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How to maximise your Return on Failure (ROF)

How to maximise your Return on Failure (ROF)

Project Management

This article has been originally published at Thinkfully

Last month, Thinkfully joined the Third Sector Project Management Forum (TSPMF) at the British Red Cross offices in London to facilitate a session around how to think brilliantly and use different thinking strategies.  

As with many other industries, the Third Sector is facing challenging times in a rapidly changing environment.  Previous research within the third sector has highlighted the importance of learning lessons from past experiences and projects. Therefore, we set the challenge question: “How to identify, take on board and put into practice lessons learnt to improve future projects and become more efficient and effective?”The purpose of this question was to help unpack ideas around ownership of lessons learnt and to orientate the focus on embedding and enabling change for future projects.

The concept of ‘Return On Investment’ (ROI) is well understood (looking at the positive benefits or pay-offs from investing in a resource) however, this session revealed the importance of a new concept – ‘Return On Failure’ (ROF). 

The discussions identified some really valuable and important lessons for us all. Here we unpack 10 big ideas for us all to maximise our ROF, along with some key questions to ask ourselves along the way.

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Weircapacity, PM4NGOs training partner

Weircapacity, PM4NGOs training partner

Partners, Training

PM4NGOs gladly announce Weircapacity as new training partner.

Written by: Weircapacity

Over the years, we have executed projects in small towns and rural communities across Africa and found that a significant number of projects fail due to inadequate project management capacity. The peculiar nature of the development sector and the areas in which they operate makes it imperative for organizations to build in-house capacity in project management, with a focus on development projects. 

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The rise and reality of INGO domestic programming

The rise and reality of INGO domestic programming

Development Sector


Author: Susannah Pickering-Saqqa
This article was originally published at Bond

There is a growing interest in the idea of INGOs running programmes in their home countries alongside their projects in the global south. These “domestic programmes” (DP) range from helping impoverished communities in the UK, Canada and the USA to supporting refugees and asylum seekers entering Germany and Sweden.

Some INGOs, like Islamic Relief Worldwide, are embracing domestic programming for numerous reasons, but this multi-mandate focus presents a range of challenges.

Why some international NGOs are working at home

DP has traditionally been an issue that receives little attention, but it has taken on a higher profile in recent years. This is due to several interconnected factors:

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How to manage staff – 10 tips for new managers

How to manage staff – 10 tips for new managers

Project Management

By Peter Marlow

So, you’ve been given a new project to manage and it’s big. You’ve been given some staff to help you but you’ve never managed staff before.

Managing people is not easy and it’s not something that is easily learned, except by doing it and making mistakes. Don’t worry, here are ten tips to help you to manage your new team effectively:

Build your team
Everyone is different. Your team will each have different strengths and weaknesses, and have an individual part to play in making your project a success. Management Theorist Meredith Belbin identified 9 different team roles – Resource Investigator, Team Worker, Co-ordinator, Plant (Problem Solver), Monitor Evaluator, Specialist, Shaper, Implementor and Completer Finisher. Most people will be most comfortable with two or three of these roles, but not all. So, get to know your staff. Give them tasks that exploit their strengths and help them with their weaknesses.

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The empowering feeling of participation

The empowering feeling of participation

Governance, Project Management

By Oliver Carrick

“No. We’re not talking about that now. Would anyone else like to participate?”

So spoke the President of a local NGO to the monthly meeting of project beneficiaries.

Participation has so many forms that the word alone can seem meaningless. But let’s distinguish between two key types of participation: Participation as a means of performing project work, and participation as an end goal of the project itself.

Many of us who have worked in local development have been privileged enough to see the effects of the empowering initiatives which have people’s participation as an end goal. In the best-case scenario locals and beneficiaries engage in a cycle of learning by doing which improves their confidence and their skills to participate again in ever more complex tasks. The end goal is building local capacities, knowledge and experience by participation in development projects and initiatives.

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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

Project Management, Uncategorized

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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Game Changer, a new training partner

Game Changer, a new training partner

Partners, Training

Written by: Game Changer Team

PM4NGOs gladly announce Game Changer as our new training partner.

Welcome to Game Changer! We are excited to officially introduce
ourselves on the PM4NGOs blog and begin our partnership in making the world a
better place. We are a global training organization and consultancy, working
hard to support NGOs, charities and other development organizations in their
work. Our mission is to accelerate positive change by consulting, coaching and
delivering training programs to the highest quality standard. We have worked
across the globe including the UK, Kenya and Bangladesh and have seen the
incredible results our clients have achieved by applying the high-impact
principles of PMD Pro on their projects. Perhaps seeing these results is the
most rewarding part of our work and what keeps us so passionate as a
team. 

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Project management professional development: agile or traditional?

Project management professional development: agile or traditional?

Uncategorized

This article was originally published on APMG.

Project management professional development: agile or traditional?

Training and certification is a great way for project professionals to demonstrate their knowledge and competences to current and future employers. Whether aligned to a particular framework or methodology, or a focus on the key attributes or a project manager, training and certification can prove incredibly valuable for enhancing skills and enabling career progression.

With a wide range of options available in the marketplace, it can be a difficult and time-consuming task identifying the best option/s for one’s career development.

This is further complicated by the rise of agile and its influence on the project management landscape, with more organizations and project professionals than ever embracing agile tools and frameworks as they aim to increase the success of – and return on investment from – projects and other change initiatives.

With agile now mainstream in project management, a key decision faces many project professionals considering training and certification, and indeed those embarking on a career in project management. The decision is linked to a question along the lines of:

Should I certify in agile or traditional/waterfall project management?