The Project
Lifecycle

Initiation Phase

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To begin a project, you must first go through the initiation
phase, this is the first phase of the project lifecycle and it also the most
important as it is the foundation when starting a new project. During this phase
multiple factors must be taken into consideration, these can include;

·        
whether or not the project is needed

·        
who the project will affect

·        
what the long-term goal of the project is  

·        
who the individuals and groups are that will
carry out the project to completion

 These factors will
fit into the projects ‘scope’ which is a list including the goals,
deliverables, features, functions tasks, deadlines and ultimately costs

 

Planning Phase

The planning phase is the second phase of the project lifecycle,
this phase helps to outline the initial scope that was created during the
initiation phase. The plans that are made during this phase will help to guide
the management of the project, this is because all original factors in the
scope will be in a higher level of detail and will be expanded on giving the
project team clear instructions to follow. The higher level of detail could be
things such as the exact amount of resources that are needed to complete the
project, these resources could include materials, people, time, and money.
Clearly defining how much of these are needed is important because it can allow
the project to flow smoothly as if not all the resources are obtained then the
project may be left at a standstill until the needed resources are finally
collected.

Execution Phase

The execution phase of the project is where the deliverables
are created and then delivered to the customer, due to the nature of this phase
it Is typically the longest section of a project lifecycle and is spit into milestones,
this allows the teams to have something to word towards other than the end goal.
This phase heavily relies on the two previous phases for it to be successful,
this is because all the specifications that were created would now be used as
instructions for the project management team to follow to ensure the resources
are being used correctly, because this phase is the one that makes use all the
resources that are collected from the planning phase it uses the most resources
when compared to the other phases.

Evaluation Phase

This is the final phase of a project lifecycle and it is an
overall review of the project entirety, this review covers;

·        
The quality of the deliverables

·        
The success of the project

·        
The performance of the teams within the project

·        
Issues and how they were solved

The evaluation provides the most
important information as it can help to improve future projects based on
positives and negatives of the previous project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Methodologies

Waterfall

The waterfall methodology is primarily linked to software
development however it can be used in for other projects. The main
characteristic of the Waterfall model is that all the stages flow one after
another, like what a waterfall does. The waterfall model will contain the 4 aspects
of the project lifecycle, however other stages can be implemented to provide
extra support as when following this model there is usually no going back after
a step has been completed, this means that all the steps must be completed in
as much detail as possible, this way the project will have a reduced risk of
failure due to each step of the project relying on those before it.

 

Spiral

The spiral model was originally used for prototyping but has
been adapted slightly so that it can also be used as a project management
system. The Spiral model is exactly as it would suggest as the model follows a
spiral going outwards that covers four key points multiple times. The four key
points are as follows;

·        
Planning- This stage is a mixture between the
planning and initiation stages from the project lifecycle. It covers what the
project aims or needs to complete, this could be the main scope of the project.
This stage also covers how the project will be completed or how the aims will
be achieved, this can be done in the form of a system requirements
specification, this will cover at minimum the requirements of the project and
how they can be solved.

 

·        
Risk analysis- This section identifies all the
risks that come with the project in its current state. The risks that are
covered in this section are mainly risks to the development of the project,
some of these could include; insufficient funds and resources, legal issues and
a lack of time. A risk analysis is completed on every layer of the spiral as
new issues and risks to development will be identified throughout the projects
Lifecyle. In addition to helping to identify the risks this section also gives
the time to help to provide alternate solutions to overcome the problems to
ensure the other stages of the project go according to plan. At the end of this
section a prototype is produced ensuring that none of the risks specified are
still present.

 

·        
Engineering- This stage is where the prototyped
product is tested according to the risk assessment, ensuring that it meets some
of the project aims.

 

·        
Evaluation-This is the final section of the
spiral model before it repeats. This section consists of the customer feedback
that is given about the prototyped produce and taking note of issues with the
product allowing them to be assessed during the next risk assessment phase.
After this section the risk assessment phase starts again, the spiral model
continues until the project team is happy with the final product.

 

 

 

 

Agile

The agile model suggests that larger projects cannot be
completely planned as the client will often change their objective, this is because
no project can stay the same from start to finish as certain actions may have
to be taken changing the project while keeping it to the client specifications
intact. Due to these beliefs agile development follows 12 key principles to
follow instead of a set path. These principles are;

 

1.      
Ensuring the client is satisfied, this could be
with continuous updates on how the project is coming along or by providing them
with a copy of the projects developments such as an updated build of software
that is being developed, or by giving them a prototype of a physical product.

2.      
Allow changes to requirements, the changes made
during the project should be implemented shortly after receiving the request of
a change, this way the client can have an advantage over other competitors as
the project can adapt around what they are doing.

3.      
Delivering a functional product of the project
more frequently, this will shorten the time between the planning and delivery
of a product and can help clients follow where the development is going in
relation to their input.

4.      
The management and development teams must work
together on a daily basis, by doing it is ensuring that the project has good
communication throughout its lifecycle

5.      
Ensure motivated individuals are always involved,
Agile development does not support micromanagement as the teams should be built
from well-motivated and self-directed teams

6.      
Us face to face interactions as the main source
of information and communication, by using this form of communication the project
can be handled smoothly and efficiently as direct answers would be give and the
time between giving and receiving a questions answer would be shorter.

7.      
A functional product is the measure of progress,
this allows the customer to see the projects completion by judging the product
in its current state.

8.      
Sustainable development should be promoted, larger
projects can take a lot of time, this means that employees and project team can
get worn out quickly if working consistently. Agile development promotes
sustainable development through short bursts of quality work.

9.      
Continually improving the quality of design
during the project, this is where the production team would identify the current
issues with a product, such as bugs in the code of a piece of software being
developed. These issues should then be attended to immediately to ensure the project
continues smoothly

10.  
Simplicity is important, this is to help reduce
the amount of work done to reduce stress on the project teams, this can be done
by avoiding things that do not matter.

11.  
The best requirements and designs come from an
organised team, during agile development the teams should take their own direction
and team members should not be told what to do as they should face problems and
help the team to find solutions allowing the project to move forward

12.  
Inspect the current state of the project and
product, during the project teams should take a step back from working and analyse
the project and adapt it if they see fit

Comparing the features and benefits of each methodology

Each methodology has its own distinct
and unique features while also sharing similarities with the other methodologies.
To begin, the waterfall model is unlike several other project methodologies as
it follows a straight path during a projects development, due to this waterfall
is mainly used for smaller projects due to it having few steps, however these
few steps will contain a lot of detail if the project is competed properly,
waterfall also helps to prevent future issues with a project during development
as the current step is thoroughly analysed to ensure that there are no mistakes
that could affect the project later on in time as the waterfall model restricts
you from going back  to change anything
or excluding certain steps. Similarly, PRINCE2 (Projects IN Controlled Environments)
is also a step based model, however unlike waterfall it is designed to work
with larger projects, this could be useful as larger organisations may want to
follow a step based model to keep track of the projects progress allowing them to
inform the client of a rough completion date.

On the other hand, methodologies such
as agile development and spiral give the project teams more freedom, this is because
agile focuses on 12 key factors to implement during a project and spiral revisits
the same steps several times to give the team room for error and improvement. Both
of these methodologies are designed for larger projects as a lot of work must
go into them, spiral for example follows similar steps to waterfall but instead
of leaving a step after its completion spiral revisits the step meaning new specifications
and faults can be taken into account meaning the project can last a long time
before it completely meets client specifications, this also means that usually the
first project will satisfy the clients needs due to them having an influence
throughout development. In contrast agile development handles large projects in
a different way, this is done by following 12 key principles as agile states
that no project especially larger ones are not protected form change during development,
and by following the key principles the project can be more efficient as a
whole as teams can focus on what they need to complete rather than completing one
single step at a time. Despite this agile development can become somewhat
decentralised as the project teams are left to their own tasks instead of
everyone following set tasks similarly to waterfall and PRINCE2.