Originally published here April 2002.
This page updated June, 2003

Introduction | A Generic 3rd Level Model | The Whole Project and Nothing but
Including Management by Projects | A Game of Two Halves | The Next Generation

A Game of Two Halves

It has already been suggested that projects have two halves and as the project becomes more complex they tend towards separate Areas of Project Management Application (APMA). Besides a nagging intuition, is there any evidence to suggest a deeper truth in this postulation?

At the first generic level of the project lifecycle there is Planning and Doing. Instinct tells us that Planning and Doing often take different skills. By taking the third level generic project lifecycle proposed here and examining it using the five processes set out by the Project management Institute's guide to the Body of Knowledge, each half of the project lifecycle can be seen to be a project in its own right.[8]








Requirement (URS)

(Design) [Planning Phase]


Design (detail)



Functionality (FS)

Check, Review and Audit



Close out

The allocation of the Planning phase to the processes is a loose fit because of the iterative nature of planning, whereas those for the Doing phase are more clear-cut because of its more linear nature. This attempt to straightjacket and confuse the project lifecycle with the project processes is only indicative and ignores the micro-planning and interactions that occur between the process phases.

The purpose of this assessment with the project processes is to show that the erstwhile Administrative phase of Sanction acts as the termination of the Planning phase and the initiation of the Doing phase. This reflects the intrinsic nature of the stage-gate approach where the termination of a phase is either the termination of the project or the initiation of the next phase, the two processes being indistinguishable from each other.

Having assessed that the Planning and Doing are two different "projects" within the overall project there is also the supposition that they are two different APMA's. The APMA's have been categorized using a 2x2 grid based on their product, tangible or intangible, i.e. solid or imaginary, and the work used to create them, craft or intellect, i.e. brawn or brain work.[9] The product of the planning phase is tangible-intellect, that is, the project design documentation. The ultimate product of the project can be in any form.

The Dynamic Baseline Model (DBM) also suggests that two different project management approaches are possible, if the project objectives are compatible with the change of management style.[10] During the Planning phase the static baseline is low and Management by Method or Values are the order of the day. During the Doing phase the static baseline has been set higher and the use of Management by Rules can be used to achieve the relatively mechanistic completion of the project, in most cases.

There is a danger in using different project managers for each half of the project, especially because of that human frailty of "not invented here". On larger projects, a more common approach is to appoint a "construction manager" since the increase in information and decisions to be handled can no longer be handled by a single person. From a DBM perspective this allows a project (Management by Methods) manager to supervise a construction (Management by Rules) manager whilst holding overall control of the project.

Including Management by Projects  Including Management by Projects

8. c.f. the definition of a project and project process — references 1 and 2.
9. http://maxwideman.com/issacons/iac1001/sld006.htm
10. http://maxwideman.com/issacons1/iac1150/
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