Figure 1.2 Four-phased generic project life cycle.
various types of projects to be encountered. Moreover, there will likely be the need to integrate technical and business processes. If any one technical process is prevalent in the organization, there should be little difficulty in achieving that alignment. However, if the methodology process is intended for wider use across several business areas, the process design may have to accommodate alignment and integration of multiple technical processes, as well as possible variations in business processes across business units. That said, the focus of this design effort is to ensure that all project management processes of value to the organization are appropriately included in the methodology.
For the purposes of illustration and discussion, the following four phases of a project management life cycle are considered:
2. Solution planning
3. Solution implementation
These distinct but related phases ensure the performance of all essential project management activities and tasks. Figure 1.2 depicts the process flow for the four phases of this project management life cycle.
This life-cycle process model can fulfill the project management guidance needs of most organizations. However, in many industries and technical disciplines, there are definitely conditions that warrant examination of a more comprehensive project management life cycle. In some cases, the project management life cycle may contain five, six, or more phases of project management activity.
Without doubt, the PMO should consider the nature of its business when deliberating and defining the phases of the project management life cycle to be developed. The following indicators might suggest the need for a more complex set of life-cycle phases:
■ Projects are related to product development and necessitate separate phases for design and development oversight.
■ The normal project customer base is a combination of both internal and external (commercial) customers, requiring different approaches to manage internal agreements versus external proposals and contracts.
■ The business processes of project selection (including product or service sales), customer relationship management, and the like are not fully within the purview of the PMO or the project manager.
■ The relevant organization performs different phases of projects in geographically detached locations, perhaps worldwide, thus raising the need for "handoff" phases.
■ The organization has considerable distribution of cross-functional work that is best separated by distinct project management phases.
■ Senior management is involved and has specified project-review points for making project-continuation decisions that are translated into project phases.
Methodology process guide development is usually performed in association with the introduction of a complete project management life cycle. However, the PMO can begin its effort with process development for specific project life-cycle phases or for identified critical process series. If methodology deployment is a new pursuit for the PMO, it may want to begin with a more fundamental process design that can be expanded at a later time.
As the PMO designs the life-cycle processes that will be used in the relevant organization, the following is the suggested content for each process element, as can be presented in the methodology process guide:
■ Process flowchart illustrating each phase, activity, and task element, and their interrelationships
■ Process description for each phase, activity, task, subtask, etc.
■ Process input and output (project management deliverable) for each process element
■ Process responsibility, assigned to the individual (or individuals) responsible for completing the process element
■ Process scalability, describing how the process element should be reduced or expanded according to project size, value, duration, and complexity
The PMO should determine whether any other information elements would enhance the process presentation or benefit users of the method ology. These can be included at the discretion of the PMO and the methodology development team.
When using the four-phase project management life-cycle model, the process content described in the following subsections is recommended. The PMO and methodology development team should interpret these prescribed process elements for best fit within the relevant organization. Moreover, the methodology designers should consider these recommendations as an initial and fundamental approach to methodology development. More advanced content should be pursued as organizational maturity in project management advances.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.