Lifecycle Phases

Project planning takes place at two levels. The first level is the corporate cultural approach; the second method is the individual's approach. The corporate cultural approach breaks the project down into life-cycle phases, such as those shown in Table 2-6. The life-cycle phase approach is not an attempt to put handcuffs on the project manager but to provide a method ology for uniformity in project planning. Many companies, including government agencies, prepare checklists of activities that should be considered in each phase. These checklists are for consistency in planning. The project manager can still exercise his own planning initiatives within each phase.

A second benefit of life-cycle phases is control. At the end of each phase there is a meeting of the project manager, sponsor, senior management, and even the customer, to assess the accomplishments of this life-cycle phase and to get approval for the next phase. These meetings are often called critical design reviews, "on-off ramps," and "gates." In some companies, these meetings are used to firm up budgets and schedules for the follow-on phases. In addition to monetary considerations, life-cycle phases can be used for manpower deployment and equipment/facility utilization. Some companies go so far as to prepare project management policy and procedure manuals where all information is subdivided according to life-cycle phasing. Life-cycle phase decision points eliminate the problem where project managers do not ask for phase funding, but rather ask for funds for the whole project before the true scope of the project is known. Several companies have even gone so far as to identify the types of decisions that can be made at each end-of-phase review meeting. They include:

• Proceed with the next phase based on an approved funding level

• Proceed to the next phase but with a new or modified set of objectives

• Postpone approval to proceed based on a need for additional information

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

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.

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