Common used Frameworks for delivering great products/services and ongoing operations

IT FrameworksThere are a number of frameworks for managing Programs, projects and IT related initiatives. With so many methodologies available, which one is right for your project? There is no right answer, truly depends on industry, mind-set and skill set of people and several other factors. One way to look at these frameworks is, for example, if you want to build a competency around Performance and Quality management, then shore up Six Sigma, TQM frameworks.

I have seen only a handful of these frameworks in use time and time again across industries. Iam listing some of these below.

Frameworks for Program/Project Management

Framework Usage / What it is?
PMBOK – Project Management Body of Knowledge Used for: Portfolio Management Program Management, Project Management, Risk Management, PMO

Describes the set of best practices around program/project management, developed by PMI – has 5 process groups (Initiate -> Plan -> Execute -> Monitor/Control -> Close) and 10 knowledge areas (Integration, scope, time, cost, quality, HR, communications, risk, procurement, stakeholders).

The state of PMI is well described in this infographic.

OPM3 – Organizational Project Management Maturity Model


Used for: Used to assess maturity of the Organization’s portfolio, programme and project processes and drive improvements.

Maturity curve –

  • Level 1: Adhoc (no PM processes, projects on heroic effort)
  • Level 2: Abbreviated (some PM processes, project success unpredeictable)
  • Level 3: Organized (standardized PM processes with predicatable outcome)
  • Level 4: Managed (mature processes and project metrics leveraged by management in decision making)
  • Level 5: Optimized (enables continuous improvement and innovation)
IT Balanced Scorecard Used for: Program Management

Planning and management tool used to align business activities to organization vision and strategic objectives, along 4 perspectives –

  • Financial
  • Customers
  • Internal processes
  • People (Learning & Growth)

Frameworks for Software Development Lifecycle

Framework What it is?
Agile Used for: Iterative Development

Agile is a time boxed, iterative approach to software delivery that builds software incrementally from the start of the project, instead of trying to deliver it all at once near the end.

Agile breaks down big chunk of functionalities called “epics” into features and user stories. The user stories are then prioritized to delivered in time boxed 2-4 week iterations.

Waterfall Used for: Development

It is a traditional method of managing projects in sequential way. In other words, moving through the phases – Define, Design, Implement, Test and Deliver – sequentially.

DevOps – Development + Operations


Used for: Iterative Development

A practice of development engineers (all ppl involved in development of product like developers, product managers, etc) and operations engineers (systems engineers, system administrators, operations staff, release engineers, DBAs, network engineers, etc) working through the course of SDLC

Frameworks for Quality Management

Framework What it is?
Lean/Sig Sigma (sometimes also called “DMAIC”) Used for: Quality Management, Waste Reduction

Lean Six Sigma is a process improvement programme that combines two ideas: Lean – a collection of techniques for reducing the time needed to provide products or services, and Six Sigma -a collection of techniques for improving the quality of products and services. Six Sigma equates to 3.4 defects per million.

Primarily used in manufacturing industries but gaining prominence across other industries as well. Also, Six Sigma is normally used in conjunction with ITIL framework to reduce waste and improve quality.

DMAIC (Define/Measure/Analyze/Improve/Control) improvement cycle is the core tool used to drive Six Sigma projects.

TQM – Total Quality Management


Used for: Quality Management

Total quality is a description of the culture, attitude and organization of a company that strives to provide customers with products and services that satisfy their needs. The culture requires quality in all aspects of the company’s operations, with processes being done right the first time and defects and waste eradicated from operations.

To be successful implementing TQM, an organization must concentrate on the eight key elements:

  • Ethics
  • Integrity
  • Trust
  • Training
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Recognition
  • Communication

Frameworks for Governance, Risk, Service and Application Management

Framework What it is?
CMM – Capability Maturity Model Used for: Service Delivery, Service Management

CMM) is a five-level scale which allows Organizations to measure and improve their IT service delivery capabilities.

Most of the offshore vendors executing IT work have CMM Level 5 certification.

ITIL – The IT Infrastructure Library


Used for: Service Delivery, Service Management, System Support and Administration

ITIL is a set of practices for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business – primarily applied to IT Development, IT Operations.

ITIl v3 has 5 disciplines or lifecycle phase

  1. Service Strategy – focusing on understanding customer needs, directions, requirements, helping improve IT over time
  2. Service Design – focusing on turning strategies for services into a detailed Service description, not just the technology.
  3. Service Transition – focusing on building, validating, and delivering new and changed services to customers
  4. Service Operations – focusing on the day-to-day care and feeding of services
  5. Continual Service Improvement – focusing on identifying and managing incremental improvements to services
COBIT – Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology Used for: Governance

COBIT is an IT governance framework which helps Organizations meet business challenges in the areas of regulatory compliance, risk management and aligning IT strategy with Organizational goals.

What other frameworks are you leveraging in your organization? Pls chime in with your thoughts.


Business Tools every Management Consultant should know

business toolsEvery organization strives to creating great products/services, innovates, serve customers and create value for shareholders.  How do you accomplish all this in constantly changing business environment?  Organizations needs to build business skills, marketing skills, they need to innovate, build fast, take risks, develop leaderships skills, develop knowledge and resources, build great relationship with customers, partners, suppliers, vendors and the like. All of this calls for business tools and techniques.

Through my consulting career, I have found the following tools to be extremely valuable. Each tool needs to be applied in its own context and situation, and the phase of program/project you are in. A few of them are listed below.

Category Business Tool /Technique Description
Business Strategy SWOT Analysis Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A 2×2 table highlight each area. Can be applied at organization level, department/LOB level, a product or service.

Learn more – SWOT_analysis

  Balanced Scorecard  A forward-looking strategic performance management too, usually along 4 dimensions –

  • Financial
  • Customers
  • Internal Processes
  • Innovation & Learning

Learn more – balanced_scorecard

  Blueocean Strategy (vs. Redocean) Blueocean is creating new markets, new opportunities, tap new customers and make competition irrelevant.

Redocean is playing in existing market space and fighting for larger market share.

Learn more – what-is-blue-ocean-strategy

  Benchmarking Benchmarking is the process of comparing your company metrics to the metrics of your industry competitors.

Common metrics for benchmarking include:

  1. Revenues
  2. Production costs
  3. Employee turnover
  4. Process cycle time

Learn more – BenckmarkingBeyond Benchmarking: Why copy the competition?

  Design Thinking Design thinking is a methodology to solve complex problems, with the eyes of end-user or the customer. Key is customer/business/creative/technology/sales/operations all collaborating and putting a great design.

How do you do it?

  1. Empathize with Customer, focus on customers’ needs
  2. Ideate and design with customer
  3. Develop rapid prototypes
  4. Test to gather feedback from customers
  5. Iterate/Refine

Learn more – Design Thinking

  Growth Share Matrix (aka BCG model)  A model to identify which of your products/investments should be continued.

2 dimensional – Market Share vs. Market growth. Products are classified into –

  • Cash Cows (high market share, moderate growth)
  • Stars (high market share, high market growth
  • Question Marks (low market share, high market growth)
  • Dogs (low market share, low market growth)

Focus on Cash Cows, Stars; evaluate question marks; discontinue dogs;

Learn more – BCG Model

  Porters’ Five Forces The Five Forces model helps businesses determine how well they can compete in the marketplace.

  1. Threat of new entrants
  2. Threat of substitutes
  3. Bargaining power of buyers
  4. Bargaining power of suppliers
  5. Industry rivalry

Learn more – Video explaining Porters’ 5 Forces. More

Marketing Strategy Four P’s of Marketing  The Marketing Mix, also known as the 4 P’s of Marketing, is the combination of product, price, place (distribution), and promotion.

Learn more – marketing-mixrethinking-the-4-ps

Technology Six Sigma  A technique for measuring and improving product quality. The process involves 5 main steps (DMAIC)-

  1. Define
  2. Measure
  3. Analyze
  4. Improve
  5. Control

Learn more – Six_Sigma

  Deming cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act) 4 step technique to continuously improve product quality.

  1. Plan – planning the work
  2. Do – execute
  3. Check – measure, validate, analyze
  4. Act – make necessary adjustments

Learn more – PDCA

  Total  Quality Management (TQM) TQM is a method in which everyone in organization seeks to improve the quality of products and services through ongoing refinements in response to continuous feedback.

TQM is based on quality management from the customer’s point of view. It is tied to PDCA.

Learn more –  TQM

People Development Johari Window  A technique to help people better understand their relationship with self and others.

Learn more

  Force Field Analysis  A decision-making technique that identifies and reviews conflicting factors when a decision needs to me made.

Can also be equally applied when faced with multiple options needing to pick a winner.

Learn more

I hope these tools will increase your productivity and stimulate your thinking. Now, go create something great!

What are tools do you use in your day-to-day work? Please chime in with your thoughts.