Elements of the Project Life Span
In Figure 2 I show the project life span's basic element, together with its attributes, and call it the "Project Activity Step". This is consistent with the PMrBoK and the current thinking on quality and the Total Quality Management (TQM) concept.
Figure 2: The Project Activity Step
(Copyright Professor Elvin Isgrig, 1991, reproduced with permission)
In Figure 3 I show the external inputs, outputs, mechanisms, and controls associated with the project process.
Figure 3: The Project Activity Step - Attributes
Figure 4 further elaborates this picture of the activity and its externalities to show that there are multiple kinds of sources, and hence vested interests, in the inputs, outputs, controls and, to some extent, the processes. In viewing these illustrations, remember that the terminology shown is neither mandatory nor exclusionary. It follows that on any given project the language will require tailoring.
Figure 4: The Project Activity Step - Externalities
In Figure 5, I have added even more detail so that we now have a reasonable generic model picture of how the detail of a project evolves. In developing your own specific project, it is essential that you substitute words or phrases that are meaningful in your environment, add or omit activities as appropriate, expand or collapse phases to meet control requirements, and so on. In other words tailor it to the specific requirements of the project situation that makes your team members comfortable. Only then can you understand the whole picture clearly, sell it to your project team, and relate it meaningfully to your client or customer.
Figure 5: The Project Activity Step - Details
In closing, I would like to gratefully acknowledge the guidance of Max Wideman in the partial recasting and rewriting of this material, in addition to his careful (and persistent) questioning in the editing.
In Part 2 of this paper, I will discuss the job to be done, relations with the customer and structural considerations for a PMrBoK.