PMP Certification Course: Project Life Cycle vs Project Management Processes


Project Life Cycle vs. Project Management Process

Project life cycle addresses the question, “What to do to get the work done?” It varies industry wise. For example, let us look at a typical project life cycle in a software industry.

First, you understand what is required and analyze it as part of the requirement analysis phase. Then, as part of the design phase, you figure out the implementation of it and arrive with the approach. Next, you implement the functionality by writing the code as part of the coding phase. The code is then verified to ensure it works right, as part of the testing phase. The tested and verified software is then installed at the customer locations, as part of the installation phase. After the installation, the system then moves into operations and support phase.

The project management process addresses the question: “What to do to manage the project?” The processes for managing the projects are likely to be the same across industries. For instance, in the develop schedule process, one needs to develop the project schedule, irrespective of the industry or domain you are working.

In the next screen, let us understand the project management process group.     

Project Management Process Group

The project management processes are divided into 5 process groups. They are initiating process group; planning process group; executing process group; monitoring and controlling process group; and closing process group.

The initiating process happens at the beginning of the project or a phase. The planning, executing, and monitoring and controlling processes go together. Therefore, you plan, execute, and re-plan based on the execution result.

The project closing processes are performed when the project work or a phase within the project is completed. The typical project management process in the closing phase releases resources back to the resource pool, so the team members can be assigned to another project.

Note the iteration of processes within the phases is dependent on the scale of the projects. Small projects may have only one iteration, whereas bigger projects may have multiple iterations before they enter a new phase.

Project management processes are overlapping activities. Let us look at the interaction between these activities in the next screen.

Process Group Interactions

Process groups have overlapping activities that occur throughout the project life cycle. The output of one process group is generally the input to another or a deliverable of the project.

For example, project management plan is an output of planning process group and an input to execution process group.

Note that production of the plan is not a one-time activity. As the project progresses, the project management plan may get updated as a result of the monitoring and controlling processes. The updated project management plan once again forms an input to the execution process group.