Projects can be broadly defined as specific and unique tasks targeted at a concise purpose or need at a specified time. Projects, like living organisms, have a lifecycle comprised of conception, birth, growth and maturation, waning and, subsequently, demise. The life cycle of a project evaluates the desired completion as a product of strict temporal guidelines referred to as the schedule as well as the resource allocation specifically, the budgetary allowance. Similarly, a project cycle involves defining a feasible plan, implementation of the project and evaluation of the project outcome. This process is confined within a feasible schedule and budgetary restriction. (Archibald et al., 2013)
The life cycle of a project peaked my interest due to its multifaceted importance in not only the academic field but also in various organizational employment requirements as ascribed to in project management. Project management requires the effective utilization skills, tools and knowledge to meet requirements of the project (Meredith & Shafer, 2016). In the academic cadres, various research projects require a complete understanding of how to effectively meet the timelines of the research but also work within the stipulated budgetary allowances. Employment opportunities in multinational corporations to which I have a keen interest in require an individual who can promptly employ the prerequisites at each stage of the cycle of a project to ensure its desired completion outcomes. A keen understanding of this topic will equip me with the necessary skills to implement in my professional career.
Comparison of Research with Classwork
My understanding of project management following this week's discussion has mostly emphasized on projects as an execution-oriented cadre with emphasis on time and budgetary guidelines, and as such, the lifecycle of the project is of utmost importance. Edkins et al. proposed that the unintended demise of most project life cycles is based on the inadequacy of establishing a strong front-end management (Edkins et al., 2013). This article forms the basis on which my topic is established as it draws a clear precedent that a project has a clear cycle with an important emergence phase without which it might not succeed. Campos et al. help to emphasize my point by providing a practical view of the manufacturing industry on how products evolve in their lifecycle to ensure competitiveness and efficacy in marketing. He emphasizes that the decision maker who about my topic is the project manager has to evaluate the cycle of the product (project) to ensure futuristic success (Campos et al., 2014).
Archibald et al. emphasizes the six phases of a project's life cycle and helps to support my presumption that a clear understanding of project's cycle is essential to the projects success (Archibald et al., 2012). These phases are in every respect important to the outcome (Matejka, et al., 2016). Charles et al., further, supports the role of project life cycle in humanitarian operation (Charles et al., 2013). The studies above refer to a portion of the project cycle and help bring into perspective the necessity of having a clear understanding of the life cycle of a project and how to utilize the information appropriately.
Based on my perception of project management and the utmost importance of deciphering the lifecycle of projects, I focused my study on exploring the front end of project management (Edkins et al., 2013). This study supports my notion on evaluating the life cycle of projects by identifying and emphasizing on a proper implementation of the front end of managing the project. The researcher utilizes a multicase exploratory study into the initial stages of project management and further defines this stage with its relation to the project cycle and how each phase relates to the proper implementation of this phase. The study, conducted in the UK utilizes a multicase study design as well as in-depth interviews with senior project management representatives from nine corporations. The rationale for conducting the study was the support by empirical studies that the ultimate projected success or failure of a particular project was based on the efficacy of the initial phases of the project lifecycle.
It was proven that it was imperative for corporations to appreciate that different projects had different duration of their cycle and the weight with which they treated their initialisation phase greatly determined the outcome. It further emphasized the importance of the cycle in the project management process. Incurring a large knowledge base at each stage of the cycle is important to ensuring a smooth project implementation. Recommendations drawn from the research included a thorough assessment of project managers on their competency and knowledge about the project life cycle and the subsequent improvement in implementing the initial phase of the study about ensuring fluency of the other stages of the cycle.
A rather clear demonstration of the lifecycle of projects can be seen in biblical texts such as the one portrayed from the onset in the story of creation in which God utilizes a systematic approach. Evidently, God demonstrates that He had a plan of progression on which he based his creation from the first day to the sixth day and subsequently rested. (Lucas, 2015). The story of the salvation of the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan in the book of Exodus also embodies the principles of project life cycle. The systematic approach of suing Moses to convince Pharaoh and the desert stories helped to serve a greater purpose in creating belief among the Israelites in God's power in a well-crafted systematic process of project planning (Allen, 2014). Jesus mission of salvation on earth as portrayed in the New Testament books of the Gospel portrays a systematic project that evolves from John The Baptist who prepared Christs way to the saddening death of Jesus on the cross and eventually His resurrection (White, 2016).
Project life cycle ascribes to a principle that can find use in several fields notably in the business, finance and industrial domains. Due to its conceptualisation in project management, multinational corporations are in the forefront in championing the implementation of well-crafted project life cycles in their annual project plans. The process of initiation, planning, execution and eventual termination ensure a sequential and synchronized completion of projects. Institutions of professional learning emphasize on inculcating their graduates in the business field with these course skills. Managers are also constantly provided with training workshops on project life cycle skills which are necessary to ensure a successful execution of company projects without misusing resources of time and money.
Archibald, R., Di Fillipo, I., & Di Fillipo, D. (2012). The Six Phase Comprehensive Project Life Cycle Model including the Project Incubation/feasibility Phase and the Post-project Evaluation Phase. Project Management World Journal, 1(5), 1-40. Retrieved from http://www.dphu.org/uploads/attachements/books/books_5917_0.pdf
In this article Archibald et al. outline his support of the project life cycle in an ensuring efficacy in the outcome of any intended project. They, however, outline a six-step process of their proposed project life cycle to which they refer to as being more comprehensive than the traditional four phase process to which most companies are accustomed to. The authors further emphasize on the incubation phase as well as the evaluation phases of the project cycle. This concept is aimed at creating an appreciation for the pre-project period as well as the post-project period which some entities discard as part of the project life cycle.
Campos, J., Kortelainen, J., Jantunen, E., & Zhou, Z. (2014). Industrial Open Source Solutions For product Life Cycle management. (Z. Zhou, Ed.) Cogent Engineering, 1(1). Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23311916.2014.939737
Campos et al. in this scholarly article, attempt to evaluate the project life cycle about the company and industrial products. It evaluates the product life cycle management open source with a view of the cycle of their products in the market based on quality and market vulnerabilities. This article brings a practical approach in how projects are viewed by evaluating the progressive cycle to which company products (projects) are subject to and the importance of these stages in the projected efficacy. The semantic application of the findings of these research can propel the understanding of project life cycles in multinational corporations.
Charles, A., Saksrisathaporn, k., & Bouras, A. (2013). Development of a Decision Support System to Facilitate Multi-criteria Decision making During Humanitarian Operation within a Project Life Cycle. IFIP International Conference on Advances in Product Management Systems, 178-185. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-41263-9_22
This article describes the role of project life cycle in the management of humanitarian operation and action. The authors bring into perspective humanitarian action by analyzing decision making processes during humanitarian exercises. This further establishes the importance of creating a multidisciplinary approach in the management of humanitarian processes .life cycle management therefore not only founds a strong base in industrial and financial processes but also in non-industrial sectors including humanitarian operations. Meticulous application of the stages of project life cycles enforces the decision making process of humanitarian processes.
Edkins, A., Geraldi, J., Morris, P., & Smith , A. (2013). Exploring the Front-End of Project Management. Engineering Project Organization Journal, 3(2), 71-85. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21573727.2013.775942
This article dwells on an investigative multicase research into the initial phases of project management. It ascribes to the notion of this paper that the efficacy of any companys project is pegged on ensuring a systematic execution of the project lifecycle components. With this regard, it establishes an emphasis on the initiation phase of a given project termed as "front-end" and the importance of which this phase has on the projected outcome of any project. This article supports empirical data on the importance of understanding the project life cycle and subsequent efficacious execution of not only the initial phase but all the stages of this multifaceted process.
Matejka, P., Kosina, V., Tomek, A., Tomek, R., Berka, V., & Sulc, D. (2016). The Integration of BIM in Later Project Life Cycle Phases in Unprepared Environment from FM Perspective. Procedia Engineering, 164, 550-557. Retrieved from http://2016.creative-construction-conference.com/proceedings/CCC2016_105_Tomek.pdf
This article by Matejka et al. tries to assess project management and the subsequent temporal changes within project management. It gives a brief traditional overview of the previous understanding of project management and then goes on to describe the changes that have occurred in project management the perspective with which the author presents the information describes project life cycle as a concept and the subsequent emphasis on this concept in ensuring proficiency of multinational corporations. The further article aids in propelling the theory on which project life cycle is based and the necessity of this cycle in the noted improvement in the understanding of project management.
Allen, M. (2014). Name-Play and Structure in the Old English Exodus. Literary Onomastic...
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