Beads - Passion for Facilitation

Capacity development, learning, change, poverty/power/progress

Blog about learning/change, facilitation, systems: small groups and large scale processes, and poverty/power/progress.


PIM: Empowering the Implementers with the HOW

It was fun to watch the reactions of the participants. They discovered that most capacity development initiatives in project management deal with the planning process and the resulting plan. It is as if the project goals have already been achieved as soon as the plan is submitted.


An informal survey of the time devoted to the planning process among a group of participants from Laos and Bhutan showed that planning (excluding the necessary adjustments and fine-tuning) can extend from 4 to 8 months for a 2 to 3-year technical assistance project. This is practically 17% to 22% of the total time allocated for implementation. No wonder many projects fail to achieve their goals as the time for implementation is severely restricted.

Prior to the Project Implementation Management (PIM) course, no course existed that aimed to build the capacity of project implementation teams. Implementation is the most time consuming, problematic, and unpredictable part of managing technical assistance initiatives. It can guarantee the on-time, effective and appropriate delivery of all the deliverables. Existing courses in project management likewise emphasizes planning, and seperately there are a limited number of shorter courses on softer topics like: team building, time management, human behaviour or the harder topics like time scheduling and PERT/CPM, PRINCE 2.

In a 5-day PIM course, participants bring along their their respective projects and walk through the entire implementation phases, consisting of:


  1. Transforming the LogFrame into action: to WBS and deliverables
  2. Clarifying the principles of cooperation and technical assistance
  3. Defining the stakeholders, partners and beneficiaries
  4. Insuring the project Authority and governance 
  5. Organizing the implementation team
  6. Activating the human resources (capacity development, etc.)
  7. Procuring consultants, goods and works, etc. 
  8. Managing security (documents, objects, safety, personnel security, etc.) 
  9. Including cross cutting issues (gender, poverty & MDG, inclusion, environment, HIV/AIDS, climate change, etc.) 
  10. Watching the risks (managing assumptions, etc.) 
  11. Insuring the quality of deliverables 
  12. Communicating results (workshops, awareness, beneficiaries contacts, internet and media relations, networks, etc.) 
  13. Tracking issues and resolution 
  14. monitoring  the indicators, key performance indicators, progress reporting, documentation and MIS, standard operating procedures 
  15. Evaluation system (mid-term, end-of-project state, gathering the lessons learned, insuring sustainability, impact assessment) 
  16. Time schedules (Use OpenBench, Excel, etc.) 
  17. Budgets (Project Budget, Monthly Budget Forecasts, etc.)
  18. Cost control, disbursements and audits

For each phase, participants discover the key concerns in various areas such as leadership, communications, instructing, problem solving and decision making, decision taking, working within the project organization, coordination, delegation, conflict resolution, staff empowerment and managing volunteers. In the end, they share their existing and potential implementation concerns and head home with fresh ideas and ways to make their project implementation more efficient and effective.

Views: 68

Comment by Edcanela on October 9, 2011 at 8:36

Very nice Lucia...Thank you. Will try and submit more. Hugs


Comment by John Cropper on October 9, 2011 at 15:45

This is a great post on a really important topic. I want to share PMDPro with everyone. PMDPro stands for project management for development professionals. It is a contextualised approach to project management that marries good practice from the development sector with good practice from the profession of project management. The Guide is free and available in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. You can access it here The Guide is linked to a certification backed by APMG (behind Prince 2). There is a free practice exam on the same site and if people want to actually certify, they can do the exam online - US$20/person for local organisations. It has been live for just over a year and just about 1000 people have now certified. I would be interested to see what you think.

Best wishes. John

Comment by Edcanela on October 9, 2011 at 17:49
Hi John, Thank you so much for the directing us to your site. Awesome. I will share the site with my former and future participants. I think the certification is a big "plus" not only for the site but for the entire project management profession as well. With your permission, I will make it an option for our course participants to go through the certification process after the course. Thank you so much for sharing and we look forward to having more interactions in the future.
Comment by John Cropper on October 9, 2011 at 18:28
Hi Ed - I'm glad you like it - & many thanks to Lucia for facilitating the exchange. Please do encourage your participants to look at PMDPro - my hope would be for this to become a de facto standard for project management in our sector. It would be interesting to discuss how we could work together to develop this in East/South East Asia. Very best wishes. John
Comment by Edcanela on October 9, 2011 at 18:55
I will surely be able to help in realizing this vision John. I have already informed my participants about your site. I am going to broadcast your site to my other sites as well. Yes, we can surely collaborate. We are planning to run a second regional course on Project Implementation next year. This would be a good time to consider avenues for collaboration. Lucia is aware of our works in the Region. Let us keep in touch.
Comment by John Cropper on October 9, 2011 at 19:11
Ed - thanks for this - really helpful and I agree, it would be good to collaborate around your next course.

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