What will it take to get green project
management software into the marketplace?
More demand for green thinking in projects.
stewardship and net cost savings.
“Don’t travel,” he advises. “That’s a basic thing. We’re
talking about something saving thousands of dollars.”
Air and road travel generate expenses on the balance
sheet and pollution in the atmosphere, and are often
invoked in projects for the sole purpose of meeting face-
to-face with dispersed team members and stakeholders.
Several conference-calling software options offer a vari-
ety of benefits:
n Go ToMeeting is an online conference-calling system
that allows up to 15 attendees for US$49 per month or
US$468 per year. Meetings can also be recorded.
n Web-based Tinychat doesn’t have the bells and
whistles of other tools, but it’s free and allows up to 12
webcams to stream simultaneously in the same chat
room. A virtually unlimited number of users can also
log in for text-based chat.
n Cisco’s WebEx requires a US$49-per-month subscrip-
tion for each host, which allows 25 participants to
join in. Meetings can also be recorded. A nice bonus:
WebEx’s site has a calculator to help you figure out your
carbon emission reductions by having virtual meetings.
Whatever options you choose to leverage for communication and connection, remember that nixing in-person
meetings doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the quality
of your interaction. If anything, conducting meetings and
other communications virtually might better enable rapport between team members because communication
can be free and frequent.
Stakeholders may also appreciate the opportunity to
exchange big in-person status meetings for a regular
slate of online information exchanges. And virtually
every method of online communication offers a record
of the project’s ongoing conversation, which can be
used as a reference.
Use Virtual Project Folders
(on Other Companies’ Servers)
“There are free options out there, services you can use
for virtual project folders,” advises Mr. Shirley. “Rather
than having to use your own servers, you can use other
That saves on IT maintenance costs, electricity,
heating and cooling.
“You might not even have your own data center,” he
adds. “You don’t have to purchase that equipment. Yes,
there are fees that are charged by service providers. But it’s
nowhere near what it would cost to set up your own data
centers, besides all the things that go with the data center:
energy use, heat dissipation and all that sort of stuff.”
Google Docs and Microsoft’s Workspace provide
free file sharing and virtual project folders, but Sosius
offers more robust management. The site has two packages, at US$50 or US$100 a month, that provide personal and group storage space, enhanced security, and
web and e-mail support.
In fact, large chunks of most projects can be completed without the use of paper products. Forego printing e-mails and create documentation in PDF format
so it can be shared on desktops, tablets and handhelds
without creating needless waste.
“The more efficient you can be,” Mr. Shirley says,
“the more money you can make.”
JOIN PMI’S GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE
Share your ideas about going green and learn some new ones from other project managers.
“There’s a lot of information on sustainability and green thinking there,” says David Shirley, PMP.
“It’s a very active community.” Visit the community of practice at sustainability.vc.PMI.org.