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The Many Phases, Types, And Characteristics Of A Project Lifecycle

By July 20, 2022No Comments

The Many Phases, Types, And Characteristics Of A Project Life Cycle

From beginning to end, a project’s life cycle is made up of many phases. A typical project life cycle is born with a beginning and then continues on to organization and planning. Following it is ‘performing the task,’ followed by ending the project. This blog will go through everything you need to know about what exactly is a Project’s Life Cycle.

What are the phases of a project life cycle? What are the differences in project characteristics as they progress through the project life cycle? What are some of the most popular designs? Keep reading to find out!

The Phases Of A Project Life Cycle

There are several stages to a project’s life cycle. Each phase is a logically arranged collection of tasks you need to achieve during the course of a project. A deliverable is created after these activities are completed. Project phases usually occur sequentially. For example, the life cycle of a construction project will begin with hiring a builder so they can construct a house. It comes to a conclusion when the developer hands over the property to the buyer.

Some of the steps in the life cycle of this project could include ‘Design,’ ‘Plan,’ ‘Construct,’ and ‘Transfer Ownership’. The structural design is finished when the demands are recognized in the design process. Naturally, you can only make the designs once you’ve determined the building’s specifications, such as the amount of rooms you need, style, and an overall number of floors. The accepted blueprints and specifications that are going to be required for the development or “construct” phase signal the completion of the design stage.

Each life cycle doesn’t always need to have the same amount of phases or designations. So, what sets them apart? Every area or function can be given a unique name. In software design, for instance, a classic waterfall approach may include “Assessment, Design, Code, Testing, and Deploy”’ For a project related to the healthcare industry, phases like “Research,” “Trial,” and “Clinical” could be created.

Here are a few characteristics that can help you identify how to create your own phases:

  • Phases need a beginning and a conclusion, as well as markings or checkpoints in between.
  • Depending entirely on the deliverables, objectives, and financing availability, phases might be split. In software engineering, for example, research is a step. This may be broken down into three steps: gathering requirements, analyzing them, and reviewing them. Checkpoints can be set to indicate the completion of a task, such as gathering requirements or reviewing them.
  • Phases are normally in order, however, they can occasionally intersect. Monitoring a software application, for example, may begin before most of the processes in the unit are completed. “Fast-tracking” is the term commonly used for overlapping stages. A complete overhaul may be required if the following step begins without the prior phase being completed.
  • Not all phases should have to be completed in the same length of time and take the equivalent amount of energy.
  • A phase’s work may require certain abilities, and every individual phase could involve several different organizations. In software engineering, for instance, a Tech Designer is involved in the design phase, whereas developers are involved in the development cycle. Screening may be handled by a distinct division or contracted over to a different company. The testing crew must be able to spot mistakes and double-check for accuracy and reliability.
  • A phase’s objectives are usually used as input for the next phase. At the end of its phase, there is a review. This establishes whether or not it is worthwhile/necessary to move on towards the next step. This type of evaluation is known as a ‘phase end review,’ or ‘stage-gate review’.

Product Life Cycle vs Project Life Cycle: Which Is Which?

All phases are a part of the Product Life Cycle, including product ideation and progression through development, distribution, expansion, maturing, and retirement.  Within the same product life cycle, there could be several different project life cycles.

The conceptualization stage of developing a new product can be regarded as a project on its own. Moving on to the design phase of it can constitute a different project.  Adding any additional features or modifying what you already have to either improve it or change it into something else can be made into a project as well.

Variations Between Characteristics As Your Project Life Cycle Progresses

Characteristic

The way it fluctuates during the life cycle of a project

Expenses

Lower at the beginning and rises while the ‘doing work’ phase is active. It goes back down at the end of the project

Amount of Staff

Low at first, then rises as you’re ‘doing work,’ and falls as you get closer to the end.

Uncertainty And Risk

Are Highest in the beginning, then gradually decrease throughout the course of the project’s life cycle.

The influence of stakeholders on product attributes

Is lowest when the project starts and rises as the project progresses.

The cost of correcting mistakes

The cost is low when it begins, rising slowly as the project progresses.

Types Of Project Life Cycles

From strictly following a plan, to changing and adapting as you go, the project life cycle can take several forms. The objectives, as well as the money and time required for them, are set ahead in a strategy-driven project life cycle, as the name implies. As a result, change management scope can be crucial. Change is assumed to be unavoidable in an adaptive or change-driven approach to the project life cycle, thus scope is developed in numerous rounds.

The Predictive And Extensively Planned Approach To A Project Life Cycle

A classic example of a predictive and planned approach is the traditional waterfall method used throughout software engineering. All phases are largely in order, however, they do intersect at times. Every phase is assigned a specific deliverable. Before beginning implementation, the whole scope is determined at the outset, and a project plan is prepared and evaluated. This project life cycle approach is known for its meticulous change management. It’s best if you have extensive knowledge about what the product is, and have a lot of experience with it.

When the investors may use the goods completely rather than only sections of it, this is also employed. The development of a home is part of an area with a sufficient knowledge foundation and breadth. As a result, cost and time may be entirely, or mostly determined, at the outset. ‘Rolling wave planning’ begins with a broad scope that is expanded as you progress through the phases.

The Adaptive And Open To Changes Approach To A Project Life Cycle

The adaptive or change-driven approach of a life cycle model is utilized in projects in which the product has to be produced and supplied in increments via iterations. Such a project life cycle model is also known as an adaptive version, and Agile methodology is commonly implemented for it. Each cycle is tailored to the requirements of the stakeholders. In each iteration, a change is anticipated in the form of new criteria or input on the product. Each iteration or cycle results in a usable product version.

Objectives are introduced to the following cycle, and thus the product is created in stages. Every iteration forms a brief cycle that lasts anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks and is referred to by the name of ‘Sprint’ in Scrum, which is an Agile methodology.  

When it’s impossible to describe the entire scope in advance, the flexible life cycle model is utilized, as well as when buyers can modify the product and make any changes to it as they evaluate each product version. Customers get to have a usable prototype after each iteration.

This strategy is recommended whenever the schedule you need to follow in order to market the product is too short and the client has to utilize the product right away. This paradigm is also useful in situations when domain changes take place rapidly.

There are several parts that make up a project’s life cycle. In general, it consists of a beginning, organization, and preparation, ‘performing the job,’ and project closure. The life cycle can range from predictive to flexible models.

Read Our Reviews

Brain Sensei is rated 4.7 out of 5.0 stars based on 99 review(s).

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I think the course is good. I wouldn't mind a few more videos and audible in the trainings. I do a lot do reading. I bought the PMBOK book on the side and sometimes have trouble connect the class to the PMBOK book. I do enjoy your format. I am learning. Personally I need buckle down and spend more time on it.

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I really enjoyed the Brain Sensei self learning course as well as the virtual course with the instructor. I was able to pass the PMP with above target ratings for every section. I am so pleased with how easy and efficient the courses were to navigate, and how simply the PMI approach was placed into every day situations. I would highly recommend this course to everyone wanting to either freshen up on their Project skills or to master the PMP.

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Good courses, lots of text and reading. Not as many videos or interactive pieces that I was expecting. And some misspelled words.

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It was great!

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The Course documents should remain open for longer than 6 months, given that PMI gives you 365 days to prepare for exam. Also, the option to extend visibility for the course documents, costs almost a 5th of the course, but opens up the docs for just 30 more days. Propose to extend this to 90 days at the very least.

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اشحنولي

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Your course, quizzes at the end of most modules and practice exams truly challenged me. I definitely derived the value and knowledge I was looking for in preparation for taking the PMP Certification Test. In particular, I appreciated the explanations that popped-up in the tests after an answer was submitted - very educational and helpful to my learning/understanding the material and concepts better. Some areas that could be improved (and some of this is nit-picking) include: * Some of the grammar and overall sentence structures, particularly in the latest set of practice exams, needs to be cleaned-up. Some were missing 'of', 'for, or had an extra 'an' in the narrative - got confusing at times. * In the practice exams, I'd like to see shorter sentences rather than the flurry of 'and' and 'or' conjunctions that made reading the sentences go on forever (had to read them multiple times to truly understand their meaning). That said, I enjoyed the overall online course taking experience and thank you for accommodating my requested time extensions. Best regards, Scott Conn

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Liked it. Need access for longer though.

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What I like best about Brain Sensei is the interactive nature of the course. I think this material would be numbing if delivered as simple lectures with slides. This method is an improvement on that. On the other hand, an in-person course, while more expensive, would likely be even more useful if you have the funds and the time. I haven't taken the PMP exam yet, so I can't comment on how useful the practice tests are.

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Passed first attempt

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Truly the best course in town if you wish to pass the PMP exam on the first try. I love the idea of playing the role of the samurai and practice your project management skill in her shoes. And not to forget, the generous amount of practice exam gave me just the right dose of confidence before taking the real one. Highly recommended

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The course was great, though I found a lot of parts hard to comprehend. I feel a lot more prepared and better skilled to manage projects in my career. Thanks, Brain Sensei.

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very useful

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Overall layout is good, but there are some quality issues. Progress isn't always saved across all devices and progress gets lost. Some small spelling mistakes. I loved the practical storyline...

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Passed my PMP on first attempt using Brain Sensei Prep course.

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Need improvement in presenting more relevant real exam type questions. The practice exams are too simple and easy and do not prepare you for the real exam. Otherwise, good concept presenting material

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The prep materials provided plenty of content which prepared me well for the PMP exam. The questions were packed with information.

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Teaches the PMP in a solid manner, some things you need to know as a potential consumer: -The Samurai backstory is extremely short, and didn’t really assist me with recall in any in-depth way. It only gave broad brush-strokes as to what each phase entailed. -MOST of what was on the test was covered in the lessons, however if I had zero real prior PM knowledge prior to the test, I would have failed. -The first practice test forces you, as the student to actually read into the PMBOK, which was a benefit in the long run as it assisted me with quickly referencing what I needed to find. -The course will likely cover wave tops and subjects, forcing me to self-study for a week before my test... not a bad deal all things considered. -Brain Sensei’s course has incorporated Agile into one of their practice tests, and this test IS mandatory. This may seem strange, and I didn’t get a satisfactory reason why I needed to take a purely Agile test when I only wanted to take the PMP, for anyone else in this scenario, this is the reason: In June, PMI is revamping the PMP test to include Agile as a significant portion of the PMP. Brain Sensei is just ahead of the curve trying to get students prepared... fret not. Their customer service is extremely responsive and does take care of their members. My program had a couple bugs, and the customer service fixed my problems within 24 hours. All in all... it was absolutely worth the money for me.

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Overall very good. Got stuck a few times trying to find resources which I should have downloaded the before starting the program. Customer service has been great.

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SO far I am thoroughly enjoying the Brain Sensei PMP prep course. I have taken a Project management class as a part of my degree which I recently completed and project management has always interested me. I find the course to be educational and easy to follow. I am grateful that this course has been designed in such a way that is simple to understand all of the complexities in project management and that allows me to study at my own pace.

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The content is good and easy to understand

- Glenn

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This review is based on completing all course work through module 102. The story and interactive nature of the course are helpful for learning and relating the material. It would be nice to have the page numbers to the PMBOK guide where references are made to it. Other information that will be helpful, are the explanations to the practice questions at the end of each module. These are provided only after immediately answering the questions. Having these available in the score summary from the 'history' tab will be helpful to refresh why the answer is correct and other options are not.

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Clear and precise explanations of how things work. I was never lost navigating the course.

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A smart approach to present the information which makes it fun and engaging while at the same time preparing for the PMP exam. Brain Sensei differentiates itself from other PMP exam preps in that it delivers the knowledge through the use of storytelling technique. I recommend this course because it will help you pass your PMP exam on the first try.

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I passed the PMP exam after taking Brain Sensei's Online PMP Certification Exam Prep. The practice exam questions were so similar to the questions that appeared on the exam. On exam day, when I sat down to take the test and started running through the questions I felt so relieved! The practice exams are also timed so you get more comfortable with the exam experience and feel better prepared when you sit down to take the test. The other differentiator was the video content throughout the modules. The concepts are taught through a story of a young samurai defending her kingdom. This will probably be the only PMP prep course where you can learn all the knowledge areas and feudal Japan at the same time. I'd recommend this course not just because of the videos but because it helped me pass my exam on the first try.

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Good course, but a few grammatical errors with how some questions were worded.

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It was good!

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Loved the unique approach and it still had all the info I'd expect from a full PMP exam prep course. Very responsive on questions too.

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