Project Management Framework Explained: A Short Guide and Examples
Project Management Framework shouldn’t be complicated. This is why in this article, you will quickly get an overview of what a project management framework is, its basic elements, importance, types, and some tips on how to choose the right project management framework for your case.
What is a Project Management Framework?
Simply put, a project management framework is a term describing what key components are included in managing a project. It consists of tools, tasks, and processes used to start, run and complete a project.
It includes the following categories:
- Micro and macro phases
- Processes and activities
- Templates and checklists
- Roles and responsibilities
- Training material
- Work guidelines
All this information is systemized so that project managers can control the progress of a project throughout its lifecycle.
The two main aims of a project management framework are to:
- Create a clear understanding of the basis of a project for all stakeholders
- Share this understanding among all involved in the project
By improving the understanding of a project, delivering expected results is ensured and the chances of successfully completing a project are higher.
Now that we have an overview of what a project management framework is, let’s look at its basic elements.
Project Management Framework – Basic Elements
There are 3 basic elements of a project management framework – tools and templates, project lifecycle, and project control cycle. They are not carried out in any specific order, but in combination with each other instead.
1. Tools and templates
Often, tools and templates, and types of project management frameworks are interchangeable terms. Basically, all three of them are helping you in DOING the work that you have to do and are outlining HOW you are going to do it.
There are many project management framework types already available online at your disposal and they can easily be accommodated for your own project as well. Here are some of them:
- PRINCE2, CCPM – critical chain project management
- Scrum – mainly used in development environments, agile, based on iterative and incremental processes
- Lean framework – focuses on minimizing wasted effort and resources; there is often incorporation of process improvement techniques
- Waterfall – actions are sequential, Gannt charts are used often
2. Project lifecycle
You need to map out the project lifecycle for your project, in order to figure out the setup of your project management framework.
There are typically five phases that make up a project lifecycle:
- Initiation – doing the research, planning, and coordinating between customers, stakeholders, partners, and manufacturers
- Planning – defining milestones and resources; forming teams, overall decisions related to how the project will work
- Execution – the stage where the project kicks off; the actual production stage starts, involving professionals who will be creating the actual deliverables
- Management – monitoring, reviewing, updating, and reporting for each milestone to stakeholders
- Review – the final stage upon project completion; reviewing all the key successes and points for improvement; holding final meetings with teams and clients
3. Project control cycle
This is the part that allows you to monitor all possible risks and the progress of all team members at any stage of your project, for a certain portion of it. Here you use software to keep communication open across all channels into one area.
Let’s look at the following example.
An Example of Project Management Framework
Let’s imagine you have a house, but it’s not in very good condition. And you want to renovate it. First, you have to create a draft for the renovation works. Then you will need some tools and materials to do some of the work yourself and/or hire workers and professionals to help you with the planning/execution for the renovation.
In this particular case, the project management framework will include the draft, all the resources you need, plans, and expectations for the finished result.
Of course, the frameworks differ from project to project, but we hope we gave you an idea, of how the project management framework includes all the necessary information on how to set expectations for a project, start it and finish it.
Why is a Project Management Framework Important?
There are several reasons why project management framework is important:
- Achieving clarity – there is no confusion within the team which are the tools and tasks at hand in the execution phase – all the roles and responsibilities have been clearly defined
- More consistency – with a PM framework, the processes are consistent across the organizations, which increases the precision in planning a project
- Helps organization – a framework can help the managers in different project assessments, enabling them to allocate resources, optimize, etc.
- Aids communication – meetings outlined in the framework are helpful for both project managers and teams and for boosting the information flow
- Makes things easier – by simplifying and breaking down big projects into small tasks, the workload is more manageable.
How to Choose the Right Project Management Framework?
One single framework does not work for all projects, and luckily, there are many to choose from today that can best serve your project.
Here is a shortlist of which type of framework is a good fit, depending on your needs:
- Technology, fast-changing product or industry
- Project deliverables are flexible and intangible in nature
PRINCE2 or waterfall
- Well-defined, stable project
- Planning the project in its entirety
- Big and complex projects with expected, well-known deliverables
- The stakeholders’ priorities will impact your framework
- If waste is a critical concern
Not in last place, keep in mind that frameworks are flexible! They adapt to the needs of a project and you might end up using and borrowing pieces of different frameworks as the conditions of your project change.
We think that the information is absolutely enough to give you basic insights on the topic.
Please, tell us how we did in the comments below and if you need to know anything else – we’d be glad to fill in the blanks for you.
If you liked this article, we also recommend: