How does a successful post manage the many programs and projects it undertakes? Be it planning for a Memorial Day event, a program such as Patriot’s Pen, or keeping the post in good repair, a post needs to plan for success.
Project Management is what we call this process. Someone has to take all of the information about a project and compile a list of things to do. It is more than a collection of notes on a scratch pad, sticky notes, or a notebook.
The first step is to gather the information provided you by the district or department and then come up with a list of things to do, who will do them (or assist the program or project chair), set dates for completion for each stage of a project, and then put everything together as a project plan. The project manager can then track progress and completion of action items, know what is working or failing, and take action.
Imagine a post meeting with a project chairman ready to report on a project, its status, and results. Imagine the chairman providing a report on the project status, what is pending, and what is going on–and providing a written report. And, when the program is complete, the chairman can provide a complete package for post records that can be used for a recurring project.
Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it. It is. However, you can use no-cost tools to help you. Most importantly, you will have a plan to work with. You will also have information (or the history of the project) that can be used by other members of your post.
You can also do all of this using software that is free, using Open Source software. Consider ProjectLibre.
ProjectLibre is not a Cracker Jack box toy solution. It equals or surpasses Microsoft Project and is free to use. Visit their website and scan down to take a look at some of the names of organizations using it. Click here
For non-technical comrades, there is a less demanding solution. Read on.
- Does a software solution seem too much for your little post? Maybe it is, maybe not. Before you turn the page and shrug your shoulders, take a look at this video on the basics of project management. It’s an Idiot’s Guide-style presentation. Watching the video will open your mind to new ways to look at your next post project. It may be the difference between success and failure.
– Lee Heavlin, Post 9100