PM4NGOs is excited to welcome its latest training partner – Pyramid Learning

PM4NGOs is excited to welcome its latest training partner – Pyramid Learning

Partners, Training

Although Pyramid Learning is a new partner, its Co-Founders – Mike Culligan and John Cropper – are old friends of PM4NGOs. In fact, Mike and John wrote the first version of PMD Pro back in 2010 and actually created PM4NGOs itself.

So in many ways, it is not ‘welcome’ but ‘welcome home’.

Mike and John have a simple mission for Pyramid Learning. They want to make quality learning appropriate, accessible and actionable. In other words, they want to help those doing good, do even better”.

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PMD Pro Pulse 2019

PMD Pro Pulse 2019

PMD Pro, PMD Pro Certification, Program Management, Project Management

PM4NGOs has launched the PMD Pro Pulse 2019 – a survey to identify the demand and needs of project managers at the development and humanitarian sectors.

You will be leading the project management tools/guides development in 2020/2021 and providing your opinion and recommendations along with other professionals around the world.

This survey takes approximately 15 minutes. You participation is crucial – the survey findings will not only generate a global report but, more importantly, drive PM4NGOs and its partners efforts to attending professionals and organizations’ project management needs. Please also share this initiative with your colleagues.

Click in the button below to participate on the PMD Pro Pulse 2019.

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PM4NGOS and APMG announce the recipient of the 2019 Alan Harpham Award

PM4NGOS and APMG announce the recipient of the 2019 Alan Harpham Award

Alan Harpham Award
Esther Musa – recipient of the Alan Harpham Award 2019

The Alan Harpham Award honors and recognizes an individual with distinguished actions in promoting the professionalization of project management in the international development and humanitarian sectors. The selected winner demonstrates not only leadership in advocating for project management professionalization within the sector, but also in making it available to those who are most in need and to a range of stakeholders in the sector such as community based organizations or local NGOs.

The award is named in honor of Alan Harpham, former Board Member of PM4NGOs and Chairman of APMG, and a global citizen dedicated to making this sector and community a better place.

PM4NGOs and APMG are delighted to announce that the recipient of the Alan Harpham Award in 2019 is Esther Musa, the Program Development and Quality Manager at Mercy Corps Nigeria.

Esther ensures that PMD Pro certification a is a must for all Mercy Corps Nigeria staff, as she works extensively and stays on top of current developments that might impact staff capacity building.

She facilitated and contributed to ensuring three staff are certified with PMD Pro 2, over 50 have been certified on PMD Pro 1, routine training is organized for staff which has better-improved management of projects and programmes for Mercy Corps.

Esther came up with a one-pager on the short guide which gives an overview of a project cycle and the must-do. Esther has developed innovative approaches and ideas, making it a quarterly activity for all staff to meet and discuss how to integrate PMD Pro standard to all Mercy Corps program and projects.

Her innovative approaches to ensure all staff from the capital city to the deep field offices are ready for the PMD Pro Exam have propelled the country program.

We at PM4NGOs as well as the team of APMG International congratulate Esther Musa and wish her all the very best in the future to succeed in the field of Project and Program Management for NGOs.

About PM4NGOs
PM4NGOs is an international non-profit organization that seeks for an equitable and sustainable world where social investment achieves the greatest impact. PM4NGOs promotes excellence in the management of social investment projects and programmes through the creation and development of best practice guidance for development professionals, certification schemes for those working in the sector who will be proud to hold an internationally recognised qualification and a forum for communication and discussion about international development sector best practice. The PM4NGOs mission is to promote and sustain the professionalism of program and project management in the international development sector.

About APMG
APMG International is a global accreditation body specialising in professional certifications to help individuals and business deliver best practice solutions. Our portfolio includes a host of industry recognised certifications; Certified Public-Private Partnerships Professional, Forest Garden Training Certification, Praxis Framework™ and Change Management. During the past 25 years APMG International has worked with over 550 Accredited Training Organizations and Scheme Owners across the globe. Over 2 million candidates from 100+ countries have taken an APMG exam in 21 languages. Our examinations are rigorous, challenging and consistent so that candidates can be proud of their achievement.

About Alan Harpham
As Chairman of the APM Group from 1997 to 2014 Alan worked tirelessly to build APMG’s international networks and reputation. Apart from his professional career, Alan was dedicated to serving his community. His portfolio of pro-bono activities included chairing the Ecumenical Partnership Initiatives Limited, where he also served as a volunteer chaplain to the East of England Ambulance Service. He was a director of the International Center for Spirit at Work; a board member of the Cranfield Management Association, and a Certified Management Consultant and Fellow of the Institute of Business Consultants. Alan was also a member of the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants and was a pro-bono mentor and consultant.

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Why do we need five steps to develop a schedule?

Why do we need five steps to develop a schedule?

Program Management, Project Management

Before learning and adopting best practices for project management, developing a project schedule was a pain. I used to grab the project proposal and other available documents and then spent several hours (days) behind my computer working on the MS Project. No matter how much time I dedicated or how focused I was, the outcome was never detailed or comprehensive enough.

PMD Pro made me understand that there are many steps prior to the scheduled development, such as the Logframe review, WBS development, sequencing activities, estimating resources and duration, and establishing the critical path, to finally develop the project schedule.However, I still struggled to understand why I needed to follow all these steps, one by one, instead of simply applying their techniques at once. After all, when thinking on a task or set of activities, our mind naturally assembles all aspects at the same time: when task will start and end, the required resources, who will be responsible for it, etc.

Here are a few reasons why following these five steps is crucial to develop a more accurate and comprehensive project schedule:

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Long live the Decision Gates

Long live the Decision Gates

PMD Pro, PMDPro Guide, Program Management, Project Management

During the project launch meeting, suddenly, the Project Manager raises from his chair and shouts: “long live decision gates!” Yes, decision gates must live long and walk through the entire project life. But what are decision gates?

According to the PMD Pro Guide, decision gates consist of a series of points in the project that require a decision to either proceed with the next phase of the project, modify the Scope, Schedule or Budget of the project or end the project outright. Each successive decision gate builds on the work that was developed in the previous stage.

Although more common at the Setup Phase, when a formal approval is required to mobilizing resources and beginning the iterative planning and implementation phases, decision gates are helpful and necessary to connect each phase and stage of the project.

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The End of the Project – Game of Thrones Season Finale

The End of the Project – Game of Thrones Season Finale

PM4NGOs, Project Management

I am almost sure that I’ve read an article comparing Project Management with Game of Thrones. But, with the coming of the season finale, I cannot avoid thinking on how the project would end if the project manager were one of the Game of Thrones character…

Tyrion Lannister

Using diplomacy skills, he would advise each team member and to negotiate with local partners and seek for the best possible end of the project. He would jump from supporting the partners to attending donor requirements, also searching how the implementing organization could achieve its own needs. Despite of his good will, shifting masters he would like to please would lead to not attending anyone’s expectations. A (continuous) project redesign would probably be the adopted scenario.

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Risks, Issues and Assumptions: on my way to work

PMD Pro, Program Management, Project Management

It is not rare that we misinterpret terms which definitions are similar or applied differently in different context or areas of work. One example in the project management area is the common confusion between risk, issue and assumption.

The PMDPro Guide defines risk as the potential effect of uncertainty on project objectives. There are two key aspects of risks: probability (what is the odds of the event to occur?) and impact (how “large” is the change in the project?).

Assumptions are hypotheses about necessary conditions, both internal and external, identified in a design to ensure that the presumed cause-effect relationships function as expected and that planned activities will produce expected results. In other words, assumption is an event, condition or fact that we need to happen or maintain in order to assure the project success.

Finally, issue is a problem – something that is happening now. Issues can be either something that was no predicted or a risk that has now occurred. It can take the form of an unresolved decision, situation or problem that will significantly impact the project.

We could relate these terms with the following simple expression, that would help their comprehension: Continue reading “Risks, Issues and Assumptions: on my way to work”

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Six Steps to a (More) Useful WBS

Project Management, Tools

The very first time I taught a class in project management was well before the days of PowerPoint and LCD projectors. In fact, my presentation materials consisted of overhead slides that I had created by hand with rub-on letters since color printers were more expensive than manual labor. As a result, I tried to keep the amount of text down to an absolute minimum. So on the slide that introduced the concept of a Work Breakdown Structure, I used the acronym WBS without spelling it out in full.

I was well aware of the potential for confusion, and I am pretty sure that I explained what the acronym stood for when the slide went up. But either I hadn’t explained, or I hadn’t done it very well, because not long after I began to discuss WBSs, a participant at the back of the room raised their hand and asked, “I understand what the last two letters stand for, but what does the first one mean?” While I was still trying to digest that question, another student towards the front of the room called out “wholesale!”

Unfortunately, this perception is all too common. When it comes to developing a WBS, all too many project managers are still swearing at it instead of swearing by it. Continue reading “Six Steps to a (More) Useful WBS”

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Logical Framework – A friend with many faces

Logical Framework – A friend with many faces

PMD Pro, PMDPro Guide, Project Management, Tools

There are several different definitions, formats, templates and structures for project logical frameworks available in the main project management methodologies. If you google “logical framework” then you will probably get lost in the hundreds different models.

According to PMDPro, the logical framework is an analytical tool used to plan, monitor and evaluate projects. It derives its name from the logical linkages set out by the planner(s) to connect a project’s means with its ends.
It is intended to serve as:

  • A systematic tool for organizing the project thinking and identifying relationships between resources, activities, and project results;
  • A visual way of presenting and sharing the project intervention logic;
  • A tool to identify and assess risks inherent in the proposed project design;
  • A tool for measuring progress through indicators and means of verification.

So, let´s agree that it is a friendly tool that is capable of demonstrating the project main logic and dependencies in one matrix. It´s a friend… but, let´s meet its many faces. Continue reading “Logical Framework – A friend with many faces”

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