Project Life-cycle

The mind map provides the entire project life-cycle broken down into each process group.

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Project Life-cycle by Mind Map: Project Life-cycle

1. Initiating

1.1. o Project charter – The project charter is a document that defines the business case, goals, scope, and stakeholders for the project. It establishes needs, justifies the budget, explains what’s being requested at a high-level, and defines the individuals who will provide final sign-off. It can be used for high-level budget estimations.

1.2. o Feasibility study – If there’s concern about the practicality of project requests, a feasibility study should be one of the earliest tasks completed in the project life cycle. This prevents issues down the line if it’s determined that a project cannot be completed, and reduces the risk of waste related to allocating budget to an impossible request.

1.3. o Project life cycle – Once a project manager is assigned, they should begin developing the project life cycle document. The project life cycle defines the project timeline, phases, participants, and deliverables. It should be customized for each project and can be revised — if needed — as a project progresses.

1.4. The stakeholder list shall be created documenting all the stakeholders with their contact information, their power and interest level. This list will be updated throughout the project lifecycle

2. Planning

2.1. Once initiation is complete, projects move into the planning phase. In this phase, detailed project requirements are established and outlined in your chosen project management app. At the same time, all dependencies are identified, and the project budget is solidified.

2.2. During the planning phase, the project manager works with many different departments and individuals to finalize all the documentation needed for the execution of project requests.

2.3. Requirements and designs can be developed concurrently during the planning phase, or they can be separated out into two phases if there are requirements that must be completed before design begins.

2.4. o Requirements – Depending on the project you’re working on and the methodology you’re following, requirements can be compiled in multiple forms. In Agile project management user stories are created to define requirements. In Waterfall, you may use a Software Requirements Specification (SRS) document. For technical service integrations, interface specifications may need to be defined.

2.5. o Designs – Designs build on or help elicit project requirements. The deliverables may consist of wireframes, design comps, style guides, accessibility requirements, and/or layouts. In some cases, annotated wireframes or comps are used to combine requirements and designs in the same document. Copy decks may also be created in the design stage.

2.6. Even if the requirements and design phases are separated, it’s likely that participants in both phases will need to collaborate to ensure that designs and requirements meet project expectations. Often, a final stakeholder review is conducted at the end of the planning phase to approve all project artifacts.

2.7. A project management plan is developed during planning. It comprises of 9 subsidiary plans including Scope management to stakeholder engagement plan.During the initial phase of the project, the project management plan may not contain details of each of the knowledge area but would be used as a guide to start the project and is progressively elaborated.

2.8. The planning process is focused on first focusing on the scope management plan and the requirements management plan. The intent is to develop a road map to collect requirements, define scope and create the Work Breakdown Structure.

2.9. As the planning process progresses, the schedule management plan and cost management plans are developed using the WBS which has the details of the work packages.

2.10. The remaining plans ranging from Quality Management to Stakeholder Management are created with the best information available at the time

2.11. As the team applies the progressive elaboration and rolling wave planning, the accuracy of the documents is improved. At a certain point, after approval from the stakeholders, scope, schedule and cost baselines are established,

2.12. During the planning process group, project metrics and key performance indicators are established. These KPIs are established between the stakeholders and will comprise of Scope, Schedule, Cost, Quality, Procurement, Resources, Risk management. These KPIs will be included in the individual plans and help establish the control thresholds.

2.13. After curating a timeline, estimating cost and gathering resources, the next big step is to estimate the potential risks. Estimating risks is one of the most important tasks during project planning. If you proceed without proper risk management, it may hamper your project performance or even pose threat to its successful completion. But, with proper risk management, you can mitigate the risks and deliver your project of agreed quality without any delays.

2.14. Plans and documents are updated based on the approved change requests. A collection of change requests will be used to update the baseline(s).

3. Executing

3.1. In the execution phase, all tasks related to implementing the project are completed. This may include development of the project and testing of all developed components.

3.2. This phase is when the project manager tracks and reports on project progress and roadblocks. They may also seek resolutions, or keep notes on when blocking issues are expected to be resolved.

3.3. Development and testing can occur concurrently in the execution phase. They can also be broken down into separate phases if they occur at different times during execution.

3.4. o Status updates – In regular increments, the project manager is responsible for communicating project status, progress, and roadblocks to stakeholders and company leaders.

3.5. o Demonstrations – Demonstrations highlight incremental progress being made toward project completion. This enables feedback from stakeholders, and helps ensure that the final product matches expectations and requirements.

3.6. o Test cases – System, component, quality, user acceptance, and business testers compile test cases to be executed alongside development or after completion of development. These test cases can be reviewed by stakeholders if necessary to ensure comprehensive testing plans.

3.7. The project manager acquires team and assigns the team to the activities based on the skill set of the team. In order to manage resources, the project manager may create a resource histogram to monitor the usage and make the necessary adjustments as the project progresses.

3.8. The project manager also develops the team so that the team is well aware of the project requirements and work well in a team environment.

3.9. A major component of the executing is to perform procurement functions. The procurement functions comprise of sending the bids to prospective suppliers, holding bidder's conference, reviewing the supplier responses and proposals, rating the suppliers and awarding the contracts. Lastly, orders are placed for the components that are selected as a buy item during the make or buy process.

3.10. Deliverables are repaired, reworked or scrapped based on the change request.

3.11. Change requests are created during executing either if the deliverables do not meet the requirements or the customer changes scope.

4. Monitor and Control

4.1. This process starts early on in the project and gains momentum as the project progresses. The main purpose of this process group is to manage all changes that are initiated during the project. Changes can be initiated by the customer or the team as they work on the deliverables.

4.2. During the executing process, the deliverables are created and as the deliverables are inspected in control quality, and verified if they meet the customer requirements. At the same time, work performance data is created and recorded and displayed as part of the reporting requirements (Work Performance Reports).

4.3. As the project progresses, the status is updated by the project manager with support from the project team and the stakeholders. Performance is measured based on the KPIs and reviewed during the phase gates or as agreed among the stakeholders. The project manager's job will be analyze the variance and implement the controls as needed.

4.4. Changes are processes through the integrated change management process. Changes are reviewed, approved or rejected by the change control board.

5. Closing

5.1. In the closure phase, the project is completed and released. The closure phase can also include a support or warranty period where the project budget is used to resolve any issues or defects discovered after a project is released.In the closure phase, the project is completed and released. The closure phase can also include a support or warranty period where the project budget is used to resolve any issues or defects discovered after a project is released.

5.2. During the closure phase, the project manager ensures all release tasks are completed successfully, provides a final status and budget report, and conducts a review meeting — or retrospective — to discuss what they learned during the project life cycle.