Both nightmare and best friend of any project manager, the logical framework (LFA) is one of the best known and more used tools in international Project management. At this point someone always says that “only in cooperation for development” and s/he is right and wrong at the same time.
Right, because it is true that it was born to facilitate aid programmes, but it has found its way among other programmes in Europe, at EU, national, regional and even local level. LFA and its versions are widely present and it is useful to grasp the know-how.
I am not going to describe the tool in deep. As there are good handbooks easily found online, I’ll limit myself to quote a few at the end of the post. However, I am still tempted to analyze the tool quick off the mark, with two positive things and two which are not so.
– It is a very visual tool. Once you have completed it, you can have in the same page, even if it is an A3, all the contents and all the W questions.
– Given this, it also eases monitoring and assessment during project’s lifetime and even evaluation of impact some time after the project is finished.
– It is completely artificial. It does not respond to “natural” thinking, not convergent and of course not divergent, cutting out creativity.
– It is very difficult to transfer to the target public. And if you can’t translate the tool, sometimes the project remains half-way between an owned initiative and an imposed burden
So, currently, proposals are many. From substituting it by more practical, simple tools (which ones? are they already invented?) to support it with more user-friendly schemes (same questions here) to completely avoid it, opinions are diverse.
And you? What do you think of LFA? Which tools do you use?
Some handbooks and presentations:
Logical Framework And Project Proposal
Logical Framework (LogFRAME) Methodology
The Logical Framework Approach