A representative from a community church approached me to manage an eight week fundraising project, codenamed SPUD. The project goal was to "Host a booth and sell baked potatoes at a multi-day local fair".
Case Study: Managing a Volunteer Project to Sell Baked Potatoes
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SWaynePow'Rful Presentations Newsletter
February 2010 - The Business of Project Management
Pow'Rful Presentations is a relatively monthly investigation of ideas, strategies and techniques to assist readers be more present in life, better project managers and make effective presentations (in all senses of the word).
Disclaimer - depending on your background, and my South African origins, you may find some of my spelling and grammar to be "imaginative".
© Wayne Botha 2010
Is your project a professional services business?
Using your business skills for project profitability
Imagine that your project management service is a micro consulting business. Imagine for a moment that you are principal consultant of YPMC (Your Project Management Consulting)
What would you need to do to stay in business? You would need to market your services, network with prospects, articulate the value of your services and constantly keep an eye on efficiency to maintain a healthy bottom line for YPMC.
Although most project managers work in large organizations, you can apply many of your business skills to manage your projects as if you were the principal consultant of YPMC. Applying the skills below will set you apart from other project managers who are merely going through the motions of updating project plans and facilitating status meetings.
1. Determine what the value of your services are, and articulate them when you get the opportunity. What would it cost to deliver the project without your skills? $5 million, due to missed deadlines and running into avoidable problems? What would the project cost be if the product was never delivered? If you can't articulate the value of your services, then why are you managing the project? Would the project sponsors have a better ROI (Return On Investment) if the project was not managed? It could be a hard question to ask, but it may be the wake-up call for you.
2. Learn how to market yourself and your project. Just as if you were YPMC, learn the value of telling the world what you do.
3. Network with prospects. Lunch with more senior project managers and learn from them. Meet with potential sponsors for future projects. Ask project sponsors for their view - what would they like to get from a project manager? If you were running YPMC, then you would be surveying clients - do the same for your organizational project sponsors.
4. Create metrics to determine the internal efficiency of your project management processes. How much does it cost to produce your weekly status dashboard? What is the value to your consumers? How can you provide additional value or reduce the cost of producing your status reports?
5. Take care of you. As principal consultant for YPMC, you should be scheduling annual vacations and exercising regularly. You work for money and no-one works for the sake of working. Make sure to enjoy the fruits of your labors with vacations and good health.
These tips will get you started as you view your project management service as a micro-consulting business. There are many more business tactics to apply once you change your view from "employee" to YPMC.
Most project managers don't view project management as a professional service. They view it as a job and go through the motions for a paycheck. However, you can distinguish yourself when you identify and articulate the value of your services.
Tips for Toastmasters.
If you are in Toastmasters, then this tip will help you to get more out of your journey. 
Look for the patterns of graduation in your Toastmasters journey. I bet you are saying to yourself "What on earth is Wayne talking about now?"
I will use one example on the Toastmasters Leadership path, although it applies to many other situations as well. When I accepted the role of Area Governor, I was scared. I did not know what was expected of me and wanted to do a good job. After filling the role for about six months I was getting the hang of it and after a year, I was performing well in the role. I became comfortable in the role. Then my term was up and I was graduated out of the role. This meant I had to move on and take on a new role. This is a hidden benefit of the Toastmasters program - your leadership term has a start and an end, and you are graduated out of the leadership role when your time is up, like it or not.
This forced graduation makes you take your newly learned skills and move on. You have new skills that you can apply to other areas of life, leadership roles in other organizations, or to take on a larger leadership role in Toastmasters.
Now, given that we need to graduate out of each position in order to take on the next position, how can you apply this to other areas of your life? Where are you comfortable in a role and reluctant to graduate from it? What skills have you gained that an outsider would prompt you to apply to new situations?
The other question is: If you don't graduate yourself in other areas of life, who will graduate you? The Toastmasters program graduates leaders every year and you make way for new leaders. However, in life, you have to graduate yourself - most of the time no-one else does it for you.
Therefore, in your Toastmasters journey, look for the patterns of graduation. How do you feel when you are graduated from a leadership role? What did it take for your to be graduated from your comfort zone? What do you go on to achieve with your new found skills? How can you apply this pattern to other areas of your life?
My embarrassing moment of the week. 
When I wrote my second book (Dodging the Bullet Points), I was proud as punch. I printed out the manuscript and showed it to my wife. She was sitting on the couch and thumbed through it. After months of burning the midnight oil, I was expecting "Well done! Excellent work!" or something similar.

Without hesitation, she blurted "Do you want me to point out the glaring errors now, or wait until I have time to list them all". 
I help project managers manage their careers. People who work with me say that they enjoy being part of projects that run like clockwork. If you know a project manager whose career needs some help, then refer me and I will schedule a sample coaching session to see if we can work together.
Do you need a project management speaker for your conference? Contact me and let's discuss if I am the right speaker for your audience.
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Email me with any problems or questions that you have about project management or presentations and I will attempt to address them in a future newsletter.

More next time!

Wayne Botha

Copyright 2017 Wayne Botha Email Wayne Cell: 860.214.4897