by Peter Njuguna

Peter Njuguna is the winner of the #StoryConstest. Here, enjoy the first price story.

My name is Peter Njuguna

I have implemented a project to digitize and make birth registration and certification process more efficient in terms of turnaround time and cost for citizens. The onset of this project coincided with my finishing PMD Pro course. It is implemented in coastal counties of Kenya. The project has an intensive government involvement as main duty bearer and therefore timeliness, systematic management of every stage, methodical handling of issues, risk identification, elaborate risk mitigation strategies and cost sustainability prove at scale is important. Managing such a project, whose interventions are all integrated and range from technology to non-technology and advocacy, requires elaborate project management tools to manage risk, issues, stakeholder, and budgets among others. This is exactly what PMD Pro provided me with! Elaborate, practical and robust tools.

In this project, there are two achievements I can wholly attribute to PMD Pro tools and skills. First is the risk register, as well as issue log, for management of risk from identification to mitigation. In second year the project got into a risk of a stakeholder pulling out due to differences in procurement procedures. This was a risk that I had already documented clearly at the project set up stage with all parameters that PMD Pro risk register tool provides. When the risk “symptoms” showed up, emanating from personal interests as the project evolved, the strategy that was stipulated in the risk register was engaged immediately and stakeholders agreed to adhere to it. The mitigation strategy was to have a MoU with this specific stakeholder which stipulated project procurement procedures. This documentation of the risk and mitigation strategy ensured a short turnaround time, eliminating speculation among stakeholders that would further jeopardise the project.

Second achievement I attribute to use of Gantt Chart to schedule the project schedule to the lowest activity level. This helped project staff to visualize the complex project in terms of small and practically implementable pieces while clearly visualize dependencies within an activity and between activities in the same project and out of the project. Project staff were able to identify and run with specific activities they are best skilled and passionate about (I have learnt passion has a place in success of a project). This greatly helped staff to plan and do “first things first” in activity implementation. Without the Gantt Chart tool, track activities and dependencies would have been a complex task. Further, use of Gantt Chart helped in budgeting at the lowest level of activities, therefore ensuring a comprehensive budget. Budget comprehensiveness had a positive multiplier effect of shortened turnaround time for budget approvals by the donor by reducing back-and-forth clarifications between the donor and project team.

With my technical background, the risk of concentrating on technical aspect of the project was a real recipe for missing on project management. PMD Pro skills and tools help mitigate this in me. I can identify the results in the project, having been able to rework on most of the project documents. I feel I display a very good understanding of the principles behind project management.

PMD Pro remains the most practical course I ever undertook that has a direct application to my work. I still refer my PMD Pro assignments, tools and guides in my project. I recommend PMD Pro as a must take to anyone managing a project of whatever nature. It starts from basics and the known, to complex aspects of project management. PMD Pro makes you stand out among project managers.

Engaging beneficiaries – Photo by Mercy Machocho
Community developing activity work plan to feed into project Gantt Chart – Photo by Mercy Machocho
Beneficiaries action plan during reflection meeting – Photo by Peter Njuguna
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