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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.

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Are You Creating a WBS?

Board Members, PMD Pro, Project Management

We’ve all heard it the old joke “how do you eat an elephant?” “One bite at a time.”

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.

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What goes wrong with NGO Projects: Grand Designs

Case Studies, Project Management

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.

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The PMD Pro Story

PMD Pro

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.

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The High Cost of Losing Focus

Board Members, Leadership, Project Management

Leadership is all about being focused. That’s the leaders single biggest priority. To determine where to lead to, and then to focus on that and move forward.

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.

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PM4NGOs – improving skills on development projects

Case Studies, PMD Pro

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.

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