Chapter 2 – Project Life Cycle and Organization – Key Points

  • The project life cycle includes the phases necessary to work a project from beginning to end.
  • The transition from one phase to another is generally recognized by some kind of a deliverable or handoff.
  • These phases generally define 
    • 1) work to be done that phase 
    • 2) when deliverables are generated 
    • 3) resources used in each phase 
    • ) control of each phase
  • Costs generally are low at the start, are highest during middle phases, and drop off as the project is being completed
  • Uncertainty and risk is highest at the start of the project and likelihood of project completion increases as it moves toward the concluding phases
  • Stakeholders can more easily make changes at the start of the project early on; later the cost of changes grows very high as the project moves towards completion
  • The completion and approval of one or more deliverables characterizes a project phase.A deliverable is a work product that can be viewed and assessed
  • A project phase generally concludes with a review of the deliverable and to determine whether the deliverables are accepted or if more work needs to be done
  • After each phase is completed authorization is generally needed to begin the next phase of the project (i.e. “kill point”)
  • A typical project has the following phases: 
    • Initial – 
    • inputs include 
      • 1) ideas 
      • 2) project management team; 
    • outputs include 
      • 1) charter 
      • 2) scope statement
    • Intermediate –
    •  outputs include 
      • 1) plan 
      • 2) baseline 
      • 3) progress 
      • 4) acceptance
    • Final – 
    • outputs include approval, handover and the ultimate project deliverable, the product
  • The reason that projects are initiated are to resolve business problems or to take advantage of opportunities
  • The PRODUCT life cycle is “above” the project life cycle – it includes operations & development (which occur after the project has been completed) and include the business plan, which starts before the project begins
  • Project stakeholders are people involved in the project or impacted by the project.Stakeholders can be defined widely (i.e. the community who is impacted by pollution and congested after the project to build a plant is completed) or narrowly (those working on the project).Negative stakeholders don’t want the project to be completed (i.e. environmentalists).  Positive stakeholders want the project to succeed
  • Every project includes the following stakeholders
    • Project manager – manages the project
    • Customer / user – the people who use the end product generated by the project
    • Performing organization – the company that the project team works for
    • Project team members – doing the work
    • Project management team – the managers running the project
    • Sponsor – the group that provides the money and authorizes the project
    • Influencers – not directly related to the project, but can impact the outcome
    • Project Management Organization (PMO) 0 if it exists, may have some responsibility for completion

  • Note that stakeholders may have differing objectives – finance may want it done for the lowest price, marketing may want the most features, IT may want the newest technology, and environmentalists may want it to fail outright
  • There are 2 major types of project-based organizations
    • Organizations that make money by completing projects for other companies, such as consultants, architects, companies that make products for the US Military, etc…
    • Organizations that chose to adopt “management by projects” and have systems and processes in place to facilitate projects
  • Non project based organizations often lack tools and systems for project management, making a successful completion less likely
  • Organizational cultures impact projects – entrepreneurial companies may accept high risk projects, and rigid hierarchy companies may challenge project managers who seek authority
  • There are 3 major types of organizations – 
    • 1) functional 
    • 2) matrix (with weak, balanced or strong types) and 
    • 3) projectized
  • Functional organizations are traditional organizations with work “silos” like HR, accounting, production, marketing, etc… In these organizations the project manager has little (formal) authority, finds it hard to obtain resources, reports to a functional manager, and is part time w/part time admin staff
  • The projectized organization has most employees engaged in project work, and project managers have high authority and visilibity
  • The “matrix” organization has elements of project and functional organization, where the project manager may report to 2 bosses (functional and project), and the weak vs. strong shows the degree of autonomy and resources that the manager has available
  • A PMO can exist in any organization type.The role may vary from advisor to having project managers report to the PMO
  • The Project Management System consists of the tools, techniques, methodologies, resources, and procedures used to manage a project

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