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Skills in Project Management or Field Knowledge: Which one is KEY?

What is the difference between senior and junior project managers in terms of decision making. More specifically, while senior managers focus on potential project difficulties, junior managers are more easily swayed by their project’s plan and its deficiencies.
Spotting problems with your plan and being able to foresee difficulties are both essential skills for a project manager, but my argument is that while the first one can be acquired by anyone willing to put in the needed effort, the second skill is much harder to develop. This is why I believe in the importance of managing a project in a field you master. Up to this point, I am certain not everyone shares this view. Some people indeed hold the opinion that project management is a “standalone” skill: once you master the mechanics, you can apply it to any context.  In the same vein, it could be argued that even a project manager with a lot of experience in a given field cannot possibly hope to master every single aspect of the proje…

To RAID or not to RAID?

A few weeks ago I was assisting a project manager with a troubled project.  We reviewed the documentation from the beginning, starting with the usual suspects: project design, work plans, schedule just to mention a few.  They all seemed fairly straightforward and understandable.  Once we got to the status reporting though, confusion started. This project’s status reports were spreadsheets about 10 pages long.  Every week the team was only able to discuss only about 3 pages’ worth of information, and they were mostly risks. “Why is this so long, what’s in it?” I asked him. He answered that it was his RAID Log, which he used to run Status Meetings. He wanted to be certain not to miss anything, so he was careful to include every item related to the project and classify it as R (risk); A (action); I (issue) or D (dependency) in this giant spreadsheet. As the first section was ‘Risks’ they were certainly addressed. So, most of the discussion in his weekly status meeting was about events tha…

What is Organization Development Consulting and who needs it?

OrganizationalDevelopment consulting ALSO known as OD Consultingis a professional service that assists seasoned or existing organizations in evaluating and possibly restructuring their current internal layout. An Organizational Development consultant may also work with new or upcoming organizations as well as community groups that wish to design and establish a working structure that is likely to support certain goals and objectives. The idea behindorganizational consultingis to make the best use of all resources available by organizing them in the most logical and advantageous structural organization.
The process oforganizationalconsultingcan address the overall operations of the organization or focus on specific aspects. For example, an Organizational Development consultant may address the policies and procedures that govern the external and internal relations and support functions of the organization. Evaluations of the senior management team and its effectiveness may take place. Th…

A Motivated Team: Are you Maslow or Machiavelli?

Managers and organizations have diverse philosophies about how to motivate employees and manage teams. Some seek to create cooperation and loyalty. Others rely more on the competitive spirit to get things done. And the truth is different approaches can work, but it’s important to understand what kind of work environment you’re creating with your approach. So the question is: Are you more Maslow or Machiavelli. These two paradigms are familiar to many, but they represent extremely different ways of managing people. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs tells us that people have certain requirements that have to be met before they can be truly fulfilled. In the workplace, this theory demands attending to the needs of each employee. Making enough money to live, job security, belonging to a team, excelling at a job, and doing meaningful work are all motivating factors. The idea is that if employees are happy at work, they’ll be more creative and produce more. The Machiavellian style is very differen…

Life

Every day you should hold your faith The cemetery is full of despaired souls who could not wait Every day many read the book of Psalms and meditate But they don’t have anything to come off meditation for Some aim for the gold, some aim for the penny, some wait upon God Listen to your mother, she will tell you as it is – straight, but still offer much priceless support Life is like concentrated juice, you have to concentrate Life is not a movie, but a lions’ gate – you have to think twice about each step And even when you are feeling down, get off from the ground Straighten your back, because when you’re down you can’t stand up at once Patience is not about waiting, but more of how you act while you are waiting Always aim for the top, never look back
This is life as it is.

What is a Significant Success Story?

A success story shows an organization or individual making a difference in people’s lives. It describes a positive change and shows how that change benefits the people of a given area of intervention.
A great success story applies the use of evidence to show the value of our interventions in terms measurable changes in knowledge, skills, motivation, behavior, decision making, practices, policies, social action, social, economic and environmental conditions that derive from a cause-and-effect relationship.
You can write a success story about an entire project, program or part of a program (i.e. activity) that is particularly noteworthy and significant in terms of results and its impacts. It may be about an innovation, emergency response or outstanding effort. Whatever you choose to write about, your story should show your intervention making a difference in targeted areas.
Why is it important for an Organization, Group or Individual to write success stories? 
• To show accountability for …

Tips & Tricks: How to write a winning proposal

Introduction Writing proposals for funding is one of the most crucial aspects for any NGO. Proposals are important for any organization, as they decide the success or failure of an organization. No matter how big or small your organization is you cannot get away from writing a project proposal. As an NGO staff you might be aware that the primary purpose of a project proposal is to convince the donor agency to fund your project. It is thus important for you to write a proposal that is innovative, practical, and methodological. Your proposal should look at solving an important socio-developmental issue and at the same time should be appealing to the donor. To start with lets us first understand what is a project proposal? A project proposal is a document that presents a logical process of solving a problem. It provides a detailed description of the problem, the intended plan of action(s) towards tackling the problem and the budgetary requirement for implementing the same. This document is…