The Project Life Cycle
For each project, we have one common goal: to complete the project’s work to satisfy the project’s objectives. Every project has a start, a middle stage in which actions take the project closer to completion, and a finish (Watt, 2019). There are four main phases in any project lifecycle, as Initiation Phase, Planning Phase, Implementation Phase, and the Closing Phase.
In the current fast paced and heavily competitive social and economic conditions, it’s critical to get it right the first time. As it helps overcome the resistance to change and allows for the incorporation of lessons gained into the project management design, a phased approach to establishing project management can greatly raise the likelihood of success. Phased approach also ensures that significant stakeholders have access to high-quality enterprise-level data. (DURATION-DRIVEN, 2010).
Disadvantages of following the Project Life cycle
The main disadvantage of following the life cycle, is sticking to the rigid approach, and following all the stages of the life cycle. Depending on the project, it may not necessarily need all the phases or might need additional stages. Also, for a lot of software projects, we may not need to take a sequential phased approach. An overlapping project phase approach would be more efficient and less time taking. We could also set up multiple decision points in the development process and identify which ones are most beneficial for making decisions on continuity and improvement of the product or the project as applicable.
Especially in case of software development, the four phases of life cycle would fail, because of the varying nature of projects. It is very common for consulting companies to develop a project and release multiple upgrades to it while the project is still in production. In case of long-term contractual development projects, the maintenance of certain apps or online products is also done by the same team. In such cases, do we consider maintenance as a part of the Execution phase, or do we consider it a brand-new project and put it in the planning phase? Same goes with releasing multiple upgrades and/or bug fixes. The project is never truly done but is worked on multiple times with various iterations. (Burgan & Burgan, 2014)
One more major disadvantage of following the life cycle is the loss of creativity. The team leaders could excessively focus on the management processes and/or set stringent deadlines, which would hinder the creativity of the staff by forcing them to adhere to strict parameters. This can also hamper the innovation which could have otherwise been beneficial to the projects. These types of problems could be seen in advertising, marketing, or art related industries.
Lastly, and most importantly, there could also be a communication overhead. With new teams and new members joining the team and the company an extra layer of communication would be added. Managing large teams may not always match the initial planning or the organizational culture, requiring project managers to deviate from what is put forth during the planning phase.
Burgan, S. C., & Burgan, D. S. (2014). One size does not fit all: Choosing the right project approach. PMI® Global Congress 2014—North America, Phoenix, AZ. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute. Retrieved from PMI: https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/choosing-righ…
DURATION-DRIVEN. (2010, Feb 26). phased-project-management-implementation. Retrieved from pm-alliance: https://pm-alliance.com/phased-project-management-…
Watt, A. (2019). Project Management. BCcampus Open Education.
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