47th Earth Day

Today is the 47th anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970.  Much has been done, but more is needed. Fortunately there is someone with the skills to make a difference: the project manager.


Five Ways Project Managers Save the Planet

OK, maybe a bit dramatic but good project managers and good project management skills do a make a difference. Here are five ways:

  1. Manage Stakeholders
  2. Ideas to Action
  3. New Technology
  4. Better Deployment
  5. Eliminate Waste/Reduce Risk

Manage Stakeholders

Project managers are the best in the world at managing stakeholders. It’s is a key knowledge area (13.0). Identifying stakeholders is a key process for any project initiation.  Managing stakeholders is essential for environmental progress: Susie wants wind energy, but Jack is concerned about migratory birds, and Phil wants to protect his backyard view from turbines.  Managing these various and sometimes conflicting concerns requires good stakeholder management skills.

Ideas to Action

Creative solutions for environmental challenges must progress from idea to action to make an impact.  A good idea can lead to policy and law, but that’s often a tough, long road. It needs a variety of skills for success.  Good project management can speed the process from idea to research to evidence and increase collaboration between groups. Once adapted as law or policy, those same project management skills can speed implementation.

New Technology

Innovation in the areas of renewables and energy efficiency are bringing big rewards (from higher efficiency panels to smart metering and more).  Good project management speeds innovation and market entry. We’ve seen a $2 million improvement in design productivity per project by the adoption of project best practices as an example.

Better Deployments

You created a great technology: now it needs to be deployed.  Good project management practices increase speed and efficiency and reduce costs.  Think about bringing a new solar panel factory or power plant online more quickly.  We’ve seen factory delays reduced by over 60% and delay cost savings of over $200 million in some large project ramps.

Eliminate Waste/Reduce Risk

We saw in a previous post that good project risk management (11.0) by mature PMOs saves $26M in a $100M project (average risk reduced from 28% to 2%).  Project quality management (8.0) applies the seven basic quality tools to understand and reduce the cost of quality with a focus on prevention.

You can see how good project management skills and good project managers can help big time with saving the planet.

What other ways do you see project management skills helping?

If you would like to read my future posts then please click ‘Follow’ at the top of this article and feel free to connect via Twitter

 About the author:

Mike Fritsch is the President and COO of Confoe Inc. which provides on demand project management, high performance training, and consulting.  Clients have included:  Intel, Dell, SoloPower, HelioVolt,  Whole Foods Market and the Environmental Defense Fund. He previously served as CEO of Alamo SolarPV LLC.

Mike has appeared in numerous publications including Renewable Energy WorldPlatt’s Energy Economist,  Sun and Wind Energy, Fast Company, and US News & World Report

 About Confoe:

Since 2002, Confoe has provided project management services, consulting,  and custom software solutions for clients ranging from the Fortune 50 to new venture start-ups. Clients have included:  Whole Foods Market, Intel, Dell, SoloPower, HelioVolt,  and the Environmental Defense Fund.