I’ve been managing projects remotely for the past three years so going mostly green on my projects has happened out of necessity and convenience. Telecommuting and running Paperless Projects are just two ways that an organization can adapt in their approach to greener project management and implementation oversight of their software solutions. Let’s look closer at each of these options:
As I said, I’ve been telecommuting and managing projects remotely for the past three years. The company that I’ve performed most of my PM work for allows all of their PMs to function remotely. Thus, they’ve eliminated several costs in the way of floor space, desks/furniture, and additional travel expenses.
I’ve also found personally that working remotely means I’m more productive, I often work longer hours when necessary and take less vacation and sick days. Since I don’t have to drive to the office and lose 1-2 hours per day performing that function, I have more time to work and I’m willing to do work at 11pm from home when it’s necessary rather than having the attitude that I’ve ‘put in my 8 hours!’
Going paperless, to me, is one of the most obvious changes we can make. I used to work on a large government contract where I led a formal project review on a quarterly basis with the costumer – alternating between Iowa and Washington DC. Not only did 10-20 people have to travel each way for the meetings, but my staff and I also put together a 100-120-page status book with charts and graphs for every meeting and published 30-40 copies. That’s a lot of paper. One time we even had to purchase an extra plane ticket just to ship the large box of status books to the meeting!
For the past three years I’ve been almost exclusively paperless in my project management methods. All status reports, project plan updates, status meeting notes, issues/risks lists, etc. are all created and delivered electronically. The only paper that has been created has been occasional hardcopy output of the Project Kickoff materials for the meetings at the beginning of each project. That’s fairly acceptable since it’s the first time that you’re actually in front of the customer face-to-face on each project. After that, it’s all paperless.
It’s important to cut costs and unnecessary waste, but don’t let that mean in turn that you drop the ball on the customer. If the customer doesn’t feel like they are getting enough time and attention, they will not be a happy customer overall.
These are just a few of the ways that companies can push a greener agenda. There are only so many ways you can help that out with your project management processes. I personally feel that remote PM – maybe not entirely, but to a great degree – and going paperless are the two biggest ways that an organization can go green with their PM processes.
I originally authored this article for the Real Deal Technologies website. The original post appears here.