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The scope of a project in management has to go through various phases of life cycle before it is delivered to the customer. Each project has to be delivered to the customer in the same way that was agreed during the initial phases of the planning. When the need of a project is determined, project managers has to take many factors into consideration like human, technical factors and financial matters. The scope of a project life cycle is developed in project management literature and projects exists for a limited duration of time (Bin Jiang, & Heiser, D. R. (2004)). In support of the above sentence, each project should have a purpose that the customer wants to achieve the result out of his idea. Each project should be scoped with time duration because time plays an important role in taking many necessary decisions, some of which include budget, project deadlines, number of resources and work load etc. As mentioned above each project starts with an idea which is being converted into a product and then handed to the customer. Project management life cycle framework acts as a useful framework for project managers to track and identify critical issues during the development of the project and also prioritize tasks during the development of the project. Different phases of project management has different management requirements for example during the implementation of a project when a change is being requested by the customer the management then has to go through the amount of work that is required, the work load the resources are currently assigned to, any changes in the budget any many other.
Project manager should have an insight of the organizational procedures, legal, technical and economical influences in an organization.
Project managers should have a clear understanding of their perspectives and how they change during the project management life cycle. Here to better understand the project management life cycle, we’ll discuss a tool called “eye diagram” and how the tool adjusts during the project phases. The tool also provides a practical knowledge for project managers to learn and cope up with the increasing complex project environment.
Project management life cycle can be divided into various phases.
Phase 1: Project selection: In this phase, the strategic need for the project is determined by the management. This phase starts with the identification of the needs and desires of the customer. In this phase once the project is identified the company’s objectives and strategies should be identified to better serve the project goals that are associated with the organization.
Phase 2: Planning: In this planning phase, a schedule along with budget for the project has to be determined and planned for successful accomplishment of the project and its scope. After the above steps are determined a plan has to be in effect on how to deal with iterative planning. A team has to be chosen who has a better understanding of the functional area so that the project can be accomplished. Project manager has to involve the professionals to document the design and these design docs should be available for the team. Project managers also have to deal with the functional departments and other higher-level managements. At this point, project managers have to get along with the team members to discuss in brief about the major aspects of the project functionality and what should be accomplished. Team members have to take the responsibility of detailing out the necessary work and assign tasks in their respective areas. The team then closes out these detailed activity plans which is helpful in determining the schedule, the cost of the project and also the resources.
Phase 3: Project Execution: Project execution is the third phase in the project management life cycle. This is the phase where the exact development of the work starts. Teams in this phase acquire the required documents i.e. functional and design documents, go through the requirements and analyze the work. After the required resources are acquired, the team starts executing the activities that are identified in the project planning in the sequence that was planned. This phase also includes other tasks like reporting about the progress. Status reports in this phase helps the project managers in determining about the project progress, tasks that are pending and the success percentage of the project. This also helps in tracking the time of each resource working in the team. This is considered the longest phase in the project management lifecycle. Project managers must cope up with the team and should be able to work with the team under time and cost constraints, monitoring and controlling the project.
Phase 4: Termination: Termination is the last phase in the project management life cycle. In termination phase project manager is responsible for education the end users in using the designed products by ensuring that the team provides proper training to the users. The team should be dismantled once the need of the scope in regard to the project is fulfilled. Team from the project is assigned to other duties and responsibilities and the ownership of the project is delegated to the customers or its rightful owner.
Project management has to be aware of critical success factors in the project management life cycle. Some of the critical factors include but not limited to
- Project Mission: The project manager and also the team is supposed to have a clear understanding and clear vision of the goals and its directions of the project they are working on.
- Top Management Support: Top management should be supportive and must be wiling to provide the requested work force and also the power of authority to the project manager in accomplishing the project successfully.
- Project Schedule and plans: Proper plans have to be determined before the implementation of the project and at most care should be taken, and alternative plans should be outlined for the worst-case scenarios during the project schedule.
- Client consultation: Customers or clients and product owners are to be consulted regularly and sneak peeks should be scheduled to determine that the project is going in the right direction as requested by the customer.
- Personnel: Steps should be taken to select the right candidate for the project and necessary training has to be provided to the team to get the better understanding of the functionality and also the work that is to be performed.
- Technical Tasks: Proper tools and technologies are to be provided for the effective development of the project.
- Client acceptance: The product that is developed should be accepted by the client. It is the responsibility of the project manager and also the team members to make sure that the project is designed as per the requirements given by the client and also the developed product should be accepted by the customer.
- Monitoring and Control: Project manager has to take care that the work is monitored regularly, and progress has to be shared with the team. The team can be able to see their progress and work on their tasks efficiently.
- Communication: Proper communication has be facilitated between the project managers and team and also between individuals of the team. This gives the opportunity to work collaboratively and help each other in a team.
- Troubleshooting: Team should be responsible of handling unexpected situations and also team should have a better understanding of work arounds to solve the issue during the unexpected errors occurred during the project.
Project management life cycle helps the project managers in working effectively under various life cycle phases and provide them with a clear understanding towards successful completion of the project and delegating the product to the customer.
- Charles A. Snyder, & James F. Cox. (1985). A Dynamic Systems Development Life-Cycle Approach: A Project Management Information System. Journal of Management Information Systems, (1), 61. Retrieved from http://0-search.ebscohost.com.library.acaweb.org/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,cpid,url&custid=s4338230&db=edsjsr&AN=edsjsr.40397818
- Bin Jiang, & Heiser, D. R. (2004). The Eye Diagram: A New Perspective on the Project Life Cycle. Journal of Education for Business, 80(1), 10. Retrieved from http://0-search.ebscohost.com.library.acaweb.org/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,cpid,url&custid=s4338230&db=f5h&AN=14934153
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