4-Step Rule to Create a Project Management Framework
Whether you have a desk job or field job, you are bound to come across different projects, big or small. That’s where Project Management comes in. In simple words, Project management is a systematic approach to planning and executing projects successfully. The science of project management hinges on a basic framework called the Project Management life cycle.
Although it seems like a daunting process, it is quite simple. The project management life cycle refers to the 4-steps in any project management framework, namely:
- Post mortem review
Initiation is the very first phase of any project management framework. This stage is concerned with all the ‘what’ questions of the project. For example:
- What is this project?
- What is the cost?
- What are the benefits?
- What are the potential risk factors?
At this stage, the organization decides if the project is really needed and what benefits can be drawn from it. The respective business documents drawn at this stage are a business case and a feasibility analysis.
Both of these are extremely crucial documents that not only provide direction but also allow you to weigh the pros and cons of the project. Although it seems petty and insignificant, trust me, the initiation stage is very important to the long-term success of any project. An accurate estimate of cost and feasibility analysis during this stage saves you from a lot of future troubles because once a project is started, it is quite costly to change plans or shut it down altogether.
If the initiation stage is concerned with the ‘what’, the words planning stage of the project management framework concerns all the ‘how’ questions.
This stage is usually much longer than the initiation stage and includes intricate details about costs, scope, schedule, timeline, and milestones. Important documents drafted at this stage include Non-disclosure Agreements (NDAs) and Request For Proposal (RFPs). It is also wise to conduct a detailed SWOT analysis and identify any potential risk factors that could derail your project later. For example, construction projects are usually affected by weather conditions, so it is important to set realistic timelines and expect realistic deliverables.
This is the stage where the plan is converted to action. You can make a foolproof plan, but unless you don’t act on it, you won’t be getting any results. Execution of a successful project is a long and complex process dependent on effective planning, strong leadership, and constant mentoring.
One of the most common mistakes during this stage is managers stubbornly clinging to the plans. It is important to realize that plans provide focus and direction, but when push comes to shove, you should always reevaluate and plan accordingly. The business world of today is changing rapidly. New opportunities and new threats emerge routinely, especially in this post-pandemic era. Therefore, it is very important to adapt to this dynamic business world.
Also, remember Communication is the key- establish communication channels that keep the team connected. Whether it is WhatsApp groups or other digital tools. WorkComposer is an insanely useful tool that helps you stay in touch with your team remotely. It allows you to assign tasks and responsibilities and track your employee working hours to ensure that everyone is working up to their full potential.
4. Post Mortem Review/ Closing the project
After the project is executed successfully and the desired outcomes are met, it is time to review and reflect on the project. Post Mortem Review is a retrospective approach to learning about the success or failure of the project and identifying any weaknesses in the original plan. Organizations that take this step seriously continuously evolve and have a better chance of staying afloat in this dynamic business world.
Some important questions to reflect on are:
- What worked for our team?
- What did not work out well?
- What practices are safe to repeat in the future?
- What can we learn from our mistakes in this project?
- What should we have done differently?
- What kept our team’s morale up?
- Which practices are difficult to continue in the future?
- How could we improve communication within teams?
To sum it up, the project management framework is the basic pillar upon which the success of a project hinges. So, it is important to give thought and effort to each of the 4 important steps when drafting a framework.
But you don’t have to do all this hard work by yourself, there are hundreds, if not thousands of digital tools that make the work much easier for you. One of these tools is WorkComposer, as we have mentioned before. This is a tried and tested tool to help you engage and track your employees remotely. It allows you to assign responsibilities and hold your employees accountable. And the best part? It costs less than a chocolate bar per month!
Click the link to find out more.