Hunger Warriors for FMSC – Team 4

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Our team chose to support Feed My Starving Children Charity. This charity’s main purpose is to deliver nutritious meals to starving children around the world. We hosted a series of micro events leading up to and culminating into one larger service. Micro took place throughout the month of July and the service event took place early August.

First micro event consisted of participating in the Rock ‘n’ Roll 5k race (July 18th). The goal of this event was to boost awareness of the charity, show our commitment to the cause, and potentially inspire donations.

Second micro event was a bowling afternoon (July 26th) where profits where proceeds from the night were donated to the charity. This event also served as means to promote charity and event awareness.

Third micro event consisted of a “Dine and Share” night (July 30th) at a local Chick-Fil-A near the location of the service event. A percentage, 15%, of revenues for a designated time period was donated to FMSC on our behalf. This also served as an opportunity to promote our service event and the charity.

Our service event (August 1st) aimed to bring a group of people together to pack food into boxes at a local facility for Feed My Starving Children.

Objective and Success Measures

Our team collectively identified 3 objectives to focus on from start to finish:

  • Raise awareness of FMSC (measurable)
  • Raise donations for FMSC (measurable)
  • Ensure the project is enjoyable and fun (subjective)

To meet the awareness objective and drive donations we created a Facebook page as well as a Twitter page. We were able to promote our events, share updates, and receive comments from our followers. In addition we utilized free of charge online marketing services such as Metromix, Fun in the Burbs, Evently, and Timeout. We also distributed and displayed event flyers in Public libraries and other local businesses.

The following are the results of our success measures we have identified to ensure that our objectives are accomplished:

  • Donations: $4,544.20
  • Number of unique donors: 33
  • Number of people at bowling event: 57
  • Number of people at packing event: 50
  • Total number of like or followers on Facebook and Twitter: 211

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 We have learned from our experience. We strongly recommend the following:

  • Assign a Project Manager at the beginning of the project
  • Establish a regular schedule and stick with it
  • Decide on a method of communication to minimize confusion

Lessons Learned

We have learned from our successes as well as some of the difficulties we experienced throughout the project’s durations. Here are 3 we have all identified to be most important.

  • Having a designated, responsible, and dependable Project Manager on the team from beginning to end is crucial. We have identified a member of the team to take the lead at the beginning and it helped tremendously.
  • Using web based communication tools was very helpful and it encouraged every member to stay on task and current with responsibilities. It also created transparency, allowing each member to see the status of the project. Some tools used included Trello, Slack, and Google Drive.
  • Not having all of the event attendees’ names created confusion. Using Eventbrite to track the number of reservations was very convenient. However, one person was able to reserve more than one spot with one name.


Benefits and Drawbacks of PM

As we near to the end of our MBA program I decided to look into several different certifications that are available for PM. I thought it would be beneficial to understand how employers view PM certifications and what benefits they can have on your career. I found several articles that clearly define the benefits of being certified but I also was able to find some disadvantages that one should be mindful of.

Obtaining PM certifications obviously holds benefits. Regardless of what business field you decide to pursue, having PM certification enhances the resume and can open doors to PM positions if you do not already have sufficient experience. Additionally, salaries for those individuals tend to be higher, anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 annually. Further, the PM certifications and education enables stronger communication skills. Although the certification does not teach communication skills, it does allow for standardized vocabulary and set of best practices. Another benefit of obtaining a PM certification now allows you to be more versatile especially due to the forecasted high demand for PM jobs in the near future.

I was interested to find some disadvantages of getting PM certified. Some of the drawbacks to consider before entering the field of PM is the long hours that are often times required for that role. Additionally the expense of getting certified can be pretty high. Further, passing the PM exam does not necessarily deem you an expert in project management. This simply implies that you have a good grasp on the framework of project management process. Additionally, having to stay PM certified, it is required to earn credits every three years which also have costs associated with attending classes as well as costs to renew your certification every year.

Overall, I believe that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages of becoming PM certified. However, it is clear to me that if one is to pursue a career in PM, getting certified requires some serious commitment to the role of a PM. However, since the career in PM is so versatile and transferable within different industries, it is in my opinion that it is a desirable skill and is appealing to any employer within any industry. According to Project Management Institute, it is estimated that there will be 6.2 million new jobs from 2010 to 2020.  According to the source, the projection is on track. A career in PM is on the rise and it is worth considering the commitment.




Boy, Was I Wrong!

Boy, Was I Wrong!

Misinterpretation of the true role held by a Project Manager is very common. I am one of the individuals who had a poor understanding of all the responsibilities and the impact a PM has on a given project. Working for a Fortune 500 company, I imagined that the level of exposure and understanding in that area of my interest will be extensive. Boy, was I wrong!

I have worked in the manufacturing industry providing product and process solutions to mostly manufacturers in automotive rubber components market. Our management was determined to look into other markets for potential opportunities. The goal was to research a new potential industry to penetrate. The project objectives were established by the management, as was the budget and the timeframe for project completion.  Our goal was to identify the sales potential, get feedback from the manufacturers using the product to determine their pain points, identify risks, familiarize ourselves with competition, identify future market growth, and identify any trends.

This was the first time I was involved in a project and I thought to myself “it is a Fortune 500 company, they must have a great PMO in place”. In the duration of the project, everything that could have been done wrong, was done wrong. As I read the following article, I was able to identify the areas the group’s PM failed to implement. Additionally, by identifying those practices, it allowed me to better understand the importance that a PM plays in group.

The article lists 10 best practices for a successful project management. Our group failed to follow several of those practices:

  1. Project Workplan – Oops! I think we forgot that step. There was no outlined project deliverables or any timeframe estimates.
  2. Define Project Management Procedures – This was not discussed. Assumptions was that we will communicate via e-mail, and concerns were addressed directly to the PM who would determine the significance of the issue.
  3. Manage Workplan, Monitor Schedule and Budget – The budget was not discussed with the group. The PM would determine where and how much should be spent. There was not progress schedule posted anywhere. The PM would check in on our progress and discussed during meetings. When we were lagging behind, the group was told by the PM.
  4. Managing Scope– Scope creep became an issue right away. We failed to clearly identify what our scope was and members of the group were focusing on items not relevant to the project.
  5. Assess Potential Risks – We found that it was very difficult securing any face-time with individuals necessary to answer our questions. It definitely impacted the data quantity and reliability.

It is clear that the PM was not a qualified candidate for the role. What was even clearer to me was that Project Management was a new concept for my company. Although my experience was poor, I learned how important having a qualified PM is to have on a project.