The Six-Phase Comprehensive Project Life Cycle Model Including the Project Incubation/Feasibility Phase and the Post-Project Evaluation Phase By Russell D. Archibald, Ivano Di Filippo & Daniele Di Filippo
Abstract A holistic systems perspective of projects and programs is required today to achieve the full benefits of systems thinking4 in project management. To achieve this perspective, the need to establish a Comprehensive Project Life Cycle definition and to promote its application on all important projects is first presented.
This Comprehensive Project Life Cycle Model recognizes that there is always a Project Incubation/Feasibility Phase prior to the currently existing Project Starting Phase of most project management (PM) standards, and also recognizes that there must be an additional Post-Project Evaluation Phase after the standard Project Close-out Phase. These phases are defined and discussed for two basic types of projects: 1) delivery or commercial projects and 2) transformational projects. It is recommended that this Comprehensive Project Life Cycle Model be considered for adoption as a standard for important projects. While many PM practitioners and authorities limit the scope of ‘project management’ to the traditional start-plan-execute-closeout phases, projects begin their existence before the traditional start phase and their products or results continue to exist and must be evaluated after the projects are closed out. The authors assert that these before and after phases must be recognized as belonging within the domain of project management. Regarding the Post-Project Evaluation Phase the need to differentiate between ‘project success’ and ‘project value’ is discussed.