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Project Lifecycle and Tailoring

Life Cycle

A progression through a series of developmental stages is termed as a lifecycle.

Product Life Cycle

The product life cycle starts at the conception of a new product and ends at its withdrawal.

Project Life Cycle

A project life cycle is required to be executed to produce the deliverables of the project. The life cycle of a project can spawn from initiation phase to its closure phase and may involve some additional or some reduced steps varying from industry to industry.

Life cycle types

Apart from the traditional (waterfall or predictive) life cycle, we have iterative, incremental and agile (change driven) life cycles. 

Waterfall – the scope is defined at the start and does not change much later.

Iterative and incremental – The product is created incrementally using processes which repeat in every iteration (a phase).

Agile –Though a product vision is created at the start, an exact scope is derived for each sprint which are short duration iterations (usually 2 weeks).  A customer is fully involved and wants to see a working product feature after each sprint.

Hybrid – a mix of waterfall and agile is used. For example, a waterfall at the start to define overall scope and then agile for each sprint.

Project Management Process

A project management process includes Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing process groups.

Lessons Learned

The lessons learned document includes the experience of the project manager on what was done right or what was done wrong on the project and what should a project manager do differently on the project.

Tailoring

A project management standard may be customized into a systematic methodology by a professional body or an organization. This methodology may provide guidelines to further tailor specific projects based on their unique nature, like size, complexity, risks, etc. For example, processes, roles, and terminology may be tailored.

Previously we have covered the importance of projects and Project Management tools and techniques in delivering benefits to the organization, and keeping the organization up to date, compliant with legislation, and efficient and competitive. But there is something else needed too, and that is a robust Project Management methodology. This may come as a surprise to many of you, and a shock to others. The PMBoK Guide is *not* a Project Management methodology. “But how can this be?” you say, “What kind of heresy is this?”

It true, the PMBoK Guide is not a Project Management methodology. How can I prove it?

Easy!

The PMBoK Guide itself says on page 28:

“Usually, project managers apply a project management methodology to their work 

A methodology is a system of practices, techniques, procedures, and rules used by those who work in a discipline. This definition makes it clear that this guide itself is not a methodology.” You will find wherever you go to manage projects, you can’t just open the PMBoK Guide and use it as a series of steps to direct you, or to set up authorities, or defines phases or stages, and so one. You always need something else -- a methodology.

Project management methodologies may be:

  • Developed by experts within the organization,

  • Purchased from vendors,

  • Obtained from professional associations, or

  • Acquired from government agencies

Most organizations and project managers have devised their own methodology, to work with the PMBOK Guide, or else they purchase one. But one that I have found works particularly well with the PMBoK Guide, is PRINCE2. PRINCE2 is a robust framework but does not go into depth in many of the necessary tools and techniques, whereas the PMBOK Guide *does* go into depth in the necessary tools and techniques, but it is not a framework.

SO, once you pass the PMP exam, I would recommend considering studying for a PRINCE2 certification. But you won’t be asked questions about Project Management methodologies in the PMP exam. The project manager collaborates with the project team, sponsor, organizational management, to decide upon the appropriate project management processes, inputs, tools, techniques, outputs, and life cycle phases to use in managing a project, taking into consideration the project environment, organizational culture, stakeholder needs, and other factors. This selection activity is known as tailoring project management to the project. And there is a good chance you will see this in the exam.

The PMBoK Guide says:

Tailoring is necessary because each project is unique; not every process, tool, technique, input, or output identified in the PMBoK® Guide is required on every project. Tailoring should address the competing constraints of scope, schedule, cost, resources, quality, and risk. In addition, consideration of whether the customer of the project is internal or external to the organization may affect project management tailoring decisions. Sound project management methodologies take into account the unique nature of projects and allow tailoring, to some extent, by the project manager. However, the tailoring that is included in the methodology may still require additional tailoring for a given project. And that brings us to the end of Tailoring.

The next lesson in the module is:

1.6 Project Management business documents. Please read the corresponding chapter in the PMBOK Guide before watching the video.

 

The following section contains PMBoK v5 content and it is not applicable to PMBOK v6.

Life Cycle

A progression through a series of developmental stages is termed as a lifecycle.

Product Life Cycle

The product life cycle starts at the conception of a new product and ends with its withdrawal.

Project Life Cycle

A project life cycle is required to be executed to produce the deliverables of the project. The life cycle of a project can spawn from the initiation phase to its closure phase and may involve some additional or some reduced steps varying from industry to industry.

Project Management Process

A project management process includes Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing process groups.

Lessons Learned

The lessons learned document includes the experience of the project manager on what was done right or what was done wrong on the project and what should a project manager do differently on the project.



1 Comments

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