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Life Cycle Models for High-Technology Projects


Life Cycle Models for High-Technology Projects Applying Systems Thinking to Managing Projects Russ Archibald, PMP, FPMI – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Life Cycle Models for High-Technology Projects

Life Cycle Models for High-Technology Projects
  • Applying Systems Thinking to Managing Projects
  • Russ Archibald, PMP, FPMI

Purpose of My Presentation
  • To enhance your ability to
  • Develop the best life cycle model for your
  • Document your Project Life Cycle Management
  • Improve your PLCMS through systems thinking

Presentation Outline
  1. Categorizing Projects
  2. Project Life Cycle Models PLCMS
  3. Hi-Tech Project Categories Their Life Cycles
  4. Improving the PLCMS
  5. Conclusions

1. Categorizing Projects
  • Projects
  • Are the common denominator for all aspects of
    project management
  • Exist in many sizes types
  • Produce many different products results
  • Can be classified in many different ways

Project Categories
  • Why bother? Because
  • One size does not fit all
  • Life cycle models and processes good for one
    category are not good for others
  • Recommended categories are based on project end

Recommended Major Categories
  1. Aerospace/Defense
  2. Business Organizational Change Projects
  3. Communication Systems Projects
  4. Event Projects
  5. Facilities Projects
  1. Information Systems
  2. International Development
  3. Media Entertainment
  4. Product/Service Development
  5. Research Dev.

Other Major Categories May Be Required
  • See Table 1 in the paper for detail
  • Where to download see later slide
  • Further breakdown is obviously required
  • A few examples follow

(No Transcript)
Sub-Categories Are Required
  • One example
  • Business Organization Change Projects
  • Acquisition/merger
  • Management process improvement
  • New business venture
  • Organization re-structuring
  • Legal proceeding
  • Other ?

ExampleCategory 5. Facilities Projects
  • Subcategories
  • Facility decommissioning
  • Facility demolition
  • Facility maintenance modification
  • Facility design/procure/construct1.Civil
    2.Energy 3.Environmental 4.Industrial
    5.Commercial 6.Residential 7.Ships 8.Other
  • Other ?

Categories AreNot Mutually Exclusive
  • Programs and large projects usually involve more
    than one category or sub-category
  • These projects are placed in their predominate
  • Must Mega projects be treated separately?
    Probably yes

Classifying Within Categories Sub-Categories
  • Project size
  • Project complexity
  • External or internal customer
  • Degree of customer involvement
  • Levels of risk

Classifying Within Categories (Contd)
  • Major minor projects
  • Mega projects not categorizable?
  • Stand-alone versus create supporting
  • Standard versus transitional
  • Other ?

Current Global Survey Will Test This Approach
  • Global survey of project categories life cycles
    in progress
  • Please go to
  • http//
  • Download 11 page paper and complete the online
    survey prior to Nov. 15
  • Results will be reported to respondents

2. Project Life Cycle Models PLC Management
  • Many life cycle models are in use
  • They portray a project as an overall process or
  • Their purposes include
  • To enable all to understand overall process
  • To capture best experience, enable improvement
  • To relate roles, responsibilities, systems and
    tools to all elements of the project

Generic Life Cycle 4 Phases
  • Concept
  • Initiation, identification, selection
  • Definition
  • Feasibility, development, demonstration, design
    prototype, quantification
  • Execution
  • Implementation, realization, production
    deployment, design/construct/commission,
    installation and test
  • Closeout

Generic Life Cycles
  • Apply to any project
  • Too broad to be very useful, practical
  • Need to be tailored to the project category
  • And key environmental factors

3 Parameters to Work With
  1. Number definition of phases sub-phases
  2. Their inter-relationships sequential,
    overlapping, repeated
  3. Number, definition and placement of key decision

Identify Deliverables Each Phase and Sub-Phase
  • Documents related to the project
  • Objectives, scope, plans, schedules, reports,
    authorizations, work orders, etc.
  • Documents related to the product
  • Specs, drawings, product cost, reports, etc.
  • Physical products or results
  • Mock-ups, models, prototypes, test articles,
    tooling, equipment, software, facilities,
    materials, etc.

Defining Decision Points
  • Key events/milestones gates at start end
    of a phase or sub-phase
  • Decisions typically authorize project manager
    team to
  • Complete current phase, start next
  • Revise objectives, scope, schedule
  • Re-plan, re-start, repeat previous work
  • Terminate or put project on hold

Deliverables Decision Points
  • Decisions are often made based on contents or
    results of key deliverables
  • Therefore these two elements are closely linked
  • You cant make good decisions without adequate

Documenting a Project Life Cycle Management
  • Define the life cycle
  • Select the life cycle model to be used
  • Name phases, sub-phases decision points
  • Establish inter-relationships among them
  • Portray the result flow chart, narrative
  • Specify authorizing documents
  • Purpose levels of approval authority
  • For initiation major changes

Documenting PLCMS (Contd)
  • Identify key roles define responsibilities
  • Identify major deliverables by phase
  • Specify issue escalation procedures
  • Specify differences for
  • Major vs minor projects, or
  • Other project classes within a sub-category

3. Hi-Tech Project Categories Their Life Cycles
  • 4 (of 10) basic hi-tech categories
  • Communication Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Product Service Development
  • Research Development

Hi-Tech in Other Categories
  • Defense/Aerospace
  • Very advanced, specialized life cycles prescribed
    by DOD NASA
  • Facilities
  • Very mature, specialized life cycle models
  • Hi-tech projects within programs in these and
    other categories can be placed in one of the
    preceding 4 hi-tech categories

Two Types of Hi-Tech Life Cycle Models
  • Predictive
  • Waterfall, Prototyping, Rapid Application
    Development/RAD, Incremental Build, Spiral
  • Adaptive
  • Adaptive Software Development/ASD, Extreme
    Programming/XP, SCRUM

Predictive Life Cycle Models
  • Waterfall
  • Linear ordering phases, sequential or
    overlapping, no phase repeated
  • Prototyping
  • Functional requirements and physical design specs
    are generated simultaneously
  • Rapid Application Development/RAD
  • Based on an evolving prototype that is not thrown

Predictive LC Models (Contd)
  • Incremental Build
  • Decomposition of large development effort into a
    succession of smaller components
  • Spiral
  • Repetition of the same set of life-cycle phases
    such as plan, develop, build, and evaluate until
    development is complete

Adaptive Life Cycle Models
  • Adaptive Software Development/ASD
  • Mission driven, component based, iterative
    cycles, time boxed cycles, risk drive, change
  • Extreme Programming/XP
  • Teams of developers, managers, and users
    programming done in pairs iterative process
    collective code ownership

Adaptive LC Models (Contd)
  • SCRUM (as in rugby)
  • Similar to above adaptive models with iterations
    called sprints that typically last 30 days
  • Defined functionality to be met in each sprint
  • Active management role throughout

XP Resources
  • http//

Impact of Environment on Life Cycle Model
  • Project environment is of primary importance in
    selecting a LC model for a given project
  • Organizational characteristics
  • Familiarity with involved technology
  • Competitive demands (schedule, other)
  • Other

4. Improving the PLCMS
  • Document the integrated project life cycle model
  • Document describe the PLCMS
  • Re-engineer the integrated process
  • Apply systems thinking TOC
  • Implement the improvements
  • Repeat these steps as required

Re-Engineer the PLCMS
  • Identify system constraints, gaps weaknesses
  • Relate poor results to constraints benefits to
    their removal
  • Look for speed bumps, accelerators
  • Redesign the PLCMS to remove constraints

Implement Improvements
  • Obtain approval to conduct tests and analyses
  • Plan, approve execute the improvement project
    to implement the revised PLCMS

Seven Goals of the New Product Life Cycle Process
  • Quality of execution
  • Sharper focus, better project prioritization
  • Strong market orientation
  • Sharp, early product identification
  • True cross-functional team approach
  • Products with competitive advantage
  • Fast-paved flexible process
  • Source Cooper et al 2001
  • see

Stage-GateTM Life Cycle ProcessSource Cooper et
al 2001 see
Apply Theory of Constraints/TOC (Source Leach
  • Identify system constraints
  • Decide how to exploit system constraints
  • Subordinate all else to above decision
  • Elevate the system constraints
  • Does the new constraint limit output?
  • Yes Back to step 1 No Beware inertia

5. Conclusions
  • Project categories are important
  • Based on end results best way (?)
  • Sub-categories also needed
  • Further classification within categories and
    sub-categories needed

5. Conclusions (Contd)
  • Project life cycle models must be designed for
    each category/sub-category
  • Define and inter-relate phases sub-phases
  • Identify deliverables for each of these
  • Define relate decision points

5. Conclusions (Contd)
  • Project Life Cycle Management System PLCMS must
    be well defined
  • For each project category/sub-category
  • Enables application of systems thinking to
    improve the process

5. Conclusions (Contd)
  • Two types of life cycle models are used for
    high-technology projects
  • Predictive
  • Adaptive
  • With several variations within each of these
  • Selection depends on the key environmental
    factors affecting the project

5. Conclusions (Contd)
  • Systematic improvement of PLCMS is achieved
  • Re-engineering the total system
  • Application of TOC to total PLCMS or to a given
  • Such improvement must be a major project
    management goal in every organization

Further Reading
  • Archibald Managing High-Technology Programs and
    Projects, 3rd ed 2003
  • Chapters 2 and 3
  • Download this paper
  • 18 additional references given in the paper

Thanks for Listening!!
  • Questions?
  • Rebuttals?
  • Download this paper and/or slides at
  • go to AuthorRecent Papers
  • select title of paper
  • Contact me
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