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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! Continue reading “Managing Programs: are you in a horror movie?”

Developing a Program Management Standard

PMD Pro, PMDPro Guide, Program Management, Project Management
L-R: Kim Kucinskas, Chris Foster, me, John Cropper, Brandy Westerman, Lucy Davies (not pictured Edson Marinho)
L-R: Kim Kucinskas, Chris Foster, me, John Cropper, Brandy Westerman, Lucy Davies (not pictured Edson Marinho)

This past week I had the pleasure of working with a fantastic group of people as we developed the next offering from PM4NGOs – The PgMD Pro Guide (Program Management for Development Professionals Guide) standard.

The PgMD Pro Guide will be the next step in establishing solid program and project management standards within the Humanitarian Aid/International Development sector. We (PM4NGOs) have had great success with the PMD Pro (both the Guide and certifications) over the past 5 years, and we are excited about this next step.

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Is Traditional L&D Still Relevant?

Project Management

Last month we published a survey, based on Jane Hart’s recent blog post, that asked readers to rate 10 different ways they learn at work. We did not receive 3,500 responses from 55 countries (as Jane did), however, 69 individuals from our sector responded to our survey. Their responses reveal a number of interesting trends about the way development/relief organizations learn, identify the similarities/differences between “our learners” and learners in other sectors, and raise the challenging question, “Is Traditional L&D Still Relevant?”

First, there is one very strong area of alignment between development/relief learners and learners in other sectors. Both surveys’ results identified knowledge sharing within teams as the most important source of sharing in the organization. Over 90% of LINGOs respondents identified team knowledge sharing as either “Essential” or “Very Important.” In Jane Hart’s survey, this category also took the top prize, with 87% of respondents identifying it as Essential or Very Important.

Continue reading “Is Traditional L&D Still Relevant?”

#NoEstimates – De-Mystified

Board Members, Project Management

INTRODUCTION

For some time now within the software development community on Twitter, and by extension, some in the project management community, there has been an ongoing discussion surrounding a concept called No Estimates. Actually, the discussion (sometimes heated) has been around the hashtag #NoEstimates.

These discussions started out, as most discussions do, as an interaction between supposed professionals over a central concept, with both proponents and opponents, supporters and detractors. And like most conversations on the internet, it soon devolved into name calling, accusations of trolling, questioning of professionalism or qualifications, blocking of accounts, etc.

– I’m thinking of Godwins’ Law here – “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches.”

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The Triple Constraints are NOT Success Criteria

The Triple Constraints are NOT Success Criteria

PMD Pro, Project Management

What defines a project as a success?

For a lot of Project Managers, the answer to this question (unfortunately), is “on-time, on-budget, on-scope”. These are known as the Triple Constraints, or the Iron Triangle, and are the Holy Grail for Project Managers. Hit these three and you can call your project a ‘success’.

But, so the thinking goes, you can’t actually hit ALL three. You can hit two of them, and get close to the third. But one of those always has to be sacrificed. Okay, then as long as you got two, and close to the third, your project is still a success.

Or is it? What really defines whether a project is successful?

Continue reading “The Triple Constraints are NOT Success Criteria”

PMD Pro in the field – Changing the world one project at a time

Case Studies, PMD Pro, Project Management
Community Planning Session in Progress: Mudzi Secondary School staff, and Community members setting responsibilities and targets

PMD Pro in action in Mudzi, Zimbabwe

Mudzi is a district of Mashonaland in the far eastern part of Zimbabwe. World Vision International (http://www.wvi.org/zimbabwe) runs an Area Development Programme in Mudzi and the programme has adopted the use of PMD Pro and its project management tools. This has facilitated its projects being implemented on time, on scope and within budget.

 

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Estimate or Budget?

Estimate or Budget?

PMD Pro, Project Management

Are you working from an Estimate, or a Budget?

These two get confused quite a bit. They seem to be the same, and one usually derives from the other, but they’re not the same.

An estimate is an approximation of what your project (or piece of it) will cost. The budget is what you’re allowed to spend. The estimate provides a guideline, the budget provides hard edges. You can’t go ‘over-estimate’, but you can go over-budget.

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Why is so much LINGOS PM “stuff” free?

PMD Pro, PMDPro Guide, Project Management

I have just had a conversation with someone, who asked, “Why is so much of your stuff free”? In other words, why aren’t you charging for e-learning etc. I was quite taken aback, I mean, if you believe in the power of learning to transform people, organisations and communities, why wouldn’t you try to make as much as possible available for as little as possible? So I thought it would be worth exploring this a bit.

Continue reading “Why is so much LINGOS PM “stuff” free?”