A paper based on the Instructor's Resource Kit, Module 1,
Managing the Implementation of Development Projects, by Jerry Brown under the
direction of John Didier, World Bank Institute, Washington D.C., 1998. Robert
Youker may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
and John Didier at email@example.com.
Published here April 2003.
The methodology that I am about to introduce was developed as a means of clarifying
project objectives, both for planning purposes and for post-project evaluation.
The hierarchy of objectives, which some development agencies refer to as the
logical framework or "logframe", serves a number of purposes:
- It can be used to clarify the need, i.e. demand for the project.
- It can be used to clarify the requirements for meeting that need.
- It provides a way of communicating the project objectives to everyone involved
in the project.
- It helps ensure appropriate project design by getting input and feedback
from the people who are involved in, or affected by, the project.
- It enables the post-project evaluators to measure the project's success in
attaining its objectives because the hierarchy provides guidance to the evaluators
and helps direct their inquiry.
- It demonstrates that the project has different levels of objectives, and
clarifies how the different objectives relate to one another in the hierarchy.
- It serves as a visible link between organizational strategy, programs and
Studies focusing on project success and failure have repeatedly shown how important
it is for the project manager to get a common understanding of project objectives.
It is essential for project staff, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders to develop
agreement and a joint commitment to those objectives. Some experts believe this
is the most important issue in project management.
To get joint commitment, we need shared perceptions. Everyone has to share
the common understanding of the objectives, and agree that the project is worth
doing. This doesn't happen automatically. It takes effort and involves a considerable
amount of communication.