Keeping project teams on course

Bookings are being taken for a course that helps project teams to better plan and evaluate their endeavours – and demonstrate their achievements to funding bodies.

The Victorian Department of Primary Industries Project Evaluation Training course is open to anyone involved in projects in any area, including grower groups and agronomists, and runs for five and a half days, split across two residential modules.

In the four years since it started, 330 people have taken the course and most are using their new skills in their work, especially in project planning, says Stephen Kelly, training manager of the DPI Evaluation Support Team.

The course uses Bennett’s Hierarchy, a tool that is used for planning both the projects and their evaluation.

“It’s a goal-based method. We help project teams to really define their goals and the hierarchy sets out a logical approach to achieving that goal and then gives you a framework to evaluate it against.” If a project veers off track, the framework gets it back on course, he says.

“The courses are fairly universal but are designed for people to bring their own projects along to work on,” he says. “If people from a grower group come, they can bring along their project concept or existing project.

“At the end of training they come out with an evaluation plan all set to go, worked out down to the methods they use to collect data, how it would be reported and who to.”

The course helps project teams to clarify their objectives, demonstrate their results to their funding bodies and communicate with steering committees, he says.

Project Evaluation Training will be held at the Central Springs Inn in Daylesford, Victoria.

Module 1 is offered on 23-25 March or 20-22 April and costs $979. Module 2 will run on 5-7 May or 1-3 June and costs $1210. The fee includes tuition, meals, accommodation and GST.

Mr Kelly, with Viv McWaters from the training company Beyond The Edge, will run the course.

For more information:
Stephen Kelly, 03 50514570, stephen.kelly@dpi.vic.gov.au