Do we have any criticisms? Well, yes, just a few. First, as we have suggested many times elsewhere, we think that Figure 1, showing the four phases of the project life cycle is a perfect illustration of why the "project life cycle" should not be called "cycle" but called "span" instead. The figure shows the project phases going round in circles but never seems to produce a final output anywhere. That might be good news for a continuous quality improvement model, but it is not an ideal depiction of a project. And, before anyone jumps in and points out that "iteration" is a key element of information technology, our answer is: True, but the iterations only take place in the project execution phase and the iterations are progressive!
We feel strongly that for any but the smallest of projects, the results of the planning phase should be summarized into a Project
(Execution) Charter. The approval of this Charter by the project's sponsor or senior management then provides the project manager
with the updated authority to expend resources on the remaining phases and in accordance with the planned modus operandi.
If this corporate management control strategy is adopted, then we think that the creation of the detailed plans described as
part of the planning phase, should in fact be included as the first stage in Project Execution.
Finally, we think that the Project Closure phase could have a little more beef to it. Here, the very success of a project depends
heavily on how well the product is "transferred to the care, custody and control" of the users. That means careful and appropriate
marketing, training and support. This final sequence is crucial to the success of any project.