Project management - Groundwork Associates

Project management

Groundwork has robust systems and extensive experience managing budgets and leading teams that deliver effective results. Getting a good background to understand the wider context of project work is often critical to achieving a good outcome. Clients are encouraged to brief the consultants thoroughly and work to encourage that important investment. Google Apps setup, scoping and management.

Selected projects

These projects have been selected from our comprehensive portfolio to provide an overview of our project scoping and management work.

Leading a collaborative process to develop a Centre for Research Excellence proposal

The University of Waikato sought to establish a Centre for Research Excellence (CoRE) around solutions-focused freshwater management in partnership with science and research providers including New Zealand and overseas universities, and Crown Research Institutes. Through a series of workshops and supporting collaborative processes, Groundwork helped them define their specific vision for new and innovative freshwater research to develop the bid content.

Groundwork contributed to the recruitment process, ensuring that a diverse range of scientists and researchers were included in the Centre’s team. During the expression of interest phase, the Groundwork team edited the researchers’ CVs for depth and uniformity. From this larger group of researchers, we helped establish a leadership team representing various disciplines and organisations. Groundwork facilitated a leadership workshop to refine the CoRE’s broad vision into themes, approaches, and a governance structure and produced a report summarising the outcomes.

Groundwork also worked with the leadership team to identify key stakeholders that would be science end-users of their research, and through a focused workshop, engaged the stakeholders early in the proposal process. These results further refined the proposal.

With the larger group of researchers, Groundwork organised and ran a two-day a workshop to develop specific research questions, projects, and a framework for pinning them together. Groundwork then designed and implemented a tailored Google Apps suite allowing 60+ scientists and researchers from over eight organisations to work collaboratively and efficiently towards completing the application.

Facilitating a compelling national conference through programme development and meaningful extension

The NZ Association of Resource Management and Fert Research wished to host an engaging and informative conference to support effective farm practice within environmental and regulatory limits. With Groundwork’s guidance, this developed into the Tools to Farm Within Limits Conference. Groundwork provided extensive support for the organising committee helping with programme development, speaker briefing, marketing, trade display coordination, event logistics and online registrations. 

Visit our “2012 Tools to Farm Within Limits Conference” website here.

Unearthing the knowledge to Grow Organic Dairy

Organics Aotearoa New Zealand’s Organic Dairy and Pastoral Group wanted to work with top organic dairy farmers and Massey University scientists to uncover and document tacit knowledge that would help further the growth of the organic dairy industry. Annie Perkins, in a research leader role, designed and led the experiential learning process through the intensive early stages of the project. Groundwork organised and facilitated on-farm workshops and processed information from them to generate a valuable knowledge bank for those involved in organic dairy production or considering converting to organic methods. Annie Perkins acted as the ODPG’s Northern Region coordinator, providing support for all extension activity in the region.

Organics Aotearoa New Zealand Smart Start Programme

OANZ needed administration assistance for this programme which supported new entrants into the organic sector by teaming them up with appropriate consultant mentors. Groundwork collected and managed the vast amount of information associated with the programme and ensured the timely completion of each Smart Start consultancy by confirming each client had received a final report from their mentor, ensuring invoices had been processed and working through any issues that clients had with the programme.

Supporting farmer-to-farmer extension through the Learning from Leaders programme

With support from the Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF), the NZ Farm Environment Award Trust wanted to share the tools and knowledge gained from the Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) with a wider audience of farmers and rural professionals nationwide. Groundwork designed, organised and facilitated a series of on-farm workshops which enabled people to learn about sustainable farm business management options, from the farmers who developed and used them. More detail on the project can be found at www.maf.govt.nz/environment-natural-resources/funding-programmes/sustainable-farming-fund/sustainable-farming-fund-search.aspx. Enter “learning from leaders” in the project title field and select ‘search’.

Groundwork also managed this $1.2 million project for the Trust. This involved setting up and running systems to track progress against targets and budget, reporting to SFF and to the project’s management team, as well as managing the day-to-day activities associated with the project. ‘Learning from Leaders’ had seven official project partners with many more organisations providing support for local events. Accounting for in-kind support from these partners was an important aspect of the project management.

The team at Groundwork have managed this project very well…Annie has been particularly good at keeping me up to date with how the project has been progressing and with any changes in direction to the original milestones. Groundwork has set up strong accounting systems that can be used to track the in-kind as well as cash in-goings/out-goings. The financial reports have always been available and transparent…They now have a good understanding of the real costs of running different events.” Helen Percy, Acting Fund Manager, Sustainable Farming Fund

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