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Study Guide: Q1 – Explain 5 Benefits To A Life Cycle

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 25th October 2012

Your thoughts on the following reponse to the above question would be much apreciated:

– A project life cycle provides you with a logical and easily communicated progression through the timeframe of a project. it clearly defines the activities and the outputs to each phase. For example the busines case is the output of the concept phase and activities such as an options appraisal take place during that phase.

– It provides an obvious point to stop a project. That is to say between the end of one phase and the start of another. At these points the business case can be reviewed and the risks to the project considered so that an informed decision can be made as to whether or not the project should progress into the next phase.

– Resource levels can be assessed for each phase. This will enable the organisation to determine the levels of resource required as the project progresses and will allow it to plan rether than react to resource requirements.

– Having project life cycles are important because we can link progress directly to them and recognise the completion of a phase. This provides confidence in stakeholders and ensures them that the project is being properly managed.

– The early stages of the project can be properly managed and controlled by ensuring they pass through phase gate reviews. At these reviews the progress and costs of the project can be assessed against the business case and a formal decision made as to whether or not it should pass into the next phase.


Tim Barnett


  1. Paul says:

    The positives.
    You have a good command of the language and you sentence construction is good. This bodes well!
    Also, the length of your answers seems spot on.
    Where it could be improved.
    Be careful to answer the question. It asks for benefits of a lifecycle model but at times you are tending to describe what it is.
    A good way of avoiding this is by partially repeating the question in your answer. For instance your first and second points could read.
    “A First benefit of lifecycles is that they focus attention of the project on the short term by clearly identifying the activities and outputs…”
    “A second benefit of drawing up a lifecycle is that it helps to prevent proceeding with projects that are no longer viable. It does this by providing an obvious “Stop point”. These points are known as Gate Reviews are located between the lifecycle phases. At these points…..”
    (n.b. Starting paragraphs with “The first…” , and “The second..” also helps the examiner distribute marks appropriately)
    Try and make one strong point per paragraph and resist the temptation to obscure it with other pints. As an exercise can you summarise in a brief phrase the benefit that each of you paragraphs is making?
    I will try as follows.
    •Aids focus on short term by identifying short term tasks and outputs.
    •Stops progression of non-viable projects
    •Aids resource management
    •Provides baseline for showing and controlling progress
    •As point 2 above
    Then, does everything you say in your paragraph support that point, or is there any unhelpful text?
    This may help you be succinct and direct.
    Also, I cannot differentiate between the benefits described on your second and fifth point.
    Hope this helps.

  2. Paul says:

    Tim, I am very pleased with this answer, again you have clearly described each of the points in enough detail so that the examiner can see that you understand the topic. Having seen a few of you answers I am confident that you understand the structure of what the examiner is looking for.

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