Feedback Please – Project Life Cycle Practice Exam Question

Paul Naybour

List 5 key phases of a typical life cycle & describe the activities undertaken in each of them

5 phases in a typical project life cycle are:
1) Concept
2) Definition
3) Development
4) Handover & closure
5) Benefits realisation

The concept phase covers everything up to and including the development of the business case. This includes the scoping of possible options, assessment of their respective feasibilities and optioneering. The development of the business case is overseen by the project sponsor, who might bring in a project manager to actually write the document. The output of this phase is the business case, approved by the board / steering group.

In definition phase, the project management plan (PMP) is developed by the project manager. The PMP contains all of the plans, schedules, budgets, processes and procedures to be followed to ensure that the project delivers according to the defined scope. The PMP will be influenced by any project methods employed by the organisation as part of its governance structure. The output of this phase is the PMP approved by the sponsor.

In development phase, the project team produce the deliverables specified in the PMP under the management of the PM. The PM ensures that the plans and documentation are kept up to date, and the project sponsor provides support if necessary and provides assurance to the board & stakeholders that the project is progressing according to plan.

At handover and closure the agreed deliverables will be presented to the users for their review and acceptance. The project sponsor will obtain formal acceptance from the users that the necessary specifications have been met, and there will be a process of transfer of these deliverables, commissioning for use by the users, and arrangements of any support that will be provided going forward. Closure involves staff appraisals and reviews, handover of assets, clearing out the office and recycling of waste, the updating of records and the closure of accounts.

In benefits realisation, the work of the project team is over, and the team has been disbanded. Here it is the responsibility of the sponsor to ensure that the deliverables produced by the project are used by the users in away that will bring about the intended benefits as outlines in the business case.

(15 minutes)

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