In Stage 1, we learned it’s important to approach God in Prayers and Fasting to receive proper guidance on the design process. We also discovered the Faith Entrepreneur can confidently adopt Project Management (PM) techniques to design Social Projects to obtain good results and high impact.
In stage 2, we’ll discover the basic PM Tools every Faith Entrepreneur engaged in Social Projects should know. These include;
1. The Task List & Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
At this stage, you know the project you want to implement and have prayed for divine guidance. The Task List of your project contains all its tasks in an organized manner. It typically consists of the name of the task, its ID, predecessor task and durations. Below is the task list of our tree planting project (WCTPP) in Woteva Village;
But it’s important to note the Faith Entrepreneur may not identify all tasks from the onset especially if the project is complex. That’s why we plan projects with some degree of flexibility. The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) shows the tasks in a Tree-Decomposition structure. Below is the WBS of the WCTPP.
Another great tool to show the decomposition of your tasks involved in the whole project is the Gantt Chart. It’s a much more complete tool showing the tasks, predecessors, start and finish times as well as a picture of the general project progress. The picture below shows the Gantt Chart of the WCTPP.
2. Critical Path Method (CPM) & Project Evaluation And Review Technique (PERT)
These are more advanced techniques which analyse Uncertainties associated with the tasks of the project. With the PERT, it’s possible to estimate the Optimistic Time, Most Likely task duration and Pessimistic Time. It also involves calculating Variances, Probabilistic Times and Slacks. The CPM gives the Faith Entrepreneur an idea of the minimum time required to implement the whole project in an Efficient manner. For the sake of simplicity, Treff-End doesn’t encourage the use of these sophisticated methods in social projects, especially when developing social innovations in remote communities. A Gantt Chart is enough to have a structured overview of a community project. However, below is an example showing the PERT and CP of the WCTPP;
3. Project Budget
Projects are implemented with financial and material resources. Budgeting involves generating Realistic Estimates of the Costs of each task on the WBS. It requires a careful analysis of Human and Material Resources required to implement the project and how to obtain them. It also involves analysing Risks and Contingency Reserves. In Social Projects, we can limit Budgeting to realistic estimates of resources required to implement all the tasks of the project. But it’s also important to analyse where to obtain finances and how to implement the project with limited resources. This might require a Stakeholder and Resource-Based Analysis. Below is an example of the Budget for the WCTPP.
4. Risk Management
A vital skill in life is how to access and manage risks. We all make minor or big decisions in life based on the risks associated with what we want to accomplish. Risks aren’t absent in Social Projects. Moreover, each project has its context and associated risks. The Risk Analysis tool in the PM technique helps you identify the most important Risks, analyse their Probability, assess their Impact and generate effective Mitigation plans. Below are examples of risk types, probability and impact estimates from which we generated mitigation plans for the WCTPP.
5. Organizational Structure (OBS)
To successfully implement a project, the main Stakeholders must be Delegated with Well-Defined Responsibilities and Resources they need to accomplish their work. Here comes the importance of an OBS showing who occupies what position and does what. Although an OBS typically shows the person’s position, his or her tasks are well-defined in the Job Description. Below is the OBS of the WCTPP;
As a conclusion, PM Techniques are very effective when rightly used. Depending on your context, these basic tools help you generate well-structured design patterns to implement your idea or project. Treff-End is currently developing the God-Centered Design and Innovation Tool to assist Faith Entrepreneurs in the field especially in remote communities.
In the next stage of Series 2, we will discover how to come up with a Prototype of your Project or Idea.
Please, share the information with Faith Entrepreneurs in your community