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PMDPro overview: IPMA Brasil

PMD Pro, PMDPro Guide, Project Management

IPMA Brasil team has developed a PMDPro article that synthesize the best practices guide. This is an excellent overview of the PMDPro phases, knowledge fields and tools that allows the reader to have a good comprehension of the PMDPro prior to the guide reading.

Please click in the links below to download the articles in English or Portuguese:

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Risks, Issues and Assumptions: on my way to work

PMD Pro, Program Management, Project Management

It is not rare that we misinterpret terms which definitions are similar or applied differently in different context or areas of work. One example in the project management area is the common confusion between risk, issue and assumption.

The PMDPro Guide defines risk as the potential effect of uncertainty on project objectives. There are two key aspects of risks: probability (what is the odds of the event to occur?) and impact (how “large” is the change in the project?).

Assumptions are hypotheses about necessary conditions, both internal and external, identified in a design to ensure that the presumed cause-effect relationships function as expected and that planned activities will produce expected results. In other words, assumption is an event, condition or fact that we need to happen or maintain in order to assure the project success.

Finally, issue is a problem – something that is happening now. Issues can be either something that was no predicted or a risk that has now occurred. It can take the form of an unresolved decision, situation or problem that will significantly impact the project.

We could relate these terms with the following simple expression, that would help their comprehension: Continue reading “Risks, Issues and Assumptions: on my way to work”

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Six Steps to a (More) Useful WBS

Project Management, Tools

The very first time I taught a class in project management was well before the days of PowerPoint and LCD projectors. In fact, my presentation materials consisted of overhead slides that I had created by hand with rub-on letters since color printers were more expensive than manual labor. As a result, I tried to keep the amount of text down to an absolute minimum. So on the slide that introduced the concept of a Work Breakdown Structure, I used the acronym WBS without spelling it out in full.

I was well aware of the potential for confusion, and I am pretty sure that I explained what the acronym stood for when the slide went up. But either I hadn’t explained, or I hadn’t done it very well, because not long after I began to discuss WBSs, a participant at the back of the room raised their hand and asked, “I understand what the last two letters stand for, but what does the first one mean?” While I was still trying to digest that question, another student towards the front of the room called out “wholesale!”

Unfortunately, this perception is all too common. When it comes to developing a WBS, all too many project managers are still swearing at it instead of swearing by it. Continue reading “Six Steps to a (More) Useful WBS”

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Logical Framework – A friend with many faces

Logical Framework – A friend with many faces

PMD Pro, PMDPro Guide, Project Management, Tools

There are several different definitions, formats, templates and structures for project logical frameworks available in the main project management methodologies. If you google “logical framework” then you will probably get lost in the hundreds different models.

According to PMDPro, the logical framework is an analytical tool used to plan, monitor and evaluate projects. It derives its name from the logical linkages set out by the planner(s) to connect a project’s means with its ends.
It is intended to serve as:

  • A systematic tool for organizing the project thinking and identifying relationships between resources, activities, and project results;
  • A visual way of presenting and sharing the project intervention logic;
  • A tool to identify and assess risks inherent in the proposed project design;
  • A tool for measuring progress through indicators and means of verification.

So, let´s agree that it is a friendly tool that is capable of demonstrating the project main logic and dependencies in one matrix. It´s a friend… but, let´s meet its many faces. Continue reading “Logical Framework – A friend with many faces”

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Global NGO online technology stats

PM4NGOs

Nowadays, it is difficult to find statistics about the development and humanitarian sectors that are updated, global and free. A collaborative research project by the Public Interest Registry and Nonprofit Tech for Good, the 2016 Global NGO Online Technology Report is an effort to gain a better understanding of how non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide use online technology to communicate with their supporters and donors. Based upon the survey results of 2,780 NGOs from Africa, Asia, Australia & Oceania, Europe, North America, and South America, the report presents either global and regional statistics.

Some global stats from the report:

  • 92% of NGOs worldwide have a website.
  • 75% accept online donations. Payment methods accepted include credit cards (82%), PayPal (52%), direct debit (47%), mobile text (6%), and digital wallets (3%).
  • 95% have a Facebook Page. Small NGOs have an average of 5,723 likes. Medium NGOs have 28,337. Large NGOs have 127,930.
  • 78% agree that social media is effective for online fundraising.

If you would like to download the full report, please visit the Global NGO Online Technology Report website – http://techreport.ngo/

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What did the Project Managers ever do for us?

Leadership, Program Management, Project Management

There is that famous scene in Monty Python and The Life of Brian where the rebels are demanding action against the oppressive Romans and ask the question ‘What did the Romans ever do for us?’- The answers came back over and over again as the rebels listed the many things that the Romans brought with them … medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health. So, quite a lot!

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I sometimes hear of project management and project managers being challenged in much the same way … ‘what has project management done for us (the organisation)?’ The thinking presumably goes that there are projects but if the business keeps doing projects then they become (presumably) less unusual and less risky and therefore they don’t need this elite band of project managers to constantly be ‘on the case’. Or perhaps it I less a matter of thinking and more a matter of memory loss, forgetting what project based business life was like before project management was in place and making a real difference. Continue reading “What did the Project Managers ever do for us?”

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Program Management for Development Professionals Guide

Diagrams, Program Management

PM4NGOs is developing the Program Management for Development Professionals Guide to provide advice, tools and guidance to help Program Managers work effectively at a pivotal level in local, national and international NGOs.

Program managers play an essential role by providing an interface between their organization’s strategic management team and project managers who are accountable for the successful delivery of small, medium, and large projects.

The Guide is expected to be launched in the first semester of 2016. However, we would like to anticipate discussion about this new approach and to gather feedback from the PM4NGOs community in advance by sharing our new Program Lifecycle diagram and approach.

Continue reading “Program Management for Development Professionals Guide”

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PM4NGOs and APMG announce the recipient of the 2015 Alan Harpham Award

Alan Harpham Award, NRP, PMD Pro, PMD Pro Certification, Project Management

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 2015 is Liziane Silva, cofounder of Ink.

Liziane is responsible for over bringing the PMD Pro methodology to over 1000 people through her company, Ink. Ink not only manages PMD Pro online and face to face training courses, but also supports organizations and co-manages complex projects. In addition, Ink delivers capacity building projects that includes PMD Pro and other methodologies for NGOs in three different locations in Brazil: Curitiba, Sorocaba and Mato Grosso.

We at PM4NGOs as well as the team of APMG International congratulate Liziane and wish her all the very best in the future to succeed in the field of project management for NGOs. Continue reading “PM4NGOs and APMG announce the recipient of the 2015 Alan Harpham Award”

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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?”

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