Phases and Milestones


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Phases and Milestones

  1. 1. Project Management: Phases
  2. 2. Phases: ▪ Only certain projects are possible to divide into phases. ▪ It may be counter productive to divide a project into phases. ▪ For example: if it is possible for activities to overlap, then there is no point on waiting to get started solely because of ‘phases’.
  3. 3. Milestones: ▪ The completion of a phase almost always results in a milestone. ▪ Even if a project is not divided into phases it is worth identifying ‘significant events’ to label milestones ▪ Milestones can be used to measure project success.
  4. 4. Milestone Characteristics: ▪ A good milestone should leave no doubt as to whether it has passed or not. ▪ A milestone should be: – Measurable – Meaningful ▪ The best milestones do not need further definition
  5. 5. The Stage-Gate Process: ▪ This is a process that many companies implement to ensure project success. ▪ It’s theory is that at the end of each project ‘phase’ the project will be reviewed. ▪ If the project does not pass this review then the project will be investigated or even prevented from continuing.
  6. 6. Stage-Gate Example: Note: an efficient Stage-Gate model should not have more than 6 gates. This is because the project team may end up concentrating on the gate reviews more than on the project itself.
  7. 7. Stage-Gate Advantages: ▪ Allows for early identification of issues or project failures. ▪ Can allow the company to save resources. ▪ The process provides structure to the project process ▪ Helps prevent project team members pursuing personal interests or goal, or ‘pet-projects’ emerging.
  8. 8. Stage-Gate Disadvantages: ▪ ‘Gatekeepers’, who review the project, can be reluctant to close the project. ▪ This can have great impact on a company’s reputation or share price. ▪ As mentioned before, Stage-Gate can become counter-productive if more than 6 gates are in place. ▪ The process can also result in low morale, as project team members may feel that it is likely the project may be stopped.
  9. 9. Examples: ▪ Read up on the failed NHS IT Project: ▪ Also, consider the Edinburgh Tram Project. Do you think that this project should have been closed a long time ago? This is potentially a good example of a project that was not worth the ‘agro’ of cancelling.
  10. 10. Sources and Further Reading: ▪ Kerzner, H. (2009) Project Management, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 10th edn. – Chapter 2.12 ▪ Maylor,H. (2003) Project Management, Essex: Pearson Education Limited, 3rd edn. – Chapter 4 ▪ Fiiled, M. and Keller, M. (1998), Croatia: Thomson Learning – Chapter 3