In recent times all the technical subjects, disciplines and sub-disciplines that are used in the industry are being developed, controlled and guided by an independent knowledge body. These knowledge bodies create certified professionals in the respective fields. In case of PMP Certification as well there is a set of specialized course of action and a curriculum as devised by the Project Management Institute (PMI) which regulates and governs this field of study and practice.
Furthermore each project is complex and unique in its own way with some being complex and some are simple. There are reason why a certification is required from the technical aspect of Project management too. That is precisely what we discuss by detailing the project management process and the Project Management Life cycle.
Stages of Project Management Life Cycle
There are five stages of Project Management Life Cycle namely
Initiate – Plan – Execute – Control – Close
These five stages of the Project Management Life Cycle generally occur in sequence. In case of simple projects the necessity of rethinking does not arise and the sequence of the life cycle remains as in the sequence given above, In case of complex projects or large ones and if in case there are problems with the initial project plans, the controlling function leads to planning again. In such instances the additional planning may take extra time and the project may be delayed. Then the new project plan is executed. During the execution the controlling processes are undertaken to make sure that correct work results as expected are the outcome.
In practice it is often noted that a problems can force a large complex project to return to the stage of planning. In case of complicated projects it is often seen that a project has to return to planning stage multiple times and has to be initiated over and again each time too.
As explained above there are five stages of the Project Management Life Cycle namely Initiate, Plan, Execute, Control and close. These are also referred by some experts as process groups. For a thorough understanding of Project Management it is necessary to understand the boundaries between the process stages. For an example it is necessary to know exactly where the initiation is over and the documents should be ready in order for the execution to start. In order for an understanding of the boundaries between the stages the management activities should be known which are called the processes that are necessary in each of the stages referred to as process groups.
The difference between Project Life Cycle and the Project Management Life Cycle.
The project life cycle includes the development phases that a project often goes through. The stages of the project life cycle are
Evaluate – Design – Build – Test – Launch
Design – Code – Test – Train – Release
The phases that a project passes through are determined by the nature of the project and is tailored to suit the individual needs of the project. But in sharp contrast the Project Management Life Cycle remains the same for all kinds of projects.
Relationship of Project Life Cycle to Project Management Life Cycle
Each phase of the Project Life Cycle (For example: Code or Design) can have the entire project management life cycle in it. In simpler words each phase can be an independent project that has it own life cycle of project management. In practice each phase of the project does not go through or is required to go through the entire life cycle of project management but it certainly can if need be.
It is rather independent little projects that each phase can be thought of as. What was actually thought of as ‘project’ are actually or referred to as programs consisting of different phases which are its sub-projects.
The Project management Institute (PMI) has subdivided each stage of the Project management Life Cycle into 44 management processes. Each of the column represents a stage and within each of the column there are different management activities that has to performed which the PMI refers to as processes. To know which management activities are being included in each of the columns one has to understand the PMI’s version of project management for which a certification is required from the PMI. That is precisely where the certification from PMI matters in PMP.
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