On Paul Giammalvo’s February article

and the Logical Framework


8 February 2021

Ref: Giammalvo, P.D. (2021). Should we CHALLENGE or RECALL ISO 21502:2020? Commentary, PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue II, February. https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/pmwj102-Feb2021-Giammalvo-should-we-challenge-or-cancel-iso-21500-2020.pdf

Dear PM World Journal,

Paul Giammalvo’s excellent article in the February PMWJ emphasized the fact that Project Management is indeed an ancient practice – if not the oldest ‘profession’ (since it is still unregulated!) – while we continue to regurgitate Project Management standards without giving appropriate emphasis on ‘lessons learned;’ and recognizing the different functions of — and the lacuna between – Strategic ASSET and Tactical PROJECT Management individuals and entities.

In an attempt to bridge this gap, the ‘Logical Framework’ tool & technique was developed during the 20th century as “Good Practice” and widely used by the international donor community (i.e. the World Bank Group, UN Agencies, Regional Development Banks and bi-lateral country-to-country agencies) in formulating, managing and evaluating development project assistance; and although ignored by the PMBOK should also be considered as another tool to supplement any standard.  [Nevertheless, while the ‘logframe’ tool per se is sound, project results are still mixed, as it is often misapplied and – to quote Dr. Charles Chandler (a former colleague) — “The logical framework is difficult to do well, but easy to do poorly!”]

Again, Paul’s ‘Life Span’ charts highlight the cause, and — at the risk of generalizing — my experiences confirm in most instances even ‘in-house’ Project Managers (and certainly contractors) are unaware of, &/or oblivious to the Organization’s Grand Strategy; are usually uninvolved in the conception, initiation, ‘trial & error,’ risk analysis, and even design phases of the project they are assigned (or contracted) to implement. And — after delivery — they are almost never involved in the project’s ex-post facto analysis of ‘Asset Value.’

Thus, it is not the tools that are the problem, as much as failure to require incorporating them and ensuring their appropriate application by the respective Strategic and Tactical managerial entities.

Dr. Ken Smith, PMP
Manila, The Philippines
Honolulu, Hawaii

How to cite this work: Smith, K. (2021). On Paul Giammalvo’s February article and the Logical Framework, Letter to the Editor, PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue III, March. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/pmwj103-Mar2021-Smith-on-the-logical-framework-Letter-to-Editor.pdf