A project management framework is the foundation of successful project execution. It involves various processes, tasks, tools, and techniques to plan the project’s beginning effectively, track its progress, and complete it within the specified timeframe.
There are several components of the project management framework, commonly used types, and their benefits that I will discuss here.
Project Management Framework
The project management framework is divided into three parts. These are:
- Project Lifecycle
- Project Control Cycle
- Tools and Templates
1. Project Lifecycle
The project lifecycle intends to define goals to be accomplished within a set timeframe at each stage of the project till completion. Five stages together make up the project lifecycle.
Stage #1: Initiation It is the first stage. Activities like brainstorming, research, practicability, and interviewing stakeholders are involved. Its primary focus is to recognize methods to roll out the project as early as possible.
Stage #2: Planning In this stage, the people who plan the project determine who will be a part of the team working on the project. Targets to be achieved are set, considering risk factors during the project, and risk mitigation strategies are also worked upon.
Stage #3: Execution It is the stage where the decisions taken are put into action. Each team member needs to deliver tasks assigned to them that mark the project's progress.
Stage #4: Management It is the stage where project monitoring and documentation of the project progress takes place. Each milestone achieved during the project is analyzed and recorded, and significant accomplishments are also shared with the stakeholders.
Stage #5: Review It is the final stage where the project leaders and team members analyze the project from start to finish. They study milestones achieved, setbacks if any, and the reason behind their occurrence, and discuss with stakeholders, manufacturing partners, and customers about measures to be taken for improvement.
2. Project Control Cycle
The primary focus is on monitoring and accurately managing the project. Several functions like handling and mitigating risks, project progress tracking at each stage across teams involved, and keeping external stakeholders about the project’s progress to maintain their trust.
There are five stages of the project control cycle.
Stage #1: This stage involves laying out an initial project plan that teams must follow.
Stage #2: This stage involves supervising the project’s progress of each concerned team.
Stage #3: This stage involves evaluating progress made so far by the project managers and comparing it with progress planned to be achieved.
Stage #4: At this stage, project managers analyze whether the progress made aligns with the original plan or has deviated from it and what effect it could have on the project.
Stage #5: At this stage, measures are implemented if necessary to bring the project on the right track.
3. Tools and Templates
As the name suggests, these are pre-made project management frameworks or structures that organizations can use to implement the project without spending much time on brainstorming and laying out the initial plan. Various tools and templates, such as plans, project management reports, risk logs, etc., are commonly used to manage projects.
Project Management Framework Selection
It is the framework that decides the future of the project. A carefully planned framework eases the process of a project’s successful and hassle-free completion. And there can be no better person than project managers to select a framework as they know the strengths and weaknesses of their team members and colleagues and are aware of their working style. Hence, they choose a project management framework that best suits their team working style to get maximum output in the specified time.
Project managers create the framework’s outline, conduct meetings to explain the concept behind its creation, and constantly supervise the project’s progress to ensure the framework's accuracy to achieve the desired results.
Benefits of Project Management Framework
The project management framework helps project managers and team members follow the best practices for every stage of the project. You know in which direction your project is heading and what improvements can be made to achieve the desired outcome.
Here are a few benefits of using a project management framework:
Work Clarity: A well-defined framework outlines all the tasks and tools required to complete the project leaving no room for confusion.
Consistency: The framework enables consistent working across the organization that leads to proper planning and execution of tasks within deadlines.
Simplification: Breaking down big projects into small and achievable tasks helps workers handle the workload efficiently.
Optimization: A framework allows project managers to track the time and resources spent on the projects. It helps them to plan for future projects and also reduces unnecessary expenditure.
Team Coordination: Regular meetings need to be held as part of the framework. It increases communication and information flow among managers and members that aids in the project’s progress.
Difference between Project Management Frameworks and Methodologies
The terms framework and methodology are used interchangeably as they are perceived to be the same by many. However, they are not the same. They are different.
A project management framework is a set of flexible guidelines or rules that can be modified as per the project requirement. In comparison, project management methodology is a set of pre-defined rules and, hence, less flexible. The steps need to be strictly followed.
Commonly used Project Management Frameworks
There are various options available for project managers to choose from. Some frameworks cater to specific projects only like IT governance, software development, etc., while others are more generalized frameworks and can be used for regular project management purposes.
A few of the most common types of project management frameworks are:
Lean: It focuses on minimizing unutilized and wasted resources focusing on implementing improvement techniques.
PRINCE2: It focuses on planning upfront costs and resources that would be required for the project.
XPM: It caters to complex projects that are a part of the fast-changing current scenario. It focuses on managing stakeholders' interests due to rapidly changing schedules and plans.
CCPM: It stands for critical chain project management, and its primary focus is the proper distribution of the resources across the project.
Waterfall: It is a traditional project management framework where you need to plan from start to finish. A new project phase can begin only when the previous one has ended.
Scrum: It is an Agile framework and is best for industries that undergo quick change. In this, the focus is on maintaining transparency, and the project is divided into small parts and planned within 2-4 weeks.
Six Sigma: It is a data-driven framework with a primary focus on quality maintenance and minimizing the number of shortcomings in the project as close to zero.
CEM: It stands for customer experience management and focuses on an outside-in approach. It is designed based on successful feedback received from customers.
ITIL: It stands for information technology infrastructure and helps organize an organization’s IT functions, considering planning, delivering, and supporting IT services.
The Final Words
Project management frameworks help organizations give structure to their project. They are highly flexible, support multiple projects, and can be tailored as per the organization’s and projects’ need. It helps in the effective implementation of the project and makes the entire project development process smooth and easy to supervise.
Also, once created, you can repeatedly use these project management framework templates for your future projects, saving time and money.
Hence project management frameworks can increase your organization’s efficiency manifolds if adequately implemented.