The confusion between process groups and
life cycle phases extends into a number of third-party training documents
which I have chosen not to cite in the bibliography! As an example, the terminology
sometimes used for a project "being in the execution process group" is meaningless
since, at any time, its active processes may be taken from more than just a single
PG, and the project is actually "within" many PGs most of the time. The confusion
is exacerbated by the use of similar terms for PGs (e.g. "Planning") and the life
cycle phases commonly used.
To explain why this multi-use of similar terms
is a source of confusion, consider the following illustrative example:
have a number of potential diseases (say 10, like Knowledge Areas), each
with its own set of pills (49 or so, in all, like PMI's processes). There
are, as we all know, 7 days in the week, called Monday, Tuesday, etc. (our
Now, you find that for organizational reasons, the Para-Medical
Institute (PMI) has supplied you with the pills boxed together by similar characteristics,
into 7 boxes called Monday, Tuesday, etc. (based on the traditional children's
rhyme: for example, "Monday's child is fair of face" for the dermatological pills,
"Thursday's child has far to go" for the laxatives, etc.). They have included
an instruction sheet that states clearly "the names on the boxes do not correspond
to the days on which you should take the pills".
For any given disease,
or set of diseases, you will have to take pills from one or more of the boxes
(labeled Monday, Tuesday, etc.) on one or more days of the week, depending on
the disease and your constitution. The days on which you have to take the pills
are unlikely to be the same as the days printed on the boxes.
I, for one,
would consider this to be a less than optimal way of ensuring compliance with
the prescribed treatment regimen for a specific disease as you would be
tempted to confuse the pill boxes with a set of chronological instructions!
analysis underlines the need for modifying the approach currently used for defining
and explaining process groups.