A standard project has four major phases

A standard project has typically four major phases: initiation, planning, implementation, and closure. 

These phases represent the path a project takes from the inception to its end and it is generally called “project life cycle”.

There are three main types of life cycles:

  • predictive (waterfall): the project scope, time, and cost are determined in the early phases of the life cycle. Changes to the scope are carefully managed. 
  • adaptive (iterative, incremental, agile): the scope is defined and approved before the start of an iteration. Moreover, time and cost estimates are routinely modified through repeated cycles which are used to add functionality to the product. Each iteration provides stakeholders with frequent and continuous business value
  • hybrid: within a project, the fixed project requirements follow a predictive life cycle, while those items that are still evolving follow an adaptive life cycle.

Keep in mind: the predictive life cycle is suitable for projects in which all the requirements are clearly defined and can be estimated accurately. The adaptive life cycle allows functionalities with the highest business value to be completed first.

Skill level: Intermediate

Francesco Pecoraro

Francesco has extensive experience as a project, program and portfolio manager, project management officer (PMO), digital transformation and strategic consultant. He is also considered a communication, public speaking and leadership expert.

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