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

The Next Generation

We have seen a powerful generic third level lifecycle model. This model expands the Plan-Do model, through the Conceive-Define-Execute-Finish (C-D-E-F) model to an eight stage model, by subdividing each of the C-D-E-F phases. Two further stages are added to recognize that there is a time lag between the technical completion of the project and the administrative completion.

This model has intrinsic quality management systems by creating an internal referenced stage-gate system and inter-project reference for management by projects and the Planning phase develops the stage-gate criteria for the Doing Phase. With project delivery as the product, TQM principles can be applied and this implies the need for a department to take ownership of this product, and a senior manager to be accountable, such as a CPO.

From the model, two separate APMA's, for the Planning and the Doing phases, emerge. This is supported by an indication that the two halves both contain the five project processes, although this is harder to demonstrate for the Planning phase due to its more iterative nature. The product of the two phases is likely to be different, the Planning phase always being tangible/intellect and the Doing phase being any of the four potential APMAs. The Dynamic Base Line model of project management also supports this division, especially if the Doing phase is craft based, allowing Planning to be Management by Methods and Doing to be Management by Rules.

The author believes that a generic fourth level model is unlikely to arise for at least two reasons. Firstly, the lifecycle model and the WBS are intricately linked and the lifecycle model should aid in the development of the WBS, and at the current nine phases (sanction is more a milestone) then this model has the magic number seven (plus or minus two) required for easy mental grasp.[11] Secondly, this model only just constrains all the potential APMAs and any further generic levels are likely to be applicable to specific APMA, or even an industry sector.

This model strengthens one of three essential pillars of a successful project management system, the lifecycle. Its use does not ensure project success, nor does the failure to use it ensure project failure, but using it is likely to load the odds in your favor.

A Game of Two Halves  A Game of Two Halves

11. Reference to The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on our Capacity for Processing Information by G. A. Miller, Harvard University, 1956
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