The project is a temporary endeavor to create a unique solution according to PMBOK. The notion of the project is focusing on the temporary nature of it, which is very different from what operations are that is focusing on the ongoing nature of it. This temporary nature of the project means that there is a lifecycle around it that is known as the Project Management lifecycle.The project management lifecycle is one of the building blocks of every project as the second is the Project management 5 processes.
In this article, we will explore the project lifecycle and in the subsequent articles the 5 project management processes. A project lifecycle has a beginning and an end. The product will be conceived, developed, and delivered to the customer. Or the product that a company develops will be conceived, grow, become mature, and die afterward, or replaced by another product. No Project Manager should believe that the projects that he is working on, or the products that he is manufacturing will be evergreen. Different industries have different lifecycles.
An example of a lifecycle is from 280Group which is: Conceive, plan, develop, qualify, launch, maximize, and retire as we can see below. From the conceive phase to the retirement phase we can see that there is a whole lifecycle. Again this lifecycle is unique to your products and each stage can last longer. An example is for a fashion product, the whole cycle can be smaller as fashion trends change pretty often and new fashion products can replace the old ones. The framework from 280group is one example that a company could follow, but again is highly customizable and companies can avoid including some phases of the cycle.
Agile Project Management Lifecycle
The agile lifecycle’s main characteristic is the iterative nature of phases. In Agile methodology, everything is around sprints. We have continuous loops of sprints until a condition (done) to have the product is ready. How a typical agile lifecycle works are:
- Requirements – these are all the needs of the stakeholders that we will need to work on and will be impacted as features to our end product. Here the product owner takes these requirements and prioritizes them on the product backlog.
- Design phase – this entails the look and feel but also the architectural design. What data sources we will be using and what technologies to achieve our goals.
- Development and coding – this is all about implementing what we planed in our previous stage. This is where the sprints are starting and in which one we deliver a more complete product to the end-user.
- Testing – this is a crucial step to test if our product meets the stakeholders’ needs and works as it was supposed to. This phase is not only about functional testing but user acceptance testing. How easy is to be used by the final users etc.
- Deployment – this is when the solution that was built is ready to be shipped and installed to the end-user. This is a phase that the last details and bug fixing are included. This can be regarded as the end of the lifecycle as we need to release the developers and ship the product to the end user.