The ultimate YEE project guide!
Everything you want to know about ERASMUS+ 2020 Call
Are you ready to write the Erasmus+ project that you are proud of? Have you already come up with the best project idea but you struggle to find partners? Or are you currently finishing your Erasmus+ application and you are still not sure whether you have done everything you need to submit it?
Whatever it is, read our step-by-step guide for proceeding with the project management from YEE project manager!
1. Read the Erasmus+ Programme Guide!
As a project manager that never sleeps, you probably have some project ideas already on your mind. Am I right? But first things first, read the new guide on Erasmus+ programmes published by the European Commission. Before you start writing everything down and actually start working on your winning project idea, you should know what the objectives and important aspects of the Erasmus+
programme are. You can see what important features of the Programme deserve special attention according to the European Commission and therefore you should give them special attention too! Read the online guide here.
2. Come up with a great project idea!
The question is, how to come up with a creative project when you are not sure where to begin. Perhaps you might feel like you have an idea, motivation, but just no clue where to start. Don’t worry, finding the perfect project may be hard, but not impossible. The first step to bringing your project to life is to recognize it requires two key aspects — ideas and implementation. Although these two aspects are closely related to each other, it might be useful to approach them separately In the beginning of each project cycle.
You can work and brainstorm with your team on how to develop your ideas first. While doing that, it is important to keep in mind that your project idea should not only be in line with the Erasmus+ Programme objective but also with your organisation’s values and strategy. The new project should always address something that you have previously worked on and what you have found out as needed to focus on. In this context, your project should just simply make sense. After developing the project idea, it is important to take these ideas and think about how to turn them into project activities.
You can brainstorm on different ways of execution of the ideas and eventually figure how to get the work done with your team. Do your research and get inspired. If it is the right project for you and your organisation, the paths of your ideas and the implementation methods will intersect. If you feel like you have the perfect idea but there is no such an ideal way of its implementation, don’t lose your hope. There are plenty of useful books and articles that will help you! We have gathered some of them for you so do not hesitate to find inspiration in everything you will read below
● HOW TO COME UP WITH A WINNING PROJECT IDEA? By ErasmusNet
● 5 Tips for Coming Up with Great Project Ideas By RationalPlan
● 7 Must-Watch TED Talks for Project Managers By Visual Planning
● How To Start A Creative Project When You Don’t Know Where To Begin By Medium
3. Write a project plan!
Ok so now you have the perfect ideas with an appropriate way of executing them. You already know what story you want to tell with your project, why do you want to tell this story and how do you want to do it. What’s next? To tell the story right, every project requires detailed project planning and management.
So what’s a project plan and why is it so important to have one? The project plan is a written document that usually contains a project scope and objectives. Basically, the project planning is one of the most important project management processes. It is the process of establishing the scope and defining the objectives and steps to attain them. It is an essential document for the project manager and the project team to not only plan the work flow but also to monitor and evaluate the work done.
The project plan is a roadmap for your work that shows each step that you have to take to successfully implement the whole project. It shows the project phases, important start and end dates as well as other milestones, describes the key activities and the dependencies between them and other tasks. It also shows the responsibilities and the project costs. Your Erasmus+ project plan can be as simple as a few lines in Excel or tables in Word document, but it can also be a more sophisticated plan created in a planning tool such as MS Project. If you decide to go for a second option and do some research on how to create an effective project plan, you will probably come across Gantt chart or its alternative. It’s completely up to you with what structure of project planning will you proceed and which planning tool you choose. Just keep in mind that project plan matters!
Find out more about why in these useful articles/blogs:
● HOW TO WRITE A GOOD PROJECT PLAN IN 10 STEPS By teamgantt.com
● 5 Steps to Writing a Killer Project Plan By Capterra
● How to Create a Project Plan By ProjectManager.com
● Project planning By Erasmus+ UK
● 30+ Project Plan Templates & Examples to Visualize Your Strategy By Venngage Inc.
● Write A Project Plan That You´re Proud Of (+Project Plan Examples) By The Digital Project
4. Find your project partners!
You have the winning project idea in your pocket and you are already working on the project plan. Everything is just fine, yet you feel like there is still something missing. And guess what? You are right! You can’t do it all by yourself and that’s why you need your Erasmus+ partners. One of the objectives of the Erasmus+ Programme is to promote cooperation and mobility within the EU and the EU’s partner countries.
So you probably know that you can ́t apply for any project without having partners. Although you might have known this before, you could be thinking about how to find reliable Erasmus partners that perfectly suit your project goals.
When searching for your project partners, you should have a clear idea about what you want. That means you should know about the amount of the partners you want to include in your project, about the countries where you would like to organise the key activities and therefore you need to find the hosting organisations there and you should know more details about the participants of your activities as well. Trust me, finding partners with a clear vision of everyone’s role in the project is much easier and clearly more effective.
When looking for partners, you should know answers to these questions which will help you to develop the criteria for the selection process:
● Are there specific countries, regions and/or cities that you particularly want to connect with? If
so, why is that?
● What expertise should your Erasmus+ partner bring into the project? What is the experience that you want the partner to contribute with? Is this area of experience in line with the project
goals and the experience of other partners?
● What type of organizations (NGOs, schools, municipalities, private companies, public bodies, institutions etc.) will suit the project needs the best? Is there a balance between different
types of organisations?
● What is the ideal size of the organisation that you want to cooperate with?
● What is your partner’s capacity? Have your partners been already involved in international projects? Do they have capacities to diseeminate the project results?
Addressing these questions and clarifying the role of the partners in your project would not just make the whole process of finding partners efficient, but it will help you to create the perfect call or social media posts to actually find them. When sharing the call for partners, do not forget to include some catchy but simple visuals to attract your target group’s attention. Luckily, finding partners has become easier thanks to social media and many dedicated websites, online platforms and groups. If you want to find a good Erasmus+ project partner, the 21st century technologies will help you greatly!
While contacting your future partners do not just rely on the ads and calls in the groups. Instead, reach out to them by customized and personalized email or messages that actually get read. If you can’t find the right partners online, you may contact the national agencies who work with Erasmus+ Programme.
Here are some links that you will definitely find useful in your partners search:
● Erasmus+ Project Results Platform
● European Youth Portal
● TOP 9 LinkedIn Groups to find Erasmus+ Partners!
● TOP 5 Facebook Groups to Find your Erasmus+ Partners
● FB Group: Erasmus + Partner Search
● FB Group: Projects Partner Search
● FB Group: Erasmus+ partner search
● FB Group: Erasmus+ Partnerships Platform
● FB Group: Erasmus+ partner search
5. Fill in and submit the application!
Erasmus+ Programme covers various opportunities for both organisations and individuals. However, the preparation and application process might vary depending on the part of the programme you would like to apply for. You should definitely check “How to apply” published by the European Commission before completing the application. After finding out all the necessary info, depending on what part of the programme you are applying for you will need to fill out a specific application form.
Now let me tell you the secret ingredient of a successful Erasmus+ application (although it is more of a technical nature). Don’t ever just fill in the form directly into the online application form! Yes, it might sound weird, but the truth is that sometimes these online application systems crash and trust me, you don’t want to experience such an accident and lose all your work. It is therefore wiser to firstly download the application form template and fill it in in the safe space of your computer. Then just simply copy and paste the text into the online application form.
Don’t forget to attach all the supporting documents to your application before submitting it. For the Erasmus+ Key Action 1 and Key Action 3, the timetables of activities are needed. Check if all your project partners have the PIC number ready and whether they are already registered by the European Commission. If applicable, your project partners must sign Mandates that must be attached to the application form too.
You can find everything needed to successfully submit your application here.
Make a checklist and find out if there is something missing. If not, then Voilà. You made it!
6. Be proud of your project!
Last but not least, be proud of your project! After putting all the effort and dedication into your work, just enjoy the process with your team and celebrate all the small wins. Stay inspired and motivated and learn from your mistakes for the next year round!