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Extended project life cycle

In an extended project life cycle, projects incorporate the management of change and the realisation of benefits.
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0

The most common type of life cycle is the linear life cycle, sometimes known as the linear sequential model or waterfall method, illustrated below:

Project lifecycle timeline diagram showing waterfall method with milestones. The product lifecycle begins with the project life cycle, which starts with the concept, that is finalised with a gate review. The product is then defined, which is also finalised with a gate review. Development phase follows with two stage reviews throughout. Once the project is complete there is a handover and project review. There are then benefit reviews to check the effectiveness of the product produced. The life cycle is then terminated.Click image to enlarge

The scope of a project life-cycle can take various forms to suit the context:

  • Traditional project life cycle: Projects will be stand-alone or part of a programme and will only be concerned with delivering outputs
  • Extended project life cycle: Projects that incorporate the management of change and the realisation of benefits (also known as business realisation)

Some projects may include the full product life cycle, eg, whole-life costing.

Your task

Consider the need for including business realisation as a phase in the project life cycle and think about some of the projects that you’ve been involved with recently or in the past.
Share some of the challenges you’ve faced during the life cycle of the project and give recommendations you would provide to others in regards to addressing these challenges.
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
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