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3 do's for managing EU-cofinanced projects

posted Mar 25, 2016, 1:58 AM by Tomislav Rozman   [ updated Apr 29, 2016, 2:56 AM ]
For more than a decade, I've been participating in EU projects co-financed by programmes like Tempus, Lifelong Learning - Leonardo da Vinci, Erasmus Multilateral, Erasmus+ and similar. The projects usually run for 2 years by international consortium of partners (5-10). Partners come from various types of organizations: NGOs, enterprises, public faculties and institutes, associations, SMEs and similar. The variety of nationalities, organization types and people characters is really astonishing. Overall, in each project there are 10-30 experts.

Here are my thoughts about some important aspects of managing such project:

1. Check the responsiveness of the partners early.

People won't change. If they're unresponsive at the beginning (at the time of the proposal preparation), they will stay until the end. We are who we are, therefore choose partners wisely.

I use the following quick trick: I send a template of a NDA(Non-disclosure agreement) to potential partners and measure the feedback time. If I receive signed NDA in short time (e.g. 3 days or less), this is a good sign and I choose these partners.

2. Use the central document management system and teach partners how to use it. Ban sending files by email.

Without it, you'll end up in version hell. In some projects we use Google Drive, in others Dropbox, Sharepoint and dedicated self-developed document management system.

Which one is the best? From my point of view, the one which:

  • is located in the cloud and accessible by web
  • has automatic synchronization of files with the desktop
  • has no or little IT admin requirements
  • is secure and the access for different partners is easy to set-up
  • is 'install and forget'
  • includes synchronous document editing functionality

The truth is, people hate uploading the files to somewhere. The files should sync without user intervention.

My vote goes to Google Drive, which I'm using within various projects since 2006. It's not perfect, but it does the job.

3. Show your commitment to the project at all times.

Do not make silly excuses, if you under-perform or are late with the results. You were paid to do the job, so do it. You knew about the project plan since the proposal submission. If you can not perform, subcontract someone who can. Just don't act as a fifth wheel.

Then you'll be invited to the next project. That is the ultimate goal, isn't it?

 >> Learn how to manage EU projects HERE.  <<

>>  Learn how to write EU proposal HERE. <<

What are your experiences?