Perwich connected with RefineM through the Project Management Institute (PMI). “Adding project management capacity internally was prohibitively expensive, so I decided to bring in a third party provider. RefineM demonstrated they had subject matter expertise in project management. They are experts at what they do.”
RefineM began working with Enactus to develop project management best practices, including a master project plan initially focused on Enactus’ largest event, the United States National Exposition, involving over 4,000 participants. As the master plan matured and evolved, smaller events were incrementally added to expand the plan’s reach. A RefineM project manager was assigned to Enactus to oversee the progress.
Transitioning to a systems oriented approach was a “heavy lift,” said Rachel Mobley, VP, Marketing Communications & Operations. But she said staff appreciates that they are getting time back as they gain efficiencies and meetings are increasingly shorter and fewer. “As a nonprofit, we run a slim operation and we all wear many hats. Now that we have systems in place to keep our projects organized and on track, it has greatly reduced the last minute scramble. It’s been a real pressure reliever.”
Most of all, Mobley is relieved to know that Enactus’ knowledge capital no longer only resides in the “heads” of the staff. “Before, nothing was written down,” she said. “We now have the comfort of having documentation in place.”
As for Perwich, he is pleased to now present RefineM as a key component of Enactus’s organizational chart. “As a contractor, RefineM brings us a very important capacity that we were missing,” he said. “We are continually improving with their help. This story highlights the fact that, as an organization, you can’t stop because you don’t have the people or capacity in place. And, as it turns out, project management lends itself well to outsourcing. ”
Enactus continues today as a RefineM customer. RefineM serves as their Outsourced PMO (Project Management Office) and helps Enactus with project planning.