Hivos Southern Africa Hub held a training workshop for its staff on the project management way of working (PM WoW). The three- day programme focused on the basics of project management and offered opportunities for practical work using relevant PM WoW tools and approaches. The training aimed to equip staff with knowledge, skills and tools to enhance their work in relation to Hivos’ new strategy.
In April 2013, Hivos announced a new strategic direction for after 2015 that would involve thoroughly re-examining Hivos’ strategy and equipping the organisation for a more uncertain environment. In the face of diminished funding from the Dutch government after 2015, Hivos is looking at adopting new approaches and initiatives that aim to resolve longstanding social, cultural, economic and environmental challenges for the benefit of people and planet.
This will involve staff adopting new ways of working as Hivos moves from traditional re-granting partnerships with local civil society organisations to equal participation with civil partners in targeted programmes.
The trainers from Hivos Head Office, Karin van Velthoven and Natascha Smits, introduced staff to PM WoW tools that are expected to save time and labour, emphasiszing that the methodology can be applied at the macro and micro levels of project management.
The training also addressed the area of managing a project team through the project life cycle and the demands of the different stages from the formative phase through to completion handover and analysis of lessons learned.
“The purpose of the training was partly to inform staff why Hivos needs to change its traditional way of working and instilling confidence in the staff that PM WoW is the right way to the change,” said van Velthoven.
“We wanted to give as much information and practical experience because if I tell you, you’ll learn in the head but if you experience it, you learn on the inside.”
She added that traditionally Hivos has not been under pressure to monitor incomes versus costs, but due to the impending changes in strategy, staff have to be conversant about project management, financial management and business economics. She said that PM WoW can help in defining the process, plans, and systems that will expedite the change process.
The training also emphasiszed the need for co-creation and collaboration in the proposal writing stages to enhance the quality of output. Through the training, van Velhoven stressed that four factors need to always be taken into account in the PM WoW process, and these include: content, context, relations and process. She said that these factors were interrelated and need to be interrogated at every stage of project management.