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…”

PMD Pro Guide renew and rewrite

PMD Pro Guide renew and rewrite

PMD Pro, PMD Pro Certification, PMDPro Guide, Program Management, Project Management

This month we started the PMD Pro renew and rewrite process. Board Members, staff, and PMD Pro specialists met for three days and were able to outline the new edition of PMD Pro structure and content. An amazing output!

Well, actually, this process has started last year, when we collected suggestions and feedbacks. Trainers and practitioners have recommended what could be included in the guide, what should be more detailed, and if there is any tool, technique, or content that should be removed.

Why are we updating PMD Pro?

Continue reading “PMD Pro Guide renew and rewrite”

The PM4NGOs Program Guide is live!

PgMD Pro Guide, Program Management

PM4NGOs has developed the Program Management for Development Professionals Guide to provide advice, tools, and guidance to help Program Managers work effectively at a pivotal level in local, national and international NGOs.

Program managers play an essential role by providing an interface between their organization’s strategic management team and project managers who are accountable for the successful delivery of small, medium, and large projects.

Collecting the community feedback is a key step to improve the guide before the grand launch, in July.

The Guide has been soft launched – for consultation and feedbacks. The consultation period is from May 9th to 31st. We would like to invite you to read the Guide and then send us your feedback.

You can access the Guide preview (full content) at the following link:

A Program Management for Development Professionals Guide – PgMD

After reading the guide, please provide your feedback, through the following survey:

PgMD Feedback Form

After the deadline (May 31st) the PgMD preview will remain available, but the consultation will be closed.

We appreciate your valuable contribution!

Why is PMD Pro a good learning model? A few answers from the LINGOs Global Learning Forum

Board Members, PMD Pro, PMD Pro Certification, Program Management, Project Management
From L-R: Amanda Fleetwood, Thomas Dente, Emily Fereday, John Cropper

I had the pleasure of attending the LINGOs Global Learning Forum in Seattle last month on behalf of PM4NGOs. It was a really worthwhile event and great to meet some inspiring people including the brilliant Julian Stodd whose blog you can find here if you feel like a thought-provoking read! Talking to other delegates at the event, it was evident that PMD Pro has had a real impact in the humanitarian and development sectors. It’s great that over 17,000 users have taken PMD Pro but it’s interesting to see that the reach is broader than that and goes beyond individuals. Several organisations I spoke to have adopted the PMD Pro project methodology and so even those who haven’t gained the certification appear to be benefiting from the approach.

Talking to other delegates at the event, it was evident that PMD Pro has had a real impact in the humanitarian and development sectors. It’s great that over 17,000 users have taken PMD Pro but it’s interesting to see that the reach is broader than that and goes beyond individuals.

Continue reading “Why is PMD Pro a good learning model? A few answers from the LINGOs Global Learning Forum”