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“Participatory methods” during project identification

“Participatory methods” during project identification

Project DPro, Project Management

During the project identification and design may organisations fall in the trap of the conventional research as it is thought that the researcher is the expert and knows more through the extensive experience that he/she has. Mostly, this method of research will result to the failure of the project to achieve its purpose and Goal as the thoughts of the users, beneficiaries and targeted communities were eliminated from the beginning to know their needs and how to respond to. The participatory learning action-PLA research method is a set of actions that are done at the beginning of the project to investigate more about the core problem, assess the current situation and define the possible solutions and interventions that could help the targeted communities. All of those actions should be done jointly with the community members and other stakeholders. Thus, the first step for this process is to identify the stakeholders so that we can ensure close communication and coordination with them. The first tool that might be useful to identify the stakeholders is the Venn diagram. The Venn diagram is a visual tool that shows the most relevant stakeholder, their level of influence and power, and the connections between each stakeholder and the other. The Venn diagram does not give us detailed information about each stakeholder thus, another tool is needed. This tool is called the stakeholder analysis matrix. The matrix helps with elaborating more about each stakeholder by giving more details about each one of them, classify them into categories to communicate later on easily, gives more details about their interest with the capacities that they have and how we can keep them interacted.

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PM4NGOs People – Josephine Carlson

PM4NGOs People – Josephine Carlson

Board Members

Josephine has worked in international development and humanitarian response for more than twelve years. A true generalist, she has accumulated a broad experience from managing programmes, people, and processes for several large INGOs and across a wide range of thematic areas, predominantly while based in post-conflict and/or disaster-affected contexts, such as Afghanistan, Lebanon and Myanmar. Having played a central part in Mercy Corps’ efforts to roll out and standardise project management across the agency globally, Josephine is qualified to Project DPro Level 1 and Program DPro, and a trained facilitator and Trainer of Trainers in Project DPro.  

Josephine is a firm believer in that improving and assuring quality, with the ultimate goal of delivering the best impact for the communities we support and serve, should drive all international development work. Successful project and programme management is key to this effort.

Josephine holds both a Bachelor Degree and a Master of Social Science in Peace and Conflict Studies from Uppsala University, Sweden. She is Swedish and currently based outside Stockholm.

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Four traps that can lead to project failure

Four traps that can lead to project failure

Project DPro, Project Management

Accountability for results trap

Lack of management capacity trap

Cultural trap

One-size-fits-all trap

According to statistics from several sources, there are between 39 to 64% of projects that result in failure and projects’ stakeholders are more dissatisfied than those that are satisfied (Ilk, 2012). This failure might either be with operational implementation as not meeting one of the three project constraints, i.e. project scope/quality, time frame or allocated budget; or by non-reaching the project impact, purposes and Goal. The project failure can be a result of several reasons, e.g. a wrong or impractical design, unclear project scope, lack of communications, overloaded project team, lack of stakeholder engagement, unrealistic appraisals, unrecognised potential risks, poor planning, absence of monitoring and controlling, and weak institutional capacity. Those reasons can be classified into three categories: context related problems, management capacity problems, and sustainability problem (Ilk, 2012). It is believed that those reasons for project failures are the results for failing into one of the following four traps that project managers might sink into: “the one-size-fits-all trap”, “the accountability for results trap”, “the lack of project management capacity trap”, and “the cultural trap” (Ilk, 2012). So, let us analysis more every one of those traps and try to suggest solutions that can mitigate the risk of failing in each one of them so that we can increase the likelihood for the project success.

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How to create and manage an Issue Log

How to create and manage an Issue Log

Project DPro, Project Management, Tools

Creating an Issue Log is an activity performed during project Implementation. The PMD Pro Guide defines an issue as:

An issue is an unresolved decision, situation or problem that will significantly impact the project and that the project team cannot immediately resolve.

The Issue Log is a tool for reporting and communicating designed to facilitate the timely resolution of issues. Without an issue log, it is possible to either ignore or forget about issues arising, only for those issues to have more serious consequences later on.

Please note that this is a resource available at the DPro+ platform. In order to access the DPro+ you must be Project DPro or Program DPro certified.

Click here to read this full guidance and access the series of “How to” guides available at the DPro+ platform.


The “How to” guides are booklets that present guidance and tips to develop some of the Project DPro and Program DPro tools. Some of the activities related to the project/program management routine are also included in the “How To” collection.

If you have an idea for a “How to” guide or you would like to write one, please contact our team and share your experience.

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PM4NGOs People – Samantha Musoke

PM4NGOs People – Samantha Musoke

Board Members, PM4NGOs

Sam qualified as a Chartered Accountant in London in 2000, working in the charities department of Mazars. The following year she moved to Uganda where she has lived and worked ever since.  She started off auditing with a local audit firm with predominantly NGO clients, then moved to consulting and training with Aclaim Africa Ltd, with assignments in Ethiopia, Senegal, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and Rwanda as well as across many districts in Uganda.  She was accredited as a Humentum (Mango) Associate trainer in 2004, and delivered the course that became the precursor to FMD Pro, as well as their training of trainers course.

Sam spent two years as part time Chief Financial Officer of a tourism business before returning to the NGO world as Grants Management Advisor to VSO, supporting a programme with 28 sub-grantees in Northern Uganda.  Having tasted the INGO experience, she took on the role of CFO of a small local organisation preparing for its first USAID grant as a sub of Catholic Relief Services.

Sam returned to full time work in 2017 as Regional Director East Africa for Humentum, where she was also the internal ‘Subject Matter Expert’ for financial management training and developed a ‘Fighting Fraud in NGOs’ course. Sam has passed PMD Pro and is excited about the crucial complementarity between PMD Pro and FMD Pro. Sam is currently Project Director for IFR4NPO at Humentum, an initiative to develop internationally applicable financial reporting guidance for non-profit organisations.  Sam has a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and is honoured to serve on four other boards at present.

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PM4NGOs People – Maggie Korde

PM4NGOs People – Maggie Korde

Board Members, PM4NGOs

Maggie works for Save the Children in Rwanda as their Country Director for Rwanda and Burundi. Before this she was their PMM Lead, developing a project management methodology for the organization, which was based on PMD Pro. She has over 15 years’ experience of managing teams and programmes of work in the development sector, always with a focus on child rights programming and often in highly challenging environments. These have included living and working in countries such as Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, Moldova, Kenya, Rwanda, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Russia and Kyrgyzstan with organizations such as Plan International, EveryChild, ChildAid, and Sense International.

Maggie has a passion for quality programming and sits on several boards, speaks at conferences and writes blog articles on project management, amongst other topics, within our sector. She says “my vision is for a strong international development sector that can rival and influence our private and public sector counterparts when it comes to excellence and grace under fire in the very complex environments we work in!

Maggie is half Brazilian and half Scottish and graduated from the LSE with a MSc in Development Studies. She lives in Rwanda with her husband and their two children.

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How to create a Work Breakdown Structure

How to create a Work Breakdown Structure

Project DPro, Project Management, Tools

The Work Breakdown Structure maps out the scope of the project, the work required to complete the project’s deliverables and the project management work required. It is a hierarchical decomposition of the project’s work. The WBS helps you to divide project work into smaller pieces.

Please note that this is a resource available at the DPro+ platform. In order to access the DPro+ you must be Project DPro or Program DPro certified.

Click here to read this full guidance and access the series of “How to” guides available at the DPro+ platform.


The “How to” guides are booklets that present guidance and tips to develop some of the Project DPro and Program DPro tools. Some of the activities related to the project/program management routine are also included in the “How To” collection.

If you have an idea for a “How to” guide or you would like to write one, please contact our team and share your experience.

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PM4NGOs support to unemployed (and furloughed) workers and students

PM4NGOs support to unemployed (and furloughed) workers and students

COVID-19, Project DPro Certification

Many professionals are struggling with a reduction of their income, temporarily or permanently as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Students also wonder how they will be able to find an internships or jobs in a world of reduced opportunities and social/work contact.

As part of PM4NGOs Covid-19 response, we will be offering unemployed (and furloughed) workers reduced exam fees during the month of June for the Project DPro exam. Unemployed workers will pay USD 22 for their exams and USD 5 for the online invigilation, regardless of their country.

Students already pay USD 22 for exams, however during the month of June,PM4NGOs will waive the USD 5 invigilation fee for students wishing to take the certification exam 

This reduced fee and invigilation waiver is applicable for individual candidates who are able to provide an evidence of their status as a student or as a temporarily or permanently unemployment.

Project DPro and Program DPro guides remain free of costs to download at the PM4NGOs website.

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How to create a Risk Register

How to create a Risk Register

Project DPro, Project Management, Tools

Creating a Risk Register is a key activity during project Set Up. During the Identification and Definition phase high-level risk analysis is performed, and during project set-up risks are analyzed and risk responses are put in place.

Please note that this is a resource available at the DPro+ platform. In order to access the DPro+ you must be Project DPro or Program DPro certified.

Click here to read this full guidance and access the series of “How to” guides available at the DPro+ platform.


The “How to” guides are booklets that present guidance and tips to develop some of the Project DPro and Program DPro tools. Some of the activities related to the project/program management routine are also included in the “How To” collection.

If you have an idea for a “How to” guide or you would like to write one, please contact our team and share your experience.

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