The Project Management Life Cycle
By Jason Westland (A book review by R. Max Wideman) Introduction Editor's Note: We liked so much of this book that we asked for the author's permission to quote extensively from the whole of Jason Westland's Chapter 1. This is because it succinctly describes what follows in detail in the remainder of the book. However, in pursuing our regular book review structure, we placed his text under corresponding headings. Since the quotations are so extensive, we have not followed our normal practice of indenting quoted paragraphs. However, the references are identified in the footnotes. As Jason says: "Welcome to The Project Management Life Cycle. This ...view middle of the document...
Each of these chapters describes a particular project life cycle phase in detail, by providing the activities and tasks required to complete the phase in its entirety. In Chapter 2 you will learn how to initiate projects by developing a business case, undertaking a feasibility study, establishing the terms of reference, appointing the team and setting up a project office. "Every step required to build a comprehensive suite of project plans is provided in Chapter 3. This includes the activities required to create a project plan, resource plan, financial plan, quality plan, risk plan, acceptance plan, communications plan and procurement plan. The entire tender process is also defined, allowing you to create a suite of tender documentation to help you select a preferred supplier and create a supplier contract.
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Figure 1: The four phases of the project life cycle3 "The most complex phase in the project life cycle (project execution) is made simple in Chapter 4 with a step by step guide to the nine critical management processes: time management, cost management, quality management, change management, risk management, issue management, procurement management, acceptance management and communications management. "Finally in Chapter 5, you will be shown how to formally close a project by creating a project closure report and undertaking a post implementation review. So sit back, relax and discover the vital steps needed to manage a project through the four critical phases of the project life cycle: initiation, planning, execution and closure."4 What we liked – Project Initiation Jason says: "The first phase of a project is the initiation phase. During this phase a business problem or opportunity is identified and a business case providing various solution options is defined. Next, a feasibility study is conducted to investigate whether each option addresses the business problem and a final recommended solution is then put forward. Once the recommended solution is approved, a project is initiated to deliver the approved solution. Terms of reference are completed outlining the objectives, scope and structure of the new project, and a project manager is appointed. The project manager begins recruiting a project team and establishes a project office environment. Approval is then sought to move into the detailed planning phase." 5 "Within the initiation phase, the business problem or opportunity is identified, a solution is defined, a project is formed and a project team is appointed to build and deliver the solution to the customer. Figure 1.3 shows the activities undertaken during the initiation phase:
Figure 2: Project initiation activities "Develop a business case: The trigger to initiating a project is identifying a business problem or opportunity to be addressed. A business case is created to define the problem or opportunity in...