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How to Build a Project Management Framework (with Examples)

Build a Project Management Framework

You need clear direction if you want to guide a project to successful completion. Without the right requirements and objectives in place, projects can be subject to scope creep, budget overruns, and delays.

Fortunately, there’s a simple way to avoid most of these roadblocks: using various project management frameworks.

A framework provides structure and direction to a project. It acts as a guide for how the project should run from beginning to end.

In this article, we explain:

  • What a project management framework is
  • The difference between project frameworks and methodologies
  • Benefits of building and following a project management framework
  • Examples of common project frameworks you can use to manage your work

What Is a Project Management Framework?

A project framework is a set of standardized processes, activities, resources, templates, and tools helpful in planning, implementing, and monitoring work on a project.

The framework outlines the steps you should take to keep your project on track and enables project teams to understand their role within a project and collaborate better. As a result, this increases your chances of project success.

Difference Between Project Frameworks and Project Methodologies

What’s the difference between a project framework and a project methodology? It can be confusing, but it’s actually simple to differentiate.

A project methodology is a set of processes or principles that best help manage a project. It’s focused on high-level ideas and values and is usually strictly defined and reinforced.

A framework, on the other hand, outlines a step-by-step process you’ll follow to manage your different types of projects. It has more details and may even include phases that aren’t in a methodology. A project framework is more flexible than a methodology, and you can change rules, adopt new rules mid-framework and abandon rules as needed.

Benefits of Building and Following a Project Management Framework

Using a project framework helps ensure successful projects by providing the following:

  • Consistency: When using a project management framework, your processes become consistent across the organization. Consistency makes planning projects and setting deadlines easier and more efficient.
  • Clarity: A framework clearly defines the steps toward project completion, including job tasks, personnel, and deadlines. This means there’s no confusion when your teams reach the execution stage.
  • Simplification: A framework breaks down large projects into smaller tasks making it easier for you to delegate tasks and for your teams to handle the workload.
  • Optimization: A project management framework can help you assess how much time and money teams spend on each project. This enables you to allocate and optimize resources for future projects successfully.
  • Communication: Most project management frameworks encourage regular meetings with teams. This constant checking-in enhances communication between you and your teams and boosts information flow.
  • Collaboration: Project management framework tools help facilitate collaboration between teams and with clients by sharing information.
  • Organization: Using framework methodologies and tools keeps your project tasks and phases in order.
  • Progress tracking: With job tasks in separate stages, it’s simpler for you to track progress and ensure your team is adhering to a schedule.

Examples of Common Project Frameworks

There are several types of project management frameworks designed to fit different projects, team sizes, industries, and budgets. Here are some examples:

Waterfall methodology

The waterfall methodology is a traditional linear framework that outlines tasks in the order in which team members must perform them. The framework separates a project into phases, helping organize similar tasks and simplifying management tasks because progress is easy to review.

The stages of the waterfall methodology are:

  • Project requirements: In this phase, you document all the specifications and data on what the project needs to accomplish.
  • Design: During this phase, you create a plan for achieving the goals that relate to project completion.
  • Implementation: Here, your project plan goes into effect as you monitor progress.
  • Control: The control phase involves reviewing and comparing the project’s performance to the plan.
  • Closure: This is the last phase when the project is complete, and you get approval from clients to finalize the work.

Scrum

Scrum is a framework used to implement the Agile methodology and principles. This framework splits project tasks into “sprints” lasting 1–4 weeks. The team is usually small and flexible, with a recommended size of between 5 and 11 members.

The Scrum framework is most suitable for teams working on complex projects with a lot of unpredictability initially. It also works well for organizations that develop products at a breakneck speed and need to adjust the course quickly.

Critical chain project management (CCPM)

Critical chain project management is a framework that identifies the quickest and most cost-effective path to completing a project. It focuses on maximizing the use of resources and personnel.

In this framework, you start by mapping out dependencies, task estimations, and required resources. Then you estimate extra time and resources for each step and the entire project in general. Monitor your project’s health by how quickly you’re consuming the extras for each stage. Mix, match, and juggle resources until you create the ideal project plan that suits your budget and timeline.

This framework is practical when a team has multiple projects that may use the same resources and can fit a project of any size.

Kanban

Kanban is a framework used to implement Lean principles in processes or projects. The framework focuses on continuous improvement and delivery. In this framework, you break your entire project workflow into actionable tasks on a Kanban board.

Your Kanban board should have a to-do column containing all the work items outlined in the project scope. You can add other columns that reflect your workflow for adding new features. These can be as simple as in progress, testing, and done or involve many more stages.

This framework allows you to add WIP (work in progress) limits that bar teams from proceeding to the next task before they complete the previous one. This keeps the workload balanced, and teams focused on priority tasks.

Kanban is ideal for rapidly-developing projects with changing priorities and a complex but predictable workflow.

Implement Your Project Management Framework with Mission Control

With the right framework, organizations can complete more projects successfully, collaborate better, and be more productive. But you must choose one that suits your workflow, industry, and business goals.

Mission Control makes it easy to start working with any framework you choose. You can, for example, start with our Kanban boards to develop your work breakdown structure for maximum efficiency, easily update task progress, and set priorities.

Use our interactive Gantt charts to organize tasks, link dependencies, and set milestones. The Gantt chart is also an effective tool to map out your critical path without configuring complex calculations.

Ready to start building your project management framework? Request a demo to see how Mission Control can help you manage your projects better.

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