Introducing the Logical Framework in Project Planning–Part 3


This is a series of notes on Terry Schmidt’s book Strategic Project Management Made Simple, which adds the Logical Framework Approach to traditional project management in order to facilitate strategic planning.    The third chapter of his book is called “Introducing the Logical Framework”; it takes the Four Critical Strategic Questions discussed in chapter 2, and shows they are captured visually in the Logical Framework or LogFrame.   The third part of this chapter discusses the third Critical Strategic Question.

1.    What Other Conditions Must Exist?

No matter what you do inside your project, there are factors outside of the project which may affect the project either positively or negatively.   These factors are referred to as risk factors.    Technically speaking, the factors can be positive or negative, but the conventional meaning of risk covers the negative factors; the positive factors are usually referred to as opportunities.    A typical risk factor for the project, let’s say, of holding an outdoor picnic would be if it rains on the day of the event.    How do you handle these risks?   With a risk response, which is something you prepare ahead of time so that if the risk occurs, you can handle it.    In the case of the “rainy day” risk, you would have an alternate venue that is indoors ready to be used if it rains on the day of the event.

2.  The Third Critical Strategic Question and the LogFrame Matrix

Objectives

Success Measures

Verification

Assumptions

Goal

Measures of Goal Achievement

Verification of

Measures of Goal Achievement

Goal

Assumptions

Purpose

Purpose Measures

Verification of

Purpose Measures

Purpose

Assumptions

Outcomes

 

Outcome Measures

Verification of

Outcome Measures

Outcomes

Assumptions

The answers to the third critical strategic question are placed in the column to the right of the first three columns.   The first column, the Objectives of the project, are the answers to the first critical strategic question, and the second and third columns, the Success Measures and their Verification, are the answers to the second critical strategic question.

Thus you fill out the matrix with the first column, then the second column and third column, by answering the first and then second critical strategic question. and then the fourth column,  by answering the third critical strategic question.    Thus the LogFrame Matrix takes you visually through the journey through these three critical strategic questions, and the comparison between the right column and the left column allows you to check to see whether

–if the Assumptions regarding the Outcomes are valid, then the Outcomes will be achieved

–if the Assumptions regarding the Purpose are valid, then the Purpose will be achieved

–if the Assumptions regarding the Goal are valid, then the Goal will be achieved

3.  Conclusion

The LogFrame matrix is just a visual way of representing the linkages between the answers to the four Critical Strategic Questions.     The answers to the first three Critical Strategic Questions fill the top three boxes of the first, second, third and fourth columns of the LogFrame matrix (except for the very topmost box, which is for the labels “Objectives”, “Measures for Success”, “Verification” and “Assumptions for the various columns).

The next post will cover the answers to the fourth Critical Strategic Question and where they are placed in the LogFrame matrix.

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