PMD Pro: a practical approach

“The PMD Pro course is very much respected and very practical as it offers a wide range of tools that will help to ensure that projects are delivered on time, scope, and budget, in a way that also pays attention quality, benefits and risks,” says Khumbulani Ndlovu, Integrated Programs Director, World Vision, Zimbabwe.

“It is almost a prerequisite for officers and managers. The course has achieved buy in from senior management and hence it is taken with a lot of positivity by staff at all levels (from a development facilitator to a Director). It is well tailored for NGOs and the development industry and is very practical in approach. Even if one fails the exam, it is possible to use and apply the tools in their day-to day work.”

PMD Pro training has taken place in Zimbabwe since 2011 and 148 people have been through the course. ‘We usually set aside a week for the training session, and usually book a room in a hotel with good Internet connection, in Bulawayo or Harare. We share the modules well in advance so that people are prepared for face-to-face discussions. These run from Monday to Thursday, and they sit the exam on Friday.”

“Our budget management has improved since the introduction of the course in 2012,” says Khumbulani. “Almost all programs hit ‘year end’ within a variance of less than 10 per cent, a fact that has been acknowledged at high levels within our organization.”

“We have used many of the tools – the ‘RACI’, ‘WBS’, ‘Critical Path’, ‘spider diagram’, ‘log frame’, ‘Gantt chart’, and the monitoring and evaluation plans. We did find the ‘mega spread sheet’ difficult to use, and prefer the ones that are not linked in this way. Our Procurement Team has found the tools especially helpful for highlighting issues that could result in project delay, and potential program underspend.”

“PMD Pro equips development practitioners with tools that are relevant for successful projects, and it is also a good foundation for taking other project management courses such as Prince @ or MSP,” he says. “We particularly like the face-to-face aspect. Some of our program/project staff teams are now training the communities that they work with in how to make use of some of the tools offered in this course.”

— Khumbulani Ndlovu
Integrated Programs Director, World Vision Zimbabwe