Skip to main content

Project Management Life Cycle

Project management as a function has its own distinct processes typified by the life cycle chart.

Planning is erroneously perceived as a phase in project management. This would be true only if one could freeze the change on all five-project variables (time, scope, quality, resources, budget). Under such a scenario, projects can be planned once, up front and the outcome (the project plan) followed to the completion of the project. Since this is rare if not quite impossible in real life, it does make sense to say that where there is change there is a definite need to revamp the project plan to incorporate or deflect the changes, thus reflecting reality. In other words, planning is an iterative process, which is on going through out the life of the project. The format and degree of detail in planning is a function of the size and complexity of the project and the degree of control required.

During the execution process, monitoring project performance is crucial to the project. It represents the vehicle for capturing progress, measuring variances and change through out the life of the project. Proper project management requires the development and implementation of project specific monitoring processes and procedures to be utilized when managing a project.

Control is the decision making mechanisms available in an Organization that can be brought to bear on a project to address problems and issues as they arise to insure a successful delivery of the project goals and objectives. Control can be established utilizing a combination of specific formal and non-formal meetings (status, progress reporting and product reviews etc.). 

Closing the project includes a set of policies and procedures that need to be defined to close a project, archive it and obtain end user acceptance and sign off.

Popular posts from this blog

The differences between Project, Operation and Program

We said that a project is defined as a temporary endeavor that consumes resources, incurs cost and produce deliverables over a finite period of time to achieve a specific goal. They come in all shapes and sizes and can vary in length or complexity.

Operation type activities are similar to project activities in that they too produce deliverables, consume resources and incur cost. However they are on-going or repetitive in nature, hence they are not project activities or tasks. Some examples of operation activities are weekly maintenance of databases, paying invoices or help desk operations activities.

Programs are much larger than projects. They are made up of many projects and on going activities such as operation type activities and are similar to projects as they consume resources, incur cost and produce deliverables. However programs are more complex and include repetitive operation type activities such as maintenance work, facility administration etc, and are funded typically on a…

Forecasting Project Costs using Variance Analysis

One way to report on cost control and forecasting during project execution is to use the Variance Analysis method, that is, explaining the difference (or variance) between actual costs and the budgeted costs with numbers and make new estimates for completing the work. Please consult this link Earned Value Management for related literature and references.
For the purpose of making these calculations, I will use an hypothetical project example (but it could also be a task or phase). "A company has contracted a service provider to deliver a project in 10 working days (80 hours) for the estimated cost of $10,000 and a work effort of 200 hours. The contract is Time and Material, this means that the company pays the provider for the number of hours actually required to perform the service. So, the provider has no incentive to minimize the number of hours expended on the service. The less efficient the provider is, the more money it makes!"
Summary of Time and Material Contract (re…

Using PERT for estimating tasks

A simple way for estimating tasks is to use the PERT (Program Evaluation review technique) weighted average method. This method uses a weighted average duration estimate to calculate task duration, it gives the opportunity to take into account information based on different types of estimates values (such as poorly defined areas, probabilistics, and ranges for the schedule). This method is based on the Beta distribution model because it can model events which are constrained to take place within an interval defined by a minimum and maximum value. (For this reason, the Beta distribution is used extensively in PERT, CPM and other project planning/control systems to describe the time to completion of a task).

The term weighted average means that the equation uses weighted factors to calculate the expected task duration.
The equation and process modelling a task for PERT is the following:  E=(O+4M+P)/6 (equation)  E= Expected Value  O= Optimistic Value (this is equivalent to a minimum val…