My Project Management Expert

Information Technology Project Management Life Cycle

There are usually 6 Phases in the typical Project Life Cycle. At a high level these are:

Before the Project has Started

  • 1. Business Case and Project Justification

Key Project Management Phases

  • 2. Project Initiation
  • 3. Requirements Gathering
  • 4. Development
  • 5. Testing
  • 6. Deployment and Launch

After the Project Has Been Delivered

  • 7. Support and Operations

Not all projects have these phases. Many due to time constraints have to cut several out. However this will give you an idea of what Phases the normal Project cycles are. By understanding the reasons for each Phase, it will give you a clearer idea of what should be followed and which can be skipped.

I will go into more detail regarding these Project Phases, but have summarised them below:

Phase 1 - Business Case and Project Justification

This is normally a Phase which is completed before the Key Project Life Cycle actually begins. It is basically a document which details all the reasons why the project is needed, the benefits which will result and the outcome if the project is not given the go-ahead. The Project Justification document details basically what it says, the reason why the project should go ahead. It usually utilises revenue figures garnered from the Business Case.

Phase 2 - Project Initiation

Essentially this is where the Project is given the green light to start and be initiated. This usually involves the Project Manager having to write a Project Initiation Document (PID) and High Level Plan. Further a Budget Estimate or Expenditure Approval (EA) will be required, which is usually compiled by Finance.

This stage is often also where the business requirements documentation is detailed. If you project has particularly tight deadlines you may even find that these are detailed before the project is even initiated!

Phase 3 - Requirements Gathering

This is usually the role of a Business Analyst (BA) or in some instances if budgets are tight, by the Project Manager themselves. They usually involve documenting the detailed requirements for the Project and then using them to write Use Cases which are vital for testing as well as Software Requirements Specification (SRS).

Phase 4 - Development

This will vary depending on whether it is:

  • Software Development
  • Infrastructure
The difference being that each project will have a slightly differing process of software development depending on what kind of project it is. However these two are the most common ones in technology.

Software Development

This will involve working with a team of developers to ensure Specs and Requirements are complied with and code is developed in as fast a timeframe as possible with the fewest possible bugs to the highest possible quality standard.

Infrastructure

This will involve working with an Infrastructure Architect who will detail a hardware solution which meets requirements. It is then up to you to organise the purchase of such kit, and get it delivered and installed as fast as possible.

Phase 5 - Testing

This is one of the most critical Phases of a Technology Project, as it is where you find out just how good your teams were in the previous Project Phases. Needless to say, this Phase is often the most problematic of the entire project and is often where timelines, plans and the budget are blown.

Phase 6 - Deployment and Launch

This is the finish line for most projects where the Business Stakeholders agree it is finally fit for purpose and ready to be launched.

Phase 6 - Support and Operations

This is not an integral part of a project as often this phase is where BAU takes over. However in most projects there is at least a 1 month warranty period where the product delivered is supported and bug fixed by the project team. It is also often where any key functionality which could not be delivered within the timeframes required can be developed and released.

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