Introduction to Project Management in the Voluntary Sector

This is a synopsis of the 1 day course. You can download a pdf version if you don’t want to read all this on your screen.

Course Objectives
Today, the voluntary sector expects and is expected to deliver high quality services that match the standard of those provided by the statutory and commercial sectors. It is vital that people who work in the sector have the appropriate skills to meet this challenge.
This one day course is an introduction to the processes and techniques of project management. It is designed to enable project managers in the community and voluntary sectors to work in a more efficient and more effective way. It is tailored to the requirements of the voluntary sector and is designed to be easy to understand, and to concentrate on the practicalities.

Course Content
The course begins with an introduction to the ‘golden rules’ of project management, some thoughts about which tools to use, and an introduction to the “six stage model” of a project. This model forms the framework for the rest of the day.

Stage 1 – DEFINE
This part follows a project from the first idea through to the creation of the project brief, a vital document for any project. We will discuss the definition of a project including the following –
➢ Developing Project Objectives
➢ Who are stakeholders and how to manage them
➢ What is a good project team?
➢ How to define and handle opportunities and threats
➢ Costs and benefits as they apply in the voluntary sector
➢ Risks and contingency planning
➢ Producing the Project Brief

Stage 2 – PLAN
Having decided what the project is to achieve, the next stage is to being the planning process.
➢ Where do I start?
➢ How to define deliverables
➢ How to develop the project plan
➢ Estimating costs, revenues and intangible benefits
➢ Overview of software as a planning/control tool

You’ve got all your tasks worked out, but how to you turn a “to-do list” into a project plan?
➢ Definitions
➢ Scheduling
➢ Logic diagrams
➢ Critical path analysis
➢ Resources
➢ Levelling

Projects are about people. In this part we look at the qualities needed in a good project manager. How do you put a team together, keep it together and get it working together?
We finish this section by spending some time talking about dealing with senior management.

Now that we’ve started the project, we have to control it. In this section we discuss what to do and how to do it.
➢ What do you monitor against?
➢ Tracking progress
➢ Successful project meetings
➢ Reviewing the plan
➢ Problems & changes

A really important part of project management is communication, and we talk about it throughout the day. This section covers some specific points about the best way to communicate to all the stakeholders in a project.

Finally, a much neglected phase of project management – the end of the project. Here we talk about finishing the job, tying up all the loose ends, learning from the experience and moving on.

To finish the day, a look at the more ‘popular’ ways that projects fail, and how to avoid them

Course handbook
Delegates receive a comprehensive manual which extends the course material, and a CD with a selection of Word, Excel and Powerpoint templates which can be modified to suit their own organisations.