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PM Essence

Enhance Quality Volunteering Experience – The ISO way


By - Lt. Col. L. Shri Harsha (Retd.), PgMP, PMP
The ISO 9001: 2008 certification of the Chapter is a great opportunity to enhance the volunteering experience with the Chapter. Prior experiences of ISO practices at the work place would definitely influence one to think that it is going to be a process driven place with lots of documentation to complete, a demanding system, which one would like to avoid. I tend to look at it from a different perspective – a basket of opportunities waiting to be explored and experimented with.. 
A lot of ground work has been successfully done by the experienced volunteers in preparing for the certification audit, resulting in many routine activities of the Chapter being reasonably well documented. Correctly leveraged by the Chapter members, the procedures and manuals prepared by the core team will definitely enable smoother functioning in various volunteer roles. When a new volunteer comes on-board, in whatever role, inducting them into that role will be that much easier. No more apprehensions on things going wrong due to lack of guidance, trial or error methods and reinventing the wheel time and again.
While the current systems put in place serves as a basic framework, there is ample scope for the volunteers to contribute to improve the entire system. Channelizing experiences, recommendations for exceptions and non-standardized activities can be captured in the form of feedbacks, which can then be incorporated into the procedures and manuals. In fact, this will create a window to experience the route one can take to become a contributor to the next edition of the PMBOK. Imagine the pride when your name figures at the end of the book!!!! Wow!!!!
Though documentation is an inevitable and integral part of the system, providing feedback on the existing procedures and manuals with the constructive and improvement objective in mind is no easy task. It challenges your intellect, polishes your written communication skills and the art of articulating your thoughts. The extra, mileage which one can think off straight away, with the National Conference further in the year, is bench marking your written skills with a technical paper submission and of course simplify the PDU collections efforts.
And the icing on the cake, you are a part of “The Bangalore India Chapter”, the first and only one in India to be certified as an ISO 9001: 2008 compliant Chapter. So go ahead, take pride, and partner with the Chapter in charting a brighter future. Volunteer confidently, experiment with opportunities to enhance your own skills and grow professionally. “Happy Volunteering”.