A lot has been written recently about the virtues and advantages of virtual organizations. From the ability to find unbelievable talent anywhere in the world, to reduced overhead costs, to bringing in more diverse viewpoints and cultures. All of these things are true. But sometimes, there’s just no substitution for getting everyone in the same room to work through the big issues.
This was true for PM4NGOs this past weekend, with the Board of Directors meeting in Washington D.C. for 3 days of meetings, discussions, and camaraderie. The current Board includes members based the US, the UK, China, Jordan and Lebanon, and our Operations Manager is in Brazil. With such a globally dispersed group, and the accompanying time multiple zones, the time available for total group collaboration is obviously limited. Technology is a great enabler, but as all cultures have shown, there’s no substitute for sitting down over a meal together and just talking.
This was I think especially true for our newest Board members Lisa and Peter, who had not met the rest of the Board before. During this meeting the Board reviewed the past few years, and planned for the future. This included looking at and celebrating our successes to date – 17,000+ individuals certified as PMD Pro (representing 611 organizations from 151 countries), launching both the PMD Pro Starter and the Guide to Program Management in Development, and several presentations at industry conferences.
But while the past is always fun to look at, the real work is in the future. And this is where the Board focused its attention for 3 days. We looked at what’s on the horizon, short term, and where can PM4NGOs can provide the most benefit, long term. And we came up with some pretty interesting, and admittedly, pretty ambitious, goals. From developing new or updating current Guides, to adding supplemental material, to developing more regional representation, to new ways of ensuring that PM4NGOs remains the driving force in improving project management capacity and methods in international development and humanitarian aid projects and NGOs. There’s even something coming up for professional development.
As always, we kept the the end user in mind for all discussions, those individuals doing the work in the field, and asked ourselves ‘how do we make sure that it’s as accessible as possible to all’.
At the end, we all left excited and energized, and ready to move forward with implementing our new goals. It should prove to be interesting and exciting 2018 to say the least. And if we do it right, we’ll be helping to move forward with both our Mission and Vision.