Chapter 5 Homework Exam Questions Project Life Cycles

Paul Naybour

Having completed chapter 5 try some of the following homework questions and post your questions below and we give you feedback?

    1. Explain five distinct benefits of using a structured life cycle approach?


  1. List and describe five key phases of a project lifecycle, the activities undertaken during and outputs of each?

Remember each of the five paragraphs in a answer needs to include 2-3 sentences. According the the APM guidance notes this should include a a statement of fact about the list item that indicates why it has been selected and also a statement(s) clarifying, supporting, demonstrating further comprehension or application thereof. 

I recommend three sentence describing the what, why it is important and then giving an example. So for instance 

1) One benefit of a project lifecycle is it easily communicates the logical progressions of the project from one phase to the next. This is important to make sure projects follow a logical flow for example completing a consideration of the business case before committing significant funding and making sure a project management plan is prepared before committing major resources. An example of this might be the approval of the business case by the sponsor (and other senior management) before the project embarks on a detailed definition phase. This makes sure all the senior stakeholders as signed up to the project objectives before the planning starts in earnest. Without a defined lifecycle it is all to easy to get the cart before the horse. 

Five more like this and your done for this question. 

6 thoughts on “Chapter 5 Homework Exam Questions Project Life Cycles”

  1. Francine Morgan a lovely answer, The right length and some vey Good points. you seem to have go The hang of this very quickly. if you do ten questions like this you should pass with out too many difficulties.

  2. Hi Paul, please could I have feedback on the following:

    Explain five distinct benefits of using a structured life cycle approach?

    1. By structuring a project in phases it makes it easier to communicate the logical progression of the project , as well as the activities and outputs for each phase to stakeholders. This is important as it allows stakeholders to understand resource requirements, including when resources are required and responsibilities and involvement required at each stage. For example, the intensive period for the end users of the project deliverables will be during the design and defintion stages of the project and then again during the handover phase.

    2. The structured life cycle approach allows points (for example at the end of one stage and prior to the commencment of the next stage) where the project can be stopped, if appropriate. This is important as this approach reduces organisational risk both in terms of resources and costs. For example, at the end of the design stage a decison wil made regarding the approval of the Business Case. If it is not approved the project will be stopped and will not proceed any further.

    3. The life cycle approach provides a high level plan, from which the more detailed project plans can be developed. This is a benefit as it facilitates organisational resource planning to help ensure the right resources are available at the right time. For example, ensuring that the necessary authorities are in place and available for the formal gate reviews at the start of the project.

    4. By having reviews at the end of each phase in the project life cycle this approach forces the organisation to pay proper attention in the early stages of the project.This is important as it minimises risks and costs for the organisation as well as provides an audit trail for governance. For example the development of the Business Case and then Project Management Plan in the design and definitions phases respectively, ensures alternative solutions are considered and plans are sufficiently robust to provide confidence and therefore approval for the project to proceed to the delivery stage.

    5. A structured life cycle approach has phased reviews to evaluate the progress of the project. This not only allows variances to be identified and corrective action put in place in a timely manner, but also signifies when phases are complete. These help to minimise the risk of not achieving success criteria (such as quality, cost ,time) and provides re-assurance to stakeholders on progress and controls.


  3. Hi Paul,

    I have tried to keep the answers brief and focused. What do you think?



    Explain how the relationship between sponsor, project manager and users operates through the life cycle of the project; making 5 points in your answer.
    1.Concept – During this phase of the project the sponsor oversees the appraisal of various options and the sponsor’s engagement with senior stakeholders to ensure buy in and with users to begin to define their needs is important. The project manager may be appointed during this phase to write the business case and will also meet with users to discuss their needs and begin to define success criteria.
    2.Definition – The project manager takes much greater control during this phase and is responsible for developing the detailed project management plan, risk management and quality plans. The sponsor’s main role is to review and approve the plans of the project manager and to continue to engage senior stakeholders. During this phase the project manager will further develop their relationship with users especially with respect to defining the quality of the project outputs.
    3.Development (design) – During the design phase the project manager will engaged the users to ensure that expectations are managed and continue to ensure that the design is in line with their needs. Change management is critical during this stage and the project manager will need to work closely with the sponsor to ensure that this is a controlled and well documented process. The sponsor will be responsible for approval of changes possibly in line with evolving user needs.
    4.Development (build) – During the build phase the project manager will direct team members and external contractors referring to the Sponsor where issues arise or changes need discussion and sign off. Users may be engaged to test the outputs during this phase but will be less involved than during they were during the earlier stages of the project. The project manager will report regularly to the sponsor on progress against agreed milestones.
    5.Handover and Closeout – During this phase the project manager hands over the project outputs to the users or the operations team. Provided they feel that the acceptance criteria have been met the users will accept any products or services produced and the responsibility for benefits realisation over the longer term will lie with the project sponsor. The project manager will then work with the users, sponsor and other stakeholders as part of any lessons learnt exercise after the outputs of the project have been accepted.

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