Program DPro (PgMD Pro) Rebranding

PMD Pro, Program Management

Over the past 10 years, PMD Pro has reached 27 thousand professionals, working at 1,250 organizations, in 165 countries. This is the number of professionals that we can acknowledge because they have taken the exam – but we are sure that many more project managers and their teams are applying the PMD Pro best practices. This large community has motivated and helped PM4NGOs and its partners to go beyond the project management level.

PMD Pro has given birth to a family of best practices and methodologies: Program Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, Financial Management, PMD Pro Starter, and supplemental materials like the Theory of Change and the Quick Reading Guides.

Informally, we refer to this group of guides and methodologies as the DPro Family.

DPro Family, Program Management, Project Management, Financial Management

To better align with the growing DPro family of methodologies and Guides, we rebranded our methodology PgMD Pro to Program DPro. Next year, we will also rebrand PMD Pro to become Project DPro (with a permanent reference to the original brand PMD Pro).

Rebranding is about changing perception. It is more commonly described as a change in how you look, sound, and write. This change will allow practitioners to better recognize all current and future DPro practices as member of one family.

Why do we need five steps to develop a schedule?

Why do we need five steps to develop a schedule?

Program Management, Project Management

Before learning and adopting best practices for project management, developing a project schedule was a pain. I used to grab the project proposal and other available documents and then spent several hours (days) behind my computer working on the MS Project. No matter how much time I dedicated or how focused I was, the outcome was never detailed or comprehensive enough.

PMD Pro made me understand that there are many steps prior to the scheduled development, such as the Logframe review, WBS development, sequencing activities, estimating resources and duration, and establishing the critical path, to finally develop the project schedule.However, I still struggled to understand why I needed to follow all these steps, one by one, instead of simply applying their techniques at once. After all, when thinking on a task or set of activities, our mind naturally assembles all aspects at the same time: when task will start and end, the required resources, who will be responsible for it, etc.

Here are a few reasons why following these five steps is crucial to develop a more accurate and comprehensive project schedule:

Continue reading “Why do we need five steps to develop a schedule?”

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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Managing Complexity

Managing Complexity

Leadership, Program Management

Development professionals everywhere work to address the most complex global and local problems, ranging from extreme poverty and armed conflict, to outbreaks of infectious disease and gender-based violence. The root causes of the problems that development and on-governmental organizations (NGOs) seek to overcome often require multiple strategies and interventions to address the complex causes of poverty, violence, disease, social injustice, environmental degradation, and humanitarian disaster.



Working in a dynamic sector requires multi-dimensional solutions to bring about change and an approach that equips country and regional teams to be responsive and capable of delivering excellent programs in a continuously changing environment. To do this successfully, a Program Manager must have a good understanding of the external context and make sound judgments regarding the implementation of programs, projects and activities. Continue reading “Managing Complexity”

The Difference between a Project and a Program

The Difference between a Project and a Program

Program Management, Project Management

What are the fundamental differences between the two? Find out…

This article was originally published on APMG International.

Defining a Project:

Perhaps the key difference between a project and a program is specificity. A project refers to a specific, singular endeavour to deliver a tangible output. A project manager is therefore responsible for ensuring a project delivers on its intended output in line with a defined time frame and budget.

Defining a Program/Programme:

A program refers to multiple projects which are managed and delivered as a single package. A program manager is therefore tasked with overseeing all the projects comprising the program – to ensure it achieves its outcomes.


How Projects and Programs differ:

Continue reading “The Difference between a Project and a Program”

Exam for Program Management for Non-Government Organisations Certification now available

Exam for Program Management for Non-Government Organisations Certification now available

Program Management

This article was originally published by APMG International.

In partnership with Project Management for Non-Government Organisations (PM4NGOs) APMG International has launched the Program Management for Development Professionals (PgMDPro) exam. This new certification has been created especially for program managers in the development sector to help offer leadership to project managers and their teams.

PM4NGOs is an international organisation that proactively supports professionalism in program and project management across the international development sector. PM4NGO developed PMD Pro and PgMD Pro in 2011 to develop best practice guides, methodologies, tools and techniques to help project managers in the development sector to improve the impact of their projects and help them maximize the value of their projects for both the investors and the people who will benefit from investments.

The certification is supported by the PgMD Pro Guide which is created to provide the program managers with advice, tools and guidance to fulfil their roles effectively. The objective of the Guide is to outline the responsibilities inherent in the role of the person/s responsible for managing programs and their project components. Continue reading “Exam for Program Management for Non-Government Organisations Certification now available”

Honing Interpersonal Skills for Successful Project Delivery

Honing Interpersonal Skills for Successful Project Delivery

Program Management, Project Management

This article was originally published on the website of the APMG by Emma Jones.

A complete overview of the essential interpersonal skills that lead to project success.

We each develop our own interpersonal skill-set as a result of our experiences, environment, and interactions with others. We are shaped by both nature and nurture. As Project Managers, we need to understand how we relate to, and interact with, other people in order to engender trust and respect to get the job done.

A Project, Programme and Portfolio (P3) Manager needs to lead and motivate their management team and delivery teams. This will be through visionary leadership, ensuring people are committed to the objectives of the work, and managerial leadership, delegating work and developing teamwork.

The P3 manager must also lead the stakeholder community, who do not collectively form a team and to whom delegation is rarely appropriate. When dealing with stakeholders, influencing and negotiation are more relevant.

Whether delegating work to a team or influencing stakeholders, conflict will inevitably arise in some form. The P3 Manager will need to have conflict management skills no matter how well honed their other interpersonal skills may be.

Naturally, at the heart of all human interactions is communication.

The fundamental principles of interpersonal skills do not vary across the range of projects, programmes and portfolios. However, the context and organisational structures do change and this leads to different challenges and different emphases in their application.

Here are some must-have skills and tips that will make your team love and respect you. Continue reading “Honing Interpersonal Skills for Successful Project Delivery”

The value is in the small change

The value is in the small change

Development Sector, Program Management, Project Management

This blog was originally published on APMG International.

You’ve supported your staff to attend an accredited training course on programme, project, or change management and successfully obtained their practitioner level qualifications. Implementing change in your organisation should now be easy, yes?

Well… unfortunately, evidence suggests that the answer is no. Despite the popularity of training courses and accreditations available in programme, project, and change management, organisations in general find it difficult to implement change initiatives effectively. Projects are often delivered late (or not at all) and often with significant cost overruns. Those projects which are delivered ‘successfully’, in other words they have delivered their scope within time, cost and quality constraints, often do not deliver their promised improvements. New systems gather dust on the shelf and are not used effectively by the people who would gain benefits from them. Continue reading “The value is in the small change”

If You Always Do What You’ve Always Done…

If You Always Do What You’ve Always Done…

Development Sector, Program Management, Project Management

This blog was originally published on Nelson Project Consulting.

Henry Ford, the creator of the assembly line, is quoted as saying “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”.

One of the more often heard definitions of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”.

What do those two thoughts have to do with project management? Isn’t project management about standardization and processes?

Well, yes and no.

The mechanics of project management are essentially unchanging – building a business case, putting together an estimate and a budget, allocating resources, establishing a schedule, monitoring progress, etc. All of those things follow the same path of progression, and they all can be done in roughly the same way. Continue reading “If You Always Do What You’ve Always Done…”