In the original Ghostbusters film, Bill Murray tells Sigourney Weaver that he never sleeps with possessed women. She then gives him a kiss at which he says “Actually, it’s more of a guideline than a rule”. It’s my favorite definition of the difference between a guideline and a rule and it is the difference between ITIL® and ISO / IEC 20000.
One of the more common questions we see from newer Project Managers is “where do I start? I have a project, I know the scope, but I’m not sure what the next step is.”
The next step is to develop a WBS, a Work Breakdown Structure.
The list of things that can go wrong with an NGO project is fairly broad – people often cite natural disasters, conflict, political interference and a long list of etcetera’s. Without doubt, NGO Project Managers do work in difficult circumstances – no question. We work in places, where many other organisations would not or could not operate – yet – it is always a surprise to see how much blame is attached to external circumstances. My personal favourite is when the rainy season gets fingered – so we didn’t know that the rains were going to come? I am being slightly facetious but I think we owe it to our beneficiaries to focus a bit more on the many internal causes of problems – rather than external factors that way, in any case, be much more difficult to control.
LINGOs began to work with a group of international NGOs in 2007 to collectively define agreed upon principles and best practices in project management in the development sector. That early group received some funding from PMIEF and included Catholic Relief Services, Habitat for Humanity, World Vision, Save the Children, Oxfam and others as well as representatives from The Project Management Institute. The work of that group laid out a framework for the Project Management in Development curriculum which was developed and field tested by over 200 practitioners from 15 organizations in 20 countries.
But what happens when the leader loses focus? Disaster.
See, the leader’s job is to lead others, not just themselves. So when the leader loses focus, everyone he’s leading suffers, not just the leader. We see this in the news every day, and we see this in our own personal lives.
When I met Jeanne in a small café in Hackney, I was immediately thrown off balance. I had expected beads and hippy braids; I was met instead by a small, neat woman, formidable in her efficiency as she secured us a table by the window.
Jeanne is freelance project management consultant, currently working for an NGO based in Ethiopia. Her work has taken her from Russia to Sri Lanka, and from Mexico to Uganda. At the moment she is helping with a series of projects to provide school materials across a wider range of rural areas. In her ‘spare time’ (and only somebody like Jeanne would have spare time on top of everything else that she does) she volunteers her time as a project management trainer, helping local NGOs to develop strategies for dealing with the particularly challenges of managing projects successfully in the aid sector.
Welcome to PM4NGOs. We’re dedicated to advancement in the Project Management skills of individuals and organizations working in the development sector throughout the world. Our aim is to reach not just donor organizations and NGOs, but individuals on the ground who are making the difference, often against the odds and with minimal resources.
Development projects, large and small, depend on effective project management to gain maximum value from every penny donated by individuals and donor organizations. If you’re a project manager working on those projects, our mission is to help you do a more worthwhile, satisfying job. If you’re a donor organization or NGO working in the field, our mission is to help you get the most from the project management professionals working on your projects. Our PMD Pro series of contextualised project management certifications provide a proven route to greater competence.
With trainings being conducted all over the world, and over 10,000 people having already taken our exams, we know we’re making a difference.