The Collaborative Project Management Framework


The Graphic Explained

Along the top are the 3 steps (Collaborate – Lead – Evolve) that must be taken to innovate, succeed, and grow in project management. Along the bottom are the practices to employ to accomplish these actions.

The Essence of Collaborative Project Management

Project management is moving away from traditional managerial hierarchies and processes to a collaborative approach which emphasizes teamwork and cooperation.

This transformation is related to the growing numbers of millennials joining the workforce. Millennials are individuals who were born in the 1980s and 1990s, and will enter the workplace after the year 2000. Millennials expect to work for a purpose, not a hierarchy. Millennials are no longer interested in simply executing allocated tasks without considering the overall impact or value of the project. They’re willing to contribute and are invested in the success of the project.

Adopting collaborative project management helps organizations to leverage the talent and energy of this group for successful project management.

Get the CPM Handbook

Collaborative Project Management: The 3 Steps

1. Collaborate 

Collaborative project management brings together individuals from different departments, offices, companies, and even countries, to complete a project. This approach helps organizations to overcome three key challenges:

  • Risk of project failure
  • Engaging millennials who want to contribute in a positive, meaningful way.
  • Providing guidance and processes for ‘accidental project managers’ who lack formal project management training.

2. Lead

Effective, meaningful leadership is required to deliver collaborative project management. It is not enough to simply follow the project plan and hope for successful outcomes. As a project manager, you must be self-aware and also create the right environment to bring out the best in your team.

An effective leader constantly cultivates and evolves their approach based on past experiences and the needs of the project team.

3. Evolve with Change Management and REP  

New ideas often fall to the wayside as individuals become overwhelmed with new learnings and processes. If you want your team to successfully adopt collaborative project management, try the “REP” approach,  a very simple but effective change management process.

REP stands for Research, Execute, and Post-Mortem.


Research Phase

The goal of the Research phase is to gain knowledge by identifying best practices and new approaches to adopt.

There is an abundance of potential research sources – websites, blogs, industry white papers, colleagues, our CPM Handbook. It’s a good idea to track your research using a REP journal. This can take the form of a digital notebook such as OneNote or a physical notebook.

The output of the Research phase is a list of ideas that you will like to try. Pick just one or two to get started; the remaining ideas can be implemented later on.

Execute Phase

During this phase, execute the selected ideas and practices. Draw on your research, and if you like, find a coach or mentor for extra guidance.

Post-Mortem Phase

Take time to reflect on the execution phases. What worked? What did not work? Can you make improvements to the process? Practice is not enough to become a master. You must improve constantly.

REP Again

Once your REP is completed, take another look at the research phase. Pick one or two new ideas and start again! REP your way to success.