PMI member Brian Grafsgaard is coaching a team of staff and volunteers on program and project management (PgM&PM) techniques to help ensure the success of the Minnetonka Community Education's (MCE) annual Tour de Tonka bike ride.
The Tour de Tonka, which is held each August in Minnetonka, MN, US (near Minneapolis) and boasts a roster of over 2,500 participants, offers five different routes that vary from 16 to 100 miles (26 to 161 km). The Tour de Tonka also fosters a sense of community by collecting canned food and funds for a local charity while promoting and celebrating healthy lifestyles.
The routes take bikers alongside and around the community's multiple lakes via a series of roads and bike trails. Due the complexity of the routes and rest stops, the event team must interact with multiple jurisdictions (state, county, and local) regarding construction schedules, rest area locations, safety needs and police patrol. They must also coordinate over 300 MCE staff and volunteers as part of their year-long planning process.
This multifaceted program, like any major event, could easily result in chaos without a clear plan in place. Fortunately, Brian has made sure that the team takes advantage of the benefits of PgM&PM in every way possible using PMIEF's PM Skills for Life™.
He shares with the Foundation, "The materials provided by PMIEF distill the essentials in a way that is easily understandable. Staff and volunteers now have a name for what they do and an understanding of the principles. They have embraced both program and project management disciplines to guide the planning and organization effort required to successfully run such a large event."
Student volunteers point bikers
in the right direction
Brian knows that this training will extend far beyond this year's event. The team's high school-aged volunteers will be able to leverage the skills they have acquired in their future studies and future careers while adult volunteers will be able to incorporate them into other community work and their everyday lives.
Using program and project management tools, this year's Tour de Tonka promises to be a smooth ride to the finish line!