Project management is one of my favourites. I have designed and coordinated a variety of projects for international organizations and privates companies in both Belgium and Vietnam. I often use Project Cycle Management in my assignments.

PCM is a methodology for the preparation, implementation and evaluation of projects based on the principals of the log frame approach.

   - PCM describes management activities and decision-making procedures used during the life cycle of a project (key tasks, roles and responsibilities, key documents and decision options)

   - PCM is useful in designing, implementing and monitoring a project.

   - PCM is a clear, concise and visual presentation of all the key components of a plan and a basis for monitoring.

05 phases of PCM

  • Programming
  • Identification
  • Formulation
  • Implementation
  • Evaluation

The three PCM principals

  • Decision making criteria defined at each phase
  • The phases in the cycle are progressive
  • Project identification is part of structured feedback.

PCM is result-based:

  • PCM requires active participation of key stakeholders and aims at promoting local ownership;
  • PCM incorporates key assessment criteria into each stage of the project cycle;
  • PCM requires the production of good quality key documents in each phase to support decision making.

PCM tools:

  • Log frame
  • Quality assessment criteria
  • Institutional capacity assessment
  • Economic and financial analysis
  • Promoting participatory approaches


The Logical Framework Approach is a management tool mainly used in the design, monitoring and evaluation of international development projects. In general, a logframe is a framework covering specific objectives, indicators and baseline situation.

Outcome mapping

Outcome mapping is a project progress management system, an M&E toolkit. It differs from log frame in a way that it does not focus on measuring deliverables and its effects on primary beneficiaries but on behavioral change of secondary beneficiaries. An OM is divided into 03 phases:

-       Intentional design

  • Step 1: Vision
  • Step 2: Mission
  • Step 3: Boundary partners
  • Step 4: Outcome challenges
  • Step 5: Progress markers
  • Step 6: Strategy maps
  • Step 7: Organizational practices

-       Outcome & performance monitoring

  • Step 8: Monitoring priorities
  • Step 9: Outcome journals
  • Step 10: Strategy journals
  • Step 11: Performance journals

-       Evaluation planning

  • Step 12: Evaluation plan


Multi-Stakeholder Processing

A multi-stakeholder process is composed of 04 phases:

Initiating – Adaptive Planning – Collaborative Action – Reflective Monitoring

  • Phase 1: Initiating

-       Clarify the reasons for an MSP;

-       Undertake an initial situation analysis (stakeholders, issues, institutional, power and politics)

-       Establish an interim steering body;

-       Build stakeholder support;

-       Establish the scope, mandate and stakeholder expectations;

-       Outline the process, timeframe, institutional requirements and resources needs.


  • Phase 2: Adaptive planning

-       Build stakeholders’ understanding of each other values, motivations, concerns and interests;

-       Generate vision for the future;

-       Identify issues, problems and opportunities;

-       Examine future scenarios and feasible options;

-       Make decisions and agree on key strategies;

-       Set objectives and identify actions, timeframes and responsibilities;

-       Document and communicate planning outcomes.


  • Phase 3: Collaborative action

-       Develop integrated initiatives and detailed action plans;

-       Secure resources and technical support;

-       Develop capacity of stakeholders;

-       Establish required management structures and procedures;

-       Manage the implementation process;

-       Maintain stakeholder commitment.


  • Phase 4: Reflective monitoring

-       Create a learning culture and environment;

-       Define success criteria (performance questions and indicators);

-       Develop and implement monitoring mechanisms;

-       Review and evaluate progress and identify lessons;

-       Feed lessons learned back into strategies and implementation procedures.

In summary, MSP includes 04 distinct phases. The first phase is initiating in which we need to clarify the reasons for MSP by undertaking a situation analysis. Then, we set up an interim steering body to facilitate the process, building stakeholder support, establishing the scope, mandate and stakeholder expectations. Finally, we need to outline the process, timeframe, institutional requirements and resource needs.

The second phase is adaptive planning in which we build stakeholder understanding of each other values, motivations, concerns and interests. Then, we generate a vision for the future, identifying issues, problems and opportunities, examining future scenarios and feasible options. We need to make decisions and agree on key strategies, setting objectives and identifying actions, timeframes and responsibilities. Last, we document and communicate planning outcomes.

The third phase is collaborative action. In this phase, we need to develop integrated initiatives and detailed action plans, securing resources and technical support, developing capacity of stakeholders, establishing required management structures and procedures. Then, we need to manage the implementation process and maintain stakeholder commitment.

The last phase is reflective monitoring that involves creating a learning culture and environment, defining success criteria. Then, we need to develop and implement monitoring mechanisms, reviewing and evaluating progress and identifying lessons. Last, we could feed lessons learned back into strategies and implementation procedures.

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