Project Life Cycle and Organization Notes

  • Project Life Cycle
    • A collection of sequential or overlapped phases
    • Can be documented with a methodology
    • General Structure: Start, Organize and Prepare, Carry out work, and close
    • Cost and staffing are lower when starting the project
    • Cost is higher when executing
    • Stakeholder influence, uncertainty and risk are higher at the starting stage
    • Product Life Cycle – Generally sequential and non-overlapping phases. Product life cycle ends with the product’s retirement. Phases are determined by manufacturing and control need of the organization
    • One product may have many projects associated. Development of product is a project, adding new features to an existing product is a project, feasibility study might be a project, running an advertisement campaign may be a project etc.
    • Project Phases are divisions within a project. Typically they are sequential but may overlap also .
    • There will be some form of transfer or handoff of the work product produced as the phase deliverable when the phases are sequential.
    • The end of phase represents a point to change or terminate the project if necessary
    • Phase-to-Phase relationship
      • Sequential – One phase starts once the previous phase completes
      • Overlapping – One phase can start before the previous one starts. This is used when fast tracking (a schedule compression technique) is required.
      • Iterative – Phases will not be planned in advance. Next phase will be planned on the basis of the output of the first phase
  • Operations - are ongoing jobs or repetitive products, services or results. Eg: Manufacturing, Accounting. Operations are never ending. i.e., It will not be terminated when the objectives are met. Operations work supports business environments.
  • Stakeholders
    • those who are actively involved in the project
    • those who can positively or negatively influence the project
    • There will be internal and external stakeholders
    • Failure in identification of right stakeholder will result in wrong schedules and raise in cost.
    • Manage stakeholder expectations is one of the major role of Project Manager
    • Includes:
      • Customers/users – those who will directly utilize the project’s product
      • Sponsors – those who will finance the project. Sponsor champions the project once it is conceived first and the time of initial scope and project charter. Serves as a spokesman to get support from higher level management. Sponsor need to handle issues which are beyond project manager’s control. Sponsor authorizes changes in scope, phase-end reviews, go/no-go decisions for high risks.
      • Portfolio Managers
      • Program Managers
      • Project Management Office – Provide 2) administrative support on policies, methodologies and templates, 2) training, mentoring, coaching of project managers 3) project support, guidance and training on management of projects and tools, 4) resource alignment 5) centralize communication between managers, sponsors, and other stakeholders
      • Project Managers – requires flexibility, good judgment, strong leadership and negotiation skills and must possess good knowledge of project management practices. His responsibilities include: 1) Develop project management plan and other related plans 2) Keeping the project in track 3) Identifying, monitoring and responding to risk, 4) Provide accurate and timely reports 5) act as a lead person for communication with stakeholders.
      • Project Team – Comprised of PM, team and others who may not be involved with management.
      • Functional Managers – Accounting, HR, finance etc. They give subject matter expertize
      • Operations management – R&D, design, manufacturing, provisioning, testing, maintenance
      • Sellers/business partners -
  • Organizational Structure
    • Matrix organizations are a blend of functional and projectized behaviors
    • Weak matrix is more of a functional organization
    • Project manager’s role = co-coordinator OR expeditor
    • Strong matrix provide more value for project managers
  • Organizational Process Assets
    • Updating OPA is the responsibility of team members
    • Process and procedures
      • Standard processes, standard produce and project life cycles, quality policies and procedures
      • Standardized guidelines, work instructions, proposal evaluation criteria and performance measurement criteria,
      • Templates
      • Guidelines and criteria for tailoring the organization’s set of standard processes to satisfy needs of the project
      • Organization communication requirements
      • Project closure guidelines
      • Financial control procedures
      • Issue and defect management procedures
      • Change control procedures
      • Risk control procedures
      • Procedures for prioritizing, approving, and issuing work authorizations
    • Corporate knowledge base
      • Process measurement databases used to collect and make available measurement data on processes and products
      • Project files
      • Historical information and lessens learned
      • Issue and defect management database
      • Configuration management knowledge base
      • Financial databases

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