A few days ago, one of the chapter members, perhaps contemplating whether to renew their PMI and chapter membership asked questions about my experience as a PMI member. The member was not alone in this contemplation. In fact, that was we all ought to do at regular junctures in our life; look back and decide whether to proceed or to stop or change direction.
His questions went like this; What’s it been like for you as a project manager and member of the Project management Institute? How has your path been? Which other PMs (not in chapter leadership) have you gotten to know, perhaps in your line of work and collaborated with? What were the outcomes? Who would you recommend for similar projects? What industries do our members practice in? What value can each of us give the other? What’s been your personal experience? Why would you continue to be both a PMI member and keep your affiliation to Zimbabwe Chapter?
For me being a Project Manager has been satisfying and being a PMI member has opened the floodgates of knowledge and opportunities for personal and professional development. Although I didn’t get a new higher paying job since I attained my certification, I haven’t waited for good things to handed over to me. I have made sure that the way I work on my current job and other activities as a project manager brings a lot of good success not only for my personal satisfaction but for the benefit of others as well.
I joined PMI when I decided to pursue the PMP certification. I started as a member of the South Africa chapter since the Zimbabwe chapter had not been launched at that time. One of the benefits that I expected from chapter membership was networking. Although my attendance for physical meetings was limited by geographical location, since I was based in Harare, I made most of the opportunities that I got when I attended the chapter events in Johannesburg. I came to know a number of project managers from South Africa during my time as a SA chapter member. I have kept these connections.
Being a PMP gave me the confidence to manage several projects, for my employer, for my entrepreneurial endeavours and for social good. Studying the PMBOK in preparation for my PMP exam allowed me to apply the PMBOK concepts on the projects that I was working on. As I did this, I began to achieve more success and derive a lot of joy and satisfaction in my work.
In our local Zimbabwe chapter, I have known a lot of members, including knowing their fields of practice. I am yet to collaborate with any outside chapter activities. In my line of work, power and energy engineering, I have worked with many project managers, locally based and foreign-based, unfortunately, none of the local project managers that I have worked with has joined the local chapter yet. I would like to believe that my professionalism, buoyed by my PMP certification has been clear for all that I have worked with to see.
I am happy to continue as a PMI member because of the vast professional development and networking opportunities that are available. I also get a chance to share my knowledge which in turn refines my own knowledge. That’s the good thing about knowledge, the more you share it, the more you increase it. I am happy to continue as Zimbabwe chapter member because chapter membership gives me an opportunity to contribute to the advancement and recognition of the profession in the country.
Finally volunteering and chapter leadership has given me the satisfaction of serving others and at the same time sharpening my leadership and teamwork skills. Volunteering has given me an opportunity to work with many professionals including non-PMI members in Zimbabwe and abroad. Through membership and volunteering, I have built a strong and rewarding professional network. As the saying goes, your network is your net worth. PMI membership has indeed multiplied my net worth. My PMI and chapter memberships are worth every cent that I pay.
About the author: Flavious Coffee, is the President of the Project Management Institute, Zimbabwe Chapter. He is a certified project manager with a strong background in electrical engineering. He has over 15 years of experience in Power Infrastructure Projects. He currently works for a multinational technology company, ABB where he is responsible for implementing power infrastructure projects across Zimbabwe.
Flavious is also an advocate for sustainable development and strongly believes that the greatest societal value that projects can deliver is to leave behind a better planet for future generations.
Flavious Coffiee PMP