May 5, 2007 | Author: PM Hut | Filed under: Concepts
Project Management: An Overview
By Stephen S Alison
A Project can best be described as any corporate initiative that displays one or more of the following characteristics:
• It will have a clearly defined business objective, more usually related to introducing change within the business or corporation, and will be a “one off” activity with a definitive Start and Finish;
• It is likely to involve numerous inter-related tasks and, as an activity, it would benefit from formalised procedures, processes and controls to ensure successful delivery and implementation;
• It may well involve cross-functional working and the use of shared resources including but not limited to departments or divisions such as Information Technology (IT), Human Resources (HR) and Finance;
There are essentially four (4) stages or phases in any Project Lifecycle:
2. Feasibility Study;
4. Closure or Finalisation;
Principal Purpose of Each Project Lifecycle Phase:
• Initiation – the initiation phase is the undertaking of a high-level investigation into the proposed project to enable an informed decision to be made on the commitment of funds and the required resources for a more detailed investigation.
The purpose here is to Identify, Scope and Gain Initial Approval for a Project or Projects that will deliver tangible benefit to the business.
• Feasibility Study Phase – the study phase is intended to produce a high-level specification of the requirements and to formulate a recommended approach on how to address them, thus allowing a decision to be made on the soundness of the Project and the commitment of corporate funds and resources to the commencement and delivery of the Project – either in full or in part.
The purpose of the study phase is to Confirm and Reiterate the business requirements and benefits of the proposed Project (s), Identify and Select the Preferred Solution and to Prepare an Outline Schedule for the Delivery Phase.
• Delivery Phase – to define, plan and schedule the Project’s delivery in the required detail, and to proceed to implementation in accordance with the terms of the resulting Scope, Budget and Timescales.
The purpose of the delivery phase is to Design, Develop, Test, Implement and Hand Over the Solution identified in the Feasibility Study Phase. Management of the Project Deliverables at a detailed, and if necessary a nitty gritty level, should then be bestowed on the parties involved in delivery during this phase.
• Closure or Finalisation Phase – the purpose here is to review the effectiveness of the delivery of the Project, to Close the Budget and to Release any remaining financial or other resources.
The purpose of the Closure or Finalisation phase is to ensure that all agreed deliverables have been accepted by the Users, all costs have been properly accounted for and allocated, and the mechanisms for monitoring the delivery of the project benefits are put in place.
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