Khumbulani Ndlovu describes how Project DPro has cohered the work of World Vision’s field-based project in Zimbabwe.
The Project DPro course is very much respected. It’s highly practical and it offers a wide range of tools that help to ensure that projects are delivered on time, scope, and budget, in a way that also pays attention quality, benefits and risks.
The course has achieved buy in from senior management at World Vision and hence it is taken with a lot of positivity by staff at all levels (from a development facilitator to a Director). It is well tailored for NGOs and the development industry and is very practical in approach so that you can apply the tools your day-to day work.
Project DPro training has been taking place in Zimbabwe since 2011 and 148 people have been through the course. We usually set aside a week for the training session, booking a room in a hotel with good Internet connection in Bulawayo or Harare. The courses run from Monday to Thursday and they sit the exam on Friday. We share the modules well in advance so that people are prepared for discussions.
Our budget management has improved since the introduction of the course in 2012. Almost all programs hit ‘year end’ within a variance of less than 10 per cent, a fact that has been acknowledged at high levels within our organization.
We have used many of the tools – the ‘RACI’, ‘WBS’, ‘Critical Path’, ‘spider diagram’, ‘log frame’, ‘Gantt chart’, and the monitoring and evaluation plans. Our Procurement Team has found the tools especially helpful for highlighting issues that could result in project delay, and potential program underspend.
Project DPro equips development practitioners with tools that are relevant for successful projects, and it is also a good foundation for taking other project management courses such as Prince @ or MSP. Some of our program/project staff teams are now training the communities that they work with in how to make use of some of the tools offered in this course.