Long live the Decision Gates

Long live the Decision Gates

Program Management, Project DPro, Project DPro Guide, 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…
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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 LannisterUsing 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. Continue reading
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Risks, Issues and Assumptions: on my way to work

Program Management, Project DPro, 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…
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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…
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Logical Framework – A friend with many faces

Logical Framework – A friend with many faces

Project DPro, Project DPro 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…
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Global NGO online technology stats

PM4NGOs
Nowadays, it is difficult to find statistics about the development and humanitarian sectors that are updated, global and free. A collaborative research project by the Public Interest Registry and Nonprofit Tech for Good, the 2016 Global NGO Online Technology Report is an effort to gain a better understanding of how non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide use online technology to communicate with their supporters and donors. Based upon the survey results of 2,780 NGOs from Africa, Asia, Australia & Oceania, Europe, North America, and South America, the report presents either global and regional statistics. Some global stats from the report: 92% of NGOs worldwide have a website. 75% accept online donations. Payment methods accepted include credit cards (82%), PayPal (52%), direct debit (47%), mobile text (6%), and digital wallets (3%). 95% have…
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What did the Project Managers ever do for us?

Leadership, Program Management, Project Management
There is that famous scene in Monty Python and The Life of Brian where the rebels are demanding action against the oppressive Romans and ask the question ‘What did the Romans ever do for us?’- The answers came back over and over again as the rebels listed the many things that the Romans brought with them … medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health. So, quite a lot! I sometimes hear of project management and project managers being challenged in much the same way … ‘what has project management done for us (the organisation)?’ The thinking presumably goes that there are projects but if the business keeps doing projects then they become (presumably) less unusual and less risky and therefore they don’t need this…
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Program Management for Development Professionals Guide

Diagrams, Program Management
PM4NGOs is developing the Program Management for Development Professionals Guide to provide advice, tools and guidance to help Program Managers work effectively at a pivotal level in local, national and international NGOs. Program managers play an essential role by providing an interface between their organization's strategic management team and project managers who are accountable for the successful delivery of small, medium, and large projects. The Guide is expected to be launched in the first semester of 2016. However, we would like to anticipate discussion about this new approach and to gather feedback from the PM4NGOs community in advance by sharing our new Program Lifecycle diagram and approach. (more…)
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PM4NGOs and APMG announce the recipient of the 2015 Alan Harpham Award

Alan Harpham Award, NRP, Project DPro, Project DPro Certification, Project Management
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 2015 is Liziane Silva. Liziane is responsible for bringing the…
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Managing Programs: are you in a horror movie?

Program Management, Project Management
A program is a group of related projects and activities that are managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually (PMDPro). In other words, the whole (the benefit of the program) is greater than the sum of its parts (the projects, activities, and tasks). However, even well designed programs might include projects that do not properly contribute to the program goals… in fact, some of these misplaced projects might and often do haunt the program, its projects and, especially… the program manager! (more…)
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