From L-R: Amanda Fleetwood, Thomas Dente, Emily Fereday, John Cropper

I had the pleasure of attending the LINGOs Global Learning Forum in Seattle last month on behalf of PM4NGOs. It was a really worthwhile event and great to meet some inspiring people including the brilliant Julian Stodd whose blog you can find here if you feel like a thought-provoking read! Talking to other delegates at the event, it was evident that PMD Pro has had a real impact in the humanitarian and development sectors. It’s great that over 17,000 users have taken PMD Pro but it’s interesting to see that the reach is broader than that and goes beyond individuals. Several organisations I spoke to have adopted the PMD Pro project methodology and so even those who haven’t gained the certification appear to be benefiting from the approach.

Talking to other delegates at the event, it was evident that PMD Pro has had a real impact in the humanitarian and development sectors. It’s great that over 17,000 users have taken PMD Pro but it’s interesting to see that the reach is broader than that and goes beyond individuals.

Several organisations I spoke to have adopted the PMD Pro project methodology and so even those who haven’t gained the certification appear to be benefiting from the approach. It was interesting to also see that PMD Pro has also had an impact on the learning space and how organisations are approaching building the skills of their staff – there seems to be a real appetite for certifications of this sort which are directly applicable to the sector rather than being borrowed from other industries.  The new Programme Management Guide (PgMD Pro) that PM4NGOs will be launching in January and the Financial Management Guide (FMD Pro) which LINGOs and MANGO are launching will meet some of this need and it seems that there may be an appetite for more areas also. Mike Culligan of LINGOs shared some very interesting ideas on where this might go.

It was interesting to also see that PMD Pro has also had an impact on the learning space and how organisations are approaching building the skills of their staff – there seems to be a real appetite for certifications of this sort which are directly applicable to the sector rather than being borrowed from other industries.  The new Programme Management Guide (PgMD Pro) that PM4NGOs will be launching in January and the Financial Management Guide (FMD Pro) which LINGOs and MANGO are launching will meet some of this need and it seems that there may be an appetite for more areas also. Mike Culligan of LINGOs shared some very interesting ideas on where this might go. Following the conference, I had

Following the conference, I had chance to reflect on why PMD Pro seems to have been so influential and I think there are several factors that have contributed to its success. The first is that previously there was little in the way of guidance for project management that was specific and contextualised to the sector. There are plenty of very well respected project management methodologies available but the social change brought about by projects in the sector is so uniquely different that these really don’t apply that well. PMD Pro offers a contextualised and standardised body of knowledge, lexicon and

The first is that previously there was little in the way of guidance for project management that was specific and contextualised to the sector. There are plenty of very well respected project management methodologies available but the social change brought about by projects in the sector is so uniquely different that these really don’t apply that well. PMD Pro offers a contextualised and standardised body of knowledge, lexicon and tool kit that enables organisations in the sector to work more effectively separately and in collaboration.  I think the second factor in its success, is that PMD Pro is affordable, accessible and suitable for all practitioners. In the Scoping Study on Professionalising the Humanitarian Sector conducted on behalf of ELHRA in 2010, authors Cath Russ (RedR UK) and Peter Walker (Feinstein International Centre) found an imbalance between the level of courses being offered and the needs of practitioners: at the time, the majority of courses being offered were at Bachelors or Masters level while there was a far greater need for entry level or intermediate courses. PMD Pro is suitable for all practitioners and with the introduction of the PMD Pro starter developed by LINGOs with funding from the Humanitarian Leadership Academy and PM4NGOs, the reach can be even broader.

I think the second factor in its success, is that PMD Pro is affordable, accessible and suitable for all practitioners. In the Scoping Study on Professionalising the Humanitarian Sector conducted on behalf of ELHRA in 2010, authors Cath Russ (RedR UK) and Peter Walker (Feinstein International Centre) found an imbalance between the level of courses being offered and the needs of practitioners: at the time, the majority of courses being offered were at Bachelors or Masters level while there was a far greater need for entry level or intermediate courses. PMD Pro is suitable for all practitioners and with the introduction of the PMD Pro starter developed by LINGOs with funding from the Humanitarian Leadership Academy and PM4NGOs, the reach can be even broader. I’ve also seen a real appetite for the appropriate recognition of competence as part of the professionalization agenda that’s driving the sector at the moment. Standardised assessments offered by internationally recognised bodies, such as APMG who administer the PMD Pro exam, offer individuals the ability to demonstrate their competence and provide a mechanism for organisations to recruit and recognise the skills of their staff.

I’ve also seen a real appetite for the appropriate recognition of competence as part of the professionalization agenda that’s driving the sector at the moment. Standardised assessments offered by internationally recognised bodies, such as APMG who administer the PMD Pro exam, offer individuals the ability to demonstrate their competence and provide a mechanism for organisations to recruit and recognise the skills of their staff. I’m excited to see if the programme management guide will be received as positively as the project management guide has been and if these factors for success will equally apply. I’m looking forward to next year’s Global Learning Forum – excited to see if by then PgMD Pro will have made a splash!

I’m excited to see if the programme management guide will be received as positively as the project management guide has been and if these factors for success will equally apply. I’m looking forward to next year’s Global Learning Forum – excited to see if by then PgMD Pro will have made a splash!

Emily Fereday is a Board Member of PM4NGOs
and the Country Director for the UK/ Europe region of RedR UK

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