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Characteristics of a Project Life Cycle

A logical flow of actions to achieve a project’s goals and objectives is referred to as the project life cycle. When a project is started with a specific goal in mind, it is considered finished once that goal has been reached.

In other words, the importance of  “Project Life Cycle” refers to the entire period that begins with the project’s conception and ends with its closure. From platforms like Eduhubspot, you can learn the process and phases of project life cycle easily.

Project Life Cycle Phases

The project life cycle consists of the steps that a project takes from beginning to end. These phases can occasionally run concurrently. The total amount of time, the project management life cycle, and the method used to divide a project into phases can vary from product to product and from industry to industry.

Initial Stage

The project life cycle’s first phase is the initiation phase. The identification of a need, idea, issue, or opportunity occurs during this phase. When someone is sincerely attempting to overcome certain issues, the idea might first occur to them.

The issues could be the underutilization of resources like plant capacity or financial resources. Many projects are having trouble in this phase because the concept phase is truncated (or stopped) before it is complete and focus is diverted too soon to how goals will be achieved.

As a result, in the conceptual phase, project objectives must be thoroughly investigated and developed. The following are the main tasks of the initiation phase:

  • Determine the projects’ current needs or potential requirements.
  • Give preliminary responses to the questions about price, accessibility, performance standards, and compatibility with other project programs.
  • Determine every resource required for efficient management.
  • Decide on the project’s initial interface.
  • Create a project-appropriate organizational structure.

This phase’s overall operation can be organized as follows:

Create a business plan or case.

It is a written document that has been created to list all the pertinent internal and external factors involved in beginning a new project. The current situation, anticipated requirements, and anticipated outcomes of the new project must all be covered in the business plan.

Conduct a feasibility study

A formal feasibility study may be ordered at any point before, during, or after the creation of a business case. It is a methodical and documented process of thinking through an idea from its logical inception to its logical conclusion to assess the viability or justification of the idea.

Selecting a project team and establishing a project office

Once the suggested solution has been accepted, a project is started to implement the accepted solution. The project team and its office are starting to take shape as the major deliverables and participating workgroups are identified.

The sponsor or the entrepreneur, the business process owner(s), the business analyst(s), the project manager, and technical experts are all involved in preparing the business need for a document and developing the project proposal.

Defining Stage

Solutions to business opportunities are assessed during the definition phase, and the preferred approach is defined. The initial preparation of all project-related documentation, such as policies, procedures, job descriptions, budget and funding papers, letters, etc., is part of this phase.

Since the project is not completed in and of itself, the definition phase represents a beginning-to-end thinking through of the project.

The actions listed below are part of this phase:

  • Putting together the comprehensive plans needed to support the project.
  • Estimation of practical budget, timeframe, and performance demands.
  • Identifying those project-related areas with a high risk of uncertainty.
  • Activities for defining, interacting with, and of projects.
  • Identifying additional project subsystems that are required.

Finally, a Project Charter is created outlining the purpose, goals, parameters, deliverables, and organizational structure of the project. The project manager’s decisions will be guided by clearly defined objectives and policies.

A project manager must constantly look for ways to reconcile the competing demands of technical performance, cost standards, and time constraints.

The Phase of Planning and Growth

The planning phase involves creating detailed plans and identifying tasks along with the necessary milestones, budgets, and resources. Planning entails outlining all the tasks that must be completed so that each project participant will know their place within the team and be able to complete the tasks that have been assigned to them.

To indicate this phase, some organizations, however, prepare documents like a project execution plan. The process of organizing entails defining and analyzing the enterprise’s activities, classifying them into distinct areas or departments, and establishing the authority-responsibility relationships between them.

It also entails planning how to allocate the resources needed to achieve organizational goals. The organizing process in a project environment is broken down into the following sub-processes. Attend PMP bootcamp to know more about project management and project life cycle.

During this stage, the following plans have been created:

Project Schedule/Plan

An outline of the project’s activities, tasks, dependencies, and timetables is created.

Plan for Production and Operations

A suitable location, plant layout, raw material availability and cost, machinery and equipment, cost of manufacturing and operations, production capacity, production planning, and scheduling, inventory management, quality management and control, and business expansion are all covered by this plan’s strategies.

Resource Schedule

The resources needed to complete all of the tasks and activities outlined in the project plan must be allocated. The type of resources needed, the overall quantity of each type of resource needed, and the quality of each resource are all specified in a detailed resource plan.

Financial Plan

The financial requirements of the proposed project are shown in the financial plan, taking into account costs for marketing, operations, human resources, and the project’s smooth operation. The project budget includes a detailed breakdown of the project’s advantages and disadvantages.

Phase of Implementation

The crucial phase of the project life cycle during which the project plan is put into action is called project implementation. The project plan’s activities and tasks must all be completed during this phase. During implementation, it’s crucial to keep control and communicate as necessary.

Organization-wide groups get more deeply involved in planning for the final testing, production, and support as the execution phase goes on. However, depending on the required project outcomes as well as the schedule, staffing, and budget constraints, projects may move forward in different ways.

Project termination

The project’s work is now at its conclusion. The achievement of all project goals and management approval of the finished product triggers the start of the project closure phase. The finished product is given to the owner for care and control after the project process has been completed and documented.

The long-term goal is to create a repository for project management information to record best practices and project-related lessons learned. Lessons learned are a crucial component of the project closure phase because they increase team productivity and aid in defining the project’s dos and don’ts.

Project Life Cycle Characteristics

The following traits are shared by all phases of a project life cycle:

  • Sequential in nature
  • Cost and staffing
  • Influence of stakeholders
  • Level of uncertainty and risk

Sequential in nature

Although there may be some overlap for large and complex projects, the phases of a project life cycle are typically sequential. 

Cost and staffing

Costs and staffing are low at the project’s beginning, reach a peak during the following phases, and then drop quickly as it nears completion.

Influence of stakeholders

Stakeholder influence on project costs and characteristics is greatest at the beginning but gradually decreases as the project moves forward.

Level of uncertainty and risk

The project’s initiation and definition phases are when there is the most uncertainty and risk of failure. As the project moves on to subsequent phases, the certainty improves and the risk decreases.

Ahsan Khan
Ahsan Khan
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