Explain the five distinct benefits of using a structured life cycle approach
- It can prevent poorly conceived projects from being commissioned. This is achieved during the concept stage where the business case is developed. The use of gate reviews put the project under scrutiny and it may be the case that there is no sound business case. This would lead to an early termination of the project. For example a motoring company decides it wants to build a new luxury car to compete with other brands. However, market research shows that the market is declining for this type of vehicle. So the project is terminated at the end of an early gate review.
- It allows for resources to be planned more effectively, both in type and numbers. By paying attention to resource management early on, this will allow for a high level view of the types and quantity of resource required throughout the project. This should form part of the PMP of which is developed during the definition state. For example a project to build a housing estate will in all likelihood require architects, plumbers, carpenters etc. The order and likely time that they are required can therefore be planned early on. 3) An indication of when key project reviews are to be carried out. It means that key stakeholders will have a rough idea of when and where they will be required to attend gate and stage reviews. For example a 5 year project to build a new railway will required some very senior politicians and directors to attend reviews. Given that they are almost certainly to have busy diaries, it would benefit the project greatly to ensure they have advance warning of when they are required.
- By ensuring that the project remains viable through the use of stage reviews. These types of review are carried out during the development phase and ensure that the project’s business case is continually reviewed against any changing circumstances. For example, a project to build a hotel will continue to assess whether what they are building is going to meet stakeholder expectations. Even when the building works are being carried out, it may be decided to change the scope slightly to ensure the final product delivers maximum value.
- By ensuring that appropriate attention is given to the handover and closure stage of the project. This stage can sometimes be overlooked a little so its important that its carried out in a thorough manner. For example a project to implement a new IT system cannot simply be put into place and not handed over correctly to the internal help desk team. It may be that the internal team require training on the product to ensure a smooth transition into service.