Project Cycle Management Principles

Project Cycle Management Principles

Always remember the difference between project and service delivery. 

Service delivery is the day to day activities that maintain public functions.

Projects are developed to inject ideas, pace and change processes or opinions that can improve those services.

Projects will always contain tension, as a result between reformers and the status quo.

Communication is the oil that makes project planning more effective. [1]

proj man

There is no such thing as the obvious, therefore say everything that needs to be said, and ask every question that needs to be asked. Assume nothing.

Treat criticism as communication from stakeholders, try to understand what the critics’ real need is. Be honest if you are unable to deliver that. Be aware of malicious intent, but do not interpret obstacles as attempts to thwart your work. If obstacles can be incorporated, your project may benefit exponentially.

Therefore plan, but have 2-4 learning moments within the project management cycle where the project management team can re-focus activities.

From the start, integrate Monitoring and Evaluation into the project and give the person writing the donor reports the responsibility to gather and interrogate that formal and anecdotal information.

Include financial managers in initial project planning meetings. They often can provide useful incites into invoicing and budgeting of each donor. Be clear. Does this donor want you to spend rapidly, or do they want you to take time to consider the best approach. Deliver the appropriate project management style to the donor finance requirements. Match the speed and the quality to the donor needs. You and your partners may want to reform your donor, but this can only be done at a policy level and outside project management.


Project Cycle Management Services

If you need support with project management services then Projects-Direct.Net can help, whether you are short-staffed, need advanced warnings of key project milestones, or a critical friend.

The goal is to provide NGOs with additional part-time senior staff that they do not have the resources to support through their project.

Projects-Direct also provides mentoring services to NGO directors working on new projects, or with new donors. This tailored service can be a structured routine series of meetings or ad hoc support to help teams on the ground deal with specific questions.

In addition Projects-Direct.Net can provide support to project managers, by organizing project work plans, project responsibility matrices, and project budgets.

For organisations that do not have English as a first language, is able to edit or write quarterly reports and financial reports to a high standard of English that uses development sector professional terminology relevant to the international donor community.

Some work can be done remotely, using email, and Skype calls and Skype chat.

Some work requires field trips, usually with the client.

Do you need support with project start-ups? Project start dates can be inconvenient for organsiations working on multiple projects. Projects-Direct has experience of travelling to new country locations and organizing the practicalities of searching for reasonably priced offices, making initial contacts with stakeholders to explain the project goals, developing project communication materials and both writing job descriptions and selecting shorlist of candidates for interview. 

Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation for projects is essential, and can build in a range of simple or complex M&E processes into projects at minimum costs. This can comprise an agreed approach for the project manager’s to share with project teams, or devising workshop questionnaires, or baseline surveys.


[1] 'Communication at the Heart of Change', Wilson, Warnock, Panos London 2007