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:

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How to maximise your Return on Failure (ROF)

How to maximise your Return on Failure (ROF)

Project Management

This article has been originally published at Thinkfully

Last month, Thinkfully joined the Third Sector Project Management Forum (TSPMF) at the British Red Cross offices in London to facilitate a session around how to think brilliantly and use different thinking strategies.  

As with many other industries, the Third Sector is facing challenging times in a rapidly changing environment.  Previous research within the third sector has highlighted the importance of learning lessons from past experiences and projects. Therefore, we set the challenge question: “How to identify, take on board and put into practice lessons learnt to improve future projects and become more efficient and effective?”The purpose of this question was to help unpack ideas around ownership of lessons learnt and to orientate the focus on embedding and enabling change for future projects.

The concept of ‘Return On Investment’ (ROI) is well understood (looking at the positive benefits or pay-offs from investing in a resource) however, this session revealed the importance of a new concept – ‘Return On Failure’ (ROF). 

The discussions identified some really valuable and important lessons for us all. Here we unpack 10 big ideas for us all to maximise our ROF, along with some key questions to ask ourselves along the way.

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How to manage staff – 10 tips for new managers

How to manage staff – 10 tips for new managers

Project Management

By Peter Marlow

So, you’ve been given a new project to manage and it’s big. You’ve been given some staff to help you but you’ve never managed staff before.

Managing people is not easy and it’s not something that is easily learned, except by doing it and making mistakes. Don’t worry, here are ten tips to help you to manage your new team effectively:

Build your team
Everyone is different. Your team will each have different strengths and weaknesses, and have an individual part to play in making your project a success. Management Theorist Meredith Belbin identified 9 different team roles – Resource Investigator, Team Worker, Co-ordinator, Plant (Problem Solver), Monitor Evaluator, Specialist, Shaper, Implementor and Completer Finisher. Most people will be most comfortable with two or three of these roles, but not all. So, get to know your staff. Give them tasks that exploit their strengths and help them with their weaknesses.

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The empowering feeling of participation

The empowering feeling of participation

Governance, Project Management

By Oliver Carrick

“No. We’re not talking about that now. Would anyone else like to participate?”

So spoke the President of a local NGO to the monthly meeting of project beneficiaries.

Participation has so many forms that the word alone can seem meaningless. But let’s distinguish between two key types of participation: Participation as a means of performing project work, and participation as an end goal of the project itself.

Many of us who have worked in local development have been privileged enough to see the effects of the empowering initiatives which have people’s participation as an end goal. In the best-case scenario locals and beneficiaries engage in a cycle of learning by doing which improves their confidence and their skills to participate again in ever more complex tasks. The end goal is building local capacities, knowledge and experience by participation in development projects and initiatives.

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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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The End of the Project – Game of Thrones Season Finale

The End of the Project – Game of Thrones Season Finale

Project Management, Uncategorized

I am almost sure that I’ve read an article comparing Project Management with Game of Thrones. But, with the coming of the season finale, I cannot avoid thinking on how the project would end if the project manager were one of the Game of Thrones character…

Tyrion Lannister

Using diplomacy skills, he would advise each team member and to negotiate with local partners and seek for the best possible end of the project. He would jump from supporting the partners to attending donor requirements, also searching how the implementing organization could achieve its own needs. Despite of his good will, shifting masters he would like to please would lead to not attending anyone’s expectations. A (continuous) project redesign would probably be the adopted scenario.

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Oliver Filler from Plan International discusses project management and the benefits of PMD Pro

Oliver Filler from Plan International discusses project management and the benefits of PMD Pro

Project Management, Uncategorized

This article was originally published on Humentum

Oliver Filler, Program Quality Manager at Plan International, talks about his experiences in project management, rolling out program-wide improvements and how PMD Pro has helped provide a foundation for project management learning in the developing world.

George Miller: Hello and welcome to this podcast from Humentum. My name is George Miller and I recently had the opportunity to talk to Oliver Filler, the project management lead at Plan International, about his experience of rolling out PMD Pro training. Why did they choose PMD Pro? How did they prepare to introduce it and, critically, how have people found it and what impacts has it had? But before we got onto these big questions I began by asking Oliver about his own background in anthropology. What had got him interested in that?

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Why choose project management?

Why choose project management?

Project Management

This article was originally published on APM

A career as a project manager can be exciting, varied, fulfilling, and productive. The fact there is a clear start and end date means you will feel a sense of achievement on completion, with clear milestones along the way. Many project managers talk about the feeling of pride they experience in delivering something that makes the world a better place.

While salary is an important aspect to consider, and certainly, project managers tell us that theirs is a very healthy one (£47,500 being the average salary of and experienced project manager according to APM member survey respondents), people also report a high level of job satisfaction: 80 per cent. Find out more in APM Salary and Market Trends Survey 2018.

PMD Pro Success Story: Maged Kassoum

PMD Pro Success Story: Maged Kassoum

Case Studies, PMD Pro, PMD Pro Certification, Project Management

Name: Maged Kassoum
Country: Syria
Study: Self-Study or Training 

“I am Maged Kassoum. A humanitarian young man worker based in Syria. I think no effort is required to define or explain SYRIA.
I am writing to tell you about my experience in achieving PMD Pro Level1, especially how I proudly gained PMD Pro certificate.

Living in conflict zone, I apprehend the deep need for acquiring more professional skills and competences in humanitarian domain, especially in project development sector. I joined many INGOs: Syria Recovery Trust Fund/SRTF as field coordination officer; Islamic Relief Worldwide as FLS project officer and ACTED as TVET and SME Livelihoods assistant.

During that time, my need to have more knowledge about managing projects increased fast; it even turned to a must. I was eager to attend and to study the most professional course which enable me to manage relief and aid projects professionally.

Again, short time available to educate myself due to my engagement in relief work, unsafe environment due to different war works- fighting between opposed sides, battles, air attacks and different bombardment- and other catastrophic circumstances prevented me from attending development and training center.

At last, I decided to search the internet for the ideal platform which can grant me this professional training. I registered in disasterready.org because I see it verified and reliable one. I read about PMD Pro in its content.

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