Cipoc A Conceptual Approach

When I try to place any project life cycle or methodology into perspective, I always go back to the Client, Input, Process, Output, Clients (CIPOC) approach, a slight deviation from the "supplier" concept. It is one of the greatest examples of a primer that gives a high-level conceptual view of the way all project methodologies fit into the grand scheme of things (see Figure 2.3). . , _ I 1

Figure 2.3: CIPOC technique to reflect methodology usage.

CIPOC works like this. A client has certain requirements for which he or she needs a certain solution. This can be a new skyscraper, submarine, spacecraft, software, or even a rock concert. It doesn't matter what kind of project. These client requirements are formed into inputs, which in turn serve as the defining moments or starting point for the process which can be virtually any methodology you want to use (e.g., Waterfall, SDLC, PACE, RUP, XP, MIL-STD-1612, PRINCE2). The project manager uses his or her chosen methodology and proceeds to design, build, test, and deploy the solution. These are the control points. When complete, an output has been generated that is then accepted by the client. The client can be involved anywhere in the CIPOC approach; the client readily provides feedback at any stage.

All assumptions must be made upfront at the onset of the project process start. This is one of the control points. If the project manager cannot control the assumptions, the project may come back and bite, irrespective of methodology employed.

If you need 500,000 kilowatts of power in a remote location, how do you do it? How do you meet your client's needs? You need an approach, and, typically, you would follow a CIPOC approach. Similarly, the Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City was a phenomenal project itself. The Olympics organizers, too, would follow the CIPOC approach.

If we examine major companies such as Ernst & Young, RCG Information Technology, and IBM, we find that these major solutions companies have total "soup-to-nuts" project methodologies in place. These project methodologies embrace everything from the initial sales call, defining the solution, right through to deployment. They can identify the appropriate resources needed per project life-cycle phase (i.e., account executive, recruiter, designer, tester, project lead). These methodologies are well documented. If we examine other companies (e.g., home builders, software developers), we find that many don't have the luxury of such an elaborate project methodology in place. They simply adhere to projects in their own informal manner.

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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