Why adding budgeting skills to your project toolkit is important

Why adding budgeting skills to your project toolkit is important

Project Management, Tools
This article was originally published on Humentum by Terry Lewis. Successful project outcomes require careful management of resources, including the significant sums of money donated to NGOs. That is why everyone involved in project planning and implementation should sharpen up their budgeting skills. In this blog I'll share six important reasons why we should all have budgeting skills in our toolkits.   KEEPING YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE As the saying goes: If you don’t know where you are going, you are sure to end up somewhere else. A budget is a monetary translation of an activity plan. It helps us to achieve project objectives. A budget is a critical part of the project planning and accountability process: it enables us to put a cost on every planned activity, and…
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Six Steps to a (More) Useful WBS

Project Management, Tools
The very first time I taught a class in project management was well before the days of PowerPoint and LCD projectors. In fact, my presentation materials consisted of overhead slides that I had created by hand with rub-on letters since color printers were more expensive than manual labor. As a result, I tried to keep the amount of text down to an absolute minimum. So on the slide that introduced the concept of a Work Breakdown Structure, I used the acronym WBS without spelling it out in full. I was well aware of the potential for confusion, and I am pretty sure that I explained what the acronym stood for when the slide went up. But either I hadn’t explained, or I hadn’t done it very well, because not long…
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Logical Framework – A friend with many faces

Logical Framework – A friend with many faces

Project DPro, Project DPro Guide, Project Management, Tools
There are several different definitions, formats, templates and structures for project logical frameworks available in the main project management methodologies. If you google “logical framework” then you will probably get lost in the hundreds different models. According to PMDPro, the logical framework is an analytical tool used to plan, monitor and evaluate projects. It derives its name from the logical linkages set out by the planner(s) to connect a project’s means with its ends. It is intended to serve as: A systematic tool for organizing the project thinking and identifying relationships between resources, activities, and project results; A visual way of presenting and sharing the project intervention logic; A tool to identify and assess risks inherent in the proposed project design; A tool for measuring progress through indicators and means…
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Estimate or Budget?

Estimate or Budget?

Project DPro, Project Management
Are you working from an Estimate, or a Budget? These two get confused quite a bit. They seem to be the same, and one usually derives from the other, but they’re not the same. An estimate is an approximation of what your project (or piece of it) will cost. The budget is what you’re allowed to spend. The estimate provides a guideline, the budget provides hard edges. You can’t go ‘over-estimate’, but you can go over-budget. (more…)
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Why is so much LINGOS PM “stuff” free?

Project DPro, Project DPro Guide, Project Management
I have just had a conversation with someone, who asked, “Why is so much of your stuff free”? In other words, why aren’t you charging for e-learning etc. I was quite taken aback, I mean, if you believe in the power of learning to transform people, organisations and communities, why wouldn’t you try to make as much as possible available for as little as possible? So I thought it would be worth exploring this a bit. (more…)
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What goes wrong with NGO Projects: Grand Designs

Case Studies, Project Management
The list of things that can go wrong with an NGO project is fairly broad – people often cite natural disasters, conflict, political interference and a long list of etcetera’s. Without doubt, NGO Project Managers do work in difficult circumstances – no question. We work in places, where many other organisations would not or could not operate – yet – it is always a surprise to see how much blame is attached to external circumstances. My personal favourite is when the rainy season gets fingered – so we didn’t know that the rains were going to come? I am being slightly facetious but I think we owe it to our beneficiaries to focus a bit more on the many internal causes of problems – rather than external factors that way,…
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