Ideas, suggestions and general thoughts about project management for development.

Rodolfo (MsPM, PMP, BsCE) has 25 years of experience working in development organizations. He is currently the Managing Director of PM4DEV a consultancy organization dedicated to train NGOs in project management. His experience includes the development of online courses on monitoring and evaluation, project management and monitoring information systems. Rodolfo has trained people in more than 20 countries with a special focus in Latin America and the Caribbean. He has provided training and consultancy services to CARE International, Inter-American Development Bank, UNDP, FAO and Save the Children among others.  He is based in Washington D.C.

Why you should use a standard methodology for managing your projects?

A Methodology for Project Management is a strategy that increases the chances for project success; by giving a clear direction, it saves time and improves the quality of the deliverables. Most development project managers use a type of methodology that was either learned by years of experience or is part of the organization’s policies and methods for project management. A common benefit of a methodology is that that it helps manage projects by reducing risks which improve the chances of success of a project.

What is a Methodology?
A methodology is "a set of methods, processes, and practices that are repeatedly carried out to deliver projects". The key element is that by repeating the same actions on every project the organization will gain efficiencies in its approach.
What is a Standard?
A standard is defined as "a collection of knowledge areas that are generally accepted as best practice in the industry". Standards give guidance, whereas methodologies provide practical processes for managing projects. Standards are not methodologies and vice versa. The two most popular standards used in project management worldwide are the PMBOK® (from the Project management Institute) and Prince2® (a UK standard)

What are the components of a methodology?
A project methodology should contain:

  • A set of processes to manage projects.
  • A set of competencies to build the required skills.
  • A set of tools forms and templates to standardize information.

Why use a Methodology?
A methodology is not a magic wand that can be used to solve every problem in a project, but it helps by the use of a clear set of processes for managing projects that everyone in the organization understands. A good methodology, that is fit to the context and environment where an organization works, is able to provide clear guidance of the what, who, when and how a project should be done.  A methodology also provides a level of flexibility that can be adapted to the special conditions of every project. For instance, for smaller projects, the organization can choose to apply a light version of the management processes. And when managing large projects, it can apply the full processes required to monitor every element of the project in enough detail to reduce risks. Organizations that can manage every project, in the same way, will be able to gain efficiencies; project staff will be able to work smarter and reduce waste. A methodology gives every project team a clear understanding of what is expected from them which in turn increases the chances of success.

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Increase your chances for a promotion or a new job

A certification in project management is a valuable addition to your resume, and one that will impress your supervisor or the people you will interview in your next job. With a certification you can also seek a promotion and the opportunity to manage complex projects which leads to greater recognition and an increase in your salary. Earning a certificate in Project Management demonstrates a commitment to your profession and proves to senior managers that you’ve become an expert in your field. Development organizations are constantly raising the bar to get the best candidates for a job.


PM4DEV offers the Certification CDPM - Certified Development Project Manager- that you can obtain by completing three courses:


  • You will start with Fundamentals of Project Management (FPM). The course presents the application of project management tools and practices in the context of international development and nonprofit work.
  • Next you will take the course  Effective Project Management (EPM), this course goes into more detail and you will learn the nine processes of project management.
  • Finally, you need to complete the course Project Design, Monitoring and Evaluation (PDME). This course will give you an in depth knowledge on the practices related to development projects such as the use of the Logical framework and the use of indicators to monitor and evaluate a project.

In all of our  online courses you will meet people that work for development organizations from other countries and they will provide with additional insights, you can contact them later to learn more about working in a development organization. Building this network of peers is an additional value of our courses.

Find out more on our webpage at: https://www.pm4dev.com/elearn/cdpm.html

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