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Feedback: Section 3 Project Life Cycles Sample Questions

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 31st August 2015

Paul, working through the new study guide and would appreciate some feedback please on the sample questions below.
  •        Explain five distinct benefits of
    using a structured life cycle approach. 
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 the sponsoring organisation
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. 


A second benefit of a
structured project lifecycle is that it provides obvious points between phases
at which a project can logically be stopped. This is important because it
allows the sponsoring organisation to review the business case, plans and
risks, allowing time for detailed plans for the next phase to be agreed or
indeed the project stopped completely. An example of this could be that the
business case is found to no longer meet the requirements of the business and
therefore the business case delivery of benefits, by stopping the project at
this obvious hold point, time, cost and resource loss is kept to minimum. This
process ensures that that a project continues to be viable through scrutiny at
the gate reviews.


third benefit of the structured project lifecycle is when combined with the
principal of the project processes it helps us understand in greater detail the
evolution of a project. This is important because it allows us to identify
areas that require greater attention at different times, an example of this is a
greater requirement for risk management in the early stages due to unknowns and
development of the business case and PMP, ensuring that enough attention, resource
and planning are given over to mitigate any issues.


fourth benefit of the structured project lifecycle is that by ensuring that the
project passes through the gates at the gate reviews detailed attention is
given to the early stages of the project. This is important as it ensures the
organisation has indeed reviewed the relevant information (business case/PMP)
and that they are happy to proceed or if there are changes required before they
can move on to the next phase. An example being that the business case
objectives have matured as the PMP has developed and need to be updated at the
definition stage so the benefits realisation are in line with the business case
when the project is finally handed over and closed.


fifth benefit of a structured project lifecycle is that the stage reviews allow
the project to identify any variance with planned progress and actuals. This is
important as it allows the project team to put in place corrective actions to
bring these variances back into line with the KPI’s. An example of this could
be progress on site, progress is behind where it should be, causes are
identified and agreed, additional resource requirements are identified, agreed
and implemented in a collaborative manner to bring the works back into line
with the schedule.