The Difference between a Project and a Program

The Difference between a Project and a Program

Program Management, Project Management

What are the fundamental differences between the two? Find out…

This article was originally published on APMG International.

Defining a Project:

Perhaps the key difference between a project and a program is specificity. A project refers to a specific, singular endeavour to deliver a tangible output. A project manager is therefore responsible for ensuring a project delivers on its intended output in line with a defined time frame and budget.

Defining a Program/Programme:

A program refers to multiple projects which are managed and delivered as a single package. A program manager is therefore tasked with overseeing all the projects comprising the program – to ensure it achieves its outcomes.

 

How Projects and Programs differ:

Continue reading “The Difference between a Project and a Program”

Project Management Culture: Necessity or Nuisance?

Project Management Culture: Necessity or Nuisance?

Project Management

This article was originally published on IPMA International. Written by Professor Jiwat Ram.

It is often suggested that organizations progress or perish courtesy their culture. In simple words, culture is a microcosm of unwritten norms, values, behavioural tendencies, and ways of doing things that are peculiarly characteristics of a system, such as an organization.

In a normal business organization with a more or less stable set of employees, culture will be quite well entrenched deep down in the foundation of organization and will be at the core of driving actions and behaviours of the organization; not varying great deal over extended periods of time unless something catastrophic happens. In fact, people not aligning themselves with the culture may even have to leave

the organization, hence the culture remaining intact most of the times, if not all. In hindsight, culture seems to be the only element in an organization that out-last most of the other elements, even the people and leaders who created the organization in the first place.

Project organizations are not different from non-project organizations as far as culture is concerned. Project organizations too have their own culture which can be termed as project management (PM) culture. Albeit to certain extent, PM culture varies with the changing eco-system of the project and the team composition.

In an organization that churns out a lot of projects with team members sharing work across several projects, the extent to which PM culture varies will be limited across the projects in that organization. Moreover, PM culture is often influenced by set of processes, hence if the processes are same, it is possible that the culture does not vary great deal. Continue reading “Project Management Culture: Necessity or Nuisance?”

New Perspective in Project Management

New Perspective in Project Management

Project Management

The PM4NGOs partner IPMA International collaborated to create the international workshop: “New perspective in Project Management”.

 

This article was originally published on IPMA International. Written by Sandra Mišić and Amin Saidoun.

On 9th of May 2018 Turkish Project Management Association in collaboration with IPMA and Gazi University organized an international workshop.

The topic with the title: “New perspective in Project Management” attracted over 150 attendees from private but mainly academic sector.

Both national and international speakers were invited to the event.

Dr Jesús Martínez Almela (Spain), IPMA President started the workshop with an opening speech, underlining that IPMA strongly supports the development of project management in the Turkey.

The workshop was organized in two sessions. The topic of the first session was New Standards in Project Management and the second one addressed Current Trends in Project Management. Continue reading “New Perspective in Project Management”

Risk Management – a risk itself

Risk Management – a risk itself

Development Sector, Project Management, Tools

This article was originally published by Trevor K Nelson.

We hear (and use) the terms Risk Identification and Risk Management to generally mean two distinct things. The identification of potential risks, and then after they’re identified, the management/mitigation to prevent those possibilities. But in reality they’re variations of the same process.

True. Risk Identification is the process of simply that – identifying potential risks to the project. And Risk Management is the process of mitigating against those potential risks.

But it doesn’t stop there. Risk Identification isn’t something that’s done a the beginning of the project, and then you shift to Risk Management. Risk identification is an ongoing process that should be done (at the very least) at the beginning of each new phase. Each new phase, each new work package, each new interaction with a vendor sets the stage for new potential risks. Continue reading “Risk Management – a risk itself”

Why adding budgeting skills to your project toolkit is important

Why adding budgeting skills to your project toolkit is important

Project Management, Tools

This article was originally published on Humentum by Terry Lewis.

Successful project outcomes require careful management of resources, including the significant sums of money donated to NGOs. That is why everyone involved in project planning and implementation should sharpen up their budgeting skills. In this blog I’ll share six important reasons why we should all have budgeting skills in our toolkits.

 

  1. KEEPING YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE

As the saying goes: If you don’t know where you are going, you are sure to end up somewhere else. A budget is a monetary translation of an activity plan. It helps us to achieve project objectives. A budget is a critical part of the project planning and accountability process: it enables us to put a cost on every planned activity, and to keep track of progress to make sure we are achieving goals.

 

  1. WINNING MORE FUNDS FROM DONORS

Continue reading “Why adding budgeting skills to your project toolkit is important”

What are the project management challenges in the different business sectors?

What are the project management challenges in the different business sectors?

Project Management

This article was originally published on IPMA.

 

What are the main challenges facing different business sectors in Iceland in managing projects, as faced by representatives from different industries? This question was discussed at the annual spring conference organized jointly by the Icelandic Project Management Association and the MPM program (Master of Project Management) at Reykjavik University in 2017. Representatives of eight business sectors in Iceland came and gave brief presentations of these challenges. The seminar started with a short update on the general projectification of the Icelandic economy. Projects are a vital part of the economy and close to one third of working time in Icelandic organizations is devoted to project work. Some of the findings from this conference in Iceland are relevant for other countries. A summary of the talks is given below.

  • Major changes are ahead in the financial sector, driven by technological development and new EU regulations. The business models of commercial banks are changing, and they need to expand their project management capacity quickly to implement the forthcoming changes.
  • The healthcare sector is extremely complex, and all kinds of projects are carried out, IT projects, lean projects and change projects, to give a few examples. Projects in the healthcare sectors are often characterized many stakeholders, resources are limited, and staff has very limited time to participate in projects. The main challenges are to utilize time, increase value and reduce waste. Lean management has therefore become widely used in the sector.
  • A representative from higher education and research cited an international study that showed how important the effective management of projects is for the success of all companies. A student in the MPM program was cited, where he explained his decision to choose the MPM program rather than an MBA program; his reason was that there are much more projects to manage than companies.
  • It is a characteristic of the consulting sector that all revenues are created by selling the time of consultants, and the organization charts of the consultancies are very flat. The challenge here is that it is difficult to maintain overview of the use of resources, as each employee works in multiple projects simultaneously, and reports to many project managers. There is constant struggle over how to prioritize the use of employees between the different projects and clients.
  • Project selection can be a big challenge in product development companies and it is time to develop new tools, new selection models to help making better decisions and ensure better consensus in the choice of innovation projects.
  • The tourism industry has grown enormously in a short period of time. This has imposed big problems, there is lack of a holistic thinking for the industry, lack of strategy, low margin and there is lack of reliable data for policy making and decision making.
  • Power generation and distribution is an important industry with various project management challenges, some of them as basic as managing the chosen projects and steering them through the milestones. There are also problems regarding communication between the generations. Large groups of people are retiring, and younger people are talking over. The new generations work differently and think differently than the older generations, and effective communication between the generations needs to be managed.
  • There is considerable room for improvements in the governmental ministries. A major challenge here is the strong organizational hierarchy, a lack of follow-up of projects, limited effectiveness in project teams, and continuous struggle to understand the difference between urgent and important tasks. In the future, it is necessary to increase the interest in project management among managers and middle managers in the governmental ministries, as well as project management expertise.

Continue reading “What are the project management challenges in the different business sectors?”

“I am PMD Pro Certified – what´s next?”

“I am PMD Pro Certified – what´s next?”

PMD Pro, Project Management

HELP US TO HELP YOU DEVELOP YOUR CAREER IN PROJECT & PROGRAM MANAGEMENT

PM4NGOs is here to help you to develop your skills and experience as a project or program manager. You’ve worked hard to get your Certificate, but what comes next?

We are considering starting professional development program for all PMD Pro and PgMD Pro professionals. It will be called PMD+ and will aim to support you in developing your career, to become better at what you do and gain greater satisfaction from your job.

PMD+ will be managed through a new website. You will be invited to register. We will provide a menu of project and program related activities, some formal, such as webinars and mentoring, some informal, such as posting a report on our forum of a recent project you have worked on. You will log your activities on the website, reflecting on how these activities have helped develop your project or program capabilities. You will earn a badge when you have completed the required amount of professional development for the year.

We will also provide a list of competencies that are needed by project and program managers. You can rate yourself against these competencies to decide the areas you would like to develop over the next year and create a development plan, discussing it with your line manager or a mentor.

Before we start PMD+ we need your help! What do you think of this idea? Do you think it will work? What sort of activities should we offer? Please complete the short survey at http://bit.ly/cpd-consultation 

Thanks for your help. We will let you know what happens.

Peter Marlow, Board Member

Continue reading ““I am PMD Pro Certified – what´s next?””

Honing Interpersonal Skills for Successful Project Delivery

Honing Interpersonal Skills for Successful Project Delivery

Program Management, Project Management

This article was originally published on the website of the APMG by Emma Jones.

A complete overview of the essential interpersonal skills that lead to project success.

We each develop our own interpersonal skill-set as a result of our experiences, environment, and interactions with others. We are shaped by both nature and nurture. As Project Managers, we need to understand how we relate to, and interact with, other people in order to engender trust and respect to get the job done.

A Project, Programme and Portfolio (P3) Manager needs to lead and motivate their management team and delivery teams. This will be through visionary leadership, ensuring people are committed to the objectives of the work, and managerial leadership, delegating work and developing teamwork.

The P3 manager must also lead the stakeholder community, who do not collectively form a team and to whom delegation is rarely appropriate. When dealing with stakeholders, influencing and negotiation are more relevant.

Whether delegating work to a team or influencing stakeholders, conflict will inevitably arise in some form. The P3 Manager will need to have conflict management skills no matter how well honed their other interpersonal skills may be.

Naturally, at the heart of all human interactions is communication.

The fundamental principles of interpersonal skills do not vary across the range of projects, programmes and portfolios. However, the context and organisational structures do change and this leads to different challenges and different emphases in their application.

Here are some must-have skills and tips that will make your team love and respect you. Continue reading “Honing Interpersonal Skills for Successful Project Delivery”

The 3 ‘Dones’

The 3 ‘Dones’

Project Management

This article was originally published by Trevor K Nelson.

In the world of project management, or any business management domain really, we deal with status reporting on a regular basis. Daily, weekly, monthly… Red, Amber, Green… we all find ourselves having to tell others how we’re doing.

And that’s the problem.

No one wants to report that they’re behind, or that the progress has suffered on their watch. We all want to be up to date, on target, and proving that we’ve got everything under control. So when asked about progress, we usually respond with ‘it’s done”, or “it’s just about done”. We fudge the numbers just a bit. I mean really, we are ALMOST done, so our reporting is ‘fairly accurate’. We’ll be done before the next reporting report. Right?

I’ve managed programs and Project Managers for quite a few years, and after dealing with this for a long time, I realized that within project management there exist several definitions of Done. I found that I had to be very specific in what definition the PM was using when they tell me that ‘it’s done’. I found myself asking “are you Done, are you Done Done, or are you Done Done Done?” Continue reading “The 3 ‘Dones’”