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Do Our Projects Have Permission to Fail?

Do Our Projects Have Permission to Fail?

PM4NGOs

This post has been originally published at the DPro Blog
hosted by our training partner Pyramid Learning

At a recent conference, Robert Jenkins, an assistant administrator at USAID, was quoted saying, “There are a few things maybe that we don’t do very well. One of them is admitting something isn’t working, and two, acting and moving at the speed of relevance.”

Jenkins’ quote reminded me of a recent conversation I had with course participants at a recent PMD Pro workshop. They were talking about how valuable it was to have opportunities to practice with the project management tools.  One person, in particular, said he especially appreciated the workshop’s learning games, because they gave him ‘permission to fail’.

Note – readers who have attended workshops I facilitate, know that I like using games in training. Participants make bridges out of straws, build spaghetti towers, make paper aeroplanes, design pyramids etc. Here are a couple of pictures from recent events. We have all kinds of fun playing games &, of course, they are all linked to different learning objectives.

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PMD Pro 2nd Edition launches March 23: are you ready?

PMD Pro 2nd Edition launches March 23: are you ready?

PM4NGOs

This post has been originally published at the DPro Blog
hosted by our training partner Pyramid Learning

We’re excited and ready!  For almost two years, we have been working with the PM4NGOs team preparing for the update – reviewing content, updating learning plans and planning for launch.  As part of our preparations, we will facilitate the first virtual PMD Pro course aligned to the new version of the Guide. The course starts on February 24th and finishes on March 20th.  So this is a chance to learn – using the new new Guide and preparing to take the new exam as soon as it is formally launched.

In some ways, the launch of the PMD Pro Version 2 has us feeling nostalgic.  The team at Pyramid Learning has been involved with the PMD Pro for thirteen years,  In fact, both our principals were at the meeting where the PMD Pro was first pitched.  John Cropper delivered one of the first trainings – in Zambia with World Vision – and since then, PMD Pro has formed a significant part of our professional lives.  

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PMD Professionals: Shahriar Khan

PMD Professionals: Shahriar Khan

Case Studies, Humanitarian Sector, PM4NGOs, PMD Pro

Shahriar Khan is an experienced Project Manager and shared some of his thoughts in this article: 

  • What was your first contact with project management?

My first contact with Project Management was in 2005 when I joined Crown Agents in Bangladesh. I used to work with a number of development projects in Bangladesh across multiple sectors. 

  • How did you hear about PMD Pro – what interested you about this? Your journey.

I first heard about PMD Pro some time in 2011. At that time, I was working full time for Crown Agents in the UK and used to deliver project management training at the Crown Agents International Training Centre in London. The project management course was focused on development projects as most of the participants were from public sector organisations from the developing countries. So, we were considering aligning the course with PMD Pro certification. However, we did not get necessary internal approvals as the PMD Pro certification was deemed too much NGO focused. 

In 2015, we reviewed the decision and decided to align the existing two-week course on Project Management with PMD Pro. I led the project and the first Crown Agents PMD Pro course was held in 2015. I led the delivery of that course as well and it was great to have all candidates successfully passed PMD Pro Level 1. 

Since then I have delivered many PMD Pro training courses in the UK, Bangladesh, Kenya and Lebanon. Last year, I delivered PMD Pro training courses to participants from more than 50 organisations in Lebanon public sector. 

At Game Changer we have also created online training courses on PMD Pro Level 1 and Level 2. 

  • How did PMD Pro improve your work?

PMD Pro has helped us to build project management capacity of organisations. Majority of the participants value the learning and certification highly. It helps people to gain the key knowledge and skills to manage project and give them confidence. Although certification itself does not make someone a good project manager, it does help as it means the certified professionals are likely to use standard project management tools and principles. 

  • Why do you think PMD Pro is important for development organisations?

Adopting PMD Pro in any development organisation can be highly beneficial for the organisation as it will ensure all the project managers are applying the best practices in managing their development projects. It’s surprising how many development organisations do not have any particular project management methodology although a significant part of their core work is done through projects. Effective project-based organisations usually develop their own project management methodology based on one or more standard project management methodologies. For development organisation like NGOs, donor organisations, and public sector organisations, adopting PMD Pro can be a great start as it is developed by the sector and are highly relevant to develop projects. 

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The four biggest people management mistakes on transformation projects

The four biggest people management mistakes on transformation projects

Leadership

This article has been originally published at APMG

Alistair Sergeant, chief executive officer of Equantiis (formerly known as Purple Consultancy), is used to delivering transformation projects. One of their successes was a project with Manchester Metropolitan (Met) University, helping them to transform the student experience using the latest technologies.

The Manchester Met project was a shining example of how to effectively manage a transformation project, says Sergeant. Many run into difficulties or fall flat on their faces at some stage during the process – almost all due to people and culture issues.

“It’s about aligning people up for a change within the organisation. There is a lot of fear that happens when you do a change project,” he says. “I’m a big believer that people don’t hate change, it’s just when change is forced upon them and they’re not on the journey, is where we end up having problems.”

So, if the challenge with transformation projects is getting the people on board, what are some mistakes that project managers can avoid?

  1. Not allocating the right resource

“Typically with transformations, I see organisations start the journey, but trying to implement it alongside their day jobs,” says Sergeant.

As a result, people are allocated tasks to do as part of the transformation project, but never have enough time to work on it, and it gets pushed down the priority list. The project is killed through a lack of time and interest.

“What Manchester Met were very good at, was working with us on developing a designated team that were back filled from the day job, seconded to work on the project,” Sergeant explains. “And what that does is set a precedent throughout the whole project that ‘we’re taking this seriously, this change is happening and we’re all part of this moving forwards’.”

2. Not being clear about why you’re doing it

“I can guarantee you, nine times out of ten when I’m involved in transformation projects, people aren’t even clear of why they’re doing it in the first place,” says Sergeant. “They will typically be doing it because someone in IT has said they need an upgrade, without any real strategic alignment of what it’s going to do.”
 
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The fastest learner wins. Every day.

The fastest learner wins. Every day.

Leadership, PM4NGOs

This article has been originally published at APMG

Technology is moving rapidly – so how do we keep up?

CEOs complain about the lack of employee’s essential skills

According to PwC’s 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey, four out of five CEOs complain about their employees lack of essential skills and identified this factor as a threat to growth. The problem has escalated over the past five years and is raised consistently across all regions: CEOs in Japan and Central/Eastern Europe are most worried (95% and 89%, respectively), whereas those in Italy (55%) and Turkey (45%) are the least anxious about it.

The skills shortage can restrict growth chiefly because it stifles innovation and raises workforce costs. It’s understandable that organizations are concentrating on reskilling. Given the right context, people can be highly adaptable, and an organization’s ability to harness that adaptability will be critical as the world of work evolves.

Employees are willing to learn

The good news is that employees are more than willing to reskill and upskill. According to a PwC global survey of more than 12,000 workers, employees are happy to spend two days per month on training to upgrade their digital skills. Digital skills have a short shelf life, so learning will need to be continuous and woven into the organizational culture.

Skills mismatches have a direct impact on a nation’s GDP, tax revenues and social safety net bill.

So, the OECD Skills Outlook 2019 aims to understand how policies (in particular those that affect skills development and use), can shape the outcomes of digital transformation and translate into more equally shared benefits among and within countries’ populations. 

The Economist reports that as automation, AI, and new job models reconfigure the business world, lifelong learning has become accepted as an economic imperative.

Development is important for employee happiness

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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.
www.pm4ngos.org

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.
www.apmg-international.com

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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Problem Tree

Problem Tree

Diagrams, PMD Pro, Project Management, Tools

Many people in the development sector waste money, time and resources by making this mistake.

They dive into working on their projects thinking they know what exactly to do to resolve a particular community related or environmental problem.

When we are doing something meaningful, (eg. helping our community) it is very easy to get emotionally attached to what we do and how we do it. This can often lead to big disappointments.

Have you experienced this?

(more…)
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Enactus Canada and PM4NGOs partnership

Enactus Canada and PM4NGOs partnership

Partners, PM4NGOs

Working Together to better Support the Future Social Development Project Managers

October, 2019

Enactus Canada and PM4NGOs announce their partnership to share methodologies and best practices with the members of the Enactus Canada. Enactus Canada, an experiential learning platform, helps students unleash their entrepreneurial spirit and develop the talent and perspective essential to leadership in our ever-changing world. With over 3,400 students involved in over 260 projects, Enactus Canada is shaping generations of entrepreneurial leaders passionate about advancing the economic, social and environmental health of Canada.
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