Module 5

Unit 5.1

Project Management steps & tools

Project Management Life Cycles

University of Malta
Institute for Tourism, Travel & Culture

Project Management life cycle

  • Definition
  • A project management life cycle is a framework made up of a set of distinct & separate high­-level stages required to transform an idea or concept into happening in a way that is orderly and efficient.
  • Life cyclesoffer a systematic and organised way to undertake project­-based work. They provide the structure making implementation possible.

Types of life cycles

  • Life cycles provide the basis to the management of project­ work.
  • Different approaches can be util­ised for their implementation. The choice depends on a number of factors. These include:
  • the desired outputs
  • the desired benefits and outcomes
  • and the expected uncertainty, novelty and risk appetite.
  • The choice made for the type of implementation approach will play a key role in choosing the most fitting form of life cycle.

Linear (waterfall) life cycles

  • Linear (waterfall) life cyclesare structured into a particular set of clear phases.
  • These span from the development of the initial idea or concept to the deployment of a final outcome, output or set of benefits.
  • This approach aims to be very structured, predictable and stable.
  • Linear life cycles tend to be described as predictive.

Iterative (agile) life cycles

  • Iterative (agile) life cyclesare made of several repetitions, which bring back one or more of the phases that took place before, and then proceeding to the following one.
  • Iterative approaches can only proceed when user feedback is available to the project planners.
  • This response is to be used as the basic starting point for initiating new cycles of development, refinement and improvement.
  • This type of approach tends to be adaptative rather than prescriptive.

Hybrid life cycles

  • Hybrid life cyclesare those approaches that tend to fuse together different elements to create a new model or approach.
  • For example, utilising iterative or agile methods for early steps, where generally the uncertainty is at the highest point, and following it up with incremental or sequential processes to make implementation more structured. There are a number of types of life cycles. These include:
  • Incremental: Here the target state is reached through a staged series of smaller steps, and
  • Evolutionary: Here implementation depends on various relatively major transitions; each is based on user feedback from the preceding phase.
  • There is no universal best approach. Project professionals select the most fitting structure for their case. Very often they combine elements from any of the above, or other approaches, into a hybrid life cycle.

End of Unit 5.1

Module 4
Unit 5.2