Topic 1.5: Project lifecycle
If projects have a beginning and end, then what goes on between is known as the project’s life.
Now one of the things we like to do as project managers is break things down into smaller and easier-to-understand parts – we’re kind of simple like that!
So one way to understand the life of a project is as a series of four key, loosely consecutive phases.
The project lifecycle is the roadmap we will use for this course.
Each phase – initiate, plan, deliver and close – will be broken down by context into its dependent set of actions.
It is nonetheless important to appreciate that learnings introduced in the first Module may be equally relevant and applicable to the downstream processes of planning and delivery.
For example, the structure of a business case not so coincidentally mirrors that of a good change request in the delivery phase.
Similarly, the steps necessary to close a project should be kept in mind as early as the planning stage if optimal delivery is to be realised.
For despite some well-intentioned theories, the practice of project management cannot be reduced to a spaghetti-like flowchart of ‘if / then’ protocols.
The art of project management lies in synthesising and integrating this dynamic body of knowledge, and applying it with expert discretion to the unique circumstances of your project today.