Communities in Nature Partners brainstormed which plants have the qualities of a good project manager…
a dandelion because it comes out when others don’t want them
a willow because it is a good communicator – willows give off chemicals to signal other trees when caterpillars attack them
an oak because it is strong
a marigold because it is bright and cheerful
a clematis because it has tendrils everywhere
a bindweed because they are very persistent and if broken they can still regenerate from the smallest sections!
Here are some ideas from Dr. Helen Goulding (Quercus training ), project management expert, on how botanic gardens can manage their projects more effectively.
- Be clear on what you’re doing – what does the end point look like?
- Be clear on why you’re doing it – what benefits does the project bring?
- Be enthusiastic, passionate, energetic and others will follow you
- Don’t rush in. Plan the project carefully and share your plan with key people
- When planning, write down every task needed, put them in order and then write down how long each one takes and who will do it
- Communicate constantly so everyone feels engaged and informed
- Anticipate risks and try to prevent or minimise them
- Tackle problems straight away and don’t be afraid to ask others for ideas and help
- Get feedback from project participants as you progress, not just at the end
- Keep a note of what you learned during the project – it will help you next time
? WHAT does the finished project look like?
? WHEN does it have to be done by?
? WHY are we doing it?
? HOW are we going to do it?
? WHO is involved in the project?
- Be positive, energetic, motivating, honest and friendly
- Keep people informed by communicating constantly
- Write down specific tasks / responsibilities for everyone and monitor these
- Hold regular progress meetings and encourage open discussion of problems
- Tackle bad behaviour quickly and firmly, do not ignore it