PMIEF Resources Help When Friends and Family "Just Don't Get It"


16 January 2019

Published inPM for Social Good

Family gathering to eat a meal

We get it. And you get it. So why doesn’t everyone else? 

As a project manager, you know there’s a right way to do things. You know that the project journey, from initiating to closing, is as enjoyable as the project deliverable itself. Whether it’s your daughter’s school science project or your neighbors’ community yard sale, you know it will all come together more smoothly with thorough planning and project management know-how. But sometimes you’re surrounded by people who just don’t get it. How do you break through a wall of disinterest and inspire friends and family to give project management a try? PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF) resources can help you do exactly that. Our easy-to-understand resources target a variety of potential users, share the spirit of accomplishment found in project management, and explain how to reap its benefits. Even better, these resources are just a mouse click away. 

1. When your child approaches you about Career Day and it’s tomorrow …
… use our resource to explain that project management can be an express ride to success. 

Careers in Project Management

When youths prepare to make decisions about their education and vocation, they can benefit by exploring a variety of project management career paths bound for personal satisfaction, job growth, and financial rewards. Because project management travels through all industry types—from aerospace to education, healthcare to IT, and beyond—and every geographic location, its appeal is universal. This resource explains project management with understandable, youth-friendly examples, like sports, as projects in need of management. Preparation, education, certification, opportunity, and more are covered in the space of a few easy scrolls. Students can begin to consider their own potential to eventually help organizations achieve higher productivity, competitiveness, and customer satisfaction. Here’s where they can hop aboard the success express:

2. When planning a community event results in a giant headache …
… it’s time to ease the way—and the tension—with project management.

Managing Life’s Projects

This resource provides two slide decks to help members of community, civic, and school groups, and all other nonprofit organizations, take advantage of basic project management principles, and “turn any idea into a reality.” The first presentation allows newcomers to grasp the most essential concepts, and to: determine if their goals are worth the effort, plan ahead, break big jobs into manageable units, follow a plan, deal with unknowns, adapt to changes, and make the most of time and money. A second slide presentation trains the trainer—the person who will encourage group members to adopt a project management approach. The next time you overhear someone say, “I don’t even know where to begin,” tell them to start right here:

3. When a project could collapse like a tent in a typhoon …
… ask team members to reinforce their efforts with a well-conceived plan.

Project Management Skills for Life®

Team members will learn to formulate an effective plan, organize activities, and train others to complete simple-to-complex projects with this step-by-step instructional course. A start-to-finish approach includes insights needed to identify the project, project manager, team members, and stakeholders. Users will emerge from this learning experience with a grasp of the five Process Groups, project team roles and responsibilities, work breakdown structures, schedules and resources, critical path determination, quality building, consistent communication, potential risks, product and services procurement, tracking and reporting on progress, and closing the project. When team members are hungry for knowledge, serve up this online banquet of project management:

4. When you want to have some fun at a workshop …
… let attendees flex their project management muscles by building a tower of power.

Tower Game

Who says project management is only for the workplace? Our Tower Game can be a workshop game, a meeting ice breaker, or a participatory event in the classroom. This resource comes complete with an instructional how-to manual, an introductory slide presentation, and a scoring sheet. When the game gets under way, teams compete to build “the tallest, fastest, and cheapest free-standing quality tower out of 20 sticks and five paper cups” in less than 20 minutes. Lessons learned emerge when teams compare performance and ask: Why is the tallest structure the best? How can we manage the project’s restrictions? What is a successful project? How can we evaluate risk to assure that building our tower will be successful? The Tower Game has “wowed” primary and secondary school students and teachers, university students and professors, postgraduate students, nonprofit organizations, and subject matter experts. If you want to put a fun spin on teamwork, visit the Tower Game:

5. When kids read, they learn to succeed …
… especially when following the adventures of project-savvy youngsters.

Project Management Fiction Books for Youth Ages 10–12

Next time you take the kids on a car trip, help them explore more than passing traffic and road signs. Load their e-readers with a library of fiction written by parent and project management practitioner, Gary M. Nelson, PMP. Five books—The Ultimate Tree House Project, The Scariest Haunted House Project—Ever!, The Amazing Science Fair Project, The Valentine’s Day Project Disaster, and The Easter Bully Transformation Project—feature project management wrapped up in tales of school-age undertakings and seasonal concerns that resonate with kids. They’ll never stop to realize they are actually learning something. And that’s the genius of it all. Making this great resource even better, the books are available free of charge at this page: