Key Actions by:

Common Questions

General

  1. What is Compass?
  2. How does Compass relate to the CRS project management standards?
  3. I’m looking for technical programming guidance for a project. Is that available on Compass?
  4. Can I access Compass on my tablet or smartphone?

Audience

  1. Which CRS staff should use Compass?
  2. Why don’t I see my position listed in the menu for “Position or Role”?
  3. May I share Compass guidance and resources with partners or others outside of CRS?
  4. I am not a CRS employee. Can I use Compass?

Finding what you need

  1. How do I find project management guidance that links to my position or role on projects?
  2. How do I find information about a topic or a resource in project management?
  3. My involvement in project management is more specialized or focused on a particular aspect of project resource management. How do I find project management guidance that is most relevant to me?
  4. How do I find project management guidance for the phase of the project management cycle that I am in?

Downloading and printing

  1. I do not have reliable internet access. Can I download Compass so that I can use it without an internet connection?
  2. Can I get a printed or PDF copy of Compass?

Troubleshooting problems and recommending changes

  1. Why can’t I open some of the resources I see on Compass?
  2. I noticed a link on Compass is not working. What can I do?
  3. May I suggest a change to the guidance notes or addition to the tools on a key action page of Compass?
  4. Our team has a useful project management resource that is not yet up on Compass. How can we get it added to the Compass website?

Onboarding, orientation and professional development in project management for CRS staff

  1. What resources are available to orient my team to Compass and integrate use of Compass in our work?
  2. Are there any onboarding resources for new CRS staff with project management responsibilities or staff transitioning into project management roles?
  3. I am a CRS staff member interested in strengthening my project management skills. What resources are available?

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General

  1. What is Compass?

Compass is a website developed to support CRS staff in achieving the CRS project management standards.

Read an overview of the Compass website here.

  1. How does Compass relate to the CRS project management standards?

Compass provides step-by-step guidance and practical resources that support the achievement of the CRS project management standards.

Compass explains:

  • Why a key action is necessary for effective project management
  • Who is responsible for or involved in the key action
  • When the key action should be carried out
  • How to complete the key action

In addition, Compass provides links to:

  • Tools and templates to use in carrying out key actions
  • CRS policies and procedures related to key actions
  • Other resources providing more information or context related to the key action or specific how-to steps.

Learn more about the CRS project management standards and key actions here.

Learn more about Compass here.

  1. I’m looking for technical programming guidance for a project. Is that available on Compass?

Compass is a resource for general project management. While Compass includes resources related to cross-cutting programming areas fundamental to project management, such as MEAL and partnership and capacity strengthening, Compass does not provide guidance for specific technical programming issues. Please see CRS’ research and publications site for sector-specific resources or contact country program, regional or departmental (PIQA or HRD) technical advisors.

  1. Can I access Compass on my tablet or smartphone?

Yes, you can access Compass from a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

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Audience

  1. Which CRS staff should use Compass?

All CRS staff who play a significant role in the design, start-up, implementation, and close-out of CRS emergency response or development projects should use this website to better understand and fulfill their roles in carrying out the key actions required to achieve each of the 18 CRS project management standards.

See this page to find specific key actions that link to your position or role.

  1. Why don’t I see my position listed in the menu for “Position or Role”?

While we have tried to include a wide range of common CRS positions with project management-related responsibilities, to optimize navigation using the “Position or Role” menu, there will be some positions that are not listed separately in the drop-down menu. Please review the list of positions or roles organized by category and search for the position or role in the menu that most closely matches yours.

  1. May I share Compass guidance and resources with partners or others outside of CRS?

Yes. CRS staff should feel free to share the Compass website with partners, donors and others. Note that some downloadable resources on Compass are available only to CRS staff with credentials to log into MyCRS (e.g. CRS policies and procedures, CRS tools developed for internal use). These internal CRS resources may not be shared outside of CRS unless you have received written permission to do so from the document owner.

  1. I am not a CRS employee. Can I use Compass?

Yes. Although Compass guidance and resources were developed with CRS staff as the primary audience, CRS has made the website open access so that it can serve as a common point of reference for CRS and our partners regarding CRS’ standards for and approach to project management, and as a project management resource for our partners. Staff of partner organizations that are part of the Caritas Internationalis confederation will also note the complementarity and connections between the CRS project management standards and Caritas Internationalis’ Management Standards. When using Compass, partner staff should keep in mind that, just as CRS staff may need to adjust some aspects of Compass guidance and adapt tools to individual project contexts, CRS partners will also need to adapt Compass guidance to their organizational and individual project contexts.

Other organizations working on emergency response and development projects may also find the information on Compass useful for understanding what good project management looks like and the steps that can help you strengthen the quality of your projects. 

NOTE: Some resources included on the Compass website are proprietary to CRS. Website users who are not CRS staff members will see the titles of these resources but will not be able to view or download these resources.

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Finding What You Need

  1. How do I find project management guidance that links to my position or role on projects?

Search for your position using the dropdown menu at the top of the page, or by using the Position or Role page to view a list of key actions and associated guidance that link to your position or to a role you may play in project design or close-out .

See this video for instructions.

  1. How do I find information about a specific project management topic or resource?

Use the keyword search at the top of the page to identify resources, standards, and key action pages that relate to a specific topic.

See this video for instructions.

Learn more about the CRS project management standards and key actions here.

  1. My involvement in project management is more specialized or focused on a particular aspect of project resource management. How do I find project management guidance that is most relevant to me?

The CRS project management standards are organized into four categories:

You can view the standards associated with any project management category by clicking on one of the links above. View the key action pages for a given standard for detailed guidance.

You can also search Compass to find project management key actions that include your position (see question above).

  1. How do I find project management guidance for the phase of the project management cycle that I am working on?

Compass covers four phases in the CRS project management cycle:

You can view the project management standards associated with a given phase of the project management cycle by clicking on a link above. View the key action pages for a given standard for detailed guidance.

Or, use the infographic on the Compass homepage to quickly find the standards for a given phase of the project management cycle.

See this video for instructions.

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Downloading and Printing

  1. I do not have reliable internet access. Can I download Compass so that I can use it without an internet connection?

Yes, click on the Download Compass for Offline Use link at the bottom of the page to download the current version of the entire Compass website to your computer. Then, follow these instructions for opening the website in your Web browser while offline. Update the downloaded file every 3 months to ensure you have the latest guidance and resources.

NOTE: The downloaded website cannot be used on tablets or smartphones.

  1. Can I get a printed or PDF copy of Compass?

Compass is a living resource which we continue to update based on feedback as well as developments in CRS and the wider project management discipline, so a PDF or printable version of the entire website is not available. However, you can use the print view icon to save individual pages of the website as PDF files or to print individual Compass pages.

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Troubleshooting problems and recommending changes

  1. Why can’t I open some of the resources I see on Compass?

CRS staff: Some resources on Compass are proprietary or intended for internal CRS use only. You may need to log in to MyCRS to access these files. If you log into MyCRS and still cannot access the resource, please use the “Share Feedback” button at the bottom of the page where you found the resource on Compass to alert us to the problem.

Non-CRS staff: You will be able to view all pages of the Compass website and download many resources, but some downloadable resources on Compass are proprietary and require CRS log-in credentials. These resources include CRS policies and procedures, as well as tools and templates developed by CRS for internal use.

  1. I noticed a link on Compass is not working. What can I do?

Please let us know if a link is not working! We will work to quickly fix the link and connect you to the resource you need. Contact us by clicking on the “Share Feedback” button at the bottom of the page.

  1. May I suggest a change to the guidance notes or addition to the tools on a key action page of Compass?

Yes. Compass is a living resource which we are committed to keeping updated and relevant, and we welcome your feedback.

Contact us with your suggestions by clicking on the “Share Feedback” button at the bottom of any page on Compass.

  1. Our team has a useful project management resource that is not yet up on Compass. How can we get it added to the Compass website?

Contact us at compass@crs.org to recommend adding a new project management resource.

Be sure to name the specific key action pages where you think the resource should appear, and whether you would recommend this resource be made available to CRS staff only or to anyone who visits the Compass website. The Compass team will vet the resource to determine whether it is a good fit before uploading it.

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Onboarding, orientation and professional development in project management for CRS staff

  1. What resources are available to orient my team to Compass and integrate use of Compass in our work?

CRS staff can access Compass orientation and integration resources through the Project Management Community site on MyCRS. See a summary of orientation and integration resources here.

These materials are not available for non-CRS staff.

  1. Are there any onboarding resources for new CRS staff with project management responsibilities or staff transitioning into project management roles?

Yes. You can find a copy of the onboarding resources for new staff and staff transitioning into project management roles with CRS on the Project Management Community site on MyCRS.

  1. I am a CRS staff member interested in strengthening my project management skills. What resources are available?

The Compass team is in the process of reviewing and curating available resources on CRS Learns (including LinkedIn Learning resources). Please help us by rating the courses you take and write to compass@crs.org to recommend courses and learning resources for the project management playlist on CRS Learns.

CRS is piloting a customized version of the Project Management for Development Professionals (PMD Pro 1) Flex virtual learning course. The customized course contextualizes PMD Pro content for CRS and integrates Compass content. Please write to compass@crs.org if you are interested in enrolling in a PMD Pro 1 Flex course or would like information about other professional development opportunities.

CRS staff can find additional resources for strengthening project management knowledge and skills on CRS Learns.

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