Green Project Management: Book Review
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Rich Maltzman, PMP, along with Dave Shirley, PMP, authored a timely book, Green Project Management: Planet, Projects, Profits, People. It taps into the trend of greening projects.
Maltzman & Shirley actually coined a term to describe how green a project was: it’s called “greenality”, which is a combination of quality and greenness.
We have chosen to define greenality as “the degree to that an organization has considered environmental factors (green) that affect its projects throughout the entire project lifecycle and beyond.”
Are you able to be green if your project is merely a standard, mundane one? Not everyone can save the forests. Shirley and Maltzman show that not everyone can save the rainforests. They discuss the’spectrum green’ upon which all projects should fall.
Yes, the rainforest projects are green. But, software development companies that use collaboration tools to cut costs on flying executives across the country for meetings.
There are many examples and practical advice in the book about how to manage your project throughout its lifecycle in a sustainable manner. Chapters 5, 6, and 7 discuss the lifecycle, including how to introduce greenality and get your team to see it as a crusade against climate change.
Although many would not suggest that green projects are bad for the environment, there must be a business case in the harsh world business to change the way we do business. There is.
Shirley and Maltzman show that there is a business link between people, planet, and profit. Be green and save money. Efficiency is a better use of human resources. It also reduces the cost of other resources, making the project more affordable. Everyone wins.
Green project managers are often not aware of it. We are always trying to reduce costs, increase the value and protect scarce resources. Project managers have learned from hundreds of projects that a project with high greenality scores is more likely to be efficient and effective. This means that it will save money and resources. A project with a high score in greenality is good for the bottom line.
Chapter 13 is filled with quick tips. However, I find the structure of the chapter less effective. It is arranged by the person who provided them and not thematically. This chapter could use some editing. This is the only problem with this book.
There are many positives to this – few project management texts can talk about something new and different. You will find some wonderful concepts in this book, including the brilliant idea of “hope creep” for when stakeholder expectations exceed your ability to deliver.
It was an interesting read. While some may dismiss green project management as a fad or a trend, project managers should continue to be aware of the constraints that exist in the business environment and be open to adopting new ways of working.