GDPM in the Government of Suriname

Description of a GDPM showcase in Suriname reported by Tom Helderweirt Consulting.

Project description

The Government of Suriname needs to implement significant and far-reaching organizational changes in the Ministry of Finance (MoF) with about 1000 employees. Furthermore, given the scope of the proposed reform program, the MoF will require to improve capacity of public servants involved in its implementation. Key aspects that require to be strengthened comprise

  • decision making
  • schedule management
  • cost control
  • human resource management, along with communication skills and risk management knowledge, among others.

Carrying out these reforms means significant changes in business culture - from the conventional working behavior presently prevalent in Suriname Public Sector, typically characterized as process-oriented, to that of result-oriented performance. Implementing each reform initiative forms a project of its own and requires a systematic approach using a body of professionalized knowledge on project management (PM). This is defined as “the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements”. At the same time the changes needed to be orchestrated in a way that minimizes negative effects and maximizes the positive outcomes. This required a change management (CM) approach to approach the transitioning of individuals, teams, and organizations using methods intended to re-direct the use of resources, business process, budget allocations, or other modes of operation that significantly reshape a company or organization. Furthermore, these reforms need to be planned and implemented in a coordinated manner. Therefore it is crucial to strengthen the project management skills on several levels in the MoF and 120 people have been selected from all 3 Directorates of MoF to participate and support the program.

Helderweirt Consulting's approach

  • Develop training course material that takes into consideration the priorities and length of time defined by the government team. The training material has been developed jointly with the selected CM consultant to create an integrated course material that embodies both PM and CM elements. The training consists of 15 sessions of each 4 hours.
  • Make recommendations on the selection of an adequate PM software and lead the implementation of the selected software;
  • Using the prepared course material and the selected software, provide PM training and coaching to different government teams /individuals.
  • Monitor the progress of participants / projects and provide tailor-made instructions and recommendations based on the needs of each individual and based on the project objectives
  • Prepare and administer an assessment exam to ensure that all participants have acquired essential knowledge. The level of achievement that must be reached shall be determined in consultation with the government team and the IDB;
  • Inform the government team and the Bank about the progress of each participant / project through monthly reports and provide suggestions on corrective action when needed.

Use of GDPM method, tools, books

All participants had to work out a project using the GDPM methodology, using a GDPM Excel tool. This was done in a group setting where the objective for each group was to deliver a real live project proposal, milestone plan, responsibility chart, activity schedules and progress reports. Each participant got a copy of the latest edition of the book "Goal Directed Project Management" to go along with the training material. Each participant will be instructed to present their new knowledge to their department and to facilitate the implementation of GDPM in the workplace.

About Tom and Helderweirt Consulting

Tom has specialized in the field of project management consulting since 1995 when he worked for an associated firm of Coopers & Lybrand (later PricewaterhouseCoopers) and has since successfully trained and coached more than 600 people in Goal Directed Project Management. One of his most challenging projects was when he provided full-time project management assistance during the 2 year Refinery Expansion Project of Staatsolie with the objective of delivering all organizational projects in time ready for operations of the new refinery. Tom was born in Johannesburg (South Africa), also lived in Namibia, Belgium, Thailand (study) and is now based in Suriname (South America). He speaks fluently Dutch, English, French and Thai. He is always goal oriented and is never afraid to do what needs to be done in order to reach strong project results.