6 tips for keeping your team motivated

6 tips for keeping your team motivated

Development Sector, Leadership

This article was originally published on APM.

 

The motivated team is the more productive team. That’s a fairly well established fact. As the project manager or PMO director how do you get there? How do you make sure your project teams are as motivated and engaged as possible every time out on every project?

As usual, I have some thoughts and opinions – coming from experience, logic and observation – that result in my personal list of six key tips to keep your project teams focused on the end goal…

 

1. Pay them well and timely
This may apply more to consulting situations but consultants are people, too. Your project management staff and supporting team members – pay them well. Trust me, keeping the good ones around – and you know who they are and they know who they are – is very important to the success of your projects, the satisfaction of your project clients and the financial viability of your company. Don’t let or force the good ones to leave. It’s expensive to acquire and onboard good new talent and your projects and customers are important.

 

2. Engage them as early as possible

You want an accountable and motivated project team? Get them assigned as early as possible to the projects. They can assist the project manager in early project planning and even take part in project kickoff. And the sooner the customer sees a full team the better. Your full team project engagement will be better if the team is involved in planning and the customer sees the teams as a well-oiled productive and collaborative unit as early in the project as possible. Yes, that can and will add expenses to the project so make that part of the sales culture and process to plan that in to the price of the projects overall. It is important if you can do it.

Continue reading “6 tips for keeping your team motivated”

How to be productive when you’re juggling multiple projects?

How to be productive when you’re juggling multiple projects?

Development Sector, Leadership

This article was originally published on APM.

 

Do you feel overwhelmed by the number or variety of projects that you’re handling simultaneously? Many professionals welcome the opportunity to take on different roles and responsibilities, or to deal with several clients or campaigns at the same time – there’s no better way to avoid boredom. But just as juggling balls in the air requires coordination and dexterity, it also takes a certain skill-set to get things done while juggling in a metaphorical sense. Here are my top tips:

 

  1. Resist the urge to multi-task

    While listening to a conference call about one project, are you tempted to check your email, scroll through social media, or jot down notes about something totally unrelated. Or do you keep several screens open on your laptop, switching from one document or spreadsheet to another?

    Contrary to some perceptions, multi-tasking can damage productivity rather than enhance it. Indeed, research shows that only two per cent of the population can do it successfully. According to neuroscientists the brains of ‘supertaskers’ become more active as they take on more tasks but for the vast majority of us, no amount of practice enables us to perform in these conditions. Furthermore, repeatedly shifting attention is exhausting because it takes time and energy to focus.

  2. Declutter your diary

    Multiple projects can entail a deluge of demands on your energy and creativity. They can also lead to an inordinate amount of ‘time clutter’ – appointments, meetings, deadlines, etc.

    The key to getting things done efficiently and effectively is to review your schedule, to let go of surplus commitments and to focus on what matters most. You may have heard the expression ‘When everything is important, nothing is.’ It’s particularly relevant to being productive. Learning to plan and prioritise is paramount. And if there’s too much on your to-do list, decide what you can either discard or delegate.

  3. Aim for progress, not perfection

    Over the years, I’ve identified perfectionism as one of the most common challenges for anyone who struggles with time management. Are you putting yourself under pressure because you’re not only trying to complete several projects but you’re also endeavouring to do them all perfectly? If you’re aiming for impossibly high standards, it’s worth asking yourself this simple question: why aim for perfect when excellent will do? Another antidote to perfectionism is to distinguish between when 100 per cent is required and when it isn’t. More often than not, you’re likely to find that the projects you’re juggling don’t need to be perfect; they just need to be done.

There’s no question that taking on several projects can prove testing but if you enjoy a challenge, the rewards can be immense. In fact, once you become accustomed to managing different teams, topics and tasks, you may never wish to handle just one project at a time.

 

Read the original article at APM.

Social Development Project Management Overview

Social Development Project Management Overview

Development Sector, Statistics

The Communitaria Consultoria Social has concluded a research about Social Development Project Management in Brazil:

“This research reflects our discomfort on issues faced daily as a consultancy. At times, we partake in dialogue with organizations trying to clarify how to form adequate goals for projects, while other times we discuss advanced methods of impact evaluation. In the field of social investment we have many different levels of knowledge that provoke us continuously. We frequently catch ourselves in conversations about just how much the challenges we encountered during operations have in common.

Therefore, the idea was to create conversation around discussing the number of coincidences and to what extent the exchange of knowledge and of practices can lead us – as part of the social investment field – to discuss and find solutions more collectively. We have twice managed to gather a group of stakeholders but, beyond difficulties with agendas, we had to rise to the challenge of investing alone in free circles of knowledge, despite being a small company… The next step was to formulate research, with the help of the participants, in order to map out the field and generate knowledge that would lead us to reflect on it.

It was not an easy journey, but we counted on people who were dedicated and willing to collaborate.

The response to the research took longer than we would have liked. We had problems along the way, yet we continued on and we would try to further analyze each group of results so as to provide all the possibilities of vision and analysis that we could. We did not focus on coming to conclusions by ourselves because we would wish for all the data to help you arrive to your own conclusions and experiences… We believe that everyone has his or her own conclusions and paths to follow.

Also, a big thank you to all those who have participated, it has been incredible!”
Communitaria Team

English: 

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Social Project Management – Research Results

Created by Comunitaria Social Consultancy

Portuguese: 

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Gestão de Projetos Sociais - Resultado de Pesquisa

Criado por Comunitária Consultoria Pessoal

Culture Eats Tech for Breakfast to Drive Innovation at International NGOs

Culture Eats Tech for Breakfast to Drive Innovation at International NGOs

Development Sector

This article was originally published on Humentum.

It is no secret that NGOs are not readily included in the conversation about organizations that are driving innovation with digital mindsets and solutions. With the pace of change quickening for everyone working for social good around the world, we decided to dig deeper into how to accelerate digital transformation in our sector. One of the headline sessions at the recent Humentum Annual Conference explored whether NGOs will have the skills to thrive in the emerging digital world—or be left behind!

 

A HOT TOPIC!

About 100 people crammed the room and overflowed into the hall for almost two hours to wrestle with how we can build the skills, culture and processes needed for digital transformation. At the start of the session, we did a few interactive activities to get a feel for who was in the room—and there was some surprises!

Less than 10% of the people in the room were IT people! So who were all these digital change agents? About half worked in Finance, another big chunk were Grants and Compliance pros with a good sized group of HR, learning and capacity building people filling out the room. That’s exciting and the diversity in the room generated lots of energy and ideas. And—it’s a powerful signal of the passion for innovation across the sector. Continue reading “Culture Eats Tech for Breakfast to Drive Innovation at International NGOs”

Inclusive PMD Pro for Visually Impaired

Inclusive PMD Pro for Visually Impaired

Development Sector, PMD Pro, Project Management

Author: Cristiano Moura

Inclusive Project Management for Development Professionals methodology for Visually ImpairedInspired by the democratization of information and access to management tools provided by the PMD Pro Guide, Cristiano Moura developed a method to train the visually impaired in project management, specifically in the initial phase of the Project Life Cycle. This method proposes that the visually impaired can design projects, improve management, attract resources and be recognized professionals of the social development sector, after all, now they can see how to make a good justification of their projects and design structured projects, taking into account the tools of Identification and Design of Design, as Tree of Problems, Tree of Objectives and mainly the Logical Framework.

And how could that be possible? Eyes of a visually impaired person are also in their hands, so the idea was to enable them to experience the tools through touch. And why? Because there was a problem that in an expositive class would be extremely complicated to work with this audience. So, some questions guided the creation of this method, for example: “how to explain and make visually impaired that at the time of justifying the project we would have to use a problem tree?” “How could we make them understand that in roots, trunks and branches, we would have causes, central problem and effects?” Continue reading “Inclusive PMD Pro for Visually Impaired”

RedR UK Mentoring: The next step

RedR UK Mentoring: The next step

Development Sector

 

This article was originally published on RedR UK.

 

RedR UK’s Mentoring Programme is designed to support junior professionals as they look to gain experience in the humanitarian sector.
We pair Mentees with an experienced humanitarian in the same field who can assist them in taking their ‘next step’ in the sector.

Mentors provide technical guidance, information on the humanitarian sector and support with potential career paths and opportunities. All of our Mentors are experiences humanitarians, which allows them to offer practical advice which is grounded in real-life experience.

To support their journey, all Mentors receive free, high-quality online training, and consistent support from RedR UK throughout the process.

Running For Excellence

Running For Excellence

Board Members, Development Sector

 

This article was originally published on Humentum by Tom Dente.

I had the opportunity in April to run in the London Marathon. Among the many marathons around the world, this is a special race as it involves significant participation from charities, NGOs, and nonprofits of all kinds, including many Humentum members and clients. It was inspiring to see the different organizations using the marathon to raise awareness of their missions, increase participation in their work, and support fundraising through this event. There were many logos and banners representing organizations large and small involved in development and humanitarian work. As perhaps a metaphor for recent overall conditions in our sector, this was the hottest race in the London Marathon’s history, with bright sunshine and heat, making for more difficult conditions.

As a community of resilient organizations, we succeed in the bright light of challenge and heat of scrutiny only if we have our core operations primed and ready. We succeed because in each of our organizations, we continually enhance the operational capabilities essential to supporting our missions. Humentum – and before it InsideNGO, LINGOs and Mango – exists to empower organizations and individuals to deliver these essential capabilities. As we look ahead, Humentum will focus on supporting four core operational capabilities: financial management, compliance, program management and people development. Achieving excellence in these core capabilities, on an integrated basis, ensures that organizations are not only fit for funding but also trusted to deliver long-term impact. For each of these core capabilities, we look forward to sharing insights, practices, and capacity that allows organizations to achieve competence and, with the support of our community, strive for excellence. This is the ultimate “finish line” we commit to reaching, and because of the nature of our work, one that is just beyond the next turn, as excellence is always being redefined.

Continue reading “Running For Excellence”

Ebola response, Democratic Republic of Congo

Ebola response, Democratic Republic of Congo

Development Sector

This article was originally published on RedR UK.

On 8 May 2018, the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) declared an outbreak of Ebola virus disease, after laboratory tests confirmed two cases of the disease in the town of Bikoro, in the northwest region of the country.

Although there are regular outbreaks of Ebola in DRC, this most recent instance became of greater concern after cases occurred in Mbandaka, an urban area of over one million people close to the Congo river, which flows to Kinchasa with a population of 11 million and connections all over the world.

RedR UK Member Paul Jawor recently returned from DRC where he was working as a water and sanitation specialist for Médecins Sans Frontières as part of the Ebola response. Paul explains his humanitarian background and his work on the ground in DRC:

 

Ebola response: Itipo and Iboko

“I originally trained as a highway engineer, before joining RedR UK as a member in the 1990’s. I’ve worked on six different responses to Ebola outbreaks, including Uganda in the early 1990’s and more recently as part of the response to the 2015 outbreak in West Africa.

My specialism is in Water and Sanitation, and Infection Prevention Control (IPC) which also includes “bio safety”. I make sure that aid workers wear the Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) suits correctly so there’s no chance of getting infection. When the infected person has been in a place I clean the area; I wear a suit and I spray the area with chlorine solution and wipe it all down and make sure that no one else catches the disease. You can catch Ebola from the surface of a table, so things have to be cleaned very carefully and thoroughly.

Continue reading “Ebola response, Democratic Republic of Congo”

Managing global project teams – the trials and tribulations

Development Sector, Project Management

This article was originally published on APM by Paul Naybour.

Although we all work hard to make the management of projects as simple and streamlined as possible by following tried and trusted processes and best practice, in reality many projects are complex and difficult to manage well.

Add to the inherent difficulties of a complex project a diverse team in terms of location and culture and any problems risk being magnified. Yet, for mostly commercial reasons, organisations continue to employ diverse teams with the hope of acquiring the best talent in the most cost-effective way; even though this can result in problems with efficiency, administration and reporting.

If, like me, you have worked with global teams you may not be entirely convinced that the cost savings actually stack up when compared with the added complications of running projects with global teams. But whatever my personal opinion it looks like global projects are here to stay so what is the best approach to make them work for your projects and how can you best adapt your reliable processes to accommodate team members in different locations and time zones?

 

THE PROBLEMS

 

Time zone constraints

A mini-crisis has occurred and you need someone to tackle it straight away but on the other side of the world your team have just packed up for the day. What do you do? Continue reading “Managing global project teams – the trials and tribulations”

Mission Impossible: Benefits-led risk management?

Mission Impossible: Benefits-led risk management?

Development Sector, Project Management

This article was originally published on APM International.

Safe brakes are worth a month of beans on toast

Katie told me she’d been worried about her car, so she took it to the garage. The problem turned out to be the brakes, but the mechanic also mentioned her tyres were going to need replacing soon. “The brakes needed doing immediately, but the tyres I could defer until the MOT in the autumn. I realised afterwards, I’d basically done a cost benefit analysis and decided not getting killed was worth the unexpected expense!”

As we chatted I realised she’d also, without realising it, thought about her benefit risks. Traditional risk management focuses on, for example, risk to schedule, costs or reputation. I see very few risk matrices which consider impact on benefits, but, whether it’s getting our car repaired or doing up a kitchen, we all subconsciously think this way.

 

Benefits are the point of investments

If I’m being blunt, I don’t care that a piece of kit is going to be rolled out three months late. I care that the change relying on that bit of kit can’t happen, so I’m losing three months of benefits. Cost overrun? That’s the ‘price’ of my benefits and lowers my return on investment (in addition to the other impacts: Katie will be eating beans on toast this month to pay for those brake pads).

 

Teams should consider the impact on benefits

Let’s look at this using a basic risk matrix you might find in any organisation. Impact is scored from, say, one to five, with one being minor and five being disaster. I often see, for example, a three month overrun as being a four, i.e. very serious. But what if that overrun isn’t on my critical path, or what if the benefits which rely on it are not worth much, compared to the rest of the initiative? Is it really that important? Continue reading “Mission Impossible: Benefits-led risk management?”