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
The way it fluctuates during the life cycle of a project
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.