The OODS Group concept of project life cycle:

Project conception and initiation

An idea for a project will be carefully examined to determine whether or not it benefits the organization. During this phase, a decision making team will identify if the project can realistically be completed.

Project definition and planning

A project plan, project charter and/or project scope may be put in writing, outlining the work to be performed. During this phase, a team should prioritize the project, calculate a budget and schedule, and determine what resources are needed.

Project launch or execution

Resources' tasks are distributed and teams are informed of responsibilities. This is a good time to bring up important project related information

Project performance and control

Project managers will compare project status and progress to the actual plan, as resources perform the scheduled work. During this phase, project managers may need to adjust schedules or do what is necessary to keep the project on track.

Project close

After project tasks are completed and the client has approved the outcome, an evaluation is necessary to highlight project success and/or learn from project history. Projects and project management processes vary from industry to industry; however, these are more traditional elements of a project. The overarching goal is typically to offer a product, change a process or to solve a problem in order to benefit the organization.

The core components of project management are:

  •     Defining the reason why a project is necessary;
  •     Capturing project requirements, specifying quality of the deliverables, estimating resources and  timescales;
  •     Preparing a business case to justify the investment;
  •     Securing corporate agreement and funding;
  •     Developing and implementing a management plan for the project;
  •     Leading and motivating the project delivery team;
  •     Managing the risks, issues and changes on the project;
  •     Monitoring progress against plan;
  •     Managing the project budget;
  •     Maintaining communications with stakeholders and the project organisation;
  •     Provider management;
  •     Closing the project in a controlled fashion when appropriate.

Starting Out in Project Management

Starting Out in Project Management is your essential guide to the basics of project management.

Written for anyone new to projects or wishing to progress their career as a project professional Starting Out charts the journey of the APM project life cycle, from concept through to delivery and handover.

Along the way readers will learn about the fundamental features of project management, including ownership of the business case, engaging with stakeholders and realising the all-important benefits of the project, plus much, much more.

When do you use project management

Projects are separate from business-as-usual activities, requiring people to come together temporarily to focus on specific project objectives. As a result, effective teamwork is central to successful projects.

Project management is concerned with managing discrete packages of work to achieve specific objectives. The way the work is managed depends upon a wide variety of factors.

The scale, significance and complexity of the work are obvious factors: relocating a small office and organising the Olympics share many basic principles, but offer very different managerial challenges.

Objectives may be expressed in terms of:

  •     Outputs (such as a new HQ building);
  •     Outcomes (such as staff being relocated from multiple locations to the new HQ);
  •     Benefits (such as reduced travel and facilities management costs);
  •     Strategic objectives (such as doubling the organisation’s share price in three years).

Why do we use project management?

Project management is essentially aimed at producing an end product that will effect some change for the benefit of the organisation that instigated the project. It is the initiation, planning and control of a range of tasks required to deliver this end product. Projects that require formal management are those that:

  •     Produce something new or altered, tangible or intangible;
  •     Have a finite timespan: a definite start and end;
  •     Are likely to be complex in terms of work or groups involved;
  •     Require the management of change;
  •     Require the management of risks.

Investment in effective project management will have a number of benefits, such as:

  •     Providing a greater likelihood of achieving the desired result;
  •     Ensuring efficient and best value use of resources;
  •     Satisfying the differing needs of the project’s stakeholders.

Project management topics

APM has created a unique digital resource that allows users to explore areas essential in the management of projects, programmes and portfolios.

It is structured around four main sections and includes definitions of the core terms and techniques.

APM Body of Knowledge online is the result of a collaborative project involving over 1,000 practitioners and specialists from across all sectors, and is designed to assist all those using project management in their work or studies.

Who uses project management?

Projects crop up in almost all industries and businesses, for instance:

  •    Transport and infrastructure
  •    IT
  •    Product manufacture
  •    Building and construction
  •    Regulatory changes in finance and law

OODS Group