Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Starting a project, like starting a new “organization”

In February 2013 Eastern Finland Sports Institute started a Karelia ENPI CBC Cross-Border Move for Health -project. Purpose of the project is to increase wellbeing and health of children and youth in North Karelia and in the Republic of Karelia, with cross-border cooperation.

For the Cross-Border Move for Health -project first three months has been quite “business as usual”; just normal things when launching a new project. This has included recruiting new staff, getting familiar with the Grant Application; cost estimate of the project, objectives, activities, expected results, partners and so on, as well as the Programme manual and the Communication and Visibility Manual. Actually this is quite like starting a new “organization”. There are so many new points to take into account.

Just trust the process
We all know that every project has its start, middle and end, and that all of these phases has its own importance during the project. I think there are some basic recommendations which are worth consideration in the different phases of projects. On the other hand there are certain instructions from the Joint Managing Authority on launching the project, such as drafting partnership agreements and publicity plan as well as setting up a project group. On the other hand there are some common and good practices which are worth consideration. In addition to the above a good way of starting a project includes in my opinion:

Meeting partners face to face;
The main purpose is to get to know each other.
The project began in Petrozavodsk by meeting partners. The purpose of these meetings was to discuss expectations, responsibilities and roles of the partners, as well as how to implement project activities. As a cross-border project it is very important to communicate open-mindedly and to listen to and respect each others’ opinions from the very start.

Concretizing activities as much as possible
Concretizing project activities helps at least drafting a publicity plan and concretizing a budget.
However, many times it is not possible to concretize all activities in details in the beginning. For  example in this project the second activity, the results of initial situation examination, has an effect on following coming activities, publishing and seminars. Then one just has to wait for the results and meanwhile concretize and implement other activities.

 Checking up and concretizing budget in all activities
This is just necessary to make sure and know how much budget there is to spend in every single step of every activity. This helps to plan and implement all following activities.

Finally, just trust the process – there is always start, middle and end!

Have a nice summer implementing projects and spending a holiday :)

Katja Isoaho
Project Manager

You can read more about the project here: www. healthmove.fi

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