Long live the Decision Gates

Long live the Decision Gates

PMD Pro, PMDPro Guide, Program Management, Project Management

During the project launch meeting, suddenly, the Project Manager raises from his chair and shouts: “long live decision gates!” Yes, decision gates must live long and walk through the entire project life. But what are decision gates?

According to the PMD Pro Guide, decision gates consist of a series of points in the project that require a decision to either proceed with the next phase of the project, modify the Scope, Schedule or Budget of the project or end the project outright. Each successive decision gate builds on the work that was developed in the previous stage.

Although more common at the Setup Phase, when a formal approval is required to mobilizing resources and beginning the iterative planning and implementation phases, decision gates are helpful and necessary to connect each phase and stage of the project.

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Using Iterative Planning Models to Manage Change

Using Iterative Planning Models to Manage Change

PMDPro Guide, Project Management

Does this scenario sound familiar? A three-year project has entered year two of its implementation phase. In general, the project is going OK. The logic of the project intervention is still valid, and the deliverables are still viable. There is, however, a significant problem with the project plan. The field reality of year two implementation has little in common with what was predicted when the project plans were developed 20 months earlier. It is increasingly clear that certain budget estimates were significantly underestimated, while other line items are no longer needed because of changes to the roles of implementing partners.

While these challenges can be addressed through a combination of issues management and change requests, some projects have addressed it through a strategy of iterative project planning.

In an iterative planning model, an initial project plan is established when the project is approved. However, recognizing that the field reality of project implementation can/will vary over time, the details of the project plan are not set out until later. Instead of establishing a single detailed implementation plan, the projects subscribe to a planning model that includes periodic updates of implementation plans. In development projects, these periodic plans are usually made on a yearly basis and are called Annual Operating plans. In an emergency response project, this time frame for updated plans might be significantly shorter. ECHO, the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection group, for example, permits an adjustment to project proposals once every three months, based on an understanding about who needs to authorize changes for each of the levels of the logical framework. Continue reading “Using Iterative Planning Models to Manage Change”

Using Iterative Planning Models to Manage Change

Using Iterative Planning Models to Manage Change

PMDPro Guide, Project Management

Does this scenario sound familiar? A three-year project has entered year two of its implementation phase. In general, the project is going OK. The logic of the project intervention is still valid, and the deliverables are still viable. There is, however, a significant problem with the project plan. The field reality of year two implementation has little in common with what was predicted when the project plans were developed 20 months earlier. It is increasingly clear that certain budget estimates were significantly underestimated, while other line items are no longer needed because of changes to the roles of implementing partners.

While these challenges can be addressed through a combination of issues management and change requests, some projects have addressed it through a strategy of iterative project planning.

In an iterative planning model, an initial project plan is established when the project is approved. However, recognizing that the field reality of project implementation can/will vary over time, the details of the project plan are not set out until later. Instead of establishing a single detailed implementation plan, the projects subscribe to a planning model that includes periodic updates of implementation plans. In development projects, these periodic plans are usually made on a yearly basis and are called Annual Operating plans. In an emergency response project, this time frame for updated plans might be significantly shorter. ECHO, the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection group, for example, permits an adjustment to project proposals once every three months, based on an understanding about who needs to authorize changes for each of the levels of the logical framework. Continue reading “Using Iterative Planning Models to Manage Change”

You Are Not Alone!

You Are Not Alone!

PMD Pro, PMDPro Guide

While the challenges confronting development projects are extensive and complex, they are by no means exclusive to projects managed in the development sector.

Chaos Report Project Results

Take, for example, the information provided in this graph and its accompanying table. Each year the Standish Group conducts a survey entitled the Chaos Report, collecting responses from over 10,000 Information Technology (IT) projects. The report identifies the percentage of IT projects evaluated as “succeeded”, “challenged” or “failed.”¹

Year after year, the Chaos Report results indicate that the majority of IT projects surveyed by the Standish Group are assessed as “challenged” or “failed” and only a relatively small percentage are considered to have “succeeded.” In 2008, for example, the percentage of unqualified project successes was 32%; failures (defined as projects abandoned midstream) were 24%, and the remaining 44% of projects were completed but “challenged” by cost overruns, calendar delays, and/or failed to deliver all the project products or services.

It is important to acknowledge that the Chaos Report does not address development projects. The survey was designed and implemented by a project management services firm to study the results of IT projects. However, the results of the report are helpful in that they underscore the challenges of delivering successful projects and they provide data that help us answer the key question, “What are the key issues that result in project challenges and failures?”

According to the analysis of the 2009 Chaos Report, there are three issues that most frequently result in challenged projects².

  1. Incomplete requirements and specifications;
  2. Lack of contingency planning for managing risks; and
  3. Failure to learn from mistakes

Does this sound familiar? What is striking about the analysis of challenged projects in the IT sector is how similar the issues are to those in development sector. Continue reading “You Are Not Alone!”

PMD Pro picture of the month – February, 2018

PMD Pro picture of the month – February, 2018

PMDPro Guide, Project Management

Trust Consultancy & Development had completed training in Project Management for Development PMD Pro1 in Gaziantep with trainers Mr. Hassan Jenedie (Trust Capacity Building Director) & Mr. Akkash Asheer (Trust Turkish Program Manager) from 18 – 22 December 2017

Trust also provides a PMD Pro1 test submission service and one of the trainee from Moretania (work at world vision) submitted PMD Pro1 test in Trust company and succeeded.

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PMD Pro Exam System and Guidelines

PMD Pro, PMD Pro Certification, PMDPro Guide

Attending requests from trainers and training organizations, APMG has upgraded the PMD Pro exam system. The new system is live and brings several new features and improvements.

Although the new system has changed the purchase, invigilation, and candidate registration, no changes have been made in the exam itself. In other words, candidates will have better control on their registration and results, but taking the exam is pretty much the same.

Please see what has changed, what hasn´t, and where to find support for accessing the new system: Continue reading “PMD Pro Exam System and Guidelines”

A great year for PMD Pro

PMD Pro, PMD Pro Certification, PMDPro Guide, Statistics

PM4NGOs has been the guardian of PMD Pro since 2011, but its story started four years before when 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 between 2010 and 2011.

Since the guide and certification development, 2016 was the best year: we had 3,301 new certified professionals last year, 10,4% more than in 2015 and the highest number of certified professionals in the history of PMD Pro.

We have reached 14,363 certified professionals in 148 countries, from a total of 18,564 exams taken. 75% of certified professionals are in the developing countries.

Considering only countries with 100 or more PMD Professionals, some presented remarkable results:

  • Sri Lanka (256,06% increase) – from 66 to 235
  • Syria (240,35% increase) – from 57 to 194
  • India (156,60% increase) – from 53 to 136
  • Nigeria (151,80% increase) – from 139 to 350
  • Mexico (107,35% increase) – from 68 to 141
  • Turkey (90% increase) – from 160 to 304
  • Ghana (69,33% increase) – from 75 to 127

We are sure that 2017 will also be a great year. With the Program Guide coming in the next months and a beginning of PMD Pro review at the end of the year, we expect to reach more professionals, in more countries, impacting thousands of projects and beneficiaries.

PM4NGOs new logo

PMD Pro, PMDPro Guide

PM4NGOs_Symbol_BWhite_SquareWe are proud to announce the launch of our new organization logo as part of the ongoing evolution of the PM4NGOs brand. The new logo defines an easily identifiable brand, reflecting the quality or our products, confidence and trust on our partnerships, and clarity and friendly aspects of all methodologies and guides we develop and share.

Although we are very proud of our new logo, the changes we are making and the brand that we are developing goes far beyond the logo. Over the next year, we will launch new methodologies and improve our community platform. The new logo is not the only change we’ve got planned, so keep an eye out for some subtle visual changes on PM4NGOs over the next year too.

You’ll start to see the suite of new logos live on PM4NGOs today. There are a few places that will take us a little longer to update, and we’ll crack on with getting those tidied up over the coming weeks.

PMD Pro_BWhite_LargestThe PMD Pro Guide and all other publications and tools will also embed the new PM4NGOs logo over the next weeks. However, all content has not being changed, nor it will be for now.

If you have used the PM4NGOs or PMD Pro logo in any of your training / marketing materials, please assist us in updating them. We appreciate your kind support. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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: