you find helpful when teaching PM Skills to youth?

AW: "The PMIEF website has some great tools for educators or Project Management professionals to use to teach PM skills to youth. Particularly useful tools include the Project Management Toolkit for Youth®, the Student Leadership Guide and the Student Presentation Guide."

You can download the resources mentioned above on PMIEF.org and don't forget to join us on 3 December for the Open House event! You can learn more here.

 
 

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