Catching the PMD Pro Fever!

By John Cropper, LINGOs Director of Project Services

JohnCropper

Seven thousand. I just received the latest statistics from APMG and over seven thousand people have sat the PMDPro exam. I get excited by every landmark with PMDPro but I was reflecting over the weekend on just how incredible this is and on what has happened with PMDPro since it was launched in 2010.

World Vision engaged at regional and country level, training hundreds of staff and they now have their own trainers in East and Southern Africa. Mercy Corps merged its program guidelines with PMDPro and has rolled this out globally. Staff in one Mercy Corps office even talks about “PMDPro fever.” Catholic Relief Services has trained hundreds of staff and partners across Africa and PMDPro now forms part of its CRS Fellows program. Rainforest Alliance has trained staff across its global operations and has started a project to standardise their project management approach. The Inter- American Development Bank trained its local partners in Latin America and as a result, local training organisations are now delivering PMDPro. Plan International has trained staff across Africa and two of their staff still hold the highest pass mark! Heifer is in the process of training staff and developing their own trainers. Save, AFSC, Oxfam, the Aga Khan Foundation, UNICEF and Islamic Relief have held courses and many more organisations have sent staff to ‘open’ courses. One organisation is even talking about how to take PMDPro to two thousand staff!

Diverse Approaches

What is striking is the variety of approaches. Some want their own trainers. Others want to engage at a regional level. Some focus on the country. Some organisations are going for face to face training approaches. Others want the training to be virtual/blended. Some want to train their partner organisations. Others want to include their finance and support staff. Some organisations want to focus on PMDPro 1 – others are engaging with PMDPro 2 as well and some want to do a combination of all of these.

Common Need

Amongst all this diversity, it is interesting to think about why this is happening. Clearly, there are many motivations and needs being addressed. However, there are some common themes. One major area is that organisations want to professionalise their ability to deliver projects and take advantage of the skills and techniques that the profession of project management can offer. Some want to develop a career stream for project managers. Some organisations want to develop a common language and even processes across their projects. One senior manager told me that for the first time, their finance and program staff were holding productive conversations! Some organisations are reaching out to develop their implementing partners’ capacity and also develop a shared vocabulary for project management. Other organisations are seeking to tackle identified project management issues such as under or overspends, audit weaknesses or donor perceptions.

Overall, I feel that this represents a fascinating picture of change. Project management capacity building is clearly being used to solve a wide range of organisational challenges and what is especially rewarding is that the message is being spread by participants themselves.  There has been almost no publicity or marketing and yet … seven thousand people have engaged.

Catch the Fever – Register for a blended online course

Eventbrite - LINGOs 4-week Project Management for Development (PMD Pro1) Course / February 4th – February 27th, 2014

Eventbrite - LINGOs – Curso de 4 Semanas en Gestión de Proyectos (PMD Pro1) – Del 4 al 28 de febrero de 2014

Eventbrite - LINGOs 4-week Project Management for Development (PMD Pro2) Course / January 7th - 30th, 2014

 

For a complete 2014 calendar of Project Management open courses, please see http://lingos.eventbrite.com

LINGOs Project Services Group offers a range of training and learning opportunities for organizations. For more information, please click here.

“When Can I Do PMDPro 2?”

By John Cropper, LINGOs Director of Project Services

JohnCropper“When can I do PMDPro 2?” This is pretty much always the first question that I get asked as soon as people have passed PMDPro 1! I always suggest that people spend a few months putting the tools into action in their projects before they think about level 2. However, as more than seven thousand people have been through the level one certification, the question – and providing an answer – has become more pressing.

What is PMD Pro?

The Project Management in Development (PMD Pro) is a certification which has been developed with experts from several of the world’s best-known and highly regarded non-governmental organizations. These organizations are committed to improving the use of the resources entrusted to them for development, relief and conservation projects. The PMD Pro certification is seen as an important benchmark for continuous improvement.


There are currently two examination levels within the qualification scheme, PMD Pro Level 1 and PMD Pro Level 2. Certification is offered through APMG-International.

Pilot of Blended Online Course

Through September and October, LINGOs piloted our first blended PMDPro 2 course. We had organised face to face courses before but we really wanted a blended option that would allow people the flexibility to work and learn together. At the same time, many iNGOs may not have enough staff in a given country to make a face to face course cost effective – another reason for wanting a blended option.

So, how did it go? Overall, I believe it was a great success. The group filled up very quickly and we had people from fifteen different organisations and countries. Completing PMDPro 1 is a pre-requisite, so the level of project management knowledge in the group was high – as we anticipated – and from an instructor’s point of view, it was very rewarding to be able to ‘go deep’ and really focus on participants’ project management challenges and issues.

PMDPro 2 Course Structure

The course follows the same format as the level one blended courses: 4 weeks, online facilitated classes, structured reading, assignments, participation in a community and asynchronous learning via PMTV- a rather grand name for a series of project management videos we have developed that focus on how to apply the tools to projects. We seek to help participants get ready for the PMDPro 2 certification – but also cover more advanced material and really focus on application and how to get the tools to work in practice. To help with this, we provide bonus readings to help participants explore areas of interest in more depth.

What difference does this make?

Well, the pilot has just finished but one participant said she hoped there would be: “a consistent process of project management on the organisation level; more cooperation/engagement between different departments; more effective and successful projects, increased reputation of the organisation”. I couldn’t put it better myself!

Interested?

LINGOs is running the next PMDPro 2 blended course in January. For information on dates, times, and fees and to register: 

Eventbrite - LINGOs 4-week Project Management for Development (PMD Pro2) Course / January 7th - 30th, 2014

Read more about LINGOs Member Experience with PMD Pro

5 Reasons Blended Learning is Going Viral at Rainforest Alliance

Blended approach gets learning to where learners are

What’s Project Management Training Got to do with International Women’s Day?

The Right Stuff… LINGOs 2013 Awards

Clockwise from upper left: ComputerWorld Honors Medal; Paige Layno Winn with FHI 360's Member of the Year Award; LINGOs Awards; Rising Stars Nick Walden (L) and Rich Peavy (R) with LINGOs CEO Eric Berg (Center).

Clockwise from upper left: ComputerWorld Honors Medal; Paige Layno Winn with FHI 360’s Member of the Year Award; LINGOs Awards; Rising Stars Nick Walden (L) and Rich Peavy (R) with LINGOs CEO Eric Berg (Center).

Among the fun and fabulousness at the LINGOs 2013 Member Meeting, we had the opportunity to recognize some rising stars and a member organization that is contributing above and beyond to the LINGOs learning consortium.

Originally formed to be a community of learning in 2005, LINGOs has grown and evolved.  As a reader of this blog, you’ve no doubt seen frequent posts on two initiatives that benefit our members, as well as the development/humanitarian community at large:

Our Project Services group works with development organizations to build capacity in project management, and provides innovative learning opportunities for individuals around the world to strengthen their skills and knowledge.

The Last Mile Learning initiative is providing world class learning at little or no cost – not just to our member organizations, but to ANYONE working to improve people’s lives in the developing world.  LINGOs members have access to all that is available to others, often before it’s released to the public.

Focus on LINGOs Members

The LINGOs 2013 member meeting was the ninth occasion at which LINGOs members have convened to network, share ideas and approaches and learn with and from one another. Over a third of our 76 member organizations from around the world sent representatives to the two-day event to take part in two dozen sessions hosted at PATH’s Washington, DC headquarters.

It was a wonderful occasion, and at the reception hosted at the offices of the National Democratic Institute, we recognized some key contributors to our learning community.

Rising Stars

LINGOs recognized two individuals each one new to the community stood out as exemplifying the ideals on which LINGOs was formed. Both work with organizations that have joined LINGOs in the past two years, and each has contribute to the community in ways large and small – serve on advisory committees, share what they are learning – spotlights on work in progress, espresso shots, share questions and concerns in LinkedIn… provide and share across the community.

Member of the year

LINGOs’ 2013 Member of the Year FHI 360 joined the LINGOs community three years ago, and has since undergone significant transition and growth. Paige Layno Winn, FHI 360 Senior Learning Officer and designated contact to LINGOs has played an extraordinary role and is more than a LINGOs star (maybe a sun).

“LINGOs recognizes FHI 360 as its 2013 Member of the Year not simply for using LINGOs resources well within their organization,” said LINGOs CEO Eric Berg. “Rather, the recognition is for sharing and giving back to the LINGOs community that includes 75 + international development organizations and the other organizations and individuals with whom LINGOs interacts via its Last Mile Learning initiative (www.LastMileLearning.org) and our Project Services groups.”

FHI 360 emulates the ideals of a learning community on which LINGOs was founded 9 years ago, and it is an honor to present the 2013 Member of the Year award to Paige Winn for FHI 360.

FHI360 shared its initial learning and process for deploying its LMS with other members in a blog post in January  2011. This relatively simple way to share knowledge and approach to deploying technology based learning, has benefitted the many organizations that have joined LINGOs since then.  In an early 2013 “Espresso shot” shared a great update on internal community building, that highlights use of resources they get through LINGOs and other low cost resource such as NING.

FHI 360 is clearly is deploying LINGOs resources well, as can be seen from its learning management system utilization reports in terms of the total number of staff registered and actively engaging in and completing self-paced courses, as well as participating in events.

Our Member of the year has tried out many member benefits, sometimes investing extra resources in getting more than what is available through LINGOs – such as we shared in the January Spotlight article.

Paige Winn recently guest blogged on its approach to building a virtual community of learning.

FHI 360 not only developed important resources through Global Giveback but shared with other LINGOs members, an award-winning resource that benefits any health worker working on HIV and TB prevention.

Also through the Global Giveback, FHI 360 created a harassment and discrimination course that, with minimal adaptation, is now available for the entire LINGOs and InsideNGO community, has shared its approaches to using the LINGOs-hosted LMS for events and reporting.

LINGOs Laureate Award Bestowed

Earlier this year,  in a LINGOs LINK Spotlight article, we reported that IDG’s Computerworld  Honors Program named LINGOs as a 2013 Laureate for its collaboration with Rustici Software  in the  creation of SCORM Dispatch. The annual award program honors visionary applications of information technology promoting positive social, economic and educational change.  Todd Slater, Director of the Technology Learning Center Director at The Nature Conservancy and LINGOs Board Member bestowed the ComputerWorld Honors Laureate medal on LINGOs’ Director of Technology, Robb Allen. Robb lead the work for LINGOs with Rustici Software that member organizations are now using to provide content from the LINGOs catalog to more than ten portals.

For more info on the meeting

Please view the Spotlight Report from the November 2013 LINGOs LINK.

Fun “Cosmo Quiz” vs Serious Announcement?

You’ve got a new course or learning resource and it’s a great learning opportunity for your staff. How do you get the word out?

 Financially_Fluent

[  ] Memo from the boss?

[  ]  eMail from the Learning Coordinator?

[  ]  Flyer in the break room?  (or elevator, stairwell, restroom…)

[  ]  Text announcement on your intranet?

[  ]  “Gamified” approach?

[  ]   Hallway conversations from an internal maven?

[  ]   All of the above

Have Some Fun

Most of us don’t think of financial management as particularly enjoyable. Last Mile Learning launched its new Financial Management Learning Path with a fun Cosmo-style quiz to ask viewers to check their financial fluency  (click here for the quiz).

Market Your Learning

LINGOs’ Last Mile Learning is marketing learning resources more than once and in various ways. For busy development professionals, particularly those who travel internationally and may miss an email that isn’t hugely urgent, so it’s vital to have more than one opportunity for staff to learn about it.

Actively market your learning! For-profit-companies don’t send an email about a new product and then sit back and wait for customers to empty the shelves. They advertise! Not-for-profit charities do marketing, as well. Use those marketing resources to increase awareness of your learning resources.

Multiple Contacts

The “Financial Fluency Quiz” was promoted through a newsletter (click here to subscribe), many LinkedIn Community Groups, the Last Mile Learning Facebook Page, tweets (and re-tweets) and various e-distribution groups.  In fact, you can forward it, too!

5 things you can do now:

Eventbrite - LINGOs 2013 Member MeetingIf you are with a LINGOs Member Organization*, you can attend the Last Mile Learning session at the LINGOs member meeting next month in Washington, DC.
checkMark Click to Check YOUR financial fluency

LML-squareRegister for a Last Mile Learning Account and take a free course

LikeUsonFacebook  LIKE Last Mile Learning on Facebook

LINGOs Members, if you’d like the editable file for the financial fluency quiz to use (and direct your learners to YOUR portal), email Marian.

The Virtual Palava Hut: Building a Global Community of Learning

Guest Post By Paige Layno Winn, FHI 360

PaigeWinn

In some African countries, the Palava Hut is the central space for social networking, informal learning, and conflict resolution. It’s a place that welcomes locals and guests alike. It’s the cultural hub of a village—a place that promotes dialogue between people of diverse opinions, backgrounds, and cultures.

How do you create community in a virtual learning space?

You might say that an NGO’s training classroom is like a Palava Hut—the organizational learning hub. So how do you create that same sense of community in a virtual learning space?  The Learning and Development (L+D) team at FHI 360 has been working on creative ways to do just that.

This year, we launched a series of live, virtual learning events called Cross-Sector Cafés—regular one-hour interactive discussions led by country offices and staff from across FHI 360’s 11 practice areas. Facilitators lead sessions held via virtual classroom (Blackboard Collaborate), giving brief introductions and highlights of staff/programs, with much of the time devoted for Q&A from attendees. This year’s topics include:

  • Integrating gender programs
  • Exploring FHI 360’s disability projects and resources
  • Strengthening economic systems in developing countries
  • Extending information delivery and data collection in low resource environments
  • Developing sustainable solutions to environmental protection
  • Introducing staff and projects in country offices, including Nepal, Kenya, and Thailand
  • And more!

Cross Sector Dialogue via Collaborative Platform

1Cafe 360 screenshotAfter each session, follow up discussions are posted on Café 360, a collaborative networking site we built using the professional social networking platform, Ning. Café 360 is designed to promote cross-sector dialogue between staff through discussion boards, videos, and other cross-sector collaboration tools. Café 360 also provides us a place to post recorded Cross-Sector Cafés , so colleagues who couldn’t attend a synchronous session still have access. And, as a bonus, we have a nice library of virtual interactions between staff that can be accessed anywhere, anytime!

Café 360 has been a great resource where staff share profiles and photos, as well as a place for L+D to post pictures of live, in-country learning events and learning materials. We’ve also set up content interest groups so staff can direct questions to the relevant people. For example, we have a learning champions group on Café 360 where champions can post LMS or eLearning-related questions and get quick responses—often real-time answers in their time zones.

Another outcome of Café 360 is that others are now using technologies like Blackboard Collaborate to facilitate virtual learning across their own global teams. Groups are also seeing the advantage of adopting professional networking sites (such as Ning) and are exploring similar platforms for communities of practice and FHI 360 as a whole. As a result, learners are collaborating across geographies and practices areas, and staff are building their virtual training skills when they facilitate Cross-Sector Cafés.

NGOs often face hurdles with expense, skill, and technology infrastructure. But with a growing variety of social media and mobile learning tools, you’re sure to find one that fits your budget, size, and capacity. In the spirit of a LINGOs Palava Hut, contact me if you’d like to talk about getting started with a virtual strategy to increase global collaboration and learning with your teams. Or better yet—let’s catch up over coffee at this year’s LINGOs member meeting!

Eventbrite - LINGOs 2013 Member Meeting

The  LINGOs 2013 Member Meeting takes place October 16 & 17 in Washington, DC. Staff of all LINGOs Member Organizations are welcome to register and attend.  Sessions are tailored for our members: to help you give your learners a  “buzz”, help you use a mixture of resources to “blend” your  program and give you ideas to make maximum use of the limited  “bandwidth” we all have available – both figuratively and literally.

How fast does your NGO learn?

Posted by Marian Abernathy, Director of Membership & Communications

Marian_Abernathy

Atul Gawande’s recent New Yorker article Slow Ideas: Some innovations spread fast. How do you speed the ones that don’t? highlights the importance of champions. He discusses his work on the BetterBirth Project in Uttar Pradesh with the Indian Government, the World Health Organization, the Gates Foundation and LINGOs member Population Services International (PSI).

Dr. Gawande illustrates how we are often very slow to adopt great ideas, even those that resolve resolve important and highly prioritized challenges. While reading “slow ideas” about the speed of adoption of medical and public health innovations (from anesthesia and aseptic technique to oral rehydration solutions), I was struck by the similarities that many LINGOs members face as they roll out technology-based learning to provide professional development or strengthen technical skills of their global staff.

Many LINGOs members, including PSI, designate learning champions who help speed the diffusion of innovation in learning. Over 50 years ago, Everett Rogers’ wrote about the diffusion of innovation and showed that people take up new ideas when they have a trusted personal connection to it: change is a social process. A local learning champion serves as the trusted personal connection to organizational learning program.

LINGOs Members & Learning Champions

• Opportunity International clearly defines the role for their learning champions, including serving as registrars in the organizational learning management system (for more information, see March 2013 LINK  Spotlight).

• IJM’s Chennai-based Learning Champion shared her Gold Medal Tips in a July 2012 post on the LINGOs blog.

• LINGOs members will be abuzz their approaches to bring that personal connection to learners at the LINGOs 2013 Member Meeting. Registration is now open for LINGOs members and their global champions. We look forward to learning with you in Washington, DC.

Eventbrite - LINGOs 2013 Member Meeting

Buzz, Blend and Bandwidth at LINGOs 2013 Member Meeting: October in Washington DC

The LINGOs team and Advisory Committee planning the LINGOs 2013 Member Meeting are abuzz with excitement and we hope our members are, too!

LINGOs 2013 Member Meeting is being hosted at the Washington, DC offices of PATH October 16 and 17.

The agenda is filling up with sessions facilitated by members of our community, invited speakers and LINGOs team members.

Invited Speakers

Entrepreneurial approaches to build capacity – Liziane Silva

LizianeSilvaWe look forward to introducing you to keynoter Liziane Silva, a young entrepreneur from Brazil who brings a field-based perspective and entrepreneurial approach to building capacity. Her company, INK, aims to inspire, form and connect people and organizations to create, build and transform their realities through entrepreneurial action.  We got to know Liziane as she’s trained more than 500 people and a network of facilitators in project management in Brazil. She is also developing projects to build capacities in different knowledge areas, as Strategic Planning, Communications, Impact Strategies, Fundraising, Laws and Financial Organization.  Liziane will share her experiences both as a facilitator and as an employee of social organizations aiming to strengthen management capacities to achieve broader and deeper impact.

Personalizing and Reinforcing Learning – Ron Price

Ron PriceMany of our members have had the pleasure of meeting keynoter Ron Price, Senior Vice President of Yukon Learning at eLearning Guild events and Yukon training workshops on Articulate Studio and Storyline rapid eLearning authoring tools. Ron brings a distinctive, holistic, and dynamic approach to organizational learning, springing from over 30 years of combined experience in organization development consulting, instructional design, business coaching, leadership development, experiential education, public speaking, and relational ministry.  Ron has consulted with organizations from  an assortment of industries of various sizes – from large institutions (UNC – Kenan Flagler, Duke – Fuqua School of Business, Kaiser-Permanente, AT&T, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Harvard Business School, Outward Bound) to small organizations (church congregations, camps, schools, youth groups, community organizations).

Ron will share his experience and knowledge of personalizing learning and reinforcing the learning to enhance application of new skills and knowledge on the job.  Friday, Ron will lead a workshop on Storyline. Participants will gain experience and ability to use storyboards, chunk learning with the “Big Idea” process and use Storyline to create learning resources for their global staff.

Concurrent Sessions: Buzz, Blend and Bandwidth

Sessions will help you give your learners a  “buzz”, help you use a mixture of resources to “blend” your  program and give you ideas to make maximum use of the limited  “bandwidth” we all have available – both figuratively and literally.

The Initial Menu of Concurrent Sessions:

Buzz:

Communicating with learners

Telling the story of organizational learning to Execs, CDs, Managers and Donors

Champions speed adoption of learning

Engaging field-based programmatic partners with an entrepreneurial approach

Blend:

Building Capacity through mentoring and shadowing

Just add MOOC? Considerations for designing your organizational learning menu

Microteaching to build trainers – virtually and in person

LINGOs project services learning labs serves up interesting results

Bandwidth:

Getting started with eLearning in your organization

Building multi-media learning without a multi-media budget or producer

In addition to sessions facilitated by familiar faces of many fellow members, members will enjoy the sessions facilitated by some lesser known LINGOs team members:

  • Not just fun and games: Strengthening Engagement and Application with Gamification with Juan Manuel Palacios and Gus Curran
  • Launching new learning products, lessons from Last Mile Learning – with Mike Culligan
  • Microteaching to build trainers – virtually and in person with Roger Steele
  • Maximizing results with innovative approaches – John Cropper and Roger Steele
  • Partners, Paths and Platforms, Oh My: Update from LINGOs with Eric Berg

Networking, Resources and Fun

Bypopular request, LINGOs 2013 includes a networking platform through which participants can meet, share resources and network before, during and after the meeting. We’ll be able to share updates on the agenda, social events (including welcome reception at fellow member NDI’s offices), and resources. Stay tuned!

Friday Workshops

For those who want more! Members can choose from two optional workshops on Friday October 18.

Storyline and the “Big Idea”: Gain concepts and skills for rapid eLearning course development with Ron Price (full day)

Participants in this highly engaging and interactive full-day workshop will learn or build skills in the use of Articulate Storyline while creating and/or customizing a general course on how to be a successful self-directed learner.  This introductory – intermediate course is geared for those relatively new to rapid eLearning and those with some skills who want to learn to use Storyline.

Our goal is for participants to leave the workshop with skills to use Storyline, and a course they can upload to their organizational LMS upon completion of the workshop.

Participants will gain experience and ability to:

  • Use storyboards to build courses
  • Chunk learning with the “Big Idea” process
  • Use Storyline to create learning resources for their global staff

Participants should bring their own computer with Storyline installed and organizational assets including logo and branding guidelines.

Getting started or re-booting your organizational learning program with LINGOs (half day)

If you or your organization is new to LINGOs, or your organizational learning program has been sidelined and you are ready to reboot it – or you just want to get more from your LINGOs membership, this is the workshop for you!

Participants will leave this half day workshop with a plan that identifies:

  • Top organizational learning priorities
  • Benchmarks and metrics for success
  • Quick wins for your organization to leverage your LINGOs membership

  

Registration is now open!

We look forward to a fabulous event with our members October 16-17 and optional workshops Friday October 18 at the DC offices of PATH.

Eventbrite - LINGOs 2013 Member Meeting