The catchwords currently on people’s lips encapsulating effective approaches to managing in the Covid-19 era and beyond include resilience and agile. Add to that list “Blended.”
Who is the Blended Project Manager and what does it mean?
How will your approach to stakeholder engagement and communication change in 2020?
As we attempt to exit the current health crisis which has consumed our energies and attention during the first half of the year, we will have to adapt many of our normal practices to accommodate the new “normality” of a post-Covid-19 world.
Peter Marlow, PM4NGOs Board Member, discusses at this PM Today article the unique challenges of managing projects in the humanitarian and development sectors and how a training and certification scheme called Project DPro that’s celebrating its 10th anniversary this year is making a big difference.
He explains why it’s needed, how it’s put into practice, and how you can help.
“Operations keep the lights on, strategy provides a light at the end of the tunnel, but project management is the train engine that moves the organization forward.” – Joy Gumz
PM4NGOs has launched the Project DPro Pulse 2019 – a survey to identify the demand and needs of project managers at the development and humanitarian sectors.
You will be leading the project management tools/guides development in 2020/2021 and providing your opinion and recommendations along with other professionals around the world.
This survey takes approximately 15 minutes. You participation is crucial – the survey findings will not only generate a global report but, more importantly, drive PM4NGOs and its partners efforts to attending professionals and organizations’ project management needs. Please also share this initiative with your colleagues.
Click in the button below to participate on the Project DPro Pulse 2019.
One of the most significant differences between PM in traditional industries and the management of projects in the development sector, is the occurrence of and potential for conflict between stakeholders and beneficiaries. Our work with national NGOs reveals a continuing need to develop strategies and processes for conflict resolution between stakeholders.
To give but one example, an NGO planning and implementing a project in an area containing several communities could be required to include numerous local grassroots organizations. Those organizations may well have different goals, interests and agendas.
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.
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.
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:
I always wondered why we need to develop the Problem Tree … then the Objectives Tree … then the Alternatives Tree … and finally start developing the Logframe. Once we have identified the core problem, its causes and consequences, why not jumping to develop the Logframe?
Well… Here are some thoughts…
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.
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”