The project management lifecycle

All projects follow the same basic sequence of steps:

  • decide what needs to be done;

  • decide how to do it (that is, design the approach);

  • do it.

Between each of these three basic steps there is a management decision to continue with the project. This basic model can be expanded to make it more detailed and useful to practitioners. For example, the 'do it' step involves monitoring and controlling. Like so much in project management, this is no more than applied common sense, in this case management by exception. We monitor the execution of something, in our case the project, and then we focus most of the controlling effort on the exceptions or deviance from the plan.

In this book we will assume that your organization has a generic model of a project which we will call the project lifecycle. This should be more detailed than the three-step model given opposite, but it need not be, and this model will serve if your organization does not yet have its own model. It merely represents a generic way in which projects are structured. The project lifecycle may break the work down into phases that correspond to the progress of a general project. Many organizations also have their own project management terminology, and increasingly they are standardizing on either the PMI or the PRINCE2 one. If your organization uses its own project vocabulary, it should not be too hard to map across the PMBOK's. Related to, but different from, the project lifecycle are the project management process groups:

  • Initiating

  • Planning

  • Executing

  • Controlling

  • Closing.

These fit together as shown in Figure 1.4.

Figure 1.4. The five project process groups


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Definitive Guide to Project Management. The Fast Track to Getting the Job Done on Time and on Budget
The Definitive Guide to Project Management: The fast track to getting the job done on time and on budget (2nd Edition)
ISBN: 0273710974
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2007
Pages: 217
Authors: Sebastian Nokes
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