Mastering the challenge of managing development projects


From 21 – 25 September 2020, MSM delivered the executive Project Management program. This 5-day course is designed to further develop the skills, knowledge and essential techniques for successful, cost-effective management of both large- and small-scale projects. Due to the current circumstances, the program was taught online.

Rui Miguel Santos, expert and trainer in Results-Based Management and Evaluation of Development Programs & Projects, guided the participants into the world of Project Management. The first day focused on the main structural elements in a project and on how these elements interact as part of the logic model. The participants gained understanding on the project’s life cycle and its different stages. The second day, Rui showed the differences between all kind of stakeholders and how to analyze stakeholders and their behavioral patterns. On day three, the participants were introduced to various planning tools and techniques that are needed when formulating a project and to tackle the opportunities and needs. The program concluded with the two days learning about risk management and monitoring tools.

The structure of the Project Management program allowed enough time for theoretical input, practical insights, and individual and groups assignments. This set up was very much appreciated: “The timing of this course is perfect, it has some lecture hours in the morning  and it has flexibility in the afternoon to reply to e-mails and to finish some other work for my organization” according to Abdullah Al-Fakhrey (Iraq) Community Manager of MosulSpace.Cynthia Rahy from Lebanon added: “Allthough, the course was delivered online and unfortunately I couldn’t meet the participants and the instructor in person, I was able to follow the sessions and complete assignments with my team without any challenge.

The participants look back at a very successful program: “This program includes the entire cycle of designing projects that I find interesting and useful. As a value chain expert, at FAO support to the Georgian Agricultural Sector under ENPARD III, I will be able to put the gained knowledge into practice during the implementation of ongoing projects. Apart from this, I am partly engaged in the design of proposals for the potential upcoming projects where I can contribute through sharing and practicing my knowledge acquired from the course at the project design stage.” according to Shorena Beridze from Georgia.

Abdullah added: “This program is very well designed and Rui is one of the best trainers I have ever seen. He has so much experience in the field and he has a very smooth way of transferring the knowledge. He was assessing our knowledge every day and adjusted the material according to the results and our needs. The practical assignments and working in groups with people from so many different countries and backgrounds is really helpful and it added a lot to my experience.”

According to Cynthia the program is very beneficial for her current job as Senior Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) officer at Berytech: “I have been working in the Humanitarian sector for four years in the Monitoring and Evaluation department which is part of a project cycle. It is very important for my professional growth and development to grasp the full picture of project management to better support program design and development at program implementation departments and to contribute to the achievement of the company’s goals. As soon as I am back, I will first organize a session and transmit all the knowledge I gained to my colleagues at Berytech. Also, as a MEL officer, I will apply what I learned in my day-to-day activities in the collaboration with the Berytech team."

Also the lead trainer Rui Santos was very positive about the first online edition of the Project Management program: “Many participants were following the course in countries facing reconstructions processes with impact on power and communications network. Still, with the commitment and resilience of participants it was possible to always find solutions for the day-to-day challenges and successfully follow my online lectures in the morning and complete the assignments in the afternoons. The quality and energy of the participants made the success of the first online edition on Project Management.”

Would you like to join the Project Management program as well?
The dates for the next 5-day Project Management program is not scheduled yet. In case you are interested, please send an email to As soon as the new dates are fixed, they will inform you.
On 14, 15 & 16 October Rui Santos will deliver the online Introduction to Project Management program. Through this online program you will get introduced to the relevant approaches, theories, and methodologies for project management in an international context. 

About MSM’s executive education programs
In today’s rapidly changing world, it is important for leaders and professionals to keep their knowledge and skills up to date and relevant. Investing in executive education is investing in your future. At MSM, we embrace this lifelong learning approach! MSM’s hands-on executive programs, led by thought leaders and business experts, provide a practical and action-oriented learning experience and are designed to have an immediate impact on performance.

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