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Unit 17 (P1, M1, P2, P3): Project Planning

Project Lifecycles

Illustrate typical phases of a project lifecycle (P1)

Defining and Producing Specification

This phase is mainly to identify requirements within the project. The specification also identifies things such as: Stakeholders, these are people or a business which is involved in the project. Costs/Benefits, this is where the price of the project is decided upon by the client, and also you check to see what the benefits are; not only to you, but to the clients as well. In addition to this, there will be questions asked like: Who is going to use the system? How will they use the system? What data should be input into the system? What data should be output by the system? The specification should also describe how the system should perform, business logic that processes data, what data is stored and used by the system, and how the user interface should work.

Planning and Designing

This phase should produce a plan which provides a prototype of the requirement phase. The plan can include screen design that will explain how the user will be able to input data and the report that will be output from the system. This is where the details on how the system will work are produced. These details may include hardware and software, communication and software design.

Before the project is implemented, a schedule will be drawn up to stick to a deadline, this is another reason why some project fail because the people do not create an effective enough plan which means that they begin to misplace certain document which can cause problems later on. After this plan is created, the project is then made following specification and to the plan.


This stage is often the longest of all stages within the life cycle. This is the main focus of the life cycle because this is where the project is created. Usually, there is someone who creates sub-teams, from this they can keep an easier eye on the cost of the whole project because it will be split up, so it would be easy to control, it also means that the workload would be shorten as the teams would have an equal amount of work. It also helps for the quality of work because each team could take the same amount of time on each detail, rather than have one big team which could get rushed towards the end. This is also a useful stage for whether a plan B is needed in case the project begins to fall apart.

Completing and Reviewing

After completion of the project, the client will have to see if the project meets all the requirements listed in the first phase. The company would then begin testing to see whether the project is what they wanted and is how they wanted it. After testing, quality reviewing is underway to test the project fully to see if it is high enough quality for the company and the price they paid for the project to be created in the first place. There may be faults so after the project is handed over the company is allowed to complain if there are errors within which they didn’t want, if the problems are not solved the company can take the project builder/team to court.

Why Projects Can Fail

Explain why projects can fail (M1)

A project will fail if it is set up to deliver the wrong thing. It may be considered a failure even if everything is delivered on time, within budget, and to the required quality. But if the project does not deliver what the client really needs, then ultimately it would fail. If the project is not planned appropriately or the project life cycle is not followed, it will fail. Team work is necessary for any project as the team need to work together and need to listen to the project manager. Having poor communication skills within the project could bring the project to fail as the team would be misunderstanding any task that has been assigned to them, such as ordering a number of items for the project to start or deadlines dates. Another reason why project fail is bad leadership skills as if the leader is not handling the team and is not organised will make the project fail.

The points listed below are the reasons for project failure:

  • Lack of team work

  • Poor communication

  • Bad leadership

  • Governance is poor

  • Implementation is poor

  • Environment changes

  • Poor requirements