Describe The Five Phases In The APM Project Lifecycle

Paul Naybour

A relatively straightforward question, write a paragraph of 2-3 sentances about concept, definition, implementation, handover and close. Remember to use the phrase “this is important because” in the miidle of each paragraph. Plots your answer below and we will give you feedback. 

6 thoughts on “Describe The Five Phases In The APM Project Lifecycle”

  1. Brett good answer, Neil and Ben good but only four points…lost marks. I was very cruel setting the trap of asking for five paragraphs to describe a life cycle with four stages. Brett got the solution by braking last phase hand over and close out into two paragraphs. You could have also used two paragraphs to talk about the design and build elements of the implementation phase. However I really like the answer Ben has given as it shows a good understanding of the lifecycle.

  2. Concept is the first phase in the project life-cycle. I n this phase the problem/opportunity is identified and assessed. Stakeholders are identified and funding is sought. The main output in this phase is the business case which will be further developed in subsequent phases. This is important as the business case will provide justification for the project.

    Definition is the second phase within the project lifecycle. Within this phase requirements are further developed and the planning of the project takes place. The business case may be further developed within this phase. This phase is important as the Project Management Plan is produced and is the main output from this phase. The project may also obtain approval to proceed by a gated review at this point.

    Implementation is the third phase in the project lifecycle. In this phased the Project Management Plan is planned monitored controlled and executed. in this phase the specifications are being built according to the design there may be further design elicitation and component testing. This phase is important as the Project management Plan is executed drawing upon the concept and definition phase outputs. there will also emerging be tangible results. A gated review may also happen at this phase. There may also be further refinement of estimates and benefits that my be realised.

    Handover in this phase preparation of the documentation takes place such as operation manuals training documents and test reports operation manuals ready for handover to operations. Acceptance will also be sought by the SRO and that the product meets the specifications stated against the acceptance criteria and preparation for benefits realisation. Customer acceptance tests may also take part in this phase with users who will use the final product. this phase is important as it provides acceptance of the product (and fitness for purpose) set out in the initial concept stage the SRO.

    Closeout this is the final stage of the project. in this stage all loose ends are tied up. Project information ids archived final payments of contracts are made and any equipment is handed back and project staff are redeployed
    any benefits that can be realised at this stage are documented. This phase is important as the final Post Project review take place to evaluate the project (including achievement against objectives and methods and tools used)as well as the final lessons learned which are distributed. This provides a controlled end to the project

    1. Avatar for Mihail Sadeanu
      Mihail Sadeanu

      There is no word about project management KPIs and metrics.
      At which moments of the project lifecycle do you establish the KPIs and performance metrics, and who are the main project stakeholders to be implied in this very important process for each project lifecycle phase and stage?
      This is VERY important because the project health, progress, advancement and trends must be carefully evaluated and known before each important project management stage end (meeting or not a technical stage end) and its related gate review.
      Remember, that the KPIs and metrics are not the same things while they may be different for each project life cycle model chosen phases and component stages.

      1. Dear Mihail
        The lifecycle describes the stage of a project. KPIs are part of the project control cycle along with risk management, stakeholders management and cost management. A structured approach to project management needs more than just a lifecycle. It also needs defined roles, control processes, templates and tools. We call this a project management framework or method, you can read about it here;

        To answer your question

        At which moments of the project lifecycle do you establish the KPIs and performance metrics, and who are the main project stakeholders to be implied in this very important process for each project lifecycle phase and stage?

        KPIs are required from the start of the project to the end, they are an ongoing part of project reporting and review. They don’t fit in a particular lifecycle stage, although you may use different KPIs to different stages, depending on your industry.

        I hope this helps and please do comment below if you have further observation or comments.

  3. Paul response to your question

    Project Lifecycle

    Handover and close

    1.Concept identifies the how, when and who and goes towards creating the business case which is overseen by the project sponsor, the user and where the stakeholders are identified. Tools that can be used are, Brainstorming sessions, sketches and modelling. This is important because, the problems or opportunities can be analysed and reviewed in order that the organisation can be assured that they are responding to the correct project. More importantly this is when the majority of the development cost is committed so there could be long debates/discussions.

    2.Definition establishes the project management plans (PMP) and the entire subsidiary plans such as risk management plan, Quality plans, schedule and budgets. It culminates in approval to proceed to implementation. The primary output is the Project Management plan which is signed off by the sponsor. This documents the entirety of the project and what it will produce. This is important because it controls the risks along with scope, time, cost and quality and will include the product breakdown structure and work breakdown structure.

    3.Implementation covers the construction of the various components and is split in to two areas, design and the build with the final outcome being the end product/deliverable. Implementation is where the project management plan is executed, monitored and controlled. This is important because it can reveal new issues and challenges that planners may not have anticipated, ultimately resulting in more refined strategies, products and processes.

    4.Handover and close is the progress to the point of acceptance and commissioning and where the team is redeployed and the assets reallocated or decommissioned. The sponsor and user at this point accept the responsibility for the deliverable. This is important because lessons learnt can be gathered and taken forward to future projects and there is a definitive close. At this point the works orders are closed and all the costs related to the project are gathered

  4. The Concept phase includes everything up to and including the production of the business case. This may include for example establishing a level 1 budget for the project or on a Wind Turbine project include applying for planning permission for a met mast as well as installing it. Behind all of this will be a concept idea for the project which will inevitably include a schedule, the level 1 budget, economics and in the case of wind technology impact assessment results. This phase is where you see what ideas are feasible and nail it down to a single chosen solution to develop.

    The Definition phase includes the production of the Project Management Plans which is owned by the Project Manager. This phase like concept produces a document which has to be of a sufficient standard to proceed to the next phase (phase gate review). The PMP documents the whole project as well as how it is going to be produced. This phase is important because it provides the project with an essential set of procedures/guidelines in order to proceed to closeout and gain success from the project.

    The Implementation phase includes the construction of the product itself, which all tie into the plans produced in the definition phase (PMP & all subsidiary plans). This phase can be made into two sub phases, design & build whereby there is a gate between them in order to gain the primary output of this phase, the products. This phase is again essential as it brings together the work from concept and definition and puts all the hard work into what everything has been working towards, ‘the products’.

    Handover is the phase whereby the end product is commissioned and handed over to the end user for acceptance. Closeout is the closing of the project and the disbanding of the team, whether or not they go elsewhere or proceed to another project within the company is up to personnel outside of this project. This phase is again essential it puts the product in the hands of the end user whereby acceptance of the product is essentially where success of the project comes into place.

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