OT: Transfer of Product
While on the subject of project life span, there is room for improvement in dealing with the final phase of a project in which the product(s) are transferred into the "care, custody and control" of the customer or user. The product resulting from the project may be excellent and fully up to specification, but if the final transfer is not handled with appropriate delicacy, the reaction to it may still be negative and the project seen as a failure. We use the term "delicacy" advisedly, because this part of the project is often fraught with political overtones. After all, who wants to change the way they normally do business according to some higher management edict?
Cutover is very much a specialist task, differing according to the delivered end product. I know of no pm method that handles this any better than PRINCE2. At least the method gives the management products that should be considered, and these should trigger thoughts on whether the hand-over is going OK. Such products are customer and operational acceptance - these cover much of the political problems that you mention, and PRINCE2 asks for Acceptance Criteria, needed for these acceptances, right at the start of the project. Does any other method?
What you say may well be true and I don't disagree. However, there is always room for improvement and what I had in mind was the judicious employment of "project public relations" or, if you like, the deliberate deployment of "positive politics".
I think that this is simply in the way that a Project Manager handles the process of Closing a Project. Done by a Project Manager who is politically sensitive, it should achieve everything that you ask for. I am not sure that you can build that into a method. In PRINCE2 the answer would be to ensure that you take the customer with you every step of the way through the project, then ownership becomes a joint affair, not the "us and them" attitude which I think concerns you.
Next month we will continue publication of our Email exchanges in which author Colin Bentley expresses further concerns about our original review of the PRINCE2 methodology.