Earth-worthy projects

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There is a Green Wave sweeping the country – and the planet.  Have project managers – the very people who will institute green projects – missed the boat?  Do they realize that there are ‘green’ things they can do even if their project doesn’t have a single wind turbine or carbon scrubber in it?  We’re wondering how many project managers consider the environment in their projects.  In fact we have just started a LinkedIn Poll on the subject, you can start out your reading of this blog by temporarily exiting it, voting, and then coming back.  For you linear thinkers this can also be viewed as a good opportunity to practice some nonlinear activities.  Voting will take 5 seconds or less.  It will be even quicker if you are already logged into LinkedIn.

Here is the link:  http://polls.linkedin.com/p/49729/tqusk

Thanks for your vote.  You did vote, right?  Well, welcome back.

What is the greenality™ of your PMO, and by default, your projects?  Greenality (a word we’ve coined over here at EarthPM – check wikipedia and UrbanDictionary)  is the degree to which a project has considered environmental (green) factors that affect a project during the entire project life cycle.  It is critical for those with PMOs that they approach greenality from an overarching viewpoint.  The PMO is where the “buck starts”.  There is power there to manage project management resources and project resources across the organization.  It is also a place where greenality coaching takes place to verify that all project managers are environmentally aware.  The PMO is – or has the potential to be – the greenality policymaking body and sets the standard for their project management community, larger organization, and their business in general.  If you have no PMO…that doesn’t mean you are exempt – you should still read on…
Initiating a Project

Have you, as a project manager, your PMO, and your larger organization adopted the 5 Assertions of EarthPM?  See below.

FiveAssertions

Is there a green commitment in your Project Charter template? Project Managers should be putting a greenality statement in their Project Charter, identifying up front that they intend for their project to be carbon-neutral, or at least to acknowledge environmental impact(s) and set clearly-stated environmental objectives for the project.  An example would be, “I (we) the undersigned request that the project manager use all means necessary to insure that the project processes and product reduce the carbon footprint as much as possible.  If, however, it is not possible to reduce the carbon footprint on parts of the project or the product, I (we) hereby authorize the purchase of carbon offsets to be included in the project budget.  Additionally, I (we) request that environmental impacts and mitigation strategies be included in with the project’s risks.” By including a statement like this in the Project Charter Template, indicates that the organization truly acknowledged its commitment to being as eco-friendly as possible.

Have you considered the full set of stakeholders – including those who will be effected by the PRODUCT of your project – during intitiation?  This is critical, whether your project is of an environmental nature or not.

At EarthPM we have already been pushing the PMI to incorporate environmental concerns into both new editions of the Code of Ethics and Professional Responsiblity as well as adding and modifying processes for the 5th Edition PMBOK(R) Guide.

If this interests you, please check out our site, http://earthpm.com .  We will be continuing a series of articles on the other process groups (Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing).

We’d also like to leave you with a great book recommendation: Green To Gold, by Daniel Esty and Andrew Winston.

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2 thoughts on “Earth-worthy projects”

  1. Dear Fellow Project Managers,
    Rich is absolutely spot on in asserting that green issues should be part of the charter of any project. The British Computer Society has introduced a Green IT qualification this year, updated its PM qualifications with green IT as a course session in its Certificate course and made a major contribution to Green Data Centres with an authoritative White paper telling people how to reduce the carbon footprint dramatically. Search the web-site for details or google them.
    Kindest Regards
    Jill

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