What is a Project Management Framework? - Definition & Examples

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  • 0:01 A Project Management Framework
  • 1:10 Lifecycle
  • 2:14 Control Cycle
  • 3:13 Tools and Templates
  • 3:52 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Brianna Whiting

Brianna has a masters of education in educational leadership, a DBA business management, and a BS in animal science.

Expert Contributor
Joseph Shinn

Joe has a PhD in Economics from Temple University and has been teaching college-level courses for 10 years.

This lesson describes how a project management framework assures successful project completion. You will learn what a project management framework is, the stages involved, and the three major parts of the framework.

A Project Management Framework

Have you ever worked on a project that was completed smoothly, on time with great results? Then you probably had a good project manager who used a project management framework to assure success.

A project management framework

What is a project management framework? Basically, it is a combination of processes, tasks, and tools used to transition a project from start to finish. An overview of a generic process used by this framework is:

  • Initiation: when the project starts
  • Planning: when all of the key decisions are made
  • Execution: when project work actually takes place
  • Control: when adjustments are made to the plan
  • Monitoring: when project progress is checked
  • Termination: when the project comes to an end

Each stage of this process involves the completion of many tasks by project team members using various tools. The generic process just described is a project's lifecycle from initiation to termination, which is one part of the framework. Now let's dive deeper into the three parts of a project management framework: lifecycle, control cycle, and tools and templates.


The lifecycle of the framework explains the stages involved in the project and what needs to happen at each stage. It allows the management team to make adjustments and customize the stages based on the size and scope of the project.

For example, a company that is completing a project designing children's learning materials may have a lifecycle as follows:

1. First, the company initiates the project. The company may go through numerous upfront procedures to decide whether or not to pursue the business opportunity, make it available for bids, and finalize contracts.

2. Second, the company plans the project. The company defines in detail the project deliverables, schedule, detailed budget, etc.

3. Third, the company executes the project by proceeding with actual project tasks such as creating the learning materials. It manages the project according to plan by using the control cycle to monitor progress and adjust the plan if required.

4. Finally, when the materials are completed, the company terminates the project and follows a closure procedure.

Control Cycle

The next part of the project management framework is the control cycle. While the project lifecycle explains what needs to be done throughout each stage, the control cycle concentrates on the planning and management of each stage. In other words, it is a map for the project that outlines the plan for each stage and helps the manager oversee the process. The control cycle for each stage involves planning the stage, doing the work, checking the progress, and acting to control changes.

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Additional Activities

Case Study

For each of the following examples, discuss which of the steps in the project management framework (initiation, planning, execution, control, monitoring, and termination) is being described. Be sure to explain why you believe you are choosing the correct step.

  1. Your company is currently converting all paper files to digital. As the company is halfway through the process, your company realizes that the digital files are taking up too much space on the computers. Therefore, for the remaining part of the transition, the digital files are placed on zip drives.
  2. You run a restaurant and decide that you want to replace your out-of-date point-of-service system with a new one. Before doing so, however, you shop around to see all of the alternatives that you can choose from.
  3. You are the head of a large company and decide you want to create a new department that specializes in marketing. To try to determine the best way to make this transition, you hold a meeting with the heads of the different departments.
  4. You are a consultant working on a project for a different firm. You complete the report for the firm and send it to them, ending the duties that you were contracted to perform.
  5. Your team is currently working on a project that they were asked to complete. To see how the project is going, you hold weekly meetings with them so that they can provide updates.

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