Strategic Project Management Made Simple–The Logical Framework Approach


1.  Introduction

I decided to go through the book Strategic Project Management Made Simple (John Wiley & Sons, 2009) by Terry Schmidt for several reasons, one selfish and one altruistic.    As a project manager who put together one of the tracks of programming for the Professional Development Day Event last year for the Chicagoland chapter of the Project Management Institute, I had invited Terry Schmidt to speak about the Logical Framework Approach because I thought it would be an interesting topic to present to the over 300 project managers who came to the event.    I was glad I did, because his presentation seemed to be well received by those who attended it.    

Recently, I’ve been chosen to be the Chief Project Manager to put on the PD Day 2014 Event and I wanted to use the Logical Framework Approach to use on planning and executing the project.    So the selfish reason I wanted to go through the book was to understand it so that I could use it on my next project.    However, the altruistic reason I wanted to go through the book was because I wanted others in the project management community to understand the approach so that they could use it on their next projects.

2.  Outline of Book

Here’s an outline of the three parts of the book.   Part One answers the question of what strategic thinking means in project management and why it is important.   Part Two tells you how to use strategic thinking in the planning of your project, and Part Three tells you how to use strategic thinking in the execution of your project.

Chapter

Title

Contents

PART ONE:  ARE YOU STRATEGIC?

Exploring the principles that make Strategic Management so effective.

1

Thinking Outside the Bar Chart

  • What makes this approach unique? 
  • Mistakes to avoid.

2.

Building Strong Project Backbones

  • Introduction to the Four Critical Questions
  • If-Then thinking, and the art of formulating hypotheses

3.

Introducing the Logical Framework

Introducing the Logical Framework Approach.

4. 

Aligning Projects with Strategic Intent

How any business unit or project team can leverage these ideas.

PART TWO:  MASTERING THE FOUR CRITICAL STRATEGIC QUESTIONS

Step-by-step instructions on how to design executable projects.

5.

Question #1—What Are We Trying to Accomplish and Why?

The fine points of defining and aligning objectives.

6.

Question #2—How Do We Measure Success?

Tackling measurement issues

7.

Question #3—What Other Conditions Must Exist?

How to reduce problems by managing assumptions.

8.

Question #4—How Do We Get There?

The nitty-gritty of work planning

PART THREE:  PUTTING THE CONCEPTS INTO ACTION

Executing projects using Strategic Project Management.

9.

Managing the Strategic Action Cycle

The human dynamics of projects

10.

Managing the People Dynamics

The art of action-learning and execution.

11.

Applying These Ideas In Your World

A dozen ways to implement these ideas and tips for getting started.

My goal is not to reproduce Terry Schmidt’s book, but to summarize it and to think of additional examples to illustrate the points he makes, in order to encourage those who are interested in looking at the approach.

Tomorrow I will start with the first chapter, Thinking Outside the Bar Chart.    I’m looking forward to the journey, not only my journey in going through the material, but hearing from those of you who have gone through the posts and who are considering adopting the Logical Framework Approach for your next project!

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