The Project LifecycleInitiation PhaseTo begin a project, you mustfirst go through the initiation phase, this is the first phase of the projectlifecycle and it also the most important as it is the foundation when startinga new project. During this phase multiple factors must be taken intoconsideration, these can include;· whether or not the project is needed· who the project will affect· what the long-term goal of the project is· who the individuals and groups are that willcarry out the project to completionThese factors will fit into theprojects ‘scope’ which is a list including the goals, deliverables, features,functions tasks, deadlines and ultimately costs Planning PhaseThe planning phase is the secondphase of the project lifecycle, this phase helps to outline the initial scopethat was created during the initiation phase.
The plans that are made duringthis phase will help to guide the management of the project, this is becauseall original factors in the scope will be in a higher level of detail and willbe expanded on giving the project team clear instructions to follow. The higherlevel of detail could be things such as the exact amount of resources that areneeded to complete the project, these resources could include materials,people, time, and money. Clearly defining how much of these are needed isimportant because it can allow the project to flow smoothly as if not all theresources are obtained then the project may be left at a standstill until theneeded resources are finally collected.Execution PhaseThe execution phase of theproject is where the deliverables are created and then delivered to thecustomer, due to the nature of this phase it is typically the longest sectionof a project lifecycle and is spit into milestones, this allows the teams tohave something to word towards other than the end goal. This phase heavilyrelies on the two previous phases for it to be successful, this is because allthe specifications that were created would now be used as instructions for theproject management team to follow to ensure the resources are being usedcorrectly, because this phase is the one that makes use all the resources thatare collected from the planning phase it uses the most resources when comparedto the other phases.Evaluation PhaseThis is the final phase of aproject lifecycle and it is an overall review of the project entirety, thisreview covers;· The quality of the deliverables· The success of the project· The performance of the teams within the project· Issues and how they were solvedThe evaluation provides the mostimportant information as it can help to improve future projects based onpositives and negatives of the previous project. TheImportance of each phase InitiationThe initiation phase is arguablythe most important phase as it the foundations of the project meaning theobjectives that are set during this phase are followed by teams throughout theproject, if something is not specified correctly then it may have a largeimpact on the project as a whole.
The initiation phase is also the firstimpression the client gets when working with the organisation meaning thestandards must be set to ensure the client trusts the organisation to completethe project to their specifications.PlanningThe planning phase also has avery large importance in the project life cycle this is because similarly tothe initiation phase it will set the plans for the project that teams will thenfollow, this ultimately means that the plans for the project must beprofessional in order for the project to be successful. The main Importancethat comes from the planning phase is the detailed documentation ofspecification and needed resources as this will be the information that theteams will rely on during later phases, it is essential that this informationis correct as small mistakes such as; a lack of resources or miscommunicationof specifications can cause the project to be left at a standstill until theissue is solved, this would increase the amount of time that a project takeswhile also causing the client to lose confidence that the project will becompleted before the deadline.
ExecutionThe execution phase is where thefinal product or deliverable is created and then presented, this phase isimportant in different ways to the other phases as several more things need tobe taken into consideration. The reason this phase is important is because thecompletion of this stage will mean that the client will receive the finalproduct of the project, this means that this phase must be heavily monitoredand correctly directed as the final product will also show the client theeffort that the organisation has put into the project.EvaluationThe evaluation phase does nothave importance to the current project, however it helps to improve futureprojects. The way that this phase helps future projects is due to the feedbackthat is taken when the evaluation is completed, this means an organisation cansee what went will with the project meaning they should continue to do thatwhile the issues with the project can hopefully be avoided if the correctactions are taken. This phase alone will allow organisations to improve all oftheir other projects, giving this phase a large importance when future projectsare considered.
Potential issueswith a project Communication-This can affect a project as poor communication can slow down a project or evenstop a project completely, this is due to a project consisting of project teamsand a project manager meaning that if the manager in not properly communicatingwith the teams on what their tasks are then the teams will not be able to doanything as they will have no instruction to do so.Externalfactors- factors such as a limited finance can also slow downa project as if the organisation cannot order required resources or pay or theproject teams then the project will have to be stopped until all therequirements are met. Conflicts-aconflict during a project can have different impact depending on how seriousare, for example a conflict between something small may not have much of an effectto the project as it only wastes time, while a serious conflict can sometimesend a project as it could include team member or managers resigning due to theconflict, both having a large impact on the project. Lack of management-similar to alack of communication, lack of management can lead the project teams cluelesson what their tasks are, on the other hand if the management is not strictenough employees may ‘slack off’ instead of completing the project.
Both ofthese will slow down the completion of the project.Poorplanning-planning is a crucial stage of the project lifecycleand a project plan must be accurate in order for the project to be a success,poor planning can lead to a lack of information about the projects development,it can also cause the misuse of resources as money may be wasted on too much ofone resource (an issue that would not arise if that planning is accurate)Legislation/regulation-Thisis one of the more serious issues that a project may face, this is due to theimpacts that breaking a legislation or not following a regulation, for examplecopyrighted material may be used that the organisation does not have the rightsfor this would mean if caught the organisation would be fined and the projectwould be shut down as it breaks the legislation. Documentationrequired for a projectThese are the documents are required for a project tofunction in the correct manner Project Brief (including theprojects main objectives and the scope, this documentation would be createdduring the initiation phase and it would be used throughout the project as areferencePID-Project initiation document-this is the document would provide the need for the project as well as actingas the foundation for the project brief meaning it would also be needed duringthe initiation phase.Contract-The agreement from theproject sponsor/client, allowing the project to start, this would be obtainedafter the initiation as the customer would need to see the project scope beforethey allow the project to startBusiness case-The justificationfor the project and what the project will achieve, summerly to the projectbrief and the PID this would also be needed during the initiation and would beused to structure both of these documentsClient acceptance form-Theagreement form from the client when the project is complete, this would begiven to client after the execution phase as that is when the project iscomplete for the client, this document requires the acceptance of the client tosay that they are happy with the outcome of the project.Work breakdown structure-Adeliverable that splits the projects teams work in to manageable sectionsduring the planning and execution phases to allow for maximum work efficiency.
Project Progress report-Aconstant updates on the projects progress, this document would be updatedthroughout the project and would be reflected upon during the evaluation phaseto summarise how the project went.Project Closure report-Thedocument showing the projects outcome and date of closure and would becompleted after the organisation has completed the evaluation of the project iscompleteLessons learned Report-feedbackon the project overall allowing the organisation to reflect on the project andthe issues it faced, this would ultimately allow them to improve futureprojects. Registersrequired for a project This is a list of the needed registers for a project thatallow it to properly function Project planner-visual guide showing the project in itsentirety and what currently needs to be completed, this would be usedthroughout the project as a reference showing project teams what they need tocomplete, planning, creation, evaluation etc.Risk register-used to record all of the risks that aremonitored during the execution phase of a project, however if any other risksoccur outside of this phase they will still be recordedIssues register-used to record all of the issues that aremonitored and overcome during a project and would be evaluated at the end.
Lessons learned register-a final piece of feedback on theprojects overall and the issues it faced giving the teams detailed informationon the issues during the evaluation allowing them to be corrected next time. Project MethodologiesWaterfallThe waterfall methodology isprimarily linked to software development however it can be used in for otherprojects. The main characteristic of the Waterfall model is that all the stagesflow one after another, like what a waterfall does, see figure 1 for a diagramof the structure and stages of the waterfall model. The waterfall model willcontain the 4 aspects of the project lifecycle, however other stages can beimplemented to provide extra support as when following this model there isusually no going back after a step has been completed, this means that all thesteps must be completed in as much detail as possible, this way the projectwill have a reduced risk of failure due to each step of the project relying onthose before it.(Bowes, 2014) SpiralThe spiral model was originallyused for prototyping but has been adapted slightly so that it can also be usedas a project management system. The Spiral model is exactly as it would suggestas the model follows a spiral going outwards that covers four key pointsmultiple times.
The four key points are as follows; (Max Widerman, 2003) · Planning- This stage is a mixture between theplanning and initiation stages from the project lifecycle. It covers what theproject aims or needs to complete, this could be the main scope of the project.This stage also covers how the project will be completed or how the aims willbe achieved, this can be done in the form of a system requirementsspecification, this will cover at minimum the requirements of the project andhow they can be solved. · Risk analysis- This section identifies all therisks that come with the project in its current state. The risks that arecovered in this section are mainly risks to the development of the project,some of these could include; insufficient funds and resources, legal issues anda lack of time. A risk analysis is completed on every layer of the spiral asnew issues and risks to development will be identified throughout the projects Lifecycle.In addition to helping to identify the risks this section also gives the timeto help to provide alternate solutions to overcome the problems to ensure theother stages of the project go according to plan. At the end of this section aprototype is produced ensuring that none of the risks specified are stillpresent.
· Engineering- This stage is where the prototypedproduct is tested according to the risk assessment, ensuring that it meets someof the project aims. · Evaluation-This is the final section of thespiral model before it repeats. This section consists of the customer feedbackthat is given about the prototyped produce and taking note of issues with theproduct allowing them to be assessed during the next risk assessment phase.After this section the risk assessment phase starts again, the spiral modelcontinues until the project team is happy with the final product. Agile The agile model suggests thatlarger projects cannot be completely planned as the client will often changetheir objective, this is because no project can stay the same from start tofinish as certain actions may have to be taken changing the project whilekeeping it to the client specifications intact. Due to these beliefs agiledevelopment follows 12 key principles to follow instead of a set path. Theseprinciples are; 1.
Ensuringthe client is satisfied, this could be with continuous updates on how theproject is coming along or by providing them with a copy of the projectsdevelopments such as an updated build of software that is being developed, orby giving them a prototype of a physical product.2. Allowchanges to requirements, the changes made during the project should beimplemented shortly after receiving the request of a change, this way theclient can have an advantage over other competitors as the project can adaptaround what they are doing.3.
Deliveringa functional product of the project more frequently, this will shorten the timebetween the planning and delivery of a product and can help clients followwhere the development is going in relation to their input.4. Themanagement and development teams must work together on a daily basis, by doingit is ensuring that the project has good communication throughout its lifecycle5. Ensuremotivated individuals are always involved, Agile development does not supportmicromanagement as the teams should be built from well-motivated andself-directed teams6. Usface to face interactions as the main source of information and communication,by using this form of communication the project can be handled smoothly andefficiently as direct answers would be give and the time between giving andreceiving a questions answer would be shorter.7. Afunctional product is the measure of progress, this allows the customer to seethe project’s completion by judging the product in its current state.8.
Sustainabledevelopment should be promoted, larger projects can take a lot of time, andthis means that employees and project team can get worn out quickly if workingconsistently. Agile development promotes sustainable development through shortbursts of quality work.9. Continuallyimproving the quality of design during the project, this is where theproduction team would identify the current issues with a product, such as bugsin the code of a piece of software being developed. These issues should then beattended to immediately to ensure the project continues smoothly10.
Simplicityis important, this is to help reduce the amount of work done to reduce stresson the project teams, and this can be done by avoiding things that do not matter.11. Thebest requirements and designs come from an organised team, during agiledevelopment the teams should take their own direction and team members shouldnot be told what to do as they should face problems and help the team to findsolutions allowing the project to move forward12. Inspectthe current state of the project and product, during the project teams shouldtake a step back from working and analyse the project and adapt it if they seefit Comparing the features and benefitsof each methodology Eachmethodology has its own distinct and unique features while also sharingsimilarities with the other methodologies.
To begin, the waterfall model isunlike several other project methodologies as it follows a straight path duringa projects development, due to this waterfall is mainly used for smallerprojects due to it having few steps, however these few steps will contain a lotof detail if the project is competed properly, waterfall also helps to preventfuture issues with a project during development as the current step isthoroughly analysed to ensure that there are no mistakes that could affect theproject later on in time as the waterfall model restricts you from going back to change anything or excluding certain steps.Similarly, PRINCE2 (Projects IN Controlled Environments) is also a step basedmodel, however unlike waterfall it is designed to work with larger projects,this could be useful as larger organisations may want to follow a step basedmodel to keep track of the projects progress allowing them to inform the clientof a rough completion date.On the other hand,methodologies such as agile development and spiral give the project teams morefreedom, this is because agile focuses on 12 key factors to implement during aproject and spiral revisits the same steps several times to give the team roomfor error and improvement. Both of these methodologies are designed for largerprojects as a lot of work must go into them, spiral for example follows similarsteps to waterfall but instead of leaving a step after its completion spiralrevisits the step meaning new specifications and faults can be taken intoaccount meaning the project can last a long time before it completely meetsclient specifications, this also means that usually the first project willsatisfy the client’s needs due to them having an influence throughoutdevelopment.
In contrast agile development handles large projects in adifferent way, this is done by following 12 key principles as agile states thatno project especially larger ones are not protected form change duringdevelopment, and by following the key principles the project can be moreefficient as a whole as teams can focus on what they need to complete ratherthan completing one single step at a time. Despite this agile development canbecome somewhat decentralised as the project teams are left to their own tasksinstead of everyone following set tasks similarly to waterfall and PRINCE2.To conclude,depending on the future project, the methodology used should be chosencarefully as it can have a large impact on the outcome of a project.