| The design & management of community projects - A team approach |
|Part 4. Implementation - Action|
TIME: 3 hours
AIMS: By the end of this section participants will be able to:
1. Form a project management team.
2. Identify key areas of management.
3. Prepare a project management plan.
1. Review TRAINER OVERVIEW and steps in PROCEDURE.
2. Prepare list of members for new teams to be formed in this section.
3. Help participants practice the action plays about communication in step 12.
4. Get any supplies or special materials needed for the action plays.
1. Blackboard and chalk.
2. Large pieces of paper and marking pens.
3. Flip chart 5, "Who Should Be on the Team?".
4. Flip chart 14, "Good Management".
5. Flip chart 15, "Teamwork".
6. Flip chart 16, "Communication".
7. Handout 1, "Steps in the Life of a Project".
8. Handout 2, "Qualities or Signs of Successful Community Projects".
9. Handout 22, "Project Management".
10. Handout 23, "Money Matters!".
Projects need good managers to run them. In this section we divide participants into "project management teams" to discuss their responsibilities and authority for managing their "projects". Then they talk about what "to manage" means and what the qualities of a good manager are. We look at what things contribute to good management: hard work, team work and the 3 C's - cooperation, coordination and communication. Finally we talk about financial records and how extension workers can help communities manage their projects.
Step 1. Review AIMS of this section of the workshop with participants.
Step 2. Review handout 1. Ask participants what happens next, after the community approves the project plan? Everybody waits until the aid application is approved, right? The community waits for the chief to say "go ahead"? Then they start to get ready? Points to cover:
• The well-planned project does not depend on aid.
• The project plan (and action plan) should say what needs to be done and who is to do it.
• The project management team (or project manager) should start work as soon as the community approves the project plan.
• The community should be told what the next steps are so that they can be ready.
Step 3. Divide participants into new teams. They are to do a little bit of play acting now as the project management team for the project plans developed in the planning exercise. It is the first meeting of the management team. Some of the members of the team helped to plan the project; others were not involved in the planning at all so this is the first time they get a chance to find out about the plan and the project.
Teams should spend about 1 hour discussing their new work. Among the topics that each management team needs to talk about are:
1. Why have you been chosen to serve on the management team? List the names of team members, positions and why each one is on the management team.
2. What are the team's responsibilities? Who will do what?
3. What is your team's authority? Can you make decisions on your own or must you get approval from the chief or the community first? What authority do you want/need?
4. Will there be a "project manager"? Will the person be paid? Who will choose him/her? Will the management team's responsibilities change if there is a project manager?
Step 4. Ask each team to share its ideas about the questions in step 3. Discuss. Points to cover:
1. People get chosen for many reasons, review flip chart 5 quickly. Explain that we will discuss the qualities of a good manager more in a few minutes.
2. In most projects, the management team should get the community to decide what authority the management team is to have.
3. The project management team may be the only "project managers". The team should choose one of its members to be team leader. This person carries out the team's decisions for managing the project. Most of the time, this type of manager is a volunteer - in other words, he/she receives no pay.
The community/team may decide that it needs to hire a project manager. Some reasons to hire a project manager might be:
• the project is big and complicated
• special skills are needed
• the project will last a long time and take a lot of time
• the community has enough money to pay someone to work for it
4. The team can look at the project plans (the action plan and budget work sheets) to get an idea about what some of its responsibilities are. The team should also plan its work by following the project plans. However, the team will probably have to work out the details of the plans. The plan may also have to be revised if unexpected problems arise or if some things have been left out.
Step 5. Explain that we need to look at what "to manage" means and what the qualities of a good manager are. The words "management" and "manager" come from "to manage", an action word. Divide into the new teams again and ask them to spend about 30-45 minutes discussing the two following areas:
1. What does "to manage" mean? Write the two statements below on the black board and suggest that the teams use them to start their discussions:
• Manage means to help others do their work.
• Manage means to control and direct the work of others.
2. What are the qualities of a good "manager". Are ail the members of a management team "managers"? Are the qualities of a good manager the same as the qualities of a good leader?
Give each team large pieces of paper and marking pens. Ask each team to list the qualities they think a good manager must have, then organize the qualities into three lists following the three topics below.
• Skills to do the work
• Ways of treating people
After they finish making their three lists, they should put the qualities on the lists in order of importance: 1, 2, 3, etc.
Step 6. Have teams come back together. First ask teams to report back and discuss what "to manage" means. Points to cover:
1. "Control and direct the work of others" is what most people think of but "helping others to do their work" is the style of the really good manager.
2. The good manager helps the management team keep the whole community informed, involved and working together.
3. It is important to achieve the aim of the project. How the community works together is also very important, perhaps more important than actually finishing the project if the community really works as a team and learns from the experience.
Step 7. Ask teams to report back about qualities of a good manager. Compare with the list of qualities below. Then ask them which of the 3 lists is most important for the success of a project. Are good character and nice ways of treating people more important than skills to do the work?
a good manager = a good leader
Some qualities of a good manager/leader are:
• guards confidentiality
• shares information
• builds skills of team
• good listener
• lets others do their Jobs
• is able to make decisions
• builds cooperation in
• thinks ahead
• is a good planner
• has good judgment
• accepts criticism
• always does his/her best
• admits mistakes, doesn't hide them
• leads people in work (is a good example and does fair share)
• involves team and community in discussing problems, planning and making decisions
• delegates good Jobs, not Just bad Jobs
• does what he/she says will do
• can change, is open to new group ideas
• thinks clearly
• enjoys working with people
Step 8. Review flip chart 14.
Flip chart 14
• hard work
• the three C's:
good cooperation, good coordination, good communication
• A good manager helps people gain new skills and helps the team grow strong.
• The good manager helps the team and the community to work together as a team.
Step 9. Explain that good management of a project is hard work. It takes a lot of time and effort. Much of the work managers do is unseen, and nobody thanks them for their hard work. Managers will mostly get their rewards in personal satisfaction when the project keeps moving along and finally achieves its goal. We wilt talk about this more.
Step 10. Review and discuss flip chart 15.
Flip Chart 15
Explain that the 4 most important things needed to build good team work are:
• pulling together toward the same aim
• knowing what your dunes are. what everybody else's duties and responsibilities are, and how your work affects other people's work
• making sure that the Job fits the person
• learning to trust each other and think of the benefit to the whole community rather than your personal needs
Other points to cover:
1. Good management involves teamwork. It takes a lot of effort to get team work. The 3 C's are very important for team work!
2. When the members of a team work together, there is a special feeling. Extension workers can help the project management team work as a team and develop that special feeling.
3. There are some wrong ideas about teamwork. For example, some people think there must be peace and agreement all the time. Is this really true? Don't we want people who will give us their best ideas and make us really think? What good are yes-men and yes-women? A good team looks at possible problems and can even argue about them in a friendly way because they trust each other and don't take disagreement as personal criticism.
Step 11. One of the most important Jobs of the management team will be communication:
• with the community - to keep them informed, let them know what should happen next so they can get ready
• with the chief technical advisor, suppliers, government officials, laborers
• with each other
Step 12. Look back at flip chart 14. Ask participants for ideas about what each of the 3 C's mean. Compare with the following:
= working together to achieve an aim
= bring resources together at the right time
= exchanging ideas with other people
Points to cover:
1. The 3 C's are part of team work. Good communication also helps us to work together (cooperation) at the right time (coordination).
2. Look at flip chart 16 on the next page and explain that until all three steps have been completed, we do not have clear communication.
3. There are many ways to send messages. Sometimes we send unclear or mixed messages because we are communicating in more than one way at the same time. Ask participants for ideas about how we send messages. Compare with the list below:
• words - written, spoken
• signs - wave, shake head, clap hands, raise eye brows
• tone of voice - loud, cross, happy
• touching - kiss, caress, slap, hug
• body language - legs and arms crossed, body stiff, shoulders down = closed: arms and legs uncrossed, body straight = open
• facial expressions-smile, frown, question
• drum, bell, conch, whistle, traffic lights, marks on trees
Flip Chart 16
4. If there is time, include a couple of short action plays about communication:
• message sent but not understood
• message sent and understood but no clear sign comes back
• message sent but not understood even though sign coming back indicates message was understood
• message sent, understood and clear sign comes back (good communication)
5. Ask participants if they think we can hide our true feelings. Explain what "dropping the bag" means by picking up a bag and doing a short action play. Throw the bag over your shoulder and walk about the room picking up cross feelings from different people in the room. These are cross feelings that you can't or don't find a way to get straightened out. Soon the bag gets very heavy. A small thing happens, nothing to really upset you but you explode and "drop the bag" of cross feelings on an innocent person. You have gotten angry at the wrong person. Then you are sorry and ashamed but it is too late.
Ask participants: How can we avoid "dropping the bag"? One idea is to find nice ways to let people know when we are confused or upset about something that has happened. Most of these "problems" come up because of poor communication and misunderstanding. If we don't clear them up right away, they are like a sickness that continues to grow inside us and spoils our minds.
Step 13. Review and discuss handouts 22 and 23.
Step 14. Ask participants they think extension workers can help communities manage their projects. Who buys the materials, handles the money, does the accounting, monitors the project and writes reports? What does the extension worker do if no one in the community feels confident or If nobody has had experience with management? Is it easier if we do these things for the community? What do we do if no one in the community seems to want to learn or if willing workers make mistakes? Points to cover:
1. What does handout 2 tell us about successful projects and development of the community in the future?
2. Many of us like helping people. We feel good, too, when we are needed. We are like parents who want to save their children from too much trouble. From the points in handout 2, it seems that we really hurt communities by making things too easy for them.
3. Sometimes we also get involved and don't know how to pull back easily.
4. We need to organize our time in order to teach people how to do something new. However, training pays off in the long run. If we can help local people learn to do these things for themselves, in the future we will have more time to find other ways to help them.
The MANAGEMENT TEAM must always:
• MEET REGULARLY AND KEEP MINUTES
• FOLLOW PROJECT PLANS
• KEEP GOOD FINANCIAL RECORDS
• MONITOR PROGRESS REGULARLY
• SOLVE PROBLEMS RIGHT AWAY
• KEEP THE COMMUNITY INFORMED AND INVOLVED
PROTECT THE GOOD NAME OF YOUR COMMUNITY!
Project Management Team/Project Manager must set up a simple accounting system, make rules for the person who will handle the money and keep financial records for the project.
• Open a passbook account and always require 2 signatures to withdraw money.
• Never order supplies or put people to work until you have the money to pay.
• Do not keep lots of cash. Deposit large amounts in your passbook account right away.
• Use simple materials and keep records in a safe place. Materials you might need are:
* Strong box with lock to keep cash.
* Receipt book - leave copies in receipt book. Put receipt book in one envelope.
* Payment voucher book - leave copies in voucher book. Put payment voucher book in another envelope.
* Ledger - an exercise book, with a simple plan like this:
Balance from last page
= $ 200.00
Project Management Team/Project Manager must review money records frequently and report regularly.
• Set up a schedule to review money records and follow it.
• Make regular reports to the community.
• Keep the financial records open to the community.
• Ask someone from outside the team to audit financial records once a year and at the end of the project.