No One Fights Alone

No One Fights Alone

Our team decided to work with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to raise awareness and donations to benefit the research and support of children with cancer.  We planned an event at the Chicago Loop Sports Bar and Grill in Streamwood, IL.  In order to raise money, we held a raffle and charged admission of $5.  We sought out donations from local businesses and Chicago sports teams in the form of tickets and gift cards.  We also created a Facebook page where we paid for advertising to reach out to people both locally and around the world to spread awareness about childhood cancer.


About St. Baldrick’s Foundation

This foundation really hit home for some of our group members as some of us have kids or work in the medical field where we see these children fighting for their lives.  According to St. Baldrick’s, 175,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year.  Cancer causes more deaths than any other disease or deformity in children.  This is a fairly new foundation that was founded in 2000.  St. Baldrick’s is known for their head shaving events which happen in March.  These shaving events are in support of the children who are diagnosed with cancer and many times lose their hair due to the chemotherapy and radiation treatments.  In the more recent years, this foundation has been supporting many other events such as eating contests, 5k run/walks, bake sales and many more.  This foundation is dedicated the overall transparency with their financials. For every dollar they receive, about 75 cents goes to research for a cure.  To note, their administration fees make up only 3.7% of their total funding.  Our group found this to be remarkable in comparison to many other foundations that we considered.

MC Matt

-Raise awareness on all the main social media platforms
-Reach over 500 likes and followers on Facebook
-Raise over $5,000 in donations combined from our event and online outreach

Donations $$


Our event alone raised $2,915 which exceeded our forecast of $1,500.  We were able to reach 164 likes on Facebook and 7,303 page/post views.  Through our donations from work, friends and online support we were able to donate a total of $6,010.  We consider this a great success as we not only hit our donation goal but also we reached out to over 7,303 users on Facebook to spread awareness.

Lessons Learned

There are many notable lessons that we learned throughout this event.  We all agree that communication needs to be regular and everyone needs to be on the same page with initiatives.  Our regular communication via text and email proved to be effective and not overwhelming.  Communication is the key to a successful project and we cannot stress that enough.  Second, we learned that we need to be flexible with our plans.  Many things come up along the road to a successful event.  Our group had to cope with many obstacles and changes in order to successfully plan our event and hit our goals.  Third, we recommend setting ambitious yet achievable goals.  If we set a goal of raising $1000, we would have quit fundraising before the event even started. The goal needs to be within your reach but not easily achievable in order to keep motivation high.  Last but not least, we recommend leveraging your network as much as possible.  This was exceedingly important in the success of our event.

st baldricks logo

Advice for future groups and project managers
-Leverage your networks
-Communicate regularly
-Hold weekly check-ins
-Local businesses are quicker to help than corporations
-Use social media to your advantage
-Set an ambitious yet achievable goal
-Pick a charity that all the group members are moved by

Closing Thoughts

Overall, this project great experience.  We learned and demonstrated project management skills all while contributing to an honorable cause.  Our group had a great time bonding and seeing our hard work pay off.

Cancer Killers Group Pic

Thanks all for your support!
-Cancer Sucks- No One Fights Alone!

Mind Mapping Your Way to Success

“Project management deals in organized chaos”. This quote immediately caught my eye when looking for a project management article to share.  After seeing projects unfold both at work and in class, I could not agree more with the accuracy of this statment.  This article is called “8 Ways a Mind Map Can Declutter Your Project Management” by Rob Marvin.

The article begins to describe what a mind map is and why we use them.  This goes right along with our class as we have been practicing mind maps with a few different activities including the wedding plan and the employment plan.  To refresh, these are the maps that have arrows pointing to the next topic or agenda item and are similar to a flow chart or matrix.

Let me first list lay out the ways a mind map can declutter your project and then I will go into a few of my favorite recommendations that I feel are most helpful.

1.) Professional Doodling
2.) A presentation Tool
3.) Brainstorming Sessions
4.) Task Delegation
5.) A Master Idea Repository
6.) Symbol Shorthand
7.) A Living Workflow
8.) Integrating Your Solutions

I believe all of these tools are very helpful and a great refresher when considering a mind map.  I will describe my top 3.

First, I think #4 Task Delegation is critical to mind mapping.  When organizing a projects tasks, this should be considered in all aspects of the mind map.  Effectively delegating tasks on the mind map will make a project flow efficiently.

Second, I liked the idea of #7, creating the living workflow.  This is something we did in our RFI’s and I think it is something that the project manager needs to keep a close eye on as the project progresses.  A living workflow is described as a visual representation of a project and it lays out all the moving parts of the project in a chronological order.  This allows the project manager to track progress and milestones.

Last, I believe #3 the Brainstroming Sessions are critical to the success of a project.  Not only does this help in coming up with different routes to achieve a goal, but it also makes people feel as if they contributed.  A project is likely to have more success if a team buys into the project tasks and isn’t just following something that a manager told them to do.

What steps do you think are important?

Are there any ways that this article didn’t mention that you thought it should have?,2817,2492335,00.asp

Project Management Tools- Which one is right for your firm?

Though I have little experience as an actual project manager, I have had the opportunity to use many in house project management tools that my firm has developed or acquired.  As discussed in lecture, project managers are now looking at ways to implement virtual tools and cloud based applications to increase efficiency and communication.  As these applications are being demanded more and more, the tools that each application offers are also getting more extensive and hard to choose from.  After reading about firms worldwide who use these project management tools, I found an article that rated the many applications and listed the importance and focus of each application.  I must stress that it is critical to the success of a project manager to choose the right application or resource for their project. A wrong choice in applications or software could cost the firm in wasted time and resources.

The article called “Exploring Functionality of Mobile Applications for Project Management” was very interesting to me in identifying the tools importance, what project managers should focus on and why applications scored higher than the other.

I found this article especially interesting as I have worked for a company who often times will acquire project management application firms to gain exclusivity to their applications.

What is important when choosing an application?

From the many articles I have read and the research presented in the article linked above, I have found there are many similar application themes that project managers are focused on.  The top 5 themes that seem consistent and most important across the board are:

  1. Cloud based capability and mobile access
  2. High security
  3. Highly organized and able to analyze data
  4. Ability to track status, budget, and view statistics/projections
  5. Email integration and file sharing

Obviously this is just an over view of what these tools can do.  Many are equipped with software that will analyze data, create invoices, track expenses, assist with planning, perform risk analysis, and offer the ability to customize.

Takeaways and tips for choosing the right tools

Before purchasing a project management application, project managers must identify what is important and what works for their respective firm.  These tools are not a one size fits all offering.  Many of these tools will offer customization and support to assist a firm in achieving their specific goal. But we must keep in mind that many of these services will have additional costs associated with this support.  A firm should perform an analysis on cost, goals, use among a wide array of projects, support and much more.  Firms must also focus on the aspects of implementation, training, support and updates.

Project management tools are necessary for staying competitive in today’s fast paced business world.  The success of a project depends highly on the tools a firm utilizes.  Be informed and choose wisely.

-Please share instances where your firms use project management applications and describe what seems to be important when choosing the software.