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No Bad Questions About Project Management

Definition of Adaptive project framework

What is an adaptive project framework

Let's delve into the adaptive project framework and review its differences from traditional project management.

What is an adaptive project framework

The adaptive project framework (APF) is a project management approach that emphasizes flexible plans and real-time adjustments to accommodate changing circumstances. Unlike traditional methods, APF minimizes revisions by establishing tentative guidelines before each project phase, making it suitable for projects with clear goals but undefined methods. This approach is particularly beneficial for projects with vocal stakeholders, allowing their input in each phase, and for projects in rapidly changing industries like technology or finance, mitigating speculation risks.

How does the adaptive project framework work

The APF operates on flexibility, adaptability, and iterative planning. The framework revolves around 5 iterative phases:

  1. Project scope definition. This step involves defining the project's goals, objectives, and overall scope, ensuring alignment with stakeholder expectations and business needs. It's crucial to establish clear conditions of satisfaction (CoS) to measure project success.
  2. Cycle planning. Based on the project scope, the team creates detailed plans for each iterative cycle. These plans outline specific tasks, responsibilities, and milestones for each cycle. The plans are flexible and adaptable to accommodate changes as the project progresses.
  3. Cycle build. During this phase, the team executes planned tasks, implements the project's deliverables, and gathers feedback from stakeholders. The team continuously evaluates progress, identifies risks, and makes adjustments as needed.
  4. Client checkpoint. At regular intervals, the team presents the completed cycle's deliverables to stakeholders for formal review and approval. This checkpoint serves as a critical feedback mechanism, creating room for course corrections and ensuring the project remains aligned with stakeholder expectations.
  5. Final review and closure. Upon completion of all cycles, the team conducts a comprehensive final review, assessing overall project success in meeting the conditions of satisfaction. It is time to document lessons learned and implement project closure procedures.

Differences between adaptive and traditional project management

TPM and APM are two distinct approaches to project execution. Each methodology has its own strengths and applications, and the choice between the two depends on the specific project characteristics and organizational preferences.

  • While for TPM change implementation can be challenging because of the rigid structure that requires thorough analysis and approval, APM handles changes more easily with its iterative nature, allowing for adjustments without the disruption of overall project flow.
  • TPM typically has a fixed project scope defined at the outset, while APM allows the project scope to evolve based on changing requirements and insights gained during the project.
  • While TPM emphasizes the delivery of large milestones at the end of the project, APM focuses on smaller, incremental deliverables, enabling early feedback and continuous improvement.
  • TPM often involves top-down communication, with information flowing from project managers to stakeholders, while APM promotes open and frequent communication among all stakeholders, fostering collaboration.

Key Takeaways

  • APF emphasizes the need for flexibility and adaptability, allowing project teams to respond effectively to evolving circumstances and requirements.
  • The framework involves making real-time adjustments to plans as the project progresses, promoting responsiveness and agility in project management.
  • APF diverges from traditional approaches by focusing on short-term planning and adjusting guidelines before each phase, which is particularly beneficial for projects with clear goals but undefined methods.