Category Archives: Project Life Cycle

How can we travel the project journey, successfully?

Road Maps to Travel the Project Journey: End-to-End

Almost every organization today deliver value to their shareholders, customers, or citizens and the community through projects. The vital question is how to enhance the chance of success, deliver excellence, and maximize value? How to ensure that the management of these projects will produce maximum benefits? Continue reading

Proper Stage-Gate Methodology abd early planning can save 25% on project schedule

How to lead large and complex (mega) projects to success?

This post is specific to Executives, especially those leading Project Owners’s Organizations.

How to lead large and complex (mega) projects to success?

How you can minimize the chance of delays and overruns and maximizing value to your shareholders?

In a recent article, we wrote and recorded video on why project owners organizations are afraid of project management. That was a tough article to write since it could have touched on organizational culture and pride but nonetheless, the message has to be said. Continue reading

Project Management, Social Media, and (mis)information (مع تسجيل فيديو بالعربي)

It is quite common nowadays the use of social media to network, share knowledge, and learn. Project management is one of those domains that we also use social media for.

It is also common to find many groups on social media sites dedicated to project management, especially those sites advocating the PMP certifications and posting questions daily or hourly.

What are some of the issues, challenges, problems, and opportunities that we see with such groups? Continue reading

IMHO, Ajam Thoughts, CAMMP™ Delivery Phase

IMHO, Ajam's PM Thoughts, Video Series 2

IMHO, Ajam Thoughts, CAMMP™ Development Phase

IMHO, Ajam's PM Thoughts, Video Series 2

SUKAD Published Books

What are SUKAD contribution to project management?

This post is part of our outreach and a bit of promotion. Today, we present our knowledge sharing initiatives and activities. Continue reading

IMHO, Ajam Thoughts, CAMMP™ Discovery Phase

IMHO, Ajam's PM Thoughts, Video Series 2

IMHO, Ajam Thoughts, Project Phases and Stages

Once again, are the process groups = project phases?

We realize that we discuss this topic often, and others do as well on various online platforms and social media sites. Yet, we continue to see PMPs, PMI Registered Education Providers (REP), “PMP Instructors” confuse this concept and think that the process groups are project phases.

Even when they say they are not the same, once we go into applying the concept, they fall into the trap of “Planning Phase” and “Execution Phase”. Continue reading

Simulating a project with project life cycle and process groups

The following post is part of a chapter in our upcoming book on The Customizable and Adaptable Methodology for Managing Projects™ (CAMMP™). This section presents a possible scenario on taking a project from idea to closure following the CAMMP Project Life Cycle, which integrates the process groups of PMI / ISO.

Establishing an OPM System for Foreign Ministry

The project

Let us assume the organization is the ministry of foreign affairs for a given government. The project is about building a sustainable Organizational Project Management System. This OPM System will be implemented in the home country across the various divisions and globally for any projects led by the various embassies, such as ‘aid’ projects.

Discovery Phase

As the new minister take charge after a government reshuffle, she recognized that the ministry has numerous projects all over the world, but the reports on these projects were entirely different.

The reports did not have consistency in term of format and content. Further, it was not clear where do these projects stand or how they were performing. After, further investigation, she found out that the ministry did not have a standardized process for managing projects and programs. Since the minister came from a project management background, she asked one of the ministry’s senior staff to draft the Project Brief for building a comprehensive and sustainable Organizational Project Management System, as was described earlier. She approved the Project Brief and appointed a project sponsor to lead the effort.

The sponsor implemented the ‘select project manager’ process (Chapter 29), which led to hiring an expert project manager that is certified in the CAMMP™ Model. The sponsor authorized the project manager to lead the project but starting with the feasibility study. The sponsor also set the success criteria for the stage.

Since the project manager has the authorization (a feasibility stage charter), the next step was to mobilize a project management team to help him develop the Stage Management Plan. At this stage a couple of people could have been enough, a senior planner and a deputy project manager with experience in the ministry type of work. To develop the Stage Management Plan, the project manager followed the maangement planning processes in Chapter 29 (Table 5), which includes all of the processes necessary to manage the stage work.

Once the Stage Management Plan is complete, the project manager mobilized a team of lead experts from the various divisions within the ministry; these would include senior professionals from strategic planning, planning and budgeting, facilities, international affairs, information technology, human resource, sustainability, health and safety, among others. This team with senior professionals developed the Stage Detailed Plan – for the feasibility study, only. The Stage Detailed Plan includes all of the detailed planning processes of Chapter 29 (Table 6), such as the comprehensive scope, cost and schedule estimates for the feasibility stage, the resource requirements, defined the applicable quality standards, identified and analyzed the stage risks and developed response strategies.

Next, it is time for the project team to conduct the feasibility study, which would consider the various factors addressed in Chapter 18. The team also shall follow the processes from Table 7, Chapter 29.

Throughout this study, the project management team monitored and controlled the stage work to ensure that the team did not lose focus and were not doing more than required or less than it is needed. The controlling processes were defined via Table 8, Chapter 29.

Once the feasibility study is complete, it is time for a stage gate and the sponsor approval.

After consulting with the minister, the project was approved, and the sponsor issued the Project Authorization Document. The minister approval was the first approval point; refer to the next chapter. With this approval, it was time to close the stage with the aid of Table 9 processes.

Reflections

It would be valuable to reflect for a moment.

Except for the feasibility study itself, all of the work, such as the Stage Management Plan and Stage Detailed Plan were peculiar to the stage; estimates for the stage; risk for the stage; procurement for the stage; quality for the stage. This approach represents thinking (and working) at the stage level.

Let’s shift focus to thinking on the project level; the feasibility study was about the project. Part of this study were cost and schedule estimates, these were for the project, Class 1 Estimate, as will be discussed in Chapter 37. The study also includes the sustainability considerations, risk, and other factors. All of these actions focus on the project. All of the feasibility considerations will lead to the final recommendation for management decision.

Development Phase – Requirements Stage

The project authorization document approved this stage, and unless something is out of the norm, that authorization is enough to start the stage work.

The next step would be for the project manager to develop the Stage Management Plan. It might be necessary to add staff to the project management team but not necessarily. Same as before, this plan is unique to the stage – only. It includes all of the relevant processes.

From SMP the team will continue work to develop the Stage Detailed Plan. Same story, the SDP is focused on the requirements stage, and it is based on all of the relevant processes.

With the SDP completed, the project manager will mobilize the necessary team members that will conduct (implement) the stage’s main scope, which is to develop the project requirements document per the implementing processes.

Obviously, control is throughout the stage and stage closure once all is acceptable.

Once again, the process groups and their applicable processes would be specific to the stage whereas the requirements document focus is on the project. At the stage gate, management would be concerned with the project requirements document and that it complies with the project authorization; this is a control function on the project level.

The Rest of the stages

Per the previous text, the project manager will continue to lead the project to completion and delivering success. Note the following:

  • Along the project life, the project manager could have been changed and maybe more than once. Although this is not preferred, it might be necessary.
  • The project management team will consist of a couple of members early on but later it could grow, reaching a peak during definition and implementation stages. This team includes planners and schedulers, cost specialists, procurement personnel, among others.
  • The technical team is multiple teams. The leads may be the same throughout the project, but the staff conducting the feasibility study are likely different than those developing the definition package or implementing the work.
  • An operational readiness team should be working early to maintain the communication in the organization about the change and champion the initiative. This team will also be identifying the various steps for the handover and operating the product of the project. This team could become the project management office for the ministry in the long run.
  • Initial operations can be utilized for this project with the implementation of the new system in one division in the home country before roll out in other divisions and globally.
  • Repeating, the process groups and their applicable processes would apply at every stage.