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Praxis - Do we really need another PPM framework?

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Atkins was the host for this well attended event on Thursday 7 February 2019, at their excellent facilities at the Hub, Aztec West. Emma Jones gave a presentation on the Praxis PPM Framework, and how it is different from the many other PPM frameworks we are more familiar with, such as Prince2, MSP, APM and PMI BoKs, P3M3, etc.

Emma started with asking how many of the audience had heard of Praxis, only 25% had.

Praxis was started by Adrian Dooley in 2012 with a group of expert volunteers. He recognised the need to pull good practice from the many PPM frameworks together into a single coherent approach to help organisations to improve their PPM capability.

PMI research has shown that organisations that use a PM Methodology consistently have a lower failure rate, typically meet intended goals, on time and on budget 80% of the time. But organisations find it difficult to implement PM methodologies effectively.

Emma listed the 10 top reasons why projects fail, which have not changed over the last 47 years – there has been no improvement. We should be applying what has been learned and what is typically taught as good practice in the many PM training courses, but unfortunately is rarely applied when returning to work.

An effective organisational PM methodology needs to combine four elements: knowledge, (PM functions), method, (PM processes), competence, (of individuals, combing knowledge and skills), and capability maturity of the organisation. Existing PM methodologies such as Prince2, MSP, P3M£, ISO 21500, APM BoK, etc can be mapped, but none cover all elements, there are gaps, overlaps and inconsistencies.

Praxis aims to address this by distilling this recognised good practice into an integrated framework for organisational project management (P3) which is offered free of charge under a creative common licence. Praxis development is driven by a community of volunteers in a Wikipedia style governance arrangement. New content is moderated before it is included. Adrian Dooley is the main editor, but not the content author.

It offers the first completely integrated PPM framework, with a single taxonomy, but also recognises that one size does not fit all. Praxis is designed as a resource to assist organisations improve their organisational PPM capability. Praxis is a freely available website which can be taken and used by any organisation and ‘cloned’ to meet their specific business needs and language.

The Praxis Web Site brings together a BoK, methodology, competence framework and capability maturity model in a single integrated framework with a single structure and terminology. The web site is structured to be easy to use, with a matrix structure, with the Praxis sections (Knowledge, Methodology, Competence framework, capability maturity model), in tabs across the top, and functions and processes down the left-hand vertical menu. It is all heavily hyperlinked to underlying resources and source materials.

Emma worked through serval examples of how the web site worked and is laid out.

In summary, Praxis is a complete organisational approach to project, programme and portfolio management. It has tools that focus on practical application of the framework. It is managed by a community that volunteers time and effort for the benefit of the global profession. It is free and community driven. It is tailorable. It’s about making a difference, not just providing knowledge.

The audience were left with a far better understanding of what Praxis can offer, and judging from the Q&A session were pretty enthusiastic about the opportunities it offered.

If you want to explore the Praxis framework further, please access the Praxis framework link.

Please find below a copy of the presentation, which is also uploaded onto the APM Slideshare page.

Martin Gosden
SWWE branch Chairman



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