As part of a business strategic process, many organisation have incorporated corporate social responsibility (CSR) into their everyday business operation process. An example can be seen with IKEA’s partnership with Save the Children International, where a part of the profit made from their children’s section is donated to help to provide educational materials as well as vaccines to children in developing countries.
The purpose of been socially responsive goes beyond the financial gains. An example of another CSR project I know is Volunteer Corp which was set up as an educational foundation by the Chairman Charms Plc . Having accessed, the quality of education in Nigeria the founder decided to set up an NGO to help student in government school by providing extra tutorial classes in the area where they were struggling. At the end of the year scholarship up to the university education is given to students with outstanding performance.
So, how does project management play a vital role in promoting a cause ? In order setting, most organisation outsource their CSR responsibilities in other to focus more on the business core area. Others simply have a department in the business that handles all CSR projects. For each project to be successful, it needs to be properly planned and executed. Project Managers are mostly responsible for delivering quality projects, the are also at the front line of understanding which environmental, physical and social aspect of their endeavor can endanger the environment. Rather than turn a blind eye to how their activities influence their environment, they must take the initiative of engaging management to take actions that can sustain their environment.
Identifying a social cause is not enough, all shareholders must be aware of what their role and responsibilities are. Communication is also very vital, by using the right tools, and presenting your idea or the need to promote a social cause. Do not just assume everyone understands how your proposed ideas would add value to your organisation it must be document i.e increase in x,y,z.
Finally, it is important to carry all the team members along your project. Ensuring that all your team member are part of this social cause is a key factor to deliver a social project. Also, do not let the project revolve around you. Yes you may be the initiator or convener of an idea but remember you alone cannot do all the work.
Also remember Rome was not build in a day.