Project Management Life Cycle

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Project Management Life Cycle

The Project Management Life Cycle (PMLC) addresses the project management needs for all systems development projects. It is applicable to new system development projects and to maintenance projects for existing systems.

What is a Project Management Life Cycle?

A system development project is a set of activities that starts and ends at identifiable points in time and that produces quantifiable and qualifiable deliverables. Projects are staffed by people using processes and technology to design, develop and deliver a product package. People, processes and technology all have to be managed during the life of a project.

Project Management is the process by which a project is initiated, planned, controlled, and brought to a conclusion to support the accomplishment of business and system objectives.

Since a project has a defined beginning and end, with numerous activities and deliverables that have to be managed, we are calling the aggregation of these management methods a Project Management Life Cycle (PMLC).

Not all projects are the same. So, to develop a set of rules (methods) for project management, we must realize that these rules must be adaptable for all types of projects and for all types of system developers and product groups. Additionally, different system development techniques will sometimes require different sets of rules for managing the resulting development activities. For example, a standalone- PC application product requires less detailed management control than a workstation product integrating other applications and running in a large networked environment. It is important to note that the PMLC and Product Development Life Cycle (PDLC) can be considered repositories of reusable methods that can be selected and integrated to meet the demands of projects varying in size and complexity.

Relationship of PMLC to the Product Development Life Cycle (PDLC)

The scope of project management is not the technical work which prepares the information technology based products. Rather, the domain of project management is the management of all the factors which surround and enable the technical development work to be accomplished. These factors include project resources, time, cost, schedule and quality. Project success is often defined as meeting the project cost, schedule and quality constraints.

The scope of the Product Development Life Cycle (PDLC) is all of the project technical functions that have to be performed to produce, maintain and support the expected product deliverables. These functions include business analysis, functional and technical requirements definition, system design, construction, rollout/release and maintenance.

During the formation and execution of a project, the activities in the PMLC and PDLC are integrated, i.e., all technical activities are planned (using the PDLC as a source of technical activities to be performed) and executed using the planning, execution and control methods defined in the PMLC.

If PMLC and PDLC activities are integrated during a project, why are they separated in the methodology? They are separated in order to:

*Recognize the natural separation of project work between technical and project management activities. And to facilitate the training and use of these activities by the project members responsible for them. *Recognize the importance of both the technical and management work. And ensure that project management activities are clearly identified and performed. Too often the technical work is stressed and the project management work is "forgotten". Through practical project experience, the implementation of systems engineering standards, and development of systems engineering theory, the software industry has recognized the importance of project management. *Facilitate the effective maintenance (improvement) of both life cycles. If they are kept separate in the methodology, the changes in...
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