Strategic Planning, Project Support and M&E

MAXIMPACT BLOG March 17, 2017

What makes a project successful? Project success isn’t just about completing it on time and on budget. A project can only be successful if all of its objectives are fully met and if the project succeeds in creating positive long term change in targeted settings.   

The accomplishment of every single stage is important to project’s success, but it is in the implementation phase that the project gets its concrete shape.

While the role of project management in every stage is well – defined, additional needs as well as challenges occurring in the project implementation may not be apparent at the beginning of the project cycle.  That is exactly the place where additional know- how might be required.

Project supporting services provided by outsourced additional human resources and taken before mid and after project implementation are also very important but often not sufficiently recognized as indispensable asset for the success of the project .

Any project is generally broken down into several stages, according to PRINCE2 the stages are:

  • Start-up or Pre-Project
  • Initiation
  • Implementation (Subsequent Delivery Stages) 
  • Final Delivery

Project Implementation Phases

For all projects, implementation requires three basic yet crucial activities to facilitate a successful project delivery:

  • Strategic Planning stage often requires involvement of supporting resources to provide specialized advice  which may be crucial in decision making process.
  • The process of defining M&E framework for ongoing measuring of the progress archived also has  proven to be  essential for final project  success. At the outset, effective start-up and initiation paves the way for a successful unfolding and result.

Different project management techniques may approach these initiation steps in different ways. PRINCE2 requires projects to be broken down into different phases. The plan for each delivery stage is designed at the end of last stage.

The following is an overview of the most important components of project management and implementation:

1. Strategic Planning

In the project start-up phase, the initial project brief is created to identify whether the project is viable enough to proceed to the initiating a project phase. Project initiation refers to the creation of project initiation documentation the detailed project document its structure, detailed revised budget, team, necessary delivery stages (in implementation) and the plan for the 1st delivery stage. 

The Project Initiation Document should cover all aspects of the project, including the project objective/need, risk management, change management, business case, communication management, and the designated team and their responsibilities (job description). Business case is crucial as this is the document that outlines WHY the project should be implemented and must be reviewed continuously throughout the project.

After the Project Initiation Document has been approved, the implementation phase begins.

If you need advice or assistance regarding strategic planning, contact [email protected].

Maximpact can bring expert advice to projects and businesses at all stages. Our consultants have worked with clients like the UN, USAID, UNDP, FAO, World Vision, GIZ and many more. We can assist you in your initial project start-up phase to ensure effective strategic planning and a successful result.

2. Access to Supporting Resources

Experienced management is often attentive when we come to existing human resources and their availability in all stages of project management. Therefore, responsible management knows that projects must have access to supporting resources. Key project experts can fall ill or leave due to personal reasons replacing the expert takes time and will delay the project.

In order to optimize project efficiency often unbiased “outside “ view from an  independent consultant  is required to verify and confirm that the  present HR structure and work implemented by the team members are  correct.

Project supporting resources should be considered as indispensable asset to advise, guide, consult, verify and assist in any matters a project may have.

In some stage of project implementation project management might realize that additional capacity is needed to deliver the project on the right way to its finalization.  Therefore capacity building is required. Assisting team members in building key skills crucial to the success of the project is an example of capacity building. Goals are more effectively achieved as abilities are enhanced.

  • Capacity building covers all facets of projects and businesses, including:
  • Project management
  • PRINCE2 and other methodologies
  • Fundraising
  • Communication
  • Strategic Planning
  • Monitoring and Evaluation

Maximpact provides project support resources and services. Simply contact us at [email protected] to discuss your situation. Whether your project needs capacity building, independent expert, hiring an expert or any other matter – Maximpact will assist and be your project support resource center.

3. Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)

Monitoring and evaluation during project implementation is the responsibility of the project manager. At all times, the project manager should monitor and assess the project’s progress at the end of each phase, stage or milestone. A full evaluation of progress should be made before the next management phase begins. Project monitoring entails oversight and awareness about all team members and project requirements during all phases. The benefits of monitoring and evaluation include improved team efficiency and more successful results.

While this outline can serve as a framework for the implementation of just about any project, it is also beneficial to be somewhat flexible about these phases. For example, if a project stage deviates or requires key changes, these can be immediately folded into the next relevant management phase for implementation. In this way, a combination of both structure and flexibility is the best recipe for success. External monitoring and evaluation is often required by donors or project owners to help ensure that a project is on track. External monitoring and evaluation experts are also indispensable when an independent progress assessment is desired.

If your business or project requires a monitoring and evaluation expert to create a framework or assist you in any way, you can count on Maximpact. We are experienced in finding the best monitoring and evaluation specialists, with experience on similar projects to yours. You won’t lose time on selecting the right candidate; Maximpact will take care of everything and connect you with the ideal screened, vetted and best-suited candidates.

Maximpact has been a go-to support and resource centre for projects of all types around the world for the past five years. Contact [email protected] for expert assistance with any stage of your enterprise.

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