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Project Institutional Development to Tackle Issues of Poverty and Social Exclusion in Slovakia

Partnership Co-operation to Tackle Issues of Social Exclusion

Manual 2 Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level PhDr. Ing. Stanislav Konečný

February 2003

Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

CONTENTS February 2003...............................................................................................................1 INTRODUCTION...........................................................................................................2 I. GROUP WORK AND PARTNERSHIP BUILDING ...................................................5 I.1. Characteristics of partnerships..........................................................................................5 I. 2. Factors of preparedness for partnership work:................................................................7 I.3. Components of functioning partnership...........................................................................7 I. 4 What Causes Failure of Partnership?................................................................................8 I.5. Stages of Team Development .........................................................................................9 II. COMMUNICATION.................................................................................................10 II.1. Definition of communication .......................................................................................10 II.2. Ten Principles of Effective Communication :...............................................................11 II.3. Jo-Hari’s Window - Theory of open Window ..............................................................12 II.4.Communication Barriers................................................................................................13 II.5. Communication strategies ............................................................................................13 III. STRATEGIC PLANNING.......................................................................................15 III. 1. General Characteristics...............................................................................................15 III.2. Basic Parts of Strategy.................................................................................................16 III.3. Ten steps in strategic planning according to Bryson...................................................17 III.4. Strategy and partnership building................................................................................17 IV. IDENTIFICATION OF TRAINING NEEDS..........................................................19 IV.1. General Characteristics................................................................................................19 IV.2. Introduction into analysis.............................................................................................19 IV.3. Basic Parts of the Analysis ........................................................................................20 IV.4. Process of training needs analysis...............................................................................20 IV.5. Implementation of results gained from training needs analysis..................................22 V. MANAGEMENT OF CHANGE ...............................................................................24 V.1. Resistance to change.....................................................................................................24 V.2. Process of change management....................................................................................24 VI. PROJECT MANAGEMENT...................................................................................28 VI.1. Project life cycle ........................................................................................................29 VI.2. Project intention and objectives ..................................................................................29 VI.3. Project schedule..........................................................................................................31 VI.4. Project evaluation and monitoring..............................................................................32 VI.5. Structure of project......................................................................................................32 VI.6. Long frame matrix of the project.................................................................................33 VI.7. Management of the project during its course..............................................................34

INTRODUCTION The Manual you have just received is one of the four manuals issued as part of the Project „Institutional Development to Tackle Poverty and Social Exclusion in Slovakia“. All these manuals are supposed to help participants of community activities to answer the question:” How to finance alleviation of poverty and social exclusion on the local level?” 2

Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

This Manual is a tool serving for preparation and implementation of training activities supporting establishment and successful functioning of partnerships on the level of region and community. The target group this Manual should serve to, are mainly representatives of community initiatives dealing with this issue. While talking about partnership on the local level, usually we will get a triangle consisting of NGOs, statutory bodies and a private sector. The same applies in our case, while the main assumption here is that it will be first of all the NGO sector to initiate and start off the activities. The structure of the Manual is based on the outputs of the training need analysis processed by the British partners as part of the pilot phase of the project. These outputs had very clearly pointed out some priorities that are also considered in the submitted contents. Methodology of the current educational activities is an overlap of typical training activities in managerial skills as well as provision of the basic information pieces with a training activity which forms a follow-up in terms of contents. Contents of the Manual is a very brief review of the issues, key works and process concerning important topics, on which we need to concentrate if we want to be persistent in building communities and partnerships. The included topics – a team work and partnership building, communication, strategic planning, training needs analysis, management of change and project management – are so broad, that manuals on their own could be written about them. Partnership building requires from all its members to master the basic areas of managerial skills such as: - effective communication skills, i.e. effective communication inevitable for the work in working group including ability to accept and provide feed-back and to clearly provide information for community (handing over information to the community, etc.) - skills linked with strategic planning in order; in order to achieve success, team building must be effective - skills needed for processing of the results gained from current status analysis, serving as basis for our planning linked with strategic planning and provides basis for development projects and training needs analysis among community members and members of working group forming effective partnership. - skills linked with process of change allowing for active and effective process initiation and subsequent management; - a final part of the project is a project management – a topic related to all abovementioned topics. A good project management can hardly cope, in all phases of the project, without well and realistically designed strategic plan, without high quality analysis of issues to be tackled by the Project. In its very substance, the project management contains a change, which is coordinated by the project team in the project implementation process. Project team can hardly operate without good communication skills linked with presentation skills in effective negotiating.


Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

Should we intend to illustrate to the training participants the contents of this Manual, we would probably do following: well-built partnership is a broad firm roof fulfilling its role thanks to well-built pillars. The fundamentals in our case are introduced managerial skills. Should you decide to draft proposal for training in cooperation with professional trainers of managerial skills for the members of your community and partners, this Manual can serve as a help, as a review of the important parts of the training program.


Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level


Meeting only means beginning, being together means progress but working together means success (Arabic proverb)

I.1. Characteristics of partnerships Mrs. Maureen Napier, an expert from Great Britain, at the beginning of the project carried out a training needs analysis concerning selected communities. The results of the training needs are interesting since they monitor participants’ viewpoints over definition and their own experiences with partnership. „Each of the participants clarified his/her role in the region and regarded it as irreplaceable. However, the participants perceived their role separately from other tasks. All of them also stated that they had previous experience with work in partnership only in from of cooperation between individual institutions with identical or similar objectives or competencies, and they kept mixing mutual contacts, communication and partnership.“ Analysis of the results of research points out very clearly an urgent need of training program focusing on partnership building in full extent as well as part of programs tackling poverty and alleviation of social exclusion consequence on local level. This Manual perceives involvement in partnership not only as participation of working group members, but also as involvement of all citizens in community as well as socially excluded ones in partnership building. Analysis of conditions identifying also the community needs, is described as “Community Profile Development” in this part. That, in fact is already the basis of strategic planning. Participation in this Chapter, is defined as involvement of the citizens in public matters and further, the chapter is devoted to the development of techniques increasing such involvement. Both case studies – Salfors’s Council and Birmingham Health Institute point out to the ways of achieving a number of feed-backs from broad spectrum of community members. The analysis of feedback then serves as basis for processing goals and objectives of community and determining the priorities. A more demanding procedure containing some significant features of group work and beginning of future partnership is the procedure described in this Manual as “Futures Workshop”. Its author is the Austrian pedagogist Robert Jungk. In terms of organisation, it involves three cycles – two hours each, while their contents form two inter-linked workshops, where citizens have chance here to present their ideas and prospects concerning given issues – important to them. Significance of the issue is


Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

confirmed by their pure presence at the training itself. The leader of the training has to support the participants, try to simplify their situations, settle some issues and analyse group work while bewaring of any sign of steering as far as group’s opinions are concerned. It is therefore, important to realise, while developing training program for group members building partnership, that apart from good communication skills, they also need to be able to take the role of presenter. Should we go back to the introductory part of this section concerning the fact this guideline contains beginning of a future partnership – then the group has a chance to initiate citizens’ involvement in these kinds of activities – especially those activities who have clear opinions about the respective issue. Annex to the Manual contains also a case study linked with above-mentioned guideline titled “Establishment of Partnership and Community Intentions for Lewes.” Successful partnerships are a result of the process building mutual confidence and seeking common approach to the joint tasks: • partnerships are not a result of accident, it requires time and effort to achieve good prospects for success, clear and common objective for all members of working group • it requires energy and engagement to nurture and maintain partnerships; • partnership will not work properly if forced – any partnership with key partners not wanting to participate is destined to be unsuccessful. A key task is to create a situation where local partners themselves are active without being forced. In order to achieve this, all the partners must gain something from the contract – the partnership activities must offer a purpose and result, which cannot be achieved otherwise, • it is relatively simple to establish and develop joint structures, policy and protocols. The real issue is the fact whether individuals and organisations are able to work in a new way and their partnerships are real and sustainable. 1 We should start with a definition of partnership: Partnership is an agreement between two or more partners about future joint work aimed at achievement of common goals. Community partnerships are formed in specific geographical area (or less frequently within a community with common interests), involving their members in planning and delivery of community services. The basis of this Manual is the work to work and the objective of the group work is improvement of cooperation between community representatives, improvement of communication between its members and division of responsibility for decisionmaking and decision implementation.


From the materials of British trainers as part of the workshop, not authorised 6

Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

I. 2. Factors of preparedness for partnership work: • values and principles which correspond with prospects of people who makes use of the services; • agreed specific policies and changes in services planned to be achieved within the framework of the partnership; • prepare alternatives of new services and be overly bound neither with existing services, nor suppliers; • clear organisational tasks and responsibilities; • identified joint resources including joint budget; • effective management, including political engagement for partnership programme; • a support of the ability to develop partnership, while not remaining insignificant ignored part of something; and • developed good personal relationships, formation of opportunities and stimulation of key players to maintain these relationships and support mutual confidence this way.2 Once we have the basis of functioning partnership, we can start to build on existing partnership contracts. If we concentrate on development of partnership right from the beginning and follow fulfilment of individual factors, we are likely to get beyond the phase of planning and achieve first concrete results. In the management theory, a basic division of partnership is presented as: • informal partnerships – formed naturally in order to achieve certain tasks, a mutual assistance of individual organisations aimed at achievement of more specific goals; and • formal partnerships – are established purposefully and in broader extent. They provide several types of services. Such partnerships have created formal structures and tasks and responsibilities are divided among their members. I.3. Components of functioning partnership Effectively functioning partnership should contain each of the components. It is important to pay attention also the relationships between individual components: • formation of strategic partnerships with determined long-term goals for individual services;


detto 7

Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

• meeting the service users even outside the traditional work-related environment; • unambiguous planning and performance of key strategic decisions; • networks supporting integrated information and other support on individual and global level; • complexity of the programs of joined training within community; • processed systems of service assessment and management; • joint mechanisms for human resource planning, which would be able to provide ordered services within the scope of our future strategy; • integrated monitoring and control system, the result of which is a common understanding of effectiveness in the presence of delivered services forming a documentation basis for future changes; and • clearly outlined performance and control approach to determine justified ownership of decisions and applied resources. I. 4 What Causes Failure of Partnership? • conflicts among the key participants • one of the partners tries to manipulate the others or acts as superior • unclear objective • non-realistic goals • differences in approaches to work • lack of communication • unequal and non-acceptable ratio of rights and control • key participants are left out of the partnership • hidden programmes • financial and time investments are higher than potential benefits 3 A decision to work within a working group should be based on the decision to share management. A decision to share management should be based on revision of all parties’ potential to contribute to achievement of common goal.


From the materials of British trainers as part of the workshop, not authorised 8

Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

I.5. Stages of Team Development Frequently used characteristics of establishment and development of a group is known from the American theory of management: 1. Stage of formation – members of the group try out their role within the group, this phase is typical for its enthusiasm, optimism, members are hesitantly starting to join the activities and they may fear some future commitments. 2. Stage of fermentation – first signals of unsteadiness, tasks begin to seem harder or different than at the beginning. It is a period of mutual blaming and refusal to cooperate. It is a standard phenomenon in lively and healthy groups. 3. Stage of standardisation – gradual harmonisation of the group and acceptance of stipulated rules and responsibilities. 4. Stage of functioning– the group starts to fulfil its tasks smoothly, mutual differences are settled and tasks accepted in the group. Many useful starting points for establishment as well as functioning of partnerships can be found in the following parts of the Manual, especially a part on strategic planning. Well-functioning and active partnerships form inevitable part of strategic planning, regular community needs analysis as well as project management. The participants to the workshops will also welcome identification of steps enabling us to correctly monitor the status of our partnership. Background material can be found in the Project documentation.


Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level


God gave us two ears and one mouth and we should be using them equally . (Irish proverb)

II.1. Definition of communication The project documentation is covering the area of communication only marginally. Therefore, we shall try to devote more space to this issues depending on provided space. Communication is a very broad area. In our conditions, when we try to define contents of training program for partnership building, we need to focus on the main features of effective communication. What communication actually means, what are communication barriers and why and why is it to important. The following quotation describes communication very eloquently: „Communication is a road transferring ideas, information and opinions from the place of their birth to their destination. This road may be rocky, full of roundabouts, bad turnings, but may also be smooth and trouble-free. If a person is a master of communication – he/she can listen well, can freely share his/her ideas and regularly requires feed-back – his/her road is much more successful “4 Should we consult official manuals of communication, we would find e.g. this definition: Communication in broader context means every interaction, transaction and contact with others. Communication contains two main items: • digital item (everything we are expressing in words, verbally) •

analogue item (everything that accompanies words, non-verbally).


Significance of non-verbal communication is confirmed by research, which claims that 7% of what we perceive during communication are words, 55% is body language and 38% is the tone of our voice. 6 Importance of non-verbal item is stressed by professionals from television business, but more and more also people who work in various public positions. This part is usually very popular during training programs focusing on development of communications and presentations skills. 4 5 6

Efektívna komunikácia a asertivita, Centrum prevencie a riešenia konfliktov, Bratislava 1994, s.9 M. Argyle, British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, Vol.9, 1970 10

Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

II.2. Ten Principles of Effective Communication 7: 1. Try to show interest in the other person, try to get to know him/her better. 2. Let the other one speak and listen to them tentatively. 3. Try to speak about things, which might be interesting for the others. 4. Be careful about criticism. 5. Be careful about commands. 6. Accept your own mistakes. 7. Give appraisal, if something deserves it. 8. Try to empathise with others. 9. Avoid conflicts, do not claim opposite opinions to what others say. 10. Do smile a lot. Effective communication forms basis of partnership building. On top of that, if people feel that their information are not adequate, or that some facts are being hidden from them, they feel insulted and their attitudes become negative, even aggressive 8. The more effective the communication is within the community, or group, the higher the level of satisfaction of all its members.

7 8

Efektívna komunikácia a asertivita, Centrum prevencie a riešenia konfliktov, Bratislava 1994, s.10 Foretová, Foret,Gole: Komunikujúce mesto, Masarykova univerzita, Brno 1998, s. 10. 11

Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

II.3. Jo-Hari’s Window - Theory of open Window 9 A certain model of communication is very eloquently described in Theory of Open Window, which may be graphically illustrated: Openness to the surrounding (provision of information)

willingness to communicate with surrounding

Open window

Hidden agenda

Facade (hidden agenda)

Black whole

subconsciousness Contents of this process is quite simple – the most important part of our communication is part of „façade or open window “. That represents a part if ourselves, which is known to us and to people we meet, the way they know us. It is a space for free and open information exchange. The area of the space grows with increasing level of confidence between the individual and a group. Second part a “façade or hidden agenda“ contains information that only I know, but for some reason, I hide them. I know about these matters, whereas the group is not aware about them. My fear may be based on apprehension that if my surrounding knew about these opinions, my feelings or perception, they could criticise me, disapprove of them or reject me. The next part „blind spot“ - contains information, which are known to our surrounding without us identifying them directly. This information is signalised to the environment without us being aware of them, though others do perceive them. The last part of open window is „black hole“ – a part of our consciousness which we call sub-consciousness. Neither our surrounding knows about it, nor do we. Some pieces of information in this area might be placed so deep, we may never realise them, others may be revealed throughout exchange of feedbacks with other people. 9

Joseph Luft a Harry Ingam v Ľudskej interakcii opísali model interpersonálnych procesov


Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

The key part is the conclusion of the model - the objective of effective communication is to expand the space of open window. There are several ways to assist us in these efforts. Open window expands mainly with increased trust in others. Maintaining standards for provision and reception of feedback supports this type of information and trust exchange. That is related to a very important skill of providing and receiving feed-back, knowing how to analyse and evaluate it, the skill of identifying and learning how to get rid of communication barriers while preventing building of new ones. Feed-back will let us know how the others perceive us. And on the other hand, based on our feed-back others will learn more about the way we perceive them. This is the very contents of the Chapter on effective communication as a basic managerial skill. II.4.Communication Barriers There are may different obstacles to effective communication. We shall only name some of them: •

people who we are communicating with, may have other, different aims, values and opinions than we have;

• our experience differ from experience of other people who we are communicating with and we might not be able to identify these differences; • our position in community might frighten those who we are communicating with or they have had negative experience with institution which we are representing; and • the place where communication is held may create obstacles to communication without us actually realising it. II.5. Communication strategies In fact, communication strategy may be included in any part contained in this Manual, since correct communication strategy is an important strategy within strategic planning, it is a part of communication, it is also important for partnership building as well as for management of change. We have included it in the part on communication. Correct communication is an important prerequisite of success in any organisation. Well-developed communication strategy is especially important for organisations and projects dealing with social exclusion and mainly communication with groups of socially excluded people. Successful work tackling issues of social exclusion always entails establishment of relationship of trust and understanding based on continuous communication. 10


Graham Alen, material k workshopu na Slovensku, marec 2002, s.1 13

Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

Selection of adequate communication channel for each specific event depends on the type of institution, on people who we want to communicate with and capacity, potential as well as time available for communication. While working with socially excluded citizens, use of the most effective and most adequate ways of communication for the recipient must be accentuated. For instance, many socially excluded people have difficulties with hearing, they might have visual impairments or problems with understanding of written information. The communication in the entire organisation must be facilitated in a way encouraging recipients to establish dialogue and give answers.


Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level


If you do not know where you are heading, you might end up on a different place Yogi Berra Every organisation has its destiny, future and creative organisations can be differentiated from the passive ones by active planning. The key role of the manager is this seeking for future. This role may be fulfilled through better and deeper understanding of the presence and creation of convincing picture about future. In the centre of creation and enforcement of its vision of future is a continuous process (a strategic planning), which can involve people from inside the organisation as well as from outside.11 We can ask ourselves a question, what is the difference between the role of manager who coordinates the process of change management (Chapter V.) and the role of visionary and strategist. Actually, both of them often require the same managerial skills, however, their focus is different. Manager coordinates the process of change and is therefore more focused on the operational issues – immediate tasks and use of accessible chances. The role of visionary and strategist is more focused on the future status of being, such as – what will be the character of the organisation in fiveto ten-year time or even longer period. The difference resembles the one between the notions of planning and process of strategy creation – “making specialists on planning responsible for strategy proposal is like asking the mason to create Michelangelo’s Pieta”. Should the manager be a visionary and strategist, he needs to start thinking in a completely different way than top managers do. He needs to go beyond the framework of his role.12 Strategic planning as a policy and management tool, which has been applied over the past decade in all sectors of organised society – in a public, private and nongovernmental one. To summarise, a process of strategic planning is understood as a preparation of the organisation for events and circumstances to be expected in the future. III. 1. General Characteristics If we want to cover the entire issues of strategic planning into 1 or 2-day training for community group members who are building up a long-term partnership, we may present a training in very simple and concise structure – a pyramid. At the top of the pyramid, where we start our work, there is a vision – some prospect, another part is strategy/strategies and the lowest and most extensive part of the pyramid are activities which help to fulfil our strategy and finally also a vision. A process of strategic planning characterised in this way has been illustrated only in a very simplified form. In order to better understand strategic planning as a process, we 11 12

Fred Fisher, Manažér ako vizionár a stratég, Manažment zmeny, Bratislava 1999, p.1 detto, p. 15 15

Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

shall introduce in this Chapter a Bryson’s model of strategic planning divided into 10 steps. III.2. Basic Parts of Strategy VISION – it is a statement defining what will exist after the problems will have been solved and all the opportunities will have been successfully and fully made use. It is very important to have the right visions stipulated and presented, since then, they give our program the right spark of liveliness and orientation for the future. In other words – a vision helps to lead people the right direction, it gives people the feeling of importance and significance of their work, it encourages them to greater activity, better fulfilment of the tasks and sharing of the entire groups’ work 4. If we want to make sure that our vision is the right one, we must verify if it is realistic, if it is challenging (in its demands) enough for everybody and whether it is sufficiently inspirational. An example of a vision publicised by the Slovak Association of Civil Advisory Services: Everybody has the same rights. Through its free-of-charge activities, the Slovak Association of Civil Advisory Services is helping citizens to better know their rights and obligations, to be able to solve their problems, and thus contribute to improved quality of life. Approved basic principles of consulting: confidentiality and free-of-charge provision.



A part of approved vision is clearly formulated set of standards – indicators of quality, which, in terms of achievement and maintenance, form a contents of individual strategies. STRATEGIES – a strategy is sometimes defined as means a provision or a set of provisions set out so that they bring a desirable output or a vision. Since there are more and less effective ways to fulfil a vision, we need to choose the right one out of several possible strategies. To explain better, we may set out a whole range of strategies, during our training we can use an example of one part of the Plan of Community Care in UK (Hampshire). ACTION STEPS – there is a plenty of tasks that need to be dome to transform strategies into an action plan of which may subsequently transform our vision into reality. Planning of action steps is frequently a very lengthy, but important process used for elaboration of various tasks to be done, should such performance be successful. While planning action steps concerning specific tasks, it is always necessary to stipulate responsibility for each and every task, to appoint third parties outside working group (external collaborators) to share some work, to stipulate all the 4

Fred Fischer, Miestna samospráva, účasť občanov na veciach verejných, kniha 1, Centrum asistencie pre miestne samosprávy, Bratislava 1998, s.20 16

Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

necessary resources (finances, technical and material equipment, human resources, etc.), to set the deadline for fulfilment of all tasks and stipulate way in which monitoring and evaluating of success of steps should be done. III.3. Ten steps in strategic planning according to Bryson John Bryson is an author of the brochure Strategic Planning for Public and Non-ForProfit Organisations and more than anyone else, he dealt with a process of strategic planning for local administration and community groups. In his understanding, strategic planning can help the organisation to make sure that the decisions and steps taken are effective and helping to strengthen the mission of the organisation, to fulfil its mandate and to satisfy the involved ones. 14 The key to effective strategic planning is to a great extent a development of the process and not an orientation on the product or a plan as an output from the process. Ten steps in strategic planning: Step 1 – Initiation and approval of the process of strategic planning. Step 2 – Identification of the organisation’s mission. Step 3 – Clarification of organisation’s mission and values. Step 4 – Assessment of external and internal environment of the organisation. Step 5 – Identification of strategic issues facing the organisation. Step 6 – Formulation of strategies and plans. Step 7 – Revision and approval of the strategy and plan. Step 8 – Stipulation of effective vision of the organisation. Step 9 – Proposal of effective process aimed at implementation into practice. Step 10 – Revision of strategies and a process of strategic planning. Process of strategic planning is a flexible process. It may start from any of the ten steps and very often process of strategic planning starts with identification of the mission of the organisation. III.4. Strategy and partnership building Implementation of individual action steps requires a firmly stipulated managerial structure. As an example of detailed structure on local level we may use a demonstration of typical strategic planning structure in Great Britain, which is introduced among Annexes to these manuals (on CD).


Fred Fisher, Manažér ako vizionár a stratég, Manažment zmeny, Bratislava 1999, p.23 17

Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

Finally, let us look at various situations which may start up a process of strategic planning in an effective and well-timed way: • in case the organisation or community is in crisis; • in case the management wishes to make use of dynamics created as a consequence of a certain specific event, • in case of substantial transformation or change in the way the organisation has been carrying out its activities; • in case some elected or appointed representatives are being replaced within the organisation; • in case some new technologies are being introduced; • in case it is necessary to extend the interest in the issue – so that more people identify with it (e.g. pollution of environment which requires investments beyond the framework of the organisation in order to solve the problem); and • in case the organisation wishes to change its management style and introduce improved team work.


Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level


Many training efforts start without any specific reason, continue without any specific intent and end without any results at all McGehee and Thayer

IV.1. General Characteristics Presently, people are more and more aware of the importance of education and training not only in preparation for specific performance, but in support and development of community, too. It is important to create one’s own training programs and not to rely only on ready-to-offer training programmes from outside, since they often do not quite correlate with specific needs of our community. The level of training programs created by various institutions from outside, may be of high quality, but their value for community might be uncertain without clear awareness of the needs and systemic needs analysis. Definition of training needs requires attentive and constant needs analysis in practice. Without active and continuous collection of information which community gathers about itself as basis for drafted training programs, the significance and impact of the training on community members will never be the desired one. A general way of training needs analysis in various fields of community work can be used quite often. It is, e.g. an inevitable part of project management, we use it to justify the significance and importance, as well as implementation of our project, stipulation of goals, proofs on sustainability of the project in the future, etc. IV.2. Introduction into analysis Before we start working on the analysis, we need to find answers to several questions: • What is my role? • What do others expect from me? • Does the organisation know what is the training needs analysis about? • What types of training activities did this organisation perform in the past? • What is the organisation’s superior personal management style?


Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

IV.3. Basic Parts of the Analysis We can clearly define them in form of following graph: Analysis of Skills

Definition of gaps in knowledge and skills

Situation Analysis

Organisational Analysis

Definition of the process and issues of behaviour

Definition of problems concerning organisational development 5

IV.4. Process of training needs analysis Systemic approach to evaluation of training needs is a process focusing on collection and analysis of information on activities in organisations and its objective is to make better decisions about issues like when and where training programmes should be applied6. The entire process of evaluation comprises 5 basic steps starting with management’s decision to make use of the training needs analysis and ending with management receiving a report on results of completed needs analysis. Individual steps are described in detail below. Strict observation of this procedure will provide us with a lot of information on the status of the organisation. Manager will always receive a guideline for stipulation of the needs which require training and which will help him/her to select the most adequate training means. Step 1 – Decision of the Management and Preparation The entire process of training needs analysis starts when management decides to perform the analysis. If training needs analysis means novelty for the organisation, it will be necessary to appoint and train people or to accept appropriate external assistance. In order to ensure trust of people who facilitate the whole process, it is inevitable to show management’s strong support Step 2 – Analysis of the current situation Insufficiencies in performance do exist on every organisational level. Some of the arise when employees do not carry out their duties properly, some appear as a result 5

Sharon Bartram and Brenda Gibson, Training needs analysis, second edition, Gover Publishing Limited, Hampshire 1997, s. 5 6 David Tees, Nicholas You, Fred Fisher, Príručka pre posúdenie tréningových potrieb v organizáciách miestnych samospráv, LSGAC – ICMA, Bratislava 1998, s. 3 20

Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

of new programmes’ introduction, new employees’ recruitment or due to new equipment and technology. Character and extent of these insufficiencies in performance can be identified through constant control – study of reports and records drafted by the organisation itself, or written based on observation of work procedures and questions asked with the aim of verifying facts and opinions gained in different ways. Step 3 - Focusing on Differences and Needs Non-compliance in performance can differ and can influence the organisation in various ways. Some may be serious and unless correction are made in the organisation, they might harm others, even though not so important ones, or they might have impact on the work of many employees. This step means an analysis of such non-compliance in performance and helps to focus the attention of management to more significant differences. Based on this method, non-compliance originating from lack of knowledge or skills (training needs) can be differentiated from non-compliance based on other reasons – such as inability (non-training needs). Step 4 – Planning and Performance of Training Definition and composition of draft training needs of the organisation requires careful planning. Organisation has many external and internal resources for training of employees, however, in order to satisfy each identified need, it must have a strategy – the way of their use. Based on requirements of the organisation, strategies should be ranked based on their potential impacts, cost, adequacy and timing. Step 5 – Submitting Report to the Management The final step in training needs analysis is development of written report for management. The report must contain sufficient number of information which management will need to make decision about the need for specific drafted training programme. At the same time, it should contain information on every training need as well as description of required performance levels (what do we want to achieve). On top of that, it should contain training strategies leading to achievement or renewal of certain performance on required level ranked according to their importance and other information about them. The report should be also completed with recording sheet for records on each applied strategy. 7 The process of needs analysis ends with management approving implementation of training strategies. This decision will subsequently activate training possibilities with the aim of performing and evaluating the training (for better understanding of the entire process see training needs analysis process in the graphical form on the following page).


David Tees, Nicholas You, Fred Fisher, Príručka pre posúdenie tréningových potrieb v organizáciách miestnych samospráv, LSGAC – ICMA, Bratislava 1998, s. 5


Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

IV.5. Implementation of results gained from training needs analysis After completion of project containing training needs analysis and submission of report, managers start to take actions. There are two reasons why management needs to respond very quickly for two major reasons: • it is quite clear that management itself requires training needs analysis with aim of gaining information needed for decision on when and where in the organisation the training should take place. It is now up to the management itself to adopt or adapt submitted proposals based on analysis as soon as possible. • satisfaction of employee’s expectations in the organisation who participated in the project. In case the employees try to offer their opinions concerning noncompliance in performance, or to respond to questionnaires, they are doing so, because they expect that management will do something about these problems. Lack of interest or delay in management’s activities can cause frustration, which may subsequently transform into worsen performance at work. On the other hand, immediate respond of management can support positive feelings and result in better performance.


Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level


Management’s decision



Survey of working environment

Study of records and reports

Direct monitoring Focus on needs




Collection of information

Analysis Particular situation Training needs

Planning needs


Differences in performance

Management’sations planning

Strategies and priorities


Submission of report

Training and evaluation actions

Non-training actions


David Tees, Nicholas You, Fred Fisher, Príručka pre posúdenie tréningových potrieb v organizáciách miestnych samospráv, LSGAC – ICMA, Bratislava 1998, s. 14


Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

V. MANAGEMENT OF CHANGE The world hates change, even though it is the only thing, that can bring progress Charles Kettering V.1. Resistance to change Probably the most significant feature related to management of change, that we want to achieve in the organisation, is a phenomenon called resistance to change. However, we need to realize that resistance to change is a natural phenomenon. It is based on worries like: fear from unknown, lack of information, a threat to the basic skills and competencies, a fear from threatened status, a fear to fail, unwillingness to experiment and commitment to traditions. In any case, it is important to be aware of the type of resistance. It may well be a deeply rooted systemic resistance, as a result of lacking information, adequate professional expertise and managerial skills. A different and a “lighter” form of resistance to change is related to behaviour – a resistance based on responses and prerequisites of individuals and groups. In management of change it is very important to involve people into the process of change. People will be more likely to accept the change, if they feel a part of the events leading to change. Once the person has a promise or an expectation of his/her own involvement in the results of the process, we may talk about a great inclination to the change. If the process of change is only looked upon as a way to survive, the inclination to change is very low. V.2. Process of change management A well-respected specialist on the area of change management is Kurt Lewin, a scholar working in the area of social sciences, who emigrated to USA from Germany at the beginning of thirties. A lot of these changes are being currently implemented in management. Two of his studies – an action survey and analysis of force fields – are being briefly described below, just before the introduction into the individual steps of the overall strategy of the change process. In order to understand the pressures in the entire process of change, we may use Lewin’s analysis of force field. It is a tool helping to evaluate the impact of environment, which influences the efforts leading the introduction of change. These forces may be of two different characters – driving force which moves us forwards and hindering forces which create obstacles on our way. The point where both these forces meet, is a status of balance – a current status which is being maintained in tension by counteractive forces and is prone to movement. Unevenness can be caused by the shift in balance either closer to the objective (speeding up of the changes), or in opposite direction (changes are being hindered, stopped).


Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

Let us imagine the owner of the shop with stagnating sales development Factors supporting change Factors hindering the change • a wish to reach higher sales • lacking analysis of feedback concerning level of provided services • a pressure of co-owners to reach higher • unwillingness to implement change revenues • a wish to provide better services in the • a fear of the risk shop • lack of self-confidence • a promise of higher profit for one’s own • lack of employees consumption • low employee morale • customers’ complaints • low quality of goods • a threat of liquidation by competition • low quality of technologies • lacking managerial skills Action survey in the field of change management is not an academic issue. To a great extent, it is an operational strategy, an approach to reach concrete results. It involves a broad consultation activity and involvement of stakeholders. Action survey is based on the theory that people are more likely to change if they take part in the survey of the causes leading to necessary change and ways to implement it. Action survey emphasizes learning through practical application of what is being learned. Learning through doing and subsequent training are built in the actual process as such 19. Let us answer a following question – can change be planned and managed? Or will it swallow me alive as a manager? In terms of specific steps, organisational changes involve eight mutually interlinked steps, tactics within overall strategy.


Manžér ako tvorca organisačných zmien, Manažment zmeny 3, Fred Fisher, Medzinárodná asociácia manažérov miest (ICMA), Bratislava, 1999 25

Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

ACTION SURVEY Evaluation of impact

Realisation and vision

Building up relationships Implementation

to tackle problems

Experimentation, Verification and complementary

Seeking and problem



Mobilisation of organisation

Planning of procedure

and resources I. realisation and vision To see the actual problem and the vision in the light of realistic and existing opportunities. In this phase, it is important to encourage active part of all stakeholders. II. building up relationships to tackle the problem A priority in this phase is building up relationships between people involved in the problem tackling. Relationships built on basis of confidence and understanding will improve quality of decision-making process and help to significantly improve problem solving. III. seeking and problem analysis Deciding, which problem is to be tackled, identifying the actual issue and choosing which option is to be implemented seems easy only on the first sight. It may well happen that we try to solve the symptoms, whereas the actual issue will still remain. IV. planning of procedure Planning the procedure is a decision made about who will do what with whom, in what time, what are the additional sources needed and what will be the way of evaluating our success. Planning of procedure also contains a reflection on potential consequence, and long-term as well as short-term effect of our activities.


Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

V. mobilisation of organisations and resources In many cases, the organisation and its employees form the largest, the only and the most accessible sources. However, apart from these sources, we need to identify and mobilize financial resources, level of team members‘ qualification, equipment, material, available time as well as citizens – clients for our products and services. VI. experimentation, verification and additional changes Before we start with planned changes, it is wise to try and verify the plan in „the shallow part of the swimming pool“. It will allow the team to evaluate effectiveness and feasibility of the proposed action plan and carry out potential alterations. VII. implementation In this phase, the plan is being practically implemented and expected results of the planning are being controlled. Even if the action plan is well-prepared, many things may happen (according to Murphy’s law: if something may go wrong, it will go wrong). It is therefore, important to have reserve plans prepared. VIII. evaluation of impact This step should answer the following question: Have we done what we have intended to? If not, why? Has the change had the effect that we have expected? If not, why? Summarized results and impacts of the planned change are important, although preliminary evaluation is even more substantial for the managers. Preliminary evaluation provides feedback on the gradual change so that all the stakeholders should be able to re-formulate and re-plan the tasks. A process of organisational change illustrated in this way is a cyclic and not a straightforward process. It represents an idea of never-ending cycle. If we end one cycle, we should start off another one, based on what we have learned and reached in preceding cycle. A cycle of change process can be often unorganised, moving forwards and backwards respectively, in between the particular steps. Frequently, throughout the process, we need to go back to preceding step. At another time, we may skip some steps in the cycle. For instance, there might be a situation when we need to plan action progress (step 4) in a very short time, thus we have no opportunity to verify and revise. It is important to look at the entire process of change as dynamic process, which is flexible and perceptive to the needs and wishes of those who apply it.


Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

VI. PROJECT MANAGEMENT In the Slovak circumstances, project management is understood in a more complex form compared to the international context. Project management means skills and abilities: •

to draft a good project proposal;

to finance or seek sources for implementation of respective projects;

and only finally, project management is perceived as actual coordination of the project.

In my experience, Western Europe and USA explains project management more as actual coordination of the project with clear forms and ways of its financial coverage. Now we can start to discuss which one of the two ways is more feasible – to draft a project with all general attributes, that it must contain, and subsequently seek financial resources. The second and in this case a more feasible way seems to be the concrete, ready and sufficiently broad project intention which would help to seek and orientate in existing grant program options. The decision is then wise to take only after all the pros, cons, threats and challenges involved in preparation and implementation of the project had been analysed (SWOT analysis). In case the decision is positive, we need to draft the project precisely based on grant scheme of selected programme. To summarise: What is a project – probably the briefest definition is that it is a proposal for implementation of a certain intention together with the way it is supposed to be implemented. What is a grant – a gift, non-recurring contribution for a specific task, intent (project) stipulated and agreed in contract in advance. Grant scheme in this case is a set of rules for grant provision, grant scheme also describes the necessary project structure. What is a programme – a compete, logically composed set of donor’s intents and strategies, which guide grant provision (probably the most famous ones are PHARE programmes with European Union as donor, programmes of Open Society Foundation with George Soros as a donor, programmes of community foundation supported usually from municipal budgets, while program priorities are being decided upon based on community needs...).


Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

VI.1. Project life cycle To provide for more completeness, we provide you with a simplified diagram of the entire project life cycle as it is often introduced in the literature: I. BEGINNING, DEFININITION OF INTENTS AND OBJECTIVES





Project cycle management is a method of project coordination in all its phases starting from the first idea and ending with the final evaluation after the project. The entire project life cycle is a way of organising resources in order to achieve particular results. However, prior to this, we need to make sure that the objective is formulated based on thorough analysis of the problem to be tackled by drafted project. Considering the extent of given topic, we shall go over the entire project cycle and focus only on key words presenting basic orientation in the topic in more detail. There is a plenty of sources to be made use of to broaden one’s view, to seek many stimulating information, to help to find solutions concerning formation and implementation of one’s project. From the viewpoint of two topics – project drafting and the next level – the implementation of the project itself, project cycle presented in this way contains both the phases – preparation and project drafting, implementation itself and management. VI.2. Project intention and objectives The first question to be answered is the issue of project intentions and objectives. What is the project intention? The project intention can be defined as: a purpose, idea, a long-term ambition and strategy. Even though the intention is frequently specified and termed (e.g.: by 2010 Slovakia equal European Union member countries in economic efficiency), the intention with above-mentioned definition is not clear about the way this intention


Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

should be achieved, thus it is very general and broad with high aspirations. It involves a long-term purpose, ambition or desire and gives direction for plans and activities. What is the objective? The objective is a step to the fulfilment of intention. The objective is less general than intention. It is something which mediates achievement of intention. Planned tasks should be: S - specific (concrete) M - measurable A - adequate R - realistic T – timed 9 What is a planned task? A planned task is quantified by the step towards fulfilment of the objective. It is usually more related to a short-term purpose. A particular example of connection between the three introduced factors: objective: a long-term strategy: „Slovakia will equal European Union member countries in economic efficiency by 2010“ goal: mid-term plan: „to decrease subsidies for ineffective state companies“ task: short-term plan: „to conclude some particular ineffective company “ In the introductory part of the project it is very important to thoroughly analyse our objectives and goals and provide justification of the project implementation. Apart from that, we need to convince the donor that: •

our project will solve the issue to be tackled;

project goals are in harmony with programme objectives;

project is very likely to be successful;

project has clear goals, which are measurable;

project provides the best possible problem solution.

In the preparatory phase (the phase of project drafting) project is being thoroughly planned mainly its part containing schedule of the project implementation and project financial budget. 9

As part of the Project, specialised manuals were produced – Forms of grant application, Manual for project applicants and Guide for project implementation, produced by Mrs. Lýdia Zelmanová 30

Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

A part of the preparatory phase is a clear definition and detail description: •

inputs – resources which are either consumed or used in a certain activity; the main inputs are e.g.: human resources, material (paper, energy, telecommunication), buildings, land and other means;

outputs – products and services produced by activities.

Results in broader sense mean more general impact on the society, an impact of direct output. In practice, it often happens that project manager, while drafting or monitoring the project is more focusing on outputs than results. VI.3. Project schedule Project schedule – contains termed breakdown of all project activities. While drafting a schedule, it is good to make sure that the project tasks can be divided to several main phases (sometimes they are also called milestones). This step will allow us to understand the entire project as a series of smaller inter-connected sub-projects, which always need to be completed, monitored and evaluated in order to start another sub-project, a milestone. Schedule built in this way will allow us to later in the project implementation identify progress in a more precise manner. The milestone is best characterised if there are no doubts about its overrun. An ordinary and very effective way of graphical project activity scheduling is a use of column graph, which is called Gantt’s graphs according to Henry Gantt, who started to apply them during the World War I. Example, schedule production: Activity Addressing potential training programme participants, feed-back Feed-back processing, training design, organisational preparation

1st month

2nd month

3rd month

4th month

Workshop I. Workshop II. Evaluation of the programme, processing proposals for future concept Gantt’s graph is used very frequently since it is simple and very attractive as a way to transfer information on the scheduling of task planning for all project stakeholders.


Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

VI.4. Project evaluation and monitoring Monitoring and evaluation form two threads, which spread across the entire project cycle. In the project preparation we already need to specify, how will the project monitoring be carried out, we need to present a system for progress control facilitation. Key features of monitoring are as follows: control, assessment, reporting, measuring, standards and observations. Monitoring is frequently being carried out through indicators stipulated by the project applicant during project preparation. Should we stick to our original objective – one of the indicators of economic status is e.g. rate of unemployment. Evaluation, unlike monitoring, should answer a following question: “Did the project achieve expected results stipulated during project approval process?” What is the difference then between monitoring and evaluation? •

Monitoring is a key aspect of effective project management.

Evaluation is a key to assessment of project outputs.

It is important to have a project with clear objectives and goals as well as with specified target group. It is difficult to process evaluation indicators, if project goals are not clear. Example: How shall we stipulate success indicators for our education programme? •

feedback in written form from programme participants (it is best to produce standardized questionnaire for all types of training in the project to be able to compare individual activities

evaluation done by the trainers concerning course of the training

report of the project manager concerning completed project

the number of participants who successfully completed the entire training cycle (if it is a training cycle)

VI.5. Structure of project In project drafting, we differentiate between two levels of the project: 10 •

Project intention – introductory draft of 2-3 pages, which forms basis for the donor in pre-tendering process.

Complex projects – they are required only for selected intentions.

Despite the fact that projects differ in their size, duration and measuring, they have relatively standard structure: Introductory part (according to the column order) • project title

• project beneficiaries

• sources of financing

• partners


as part of above-mentioned project, following manuals had been produced – Grant application forms, Manual for project applicants and a Guide to project implementation, produced by PHD. Lýdia Zelmanová 32

Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

• required amount

• project intention

• project applicant

• project goals

Project • introduction (justification of the need, SWOT analysis, theoretical framework) • project description (organisation, methods, activities, management) • inputs (material, human resources) • outputs (results) • schedule of activities • budget • sustainability of the project and its impacts • risks; follow-up to other activities and projects; ownership of project outputs • annexes and background documents VI.6. Long frame matrix of the project As part of European Union projects, long frame matrix forms an important tool, which proved its benefits during preparation as well as during implementation of projects. It is a combination of the method of analysis and the way results are being presented. 11 In so called „small-scale PHARE projects“ in Slovakia which are managed through a Foundation for Support of Civil Activities, processing of this matrix has been required for the second year and very often it is the hardest part of project drafting. Processing of matrix requires clear and structured project intention, which will weed out illogical pieces (glued-on parts) of the project as non-complying with the matrix. The main results of the analysis are summarised in the matrix, which, in a logic way, describes the most important aspects of the project. Through matrix, we can verify whether project is well-designed. It also allows for better monitoring and evaluation. Matrix must be filled out precisely according to requested indices: Logical sequence of steps

Objectively verifiable indices

Information resources


Project intention Project goal Results Activities Conditions 11

podrobnejšie spracovanie tejto témy možno nájsť v tréningových materiáloch Danice Hullovej – Centrum vzdelávania neziskových organizácií, Banská Bystrica 33

Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level

Logical matrix describes the project goal, which can be reached once all the results, composed of individual activities, are fulfilled. Activities lead to achievement of results. Logical framework requires that project goals are described in operational and measurable way – objectively verifiable indicators. Information about the achievements must be contained in the sources of verification. Activities expressed by operational terms – sources or means for implementation of activities and their costs. The last fourth column describes external factors which influence the project goal, results as well as overall project intention. Conditions mean things which need to be fulfilled before the actual project starts. Logical framework can be applied on various levels, while in the planning phase it obviously contains less information than in the phase of project implementation. We often encounter an idea that a logical framework is only a formal issue and technocratic exercise. Logical framework helps the project applicant to better formulate and structure. If we managed to reach the final stage of project preparatory phase, it might be useful to revise the entire project once again, or to invite for consultation a nonstakeholder „from outside “ to look at our project from sponsor’s viewpoint. Let us ask a question together: what is important for the sponsor while evaluating our project: •

the organisation is well-managed and financially healthy;

project deals with clearly formulated need;

project adequately complements existing public services;

project has clearly defined objectives and goals;

project has detail and sensible project schedule;

project budget is adequate and realistic;

project will be monitored and evaluated based on its goals and project schedule.

Once we have answered all the questions with a positive result, we have completed a great deal and now, we can only wait for the result of evaluating process. VI.7. Management of the project during its course Sometimes, it is claimed that project is successful, if sponsor is satisfied, whilst it is unsuccessful, if the sponsor is not satisfied. Such a level of evaluation may however become a source of misunderstanding and tension for the entire project management team. That is why all the sponsor’s expectations must be included directly in the project and all obscurities must be settled before the final project contract signing. It is a principle that any subsequent changes in the project can be carried out only after prior sponsor’s consent. The role of the project manager – project managers’ role differ from the position of the line managers. Their differing position derives from the basic project task – and that is change. Manager must cope with the risk incorporated in the management of these changes according to the implemented project. Project manager must always maintain balance among these three factors: 34

Manual 2: Establishing Partnerships on the Local Level



specifications (quality of outputs).

Project manager closely cooperates with project team. In this phase, we must realise the difference between project management with an applicant being the implementing entity at the same time, and a project which involves one or more partner organisation. Skills of project manager are based on ability to combine the right people into a team, to motivate them, to solve their conflicts and provide for effective communication within the team. It applies for so called „solo“ project and even more so for project with several participating organisations applying all the principles of partnership and team work. The role of the project manager is much easier if his/her task is to implement a well prepared project – i.e. a project with logical structure, well-designed schedule and right in the preparatory phase all the risks and alternative solutions which project implementation might entail are sufficiently mapped.



February 2003 Partnership Co-operation to Tackle Issues of Social Exclusion PhDr. Ing. Stanislav Konečný Project