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Overview

Posted by: stanislavbespalov | November 1, 2010 | No Comment |

This research blog entitled “Project life cycle: the ups and downs, the starts and the finishes” is by Stas Bespalov who is a student at Capilano University in the School of Business BBA program.  The assignment was done for BADM 318 Fall 2009, Introduction to Project Management. Here is a link to the assignment instructions.

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Introduction

Posted by: stanislavbespalov | November 1, 2010 | No Comment |

Project life cycle could be short or long, nonetheless, in a project you were always going through these stages even if you didn’t know about it. Understanding the broader context of a project and its phases will ensure us, not only where we are standing but also that the work is carried out in an organized and professional manner. This article will discuss the definition of the project life cycle, project’s four phases and some general risks in each of the phases.

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Definition

Posted by: stanislavbespalov | November 1, 2010 | No Comment |

As stated in the PMBOK Guide: Guide to the project management body of knowledge, a project life cycle is a collection of generally sequential and sometimes overlapping project phases whose name and number are determined by the management and control needs of the organization or organizations involved in the project, the nature of the project itself, and its area of application. The life cycle provides us with the basic framework for managing the project, regardless of the specific work involved.

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The Four Phases

Posted by: stanislavbespalov | November 1, 2010 | No Comment |

While every project has a definite start and definite finish, the deliverables and activities that take place in between will vary widely with the project. No matter how big or small, simple or complex the projects may be, they will always go though 4 phases:

(Click on the picture below for a better resolution)

Project Life Cycle

1)      Starting the project

a.       Identify need
b.      Establish feasibility, budget, schedule, project team, financing, risks
c.       Identify alternatives

2)      Organizing and preparing

a.       Develop plan, diagrams, sketches, standards
b.      Conduct studies
c.       Select equipment
d.      Reconfirm the finances: budget, cash flow, schedule
e.       Reassess risks, alternatives
f.       Present project brief

3)      Carrying out the project work

a.       Set up organization
b.      Working diagram and specs
c.       Design review
d.      Produce physical asset
e.       Quality assurance/control
f.       Verify performance
g.      Modify as required
h.      Progress monitoring
i.        Forecasts and reports

4)      Closing the project

a.       Training operators
b.      Reviews and acceptances
c.       Run up to capacity
d.      Transfer materials
e.       Settle all accounts
f.       Reassign remaining team
g.      Archive lessons learned
h.      Close all records
i.        Deliver final report and transfer responsibility

And that’s what we call the project life cycle: its start and finish. This type of diagram is referred to when communicating to the upper management or the client who are less familiar with the details of the project, but nonetheless, would like to know where they are currently standing.

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General Risks

Posted by: stanislavbespalov | November 1, 2010 | No Comment |

To deliver a quality system, it’s critical to know the risks facing your project and to use a model that reduces those risks.

Some risks in different stages of the project life cycle include, but not limited to:

1)      Starting the project

a.       Project not feasible
b.      Budget is overwhelming
c.       Risk over reward is looking bad
d.      Schedule of the project is too short or too long

2)      Organizing and preparing

a.       Plan is written in a complex way
b.      Project Team is not ready
c.       Reassessing the budget and realizing its too pricy to go any further
d.      Schedule is tight and not enough time to complete the project
e.       Reassessing the risks and realizing it’s not rewarding enough
f.       The clients not approve of the project anymore and break the contract

3)      Carrying out the project work

a.       Delay in time/slow progress
b.      Quality of product is lacking
c.       The clients not approve of the project anymore and break the contract for whatever reason
d.      Over budget
e.       Project Team conflict

4)      Closing the project

a.       Project made got too complicated and clients not satisfied
b.      Client conflict
c.       Over budget
d.      Quality of product is lacking

Some risks such as Quality of product lacking or over budget tend to repeat themselves through out a couple of stages and that’s because they are present in both stages. Hence, monitoring and controlling the project by the project manager is very important.

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Conclusion

Posted by: stanislavbespalov | November 1, 2010 | No Comment |

Knowing the four stages of the project life cycle is crucial to a project manager or anyone who is involved in the project. The reference to the project life cycle communicates the progress of the project. It not only shows in which stage the project is in but also gives a brief explanation of what the project team is doing in that stage. We have also learned that each stage carries its set of risks that the project manager should be aware of such as client conflict, team conflict, over budget etc. Some risks are present in more than one stage. The more the project manager knows about these risks, the less likely the project will fail.

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References

Posted by: stanislavbespalov | November 1, 2010 | No Comment |

http://www.maxwideman.com/papers/projenviron/dimensions.htm

Project Management Institute. “A guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge”. Pennsylvania: Project Management Institute, Inc. 2008. Print

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