Just Projects Inc.



By: Diane Wadham, Director, Corporate Relations

A common question I have been asked when discussing a volunteer initiative with small business owners is what is a realistic time frame to expect from the beginning of the initiative to completion?

Bearing in mind that a business volunteer project often requires personal time from employees, concern arises that a time frame that is too tight will create a sense of undue pressure. This pressure may result in frazzled nerves, and therefore reduce the enjoyment of the volunteerism.  Conversely, a time frame that is too lengthy might negate the sense of importance by creating an approach that is much too relaxed.

Underestimating the time involved to complete projects is not uncommon, especially when the work involved is unfamiliar to those participating in the project. So what is the best approach to making a time frame not only realistic, but also achievable?  Taking the time to invest in the planning process itself will go a long way to addressing this question.

You will start to get a sense of time commitment during the initial brainstorming sessions.  Identifying the scope and depth of your volunteer initiative will naturally begin to give you an idea about the time frame. Keep in mind that as you break down each task, and the time commitment it requires, the overall timeline for the project will become clear. You can begin to work more narrowly on the time frame during the actual planning phase of your company’s volunteerism.

The JPI Planning Toolkit focuses on five key questions to ask during the planning.  One of those five key questions we ask is HOW.  The how question targets the major tasks and how much time each task will take to complete.  Whenever possible, include the people that are actually going to do a specific task to participate in the assignment of time.  They may have some prior experience that would benefit the time assigning process.

Matching tasks to time may present challenges if some of the tasks are unfamiliar.  Use this as an opportunity to empower the participants to work out task time commitments among the team.  Challenge assumptions and conclusions. Encourage the team members to speak out if time lines seem unrealistic.

People like to know what they are committing to and developing a time frame that everyone had agreed to and is comfortable with should add another layer of engagement from the team.




The Miracle is this:  the more we share the more we have.

-Leonard Nimoy



For more information regarding this newsletter, please contact:

Diane Wadham, Director, Corporate Relations


Please note this newsletter is by Just Projects, copyright 2015.  Content was written by Diane Wadham.  Any Just Projects newsletter may be copied to your heart’s content as long as you kindly ask us first via email.