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What Is the Logical Framework Approach?

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  • Written By: Osmand Vitez
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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The logical framework approach is a project management tool most often used in an international setting. The tool provides a series of steps, including phases for the plan and design, implementation, and review and evaluation of each project. The framework needs these steps in order to properly work a large-scale project from start to finish. Oversight for each step depends on the number of parties involved in the process and project length. Though the logical framework approach provides many advantages, there are drawbacks to this management tool.

A key advantage to logical framework is the plan and design phases. At these junctures, parties involved surround a project from each side, asking questions and deciphering weaknesses in a project. The purpose of these phases is to allow decision makers the greatest opportunity for information gathering. More support allows for a better decision, especially when a large, international project is at hand. Alternatives to certain project aspects may arise during this phase.

Implementation in this management process may be a bit slower than other methods. The logical framework approach tends to go slow because each step takes time to review and implement properly. External factors can also come into play during the implementation phase. Decision makers, management, and other parties may all have to sign off on implementation procedures for the project. The need for multiple individuals here ensures all project steps have the proper implementation procedures based on the international parties involved.

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Review and evaluation typically use several modes of communication. The logical framework approach depends heavily on communication as the distance or geographical constraints can make it difficult to evaluate projects. Evaluators often use financial metrics or other quantitative tools for the evaluation phase. The plan and design phases take longer under the logical framework approach in order to ensure proper operation. This also leads to more accurate evaluations using proper metrics, giving way to larger financial returns due to the slower implementation process.

For all its perceived benefits, logical framework is not a panacea in terms of business processes or project management. One significant drawback is project inflexibility; the detailed plan and design phases may restrict a company or companies from changing projects once they reach a certain point. Cost-benefit analysis is also a potential disadvantage. Unless the financial upside is quite high, a company may experience low returns on invested capital. Systematic training and development is also necessary under this tool, requiring more time to develop a company rather than actually implementing the project.

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