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Published by Paola Diaz
Our second edition, contains information on: The Challenges of Development Projects - The Value of Project Management - The Work Breakdown Schedule
- Managing Quality to meet Stakeholder expectations
Our second edition, contains information on: The Challenges of Development Projects - The Value of Project Management - The Work Breakdown Schedule
- Managing Quality to meet Stakeholder expectations

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Published by: Paola Diaz on May 23, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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On This Issue:
1. The Challenges of Develop-ment Projects2. The Value of Project Man-agement3. The Work BreakdownSchedule4. Managing Quality to meetStakeholder expectations
2. The Value of a Project ManagementMethodology
Project management processes, tools and techniques are used tocoordinate resources to achieve consistent results in a predictablemanner. Project management is a science in that it relies on provenand repeatable processes and techniques to achieve project suc-cess. It is an art because it also involves managing and relating topeople and requires the project manager to apply intuitive skills insituations that are totally unique for each project.A good project management methodology provides the framework,processes, guidelines and techniques to manage the people andachieve the project objectives. A good methodology increases theodds of project success and therefore provides value to the organi-zation, the project, the donor and the beneficiaries.The benefits from a standard project management methodologyoutweigh the effort organizations need to invest in order to imple-ment one. The cost of developing and implementing a project man-agement methodology are offset by:
1. The Challenges of DevelopmentProjects
Development projects operate inchallenging environments, whereuncertainties about the futureincrease the risk to the project.Managers need to deal withextremely complex social, economic,and political factors that affect thedelivery of goods and services.Development projects areimplemented in some of the mostremote and difficult locations in theworld; additionally, projects operatein areas of high
New articles posted t on the PM4DEV website:
Scope Management
Time Management
Budget Management
Quality Management
We hope these resources can provide you with ideas andinsight in how to improve your project management prac-tices. PM4DEV will continue to work to increase thequantity of the resources available to meet the challengesdevelopment organizations face today.
Second Quarter—2007
A quarterly newsletter that brings information on mod-ern project management methods, practices and toolsto the international development community
Continues on page 2 —
Page 1
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Q2, 2007
PM Connec
personal risk and high security threats to projectstaff.
The lack of proper infrastructure, limited resources,and a changing environment put a strain on projectmanagers who need to deliver the project outcomes. Theconstant changes in the social, economic, political, andnatural environment; force many projects to change itsoriginal plans; in fact, project plans are built on manyassumptions that eventually are challenged by thechanges in the environment.Changes in the environment are not always reflected inthe original design, which causes projects to misssignificantly its ultimate objectives; this is why it is notuncommon to find a project that has delivered all itsexpected outputs but has failed significantly in reachingits objectives. From extensive observation andexperimentation through working with developmentagencies for years, we have seen the followingweaknesses in development projects:
Poor project planning
Inadequate management skills
Lack of accountability
Lack of stakeholder involvement
Unrealistic plans
No measure to evaluate quality
Poor, inconsistent project management discipline
Duplication of efforts
Poor risk management strategies
Unmotivated project staff 
Completing projects effectively and efficiently
.Once the processes, procedures and templates arecreated, they can be used on all projects in the future.This results in reduced effort to start the project, ashorter learning curve for project team
members andtime and budget savings from not having to rein-vent processes and templates from scratch oneach project.
Better results through better planning
. Projectsexperience problems because there is a differencebetween what the donor expects and what theproject delivers. Using a methodology gives theproject, the donor and the beneficiaries an oppor-tunity to ensure there is a mutual understandingon what the project aims to achieve.
Resolving problems more quickly
. Having a pro-active issues management process helps ensurethat problems are resolved as quickly as possibleand reduces the time project managers spenddealing with issues
Resolving future risk before the problems oc-cur
. A sound project management methodologyincludes processes that facilitates the identifica-tion of potential risks and the development of riskresponse plans before the problems actually oc-cur.
Managing expectations with stakeholders moreeffectively
. A project management methodologyfocuses on the development of formal and infor-mal communications, which results in improvedunderstanding of the project objectives and ap-proach among the different stakeholders
Improved financial management.
Occurs as theresult of better project definition, better estimat-ing, more formal budgeting and better tracking of the project actual costs against the budget.Organizations that have good processes, and followthem, obtain better results in a consistent, repeat-able and predictable manner.
...The Challenges of Projects, from page 1… The Value of Project Management, from page 1
Page 2
4. Managing Qualit
Quality management is the process for ensuring that allproject activities necessary to design, plan and implementa project are effective and efficient with respect to thepurpose of the objective and its performance.Project quality management (QM) is not a separate, inde-pendent process that occurs at the end of an activity tomeasure the level of quality of the output. It is not pur-chasing the most expensive material or services availableon the market. Quality and grade are not the same, gradeare characteristics of a material or service such as addi-tional features. A product may be of good quality (no de-fects) and be of low grade (few or no extra features).Quality management is a continuous process that startsand ends with the project. It is more about preventing andavoiding than measuring and fixing poor quality outputs.It is part of every project management processes from themoment the project initiates to the final steps in the pro- ject closure phase.QM focuses on improving stakeholder’s satisfactionthrough continuous and incremental improvements toprocesses, including removing unnecessary activities; itachieves that by the continuous improvement of the qual-ity of material and services provided to the beneficiaries. Itis not about finding and fixing errors after the fact, qualitymanagement is the continuous
3. The Work Breakdown Schedule (WBS)
The Project
Work Breakdown Structure
is an outcomeoriented analysis of the work involved in the project anddefines the total scope of the project. It is a foundationdocument in project management because it provides thebasis for planning and managing the project schedule,budget and requests for changes. The WBS is developedin the form of an inverted tree structure, organized by ob- jectives; it looks like an organizational chart which helpsthe project team visualize the whole project and all itsmain components.The WBS is a hierarchy of all project work, it is a verticalbreakdown, moving from the project goal to the tasks orsubtasks. This decomposition process allows a good levelof confidence in estimating the final project schedule andbudget. It shows all the work that needs to be accom-plished.At the top level is the project ultimate goal, the secondlevel contains the project objectives, the third level hasthe project activities and depending on the size and com-plexity of each activity the WBS may contain a fourth levelthat describe the tasks.The size and complexity of a project will determine thenumber of levels a WBS needs. For some projects addi-tional levels may be included to represent intermediateobjectives. Other projects may choose to structure theWBS by the geographical locations the project will work or
PM Connec
Q2, 2007
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Page 3
With the objective of serving the needs of the global develop-ment community,
was created to provide with ex-pert project management consulting and training services basedon a
methodology that offers the tools and proc-esses to plan, implement, and monitor projects in a more
con-sistent, reliable and predictable
manner. PM4DEV’s methodol-ogy is based on a project management cycle that incorporatesall the processes, tools and practices to
manage pro- jects of all sizes. Organizations should have the ability to com-plete a project successfully by combining systems, techniques,and knowledge and controlling and balancing the constraints of time, cost, and scope in order to produce quality
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