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The Project Lifecycle refers to all the stages or stages between a project’s conception and its conclusion. Projects may vary both in terms of scope and complexity, but every planned project steps …

The Project Lifecycle refers to all the stages or stages between a project’s conception and its conclusion. Projects may vary both in terms of scope and complexity, but every planned project steps through a series of stages from start to finish.

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  • 1. Project Lifecycle DesiFX Technologies Inc. (DFX)
  • 2. Let's go through a common scenario with IT outsourcing companies in India:
    • You have an Engineering client based in Albany, New York, The United States of America (U.S.A.), DesiFX Technologies Inc. (DFX). DFX has given you their own propriety software and user manuals, and wants you to create web-based training (WBT) modules for each of their software.
  • 3. 1. Initiation Stage
    • Project Management Team
    • Defines the scope of the project and decides on the best approach to deliver the desired outputs.
    • Skills:
    • We need a team of technical writers, content developers, instructional designers, and graphic/multimedia artists. Each person has their own unique skill set, and as such, will work together in a team.
  • 4. 1. Initiation Stage
    • Experience:
    • We are looking for experienced people who will excel in this project and use their talent to the best of their ability and also be the most efficient. Time is money, and both are wasted on rework. We need a team that can produce a zero defect (ZD) solution on their first attempt. As such, each team should be evaluated on their skill set prior to assigning him or her their appropriate role in the new project.
    • Compatibility with the needs of the project:
    • The team needs to be able to dedicate their time and resources 100% to the project, be dedicated, work hard, and put on honest day's worth of work into their input in order to achieve the desirable output by end of day (EOD).
  • 5. 1. Initiation Stage
    • Commonly used tools or methods in the Initiation Stage include:
    • Business Plan:
    • In coordination with DFX, we will determine both the budget and time line of the project, and accordingly either assign existing employee's, provide re-training, or possible hire new employee's on contract-to-hire.
    • Project Framework:
    • In coordination with DFX, their Subject Matter Experts (SME) will provide us the the feedback required at different stages for client/customer reviews.
  • 6. 1. Initiation Stage
    • Milestone Reviews:
    • Every Monday morning, the teams will be reviewed on their previous week's work, as in input VS. output, and will be also be given feedback regarding quality assurance (QA) from the testing team. If any team member is not meeting the minimum standards of output, the Project Manager will provide additional assistance and resources as required to ensure that the team member is up to par and the quality of work is acceptable.
  • 7. 2. Planning Stage
    • Identification of all tasks:
    • For the WBT's, we will have an Alpha Stage, Beta Stage, and Final Review stage, before submitting the work to the client, DFX.
    • The assignment of those tasks to resources:
    • Each WBT will be assigned to 3 team members: 2 team members will be involved in technical writing, content development, instructional design, and 1 team member will be in charge of all graphics/multimedia for the assigned WBT.
    • Time line for completing them:
    • Each team member will have 10 working days to script and integrate graphics/multimedia into their WBT, and ensure it has passed the minimum QA requirements, while following the given standards.
  • 8. 2. Planning Stage
    • Analysis of the risks:
    • The risks are that standards might not be followed, such as grammatical use of English, and/or different team members involved in graphics/multimedia could have different ideas of presenting their work. We need to ensure that for all WBT's, there is both a standard for English to be followed, along with graphic/multimedia creation. Hand outs will be provided for all team members to review while they are completing their tasks and must be followed, in addition to paying attention to detail. To reduce time spent in the QA process, the team of 3 will sit down and review a WBT for any errors before it is sent for testing.
    • Expected quality for the deliverable associated with each task:
    • It is expected at each stage, Alpha and Beta, the WBT's have a ZD. However, it is still possible for both the developers and QA to let errors go unnoticed. As such, we will develop a metric system where there will be count of the maximum number of defects allowed per WBT. This will be based on how many frames each WBT has.
  • 9. 2. Planning Stage
    • Business Plan:
    • In conjunction with the client, DFX, and their SME's, we will hold conference calls every 15 days. This is because it 10 will take days to complete a WBT, and we will give the client, DFX, 5 days to review and give us feedback. This will happen for both the Alpha Stage, Beta Stage, and Final Stage. It is likely that the SME's might want to change the content, such as adding, editing, deleting both content and/or graphics/multimedia. This will take time, and as such, both the budget and time line of the project could be increased.
    • Milestone Reviews:
    • We will hold reviews with the client, DFX, after the Alpha Stage, Beta Stage, and Final Stage.
  • 10. 3. Execution Stage
    • The planned solution is implemented by the team:
    • In order to develop the WBT, each team member needs to both use the propriety software provided by DFX in conjunction with their given user manuals to properly understand both the functionality and usage of the software. For actual content to be used in the WBT, the client DFX has asked us not to cut and paste information from the user manual, but to rephrase it. This must be followed in all WBT's.
    • The project activities are controlled and directed to produce the desired outputs:
    • Each WBT will vary in length, depending on the complexity of the software and it's functionality. Another measure of each WBT is the length of each user manual. As such, a WBT might be broken into 2 smaller WBT's if it exceeds a size of 50 frames, for example. This will also reduce the burden on testing with QA and will make each WBT more manageable.
  • 11. 4. Implementation Stage
    • Risk Analysis and Score Cards:
    • At the end of each stage, Alpha, Beta, and Final, and review by the client, DFX, the team members will be given assessments on their quality of work and performance by their Project Managers. The goal is the have a ZD that is minimal and decreasing over time. This correlates to increased efficiency and productivity, if plotted on a graph for visual representation.
    • In the Implementation Stage, we will also use the Business Plan and Milestone Review , as previously discussed in the Planning Stage .
  • 12. 5. Closure Stage
    • Rewarding the team:
    • The team should be rewarded with incentives such as project completion party or company outing/picnic, if the weather permits.
    • Preparing a list of lessons learned:
    • Each team member will be given a final Excel (XLS) spreadsheet of their total defects so they can track their own progress for future projects. This will ensure each team member will learn from the errors they have made, and that they will strive not to let them happen again. The company's reputation is at stake and quality should always be emphasized to be a leading factor for any deliverable to any client.
  • 13. 5. Closure Stage
    • Releasing project resources:
    • Once a team member's task has been completed, they will be released into the pool of available employee's for the next project.
    • Ensuring a formal project closure notification:
    • An official sign-off document is required by the client, DesiFX Technologies Inc. (DFX), with the date, to track if the project was both on budget and on time.
  • 14. Summary
    • In a Project Lifecycle, there are five stages to remember for every project:
    1. Initiation Stage 2. Planning Stage 3. Execution Stage 4. Implementation Stage 5. Closure Stage