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Topics: PMI Standards, Scheduling, Scope Management
Incremental life cycles

Hi all,
Could you please tell me is there any special good practice, Standard or Guideline for Incremental life cycle projects. Always I have had challange with this type of projects such as road construction. In such projects usually I saw some activities from start to end of project ! but I think it is not a real planning !
Thanks for your help
Mansour Aboufazeli
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When organizations start an initiative the first step is to decide the life cycle model (predictive or adaptive), the life cycle process based on the model (waterfal, incremental, iterative, etc) and perhaps the method based on the life cycle process. To decide all these an activity that belongs to buisness analysis must be made before the business case exists. The activity is named "needs assessment" or "strategy analysis" dpeneding on you take the PMI or the IIBA documentation. After you decide it then you created the plan (project plan) what as you know is a document with subsidiary plans into it. Most of the times depending on the method you will use the document format vary.

Hi Mansour, incremental life-cycles are still "real planning", only they focus on producing deliverables early as subsets of the final product. Even with your example of road construction (people may jump on me here), you could theoretically use an incremental life cycle. Say you plan to build a road between two towns. The traditional project life cycle would plan everything upfront, execute the project, and then deliver the final product (the road) to its customers (motorists). However, an incremental life cycle could deliver the road in parts. Perhaps it's a 2-lane road on each side, in which the project delivers one lane at a time, then opens it up to the public while construction begins on the other lane. Or, perhaps it completes the first leg of the entire road, which connects small precincts between the towns, opens it up to the public, and then continues the next leg. So the advantage of an incremental life cycle is speed of delivery and thus customer value is realized earlier.

Mansour -

A high-level plan incorporating the first level or two of the WBS, a cost estimate and key milestones might be sufficient to get started. Then you'd use a rolling wave approach where each phase of work was preceded by detailed planning for that phase's deliverables and included the funding approval for that phase.


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