Life cycle approach
|Life cycle approach|
A life cycle approach to project management is a structured approach that takes into consideration all the phases of a project from start to finish. This includes the initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and control, and closing of the project. A life cycle approach ensures that all aspects of a project are properly managed, enabling the project to achieve its goals and objectives in the most efficient and effective manner. It also helps to identify any potential risks and issues associated with the project, enabling the team to take corrective actions to ensure the project is completed on time and within budget.
Example of life cycle approach
- A software development project: In a software development project, the life cycle approach would involve the initiation, planning, design, implementation, testing, and deployment of the software. Throughout the process, the project team would need to monitor the progress and take corrective action if necessary. Additionally, the project team would need to ensure that the software meets all of the customer's requirements and that the end product is delivered on time and within budget.
- A construction project: A construction project would follow a similar life cycle approach, with the initiation, planning, design, and implementation of the project. Throughout the process, the project team would need to monitor the progress and take corrective actions if necessary. Additionally, the team would need to ensure that all of the construction requirements are met and that the end product is delivered on time and within budget.
- A marketing campaign: A marketing campaign would also involve a life cycle approach, with the initiation, planning, execution, and monitoring of the campaign. The project team would need to ensure that all of the objectives are met and that the campaign is effective in reaching its target audience. Additionally, the team would need to monitor the results of the campaign to identify any areas of improvement.
Best practices of life cycle approach
- Define the project scope and objectives clearly: Before beginning any project, it is important to define the project scope and objectives. This will ensure that everyone involved in the project is aware of the expectations and requirements.
- Create a comprehensive project plan: A comprehensive project plan should be created that outlines the tasks, milestones, and timeline for the project. This plan should be regularly updated and revised to reflect changes in the project.
- Establish a project team: It is important to assemble a team of dedicated professionals with the right skills and experience to ensure the project is successful.
- Develop a risk management plan: A risk management plan should be created to identify potential risks and establish strategies to address them.
- Monitor progress: Regularly monitoring progress will ensure the project is on track and any issues can be identified and addressed quickly.
- Allocate sufficient resources: It is important to allocate the necessary resources to ensure the project is completed on time and within budget.
- Communicate with stakeholders: Regular communication with stakeholders is key to ensure everyone is informed and aware of the project status.
- Perform quality assurance: Quality assurance should be conducted to ensure the project meets the defined criteria and is of a high quality.
- Close the project: Once the project is completed, it is important to close the project and document the results. This will ensure that the project is properly documented and any lessons learned are shared across the organization.
When to use life cycle approach
A life cycle approach is an effective way to manage projects, as it takes into account all aspects of the project from start to finish. It is particularly useful in the following situations:
- When managing complex projects that require a high level of coordination and collaboration.
- When resources are limited and the project needs to be completed within a tight budget.
- When working with stakeholders who have different objectives and expectations.
- When the project scope is unclear or changes during the project.
- When the project team needs to track progress and make decisions quickly.
- When risk management is a priority.
- When there are tight deadlines and the project must be completed on time.
Types of life cycle approach
A life cycle approach to project management typically includes several distinct types of models. These models are used to guide the project team in its planning and execution, ensuring that the project meets its goals and objectives in the most efficient and effective manner. The most common types of life cycle approach include:
- Waterfall Model: This is the most common type of life cycle approach, which follows a sequential set of steps from start to finish. It is the simplest and most structured approach, following a linear path with distinct stages.
- Agile Model: This approach is based on the principles of agile software development, which emphasize flexibility and continuous improvement. This model allows for rapid iterations and changes to be made throughout the project, based on feedback from stakeholders.
- Iterative Model: This model involves repeating a series of steps in order to gradually improve the project. This approach is particularly useful when developing complex software projects, as it allows for changes and improvements to be made as the project progresses.
- Spiral Model: This model combines elements of the waterfall and iterative models, allowing for the project to be broken down into easily manageable chunks. This model is useful for large projects, as it allows for rapid development and allows for changes to be made throughout the course of the project.
Steps of life cycle approach
A life cycle approach to project management involves a structured approach that takes into consideration all the phases of a project from start to finish. These steps include:
- Initiation: This phase is when the project is created and the objectives and goals are established. It is also the stage where the project team is identified and stakeholders are identified and consulted.
- Planning: This phase involves the development of the project plan, which includes the budget, timeline, resources, and risks associated with the project.
- Execution: This phase is when the project team begins to work on the deliverables and tasks associated with the project.
- Monitoring and Control: This phase is when the progress of the project is tracked and any issues or risks that arise are addressed.
- Closing: This phase is when the project is completed and is officially closed. At this stage, any remaining tasks or deliverables are completed, the project is documented, and any lessons learned are recorded.
Advantages of life cycle approach
A life cycle approach to project management offers many advantages. These include:
- Increased efficiency and effectiveness of project management, as it ensures that all phases of the project are properly managed, from start to finish.
- Improved communication and collaboration between stakeholders, as the approach provides a structured framework for stakeholders to work together and ensure that the project goals and objectives are met.
- Increased visibility of the project, as the approach enables all stakeholders to have access to the same information, making it easier to track progress and identify any potential issues.
- Reduced risk of project failure, as the life cycle approach helps to identify potential risks upfront, allowing the team to take corrective action and mitigate any risks.
- Improved project budgeting, as the life cycle approach helps to ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget.
Limitations of life cycle approach
A life cycle approach to project management can be a useful tool for managing a project, however it is not without its limitations. To ensure an effective project, it is important to be aware of the following limitations of this approach:
- First, the life cycle approach can be time consuming as it requires project managers to go through each step of the process in detail.
- Second, the approach does not allow for any flexibility or adaptation to changing circumstances. This means that if something unexpected occurs during the project, there may be difficulty in adjusting the plan to account for it.
- Third, the approach can be inflexible in terms of resource allocation and budgeting, as the project manager is required to plan everything in advance.
- Finally, the life cycle approach may be too rigid and may not take into account the needs and preferences of stakeholders, resulting in a project that is not tailored to their needs.
- Westland, J. (2007). The project management life cycle: A complete step-by-step methodology for initiating planning executing and closing the project. Kogan Page Publishers.