Adaptive Project Framework Explained

Paul Naybour

There are many different types of project management framework that have been developed over the years, but some are more popular than others. As a project management apprentice, you are going to be learning from others and watching project managers at work in your placement. You may find that the lead project manager uses the Adaptive Project Framework (APF), and this is something you will need to get to grips with in order to enhance your project management skills.


What is Adaptive Project Framework (APF)?

This is a systematic and structured process that enables you to improve your practices and decisions gradually. You will learn from the outcomes of the decisions you made during prior stages of the project and from previous projects. As you may have gathered by the name, it is all about adapting to the needs of the business so that you can ultimately add value with project deliverables.

If you research this strategy, you will see that there are many variations that have been developed over the years. Nevertheless, the main characteristics of this framework are as follows:

  • Client-driven
  • Learn from discovery
  • Thrive on change


What makes the Adaptive Project Framework (APF) different to other methodologies is that the client is the central figure who determines each next step of the project. Moreover, the client is also in the position to completely change the direction of the project.


Why is this beneficial?

The Adaptive Project Framework (APF) really thrives in today’s fast-paced business environments. Project managers have ever-increasing demands to deal with, and project management itself has changed considerably over the past few years. Nowadays, people work collaboratively, the pace of work has quickened due to the development of new technologies, and strategy has become more difficult to predict and more dynamic. When you take this into consideration, you see why traditional methodologies have lost their effectiveness and why APF could prove to be more advantageous.

In order to implement this approach, you will need to be aware of the core values of APF, which include the following:

  • Do not speculate on the future. All non-value added work is stripped out with APF. You need to resist the temptation to strive for perfection, as you should not waste money or time on guessing.
  • Change is the process required for a better solution. It is all part of the bigger picture of determining what else can be done to improve results.
  • Continuous introspection and questioning.
  • Client-driven. As mentioned, the client is heavily involved in the project.
  • Client-focused. It is all about staying focused on what the client wants and needs, so long as they are within the scope of ethical company practices of course.


Hopefully, you now have a basic understanding regarding the Adaptive Project Framework and the benefits of this approach. In today’s fast-paced environment, it’s a popular methodology for success and can be used within any type of organisation and any type of project.

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