FIGURE 2-21. A stream of projects.
efforts (project C) must be developed for resource reallocation. In the ideal situation these new projects will be established at such a rate that total revenue will increase and company growth will be clearly visible.
The closure phase evaluates the efforts of the total system and serves as input to the conceptual phases for new projects and systems. This final phase also has an impact on other ongoing projects with regard to identifying priorities.
Thus far no attempt has been made to identify the size of a project or system. Large projects generally require full-time staffs, whereas small projects, although they undergo the same system life-cycle phases, may require only part-time people. This implies that an individual can be responsible for multiple projects, possibly with each project existing in a different life-cycle phase. The following questions must be considered in multiproject management:
• Are the project objectives the same?
• Is there a distinction between large and small projects?
• How do we handle conflicting priorities?
• Critical versus critical projects
• Critical versus noncritical projects
• Noncritical versus noncritical projects
Later chapters discuss methods of resolving conflicts and establishing priorities.
The phases of a project and those of a product are compared in Figure 2-22. Notice that the life-cycle phases of a product generally do not overlap, whereas the phases of a project can and often do overlap.
Table 2-6 identifies the various life-cycle phases that are commonly used. Even in mature project management industries such as construction, one could survey ten different construction companies and find ten different definitions for the life-cycle phases.
The life-cycle phases for computer programming, as listed in Table 2-6, are also shown in Figure 2-23, which illustrates how manpower resources can build up and decline during a project. In Figure 2-23, PMO stands for the present method of operations, and PMO' will be the "new" present method of operations after conversion. This life cycle would probably be representative of a twelve-month activity. Most executives prefer short data processing life cycles because computer technology changes rapidly. An executive of a major utility commented that his company was having trouble determining how to terminate a computer programming project to improve customer service because, by the time a package is ready for full implementation, an updated version appears on the scene. Should the original project be canceled and a new project begun? The solution appears to lie in establishing short data processing project life-cycle phases, perhaps through segmented implementation.
Top management is responsible for the periodic review of major projects. This should be accomplished, at a minimum, at the completion of each life-cycle phase.
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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.