Project frameworks – the secret of your success

In my last post, I gave a list of transformation project success factors. It wasn’t a comprehensive list of project management tools, nor did it advocate a specific project framework.

Whether you are well versed in Agile, Prince 2 or the APM Body of Knowledge, you will have recognised the elements. Let’s take the project definition, called a business case in “No mop-ups in here – why planning to mop-up compromises your transformation”, and see how each of the frameworks creates its project definition:

Agile Prince 2 APM
Uses the Charter and Product Data Sheet Uses the Project Initiation Document (PID) Uses the Business Case
Includes

  • Purpose
  • Benefits
  • Scope
  • Objectives
  • Deliverables (features)
  • Stakeholders
  • Issues
  • Risks
Includes

  • Purpose
  • Costs
  • Benefits
  • Financial analysis
  • Scope
  • Objectives
  • Deliverables
  • Stakeholders
  • Accountabilities
  • Timeframe
  • Project methodology
  • Risks, issues and constraints
Includes

  • Purpose
  • Costs
  • Benefits
  • Financial analysis
  • Scope
  • Objectives
  • Deliverables
  • Stakeholders
  • Accountabilities
  • Timeframe
  • Project methodology
  • Risks, issues and constraints

Agile has less content at this stage, mainly because the Speculate stage of the first sprint will work out the timeframes and costs for the overall project.

In all honesty, is there that much difference between the frameworks? I would suggest not. Furthermore, a good project manager picks up and uses techniques from each as she works with other PMs or in new organisations. These techniques form a toolkit to be drawn upon as required – not by rote.

Most Project Managers won’t get to choose the framework they use. Most organisations have encompassed a methodology and made it their own. Pulling together the continuing professional development of a good PM with the need to pick up and run with organisational project processes, we can see that a key attribute of a Project Manager is the ability to adapt to the circumstances of the project.

However, a project framework is no more than a check-list – it’s the way you approach your project that counts.

Next time: The surprising toolkit of the pioneering Project Manager.

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