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Life Cycles

Throughout the course of every project, there are two different lifecycles that work in conjunction with one another:

  • The project management lifecycle defines how to manage a project. Typically It will always be the same, regardless of the project lifecycle being employed and consists of five phases:
    • Initiation
      • Project or project phase is defined and authorised
    • Planning
      • Project objectives are defined, refined and the planning of the project takes place
    • Execution
      • Project work is carried out
    • Monitoring & Controlling
      • Regular monitoring and measuring of progress occurs and ways to correct variances are identified and implemented
    • Closure
      • Formal acceptance of the product or service.
  • The project lifecycle describes the processes and tasks that must be completed to produce a product or service. Different project lifecycles exist for specific products and services, e.g:
    • Business projects
    • Product Development Projects
    • Engineering, Manufacturing and Development Projects
    • R&D projects
    • New product Development and Introduction
    • Software development Projects
    • ICT Projects.

The challenge for a Project Manager is to align the specific project lifecycle with the project management lifecycle. The Project Schedule, for example, contains both project and project management tasks. The two lifecycles will overlap, depending upon the project lifecycle being employed and the Project Manager needs to be aware of how the inputs and outputs of one lifecycle affect and shape the other. The following generic figure links the project management lifecycle and the project lifecycle for a simple software development project: