Documentation Published on Friday, 10 March 2023

A lesson from Nehemiah: Applying the Word of God in your business

A lesson from Nehemiah: Applying the Word of God in your business

Faith-based business principles: Project Management

We have all heard of the book of Nehemiah, and his extraordinary feat of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem in a mere 52 days. The principles he adhered to in his journey can be applied in a modern setting, to great effect. Indeed, I have taken it upon myself to conduct all my business on principles which are based on biblical teachings.

Just so that you understand the background, read at least the first six chapters of the book, and then continue here.

From the first six chapters of Nehemiah, the following principles can be surmised for project management:

1.1 Get all the facts from trusted sources

Coming from an academic background, articles and assignments I have done in the past required information which was sourced from verified and trusted journals, textbooks, and papers. In that spirit, when meeting a client, collect every ounce of information needed for the project. Sit down with employees and interview them, if need be, and analyse what was said in these interviews. From this dissected information, you as the project manager can give an informed opinion and recommendation to your client.

1.2 Pray about the situation at hand and ask for guidance and direction from God

Ask God for direction, who to contact in the organisation, what to say, and how to deliver your presentation.

1.3 Speak to the person who has the most authority over resources

Get the attention and support of senior management, importantly the person who has the final say on the project. Remember, Nehemiah went straight to Artaxerxes, not another court official, but the king himself.

1.4 When asked “what is expected of me?”, pray for God’s wisdom to put words in your mouth

1.4.1 Have a specific goal in mind.

Know what you want to achieve in this project, envision the outcome in terms of something which can be measured and replicated to other organisations.

1.4.2 Set a time frame for completion of the project.

Be realistic when setting a time frame, as your client will likely see the final date of completion as a concrete day. Allow time for travel, preparation, human error, and loadshedding.

1.4.3 Ask for all necessary documentation to perform the task, as well as the required funding.

Every message, email, transaction, letter, and change in the project charter must be logged and filed. Ideally, keep a file for each client.

1.4.4 Ensure that you have all of the required resources gathered.

All resources from both sides are required. This includes ensuring your own administration and registration is set up, and you have the necessary documentation from the organisation.

1.4.5 Examine the situation for yourself.

Your eyes and judgement are better than any other examination. Go to the client’s office, survey their office setup, their employees, the way they conduct business, and how this will affect your project.

1.5 Gather the project team and present the plan

Gather all of the employees who will be involved in this project, and explain the what, why, when, where, who, and how of the project.

1.6 Disregard distractions to the project

Each project gets its due attention. When you are working on a project, focus just on that project.

1.7 Oversee the work performed, and ensure each task is manageable for the people involved, as well as the right task for the right person.

You won’t let a plumber install a solar system, so why let an electrician install a shower? Give the right task to the right person, based on their experience, knowledge, and skillset.

1.8 Do not disregard unhappy employees

Employees are the most valuable asset to a company, so listen to them! They will tell you what management wants to hide. Address areas where employees are unhappy, find out what shortcomings are present, and how these can be resolved.

While we might not be building walls like Nehemiah, we are building businesses. Build your business on a foundation of faith, trusting that God will shine His grace on you and your business.

Further reading

You can read more abour Nehemiah in the following articles published earlier:

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