Project cycle management (PCM) is a process. It helps organisations to tackle difficult issues and problems through a well defined step model. It is a participative method which creates group involvement, ownership and responsibility. It is a perfect tool for communication amongst project actors and supports local organisations in their process of strengthening organisational capacity. However, it is a rigid and very systematised tool. Therefore, creativity and flexibility is needed in applying this tool. These were some of the comments of a KerkinActie development professional, stationed in Ghana, who participated in the training Project Cycle Management on the 26th January, 2011. The training was organised by the Hendrik Kreamer Institute (HKI) and conducted by Simon Koolwijk, development consultant.
PCM is a 4-step model which is applied for project management. The method consists of a phase of a. analysis, b. design, c. implementation (monitoring & review) and d. evaluation. Especially the contextuel and analysis phase is an important part in the process. During this part the key actors are identified, approached and problems and interests are defined. Whenever actors feel committed and involved in the analysis phase, already half of the work is done. It provides an essential basis for successful project implementation.Following the actor identification phase, development actors develop a planning matrix (called logical framework = LFA). The problem tree is the starting point, which helps to identify the key causes of development dilemma's. Problems and causes are turned into 'Dreams and hopes' into an objective tree, whereafter these 'visions' are transformed into the Logical Framework.Tear Fund published a user friendly handout which explains the process on a simple way. More tools about PCM and capacity development can be found at the Compart User capacity development wiki.