Six Steps to a (More) Useful WBS

Project Management, Tools

The very first time I taught a class in project management was well before the days of PowerPoint and LCD projectors. In fact, my presentation materials consisted of overhead slides that I had created by hand with rub-on letters since color printers were more expensive than manual labor. As a result, I tried to keep the amount of text down to an absolute minimum. So on the slide that introduced the concept of a Work Breakdown Structure, I used the acronym WBS without spelling it out in full.

I was well aware of the potential for confusion, and I am pretty sure that I explained what the acronym stood for when the slide went up. But either I hadn’t explained, or I hadn’t done it very well, because not long after I began to discuss WBSs, a participant at the back of the room raised their hand and asked, “I understand what the last two letters stand for, but what does the first one mean?” While I was still trying to digest that question, another student towards the front of the room called out “wholesale!”

Unfortunately, this perception is all too common. When it comes to developing a WBS, all too many project managers are still swearing at it instead of swearing by it. Continue reading “Six Steps to a (More) Useful WBS”

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Logical Framework – A friend with many faces

Logical Framework – A friend with many faces

Project DPro, Project DPro Guide, Project Management, Tools

There are several different definitions, formats, templates and structures for project logical frameworks available in the main project management methodologies. If you google “logical framework” then you will probably get lost in the hundreds different models.

According to PMDPro, the logical framework is an analytical tool used to plan, monitor and evaluate projects. It derives its name from the logical linkages set out by the planner(s) to connect a project’s means with its ends.
It is intended to serve as:

  • A systematic tool for organizing the project thinking and identifying relationships between resources, activities, and project results;
  • A visual way of presenting and sharing the project intervention logic;
  • A tool to identify and assess risks inherent in the proposed project design;
  • A tool for measuring progress through indicators and means of verification.

So, let´s agree that it is a friendly tool that is capable of demonstrating the project main logic and dependencies in one matrix. It´s a friend… but, let´s meet its many faces. Continue reading “Logical Framework – A friend with many faces”

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