PMBOK 2. Organizational Influence and Project Life Cycle

Project management works within the broader context of an organization.  It is therefore important for a project to align with the organization goals and objectives

2.1  Organizational Influence on Project Management

A project is influenced by an organizations culture, style, maturity etc.

2.1.1       Organization Culture

  • External organizations of customer and partners can also influence a project
  • Organizational culture can include: Regulations, Motivations, Risk tolerance, Reward systems etc.
  • In light of globalization, international cultures can influence a project as well

2.1.2       Organization Communication

  • Project management can depend greatly on an organizations ability to communicate effectively
  • Communication methods available such as phones, video conferencing, in persona communication can also influence a project

2.1.3       Organizational Structure

  • Organizations can range from functional oriented to project oriented and have an influence on the project
Organization Structure Functional Organization Matrixed Organization Projectized Organization
Project Characteristics Week Balanced Strong
PM Authority Little/None Low Low/Moderate Moderate/High High/Total
Resource Availability Little/None Low Low/Moderate Moderate/High High/Total
Manage Budget Functional Manager Functional Manager Mixed Project Manager Project Manager
PM Role Part-time Part-time Part-time Full-time Full-time
PM Admin Staff Part-time Part-time Part-time Full-time Full-time
Table 2-1. Influence of Organizational Structures on Projects


  • Functional Organization
    • o Hierarchical with employees grouped into specialized skills
    • o One clear superior
    • o Staff separated by functions/departments
    • o Departments further subdivided based on speciality
    • o Each department/function does its projects independently
    • o May have an overall project coordination/admin function
  • Matrix Organization
    • o Functional and project managers share responsibilities
    • o A blend of functional and project characteristics
    • o Can be classified as week, balanced, strong in project orientation
    • o Week matrix organization may have a project coordinator or expediter
    • o Expediter had no decision making or enforcing powers
    • o Coordinator has some decision making and enforcing powers and reports to higher management
    • o Strong matrix organizations may have full-time project managers and admin staff
    • o Balanced organization may see the need and have project managers in staff with some decision making authority


  • Projectized Organization
    • o Project Manager has total authority
    • o Team members are often co-located
    • o Most of the organization staff is involved in project work
    • o Project Managers have a great deal of independence and authority
    • o Virtual collaboration for co-located teams
    • o Organizational units as departments report into the project manager or provide support for various projects
  • Composite Organizations
    • o Projects managed in fictional matrixes and projectized structure
    • o Involve all of these structures at some point
    • o A functional organization may create a special project team with a projectized structure to handle critical projects
    • o An organization may manage most of its projects in a strong matrix, but allow small projects to be managed by functional departments

Org Structures

2.1.4       Organizational Process Assets (OPA)

  • These include all process, tools, policies, templates at the PMs disposal to use within the project
  • These can include formal and informal assets
  • These also include organizational knowledge based on lessons learned and historical information
  • Document management systems, e.g. SharePoint
  • Sources for Organizational Process Assets are
    • o Processes and procedures (initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, closing)
    • o Corporate knowledge base (configuration management, finances, historical information, issues, defects, process metrics, previous project files

2.1.5       Enterprise environmental factors (EEF)

  • Not in control and outside of the influence of the Project Manger and project team
  • Should be included in the planning process and may enhance or constrain the project
  • These can include organizational culture, geography, government, industry, human resources, stakeholder risk tolerance etc.
  • Market place conditions – exchange rates, oil prices, political climate
  • PMIS – Project management Information system such as Enterprise MS Projects

Socio-economic influence: Standards, regulations, social culture, sustainability etc.

2.2  Project Stakeholders and Governance


  • A stakeholder is an individual, groups, or organizations who may affect, be affected or perceive to be affected by decisions, activities or outcomes of a project
  • Different stakeholders can have competing expectations
  • Alignment of a project with the stakeholders needs is critical to its success


  • Governance helps to manage projects consistently
  • Align project with business strategy
  • Provide a framework in which a PM and sponsor can make decisions and satisfy stakeholder needs

2.2.1     Project Stakeholders

  • Stakeholders can be internal or external to the organization
  • PM defines stakeholders
    • o Internal/external
    • o Positive/negative
    • o Performing/advising
  • Stakeholders have varying levels of authority and involvement that can change throughout the lifecycle of a project
  • These stakeholders require PM attention throughout the lifecycle to address needs and resolve issues
  • Stakeholder identification is a continuous process throughout the project lifecycle
  • It is critical that stakeholders are identified as early as possible
  • A project can be perceived as having positive or negative results
  • PM needs to manage stakeholders expectations
  • Project stakeholders can include:
    • Sponsors
      • A group or a person that provides resources and support for a project.
      • Is accountable for the project success
      • May be internal or external to PM organization
      • Promotes the project and is a spokesperson to management and stakeholders
      • Leads the project through initial stages until authorized and involved in development of scope and charter
      • Also involved in change review, phase-end review, go/no-go decisions
      • Endures smooth transfer of the of the project deliverables to requesting business
    • Customers
      • Presons or organizations who will approve or manage the resulting deliverables (products, services)
      • Customers can also be users
    • Users
      • Persons or organizations who will use the resulting deliverables (products, services)
      • Users can exist in multiple layers
    • Sellers
      • Include vendors, suppliers, contractors
      • External company that enters into a contract to provide components or services necessary for the project
    • Business Partners
      • External  partners that have a strategic relationship with the project organization
      • Provide specialised expertise and play specific role in delivering expertise to the project
    • Organizational Groups
      • Internal stakeholders who will be affected by the project activities and results
      • Support the business environment in which a project is delivered
    • Functional Manager
      • Provide subject matter expertise , services and resources to support the project


2.2.2       Project Governance

  • Provides a comprehensive consistent way to control phases of the project to ensure success
  • Project oversight that is aligned with organization governance
  • Provides the structure, processes, tools and decision making model
  • Outlines reliable, repeatable processes
  • Fits within the context of portfolio, program, organization management
  • Project governance framework can include:
    • Project success and deliverable acceptance criteria
    • Processes for identifying, escalating and resolving issues
    • Relationship amongst teams, organization (charts)
    • Communication process and tools
    • Decision making processes
    • Phase/gate review process
    • Processes for change approval for budget, scope, schedule etc.
    • Processes for aligning stakeholders requirements
  • Within the governance framework the PM determines the most effective way of delivering a project
  • The governance should be outlined in the project plan

2.2.3       Project Success

  • Success of a project is determined by completing a project within constraints of scope, time, cost, quality, resources, and risk.
  • Project success should be measured by the last baseline approved by stakeholders
  • To realize benefits a test launch period can be included before handing off to permanent operations
  • Project manager is responsible for setting realistic boundaries to ensure project success

2.3  Project Team

  • Includes the PM, PM administrative staff a group of individuals who act together to perform project work
  • The team can be individuals from different functional groups and internal and external to the organization
  • Teams can include:
    • Project management staff
    • Project staff
    • Supporting resources
    • Customer and Users
    • Sellers
    • Business partners
  • Project team members can be dedicated or part-time

2.4  Project Lifecycle

  • A series of phases that a project goes through from inception to closure
  • Project divided into phases to improve management and control
  • Phases are time bound with control points
  • These phases are normally sequential but not always and defined by the organization and nature of the project
  • The phases can be broken down by:
    • Objectives
    • Intermediate results
    • Specific milestones
    • Scope of work
    • Financial availability
  • Phases are time bound with start and end parameters
  • Project lifecycle can be:
    • Predictive also known as fully plan-driven. Scope, time and cost determined as early in the project life cycle as practically possible.
    • Interactive and Incremental.  Project phases (also called iterations) intentionally repeat one or more project activities as understanding of the product increases. Iterations develop the product through a series of repeated cycles, while increments successively add to the functionality of the product.
    • Adaptive also known as change-driven or agile.  Respond to high levels of change and ongoing stakeholder involvement.  Adaptive methods are also iterative and incremental, but differ in that iterations are very rapid – usually with a duration of 2 to 4 weeks and are fixed in time and cost.

2.4.1       Characteristics of a Project Lifecycle

  • All project have the following lifecycle structure:
    • Start/Inception
    • Organizing/Planning
    • Carrying out/Execution
    • End/Closing
  • Project lifecycle is independent of the lifecycle of the product or service created through the project
  • Cost and staffing of a project goes up with time and is highest in the execution phase and decreases towards closing
  • Risk and uncertainty is highest towards the beginning of the project and decrease over time with decisions and deliverables
  • The coast of making a change (ability to influence) to the project is lowest that the beginning and increases over time as the project progresses

Project lifecycle

2.4.2       Project Phases

  • Project phases are a collection of logically related project activities that result in one or more deliverables
  • The nature of work performed whiten a phase is unique
  • Typically linked to the development of a specific deliverable
  • Focus of a particular group of processes
  • Phases are typically completed sequentially
  • Phases allow the project to be broken into logical subsets for east of planning and management
  • Closure of a phase would typically requires a transfer of deliverables and hand-off to the next phase
  • Phase end represents a natural point to reassess a project to change or terminate
  • This point is referred to as a stage gate, milestone, kill point
  • A closer of a phase is typically required to be formally approved
  • Example of a single phase project
  • Phase-to-phase relationships can be sequential, overlapping, parallel
  • Overlapping can be due to schedule compression also called fast tracking
  • Overlapping may increase risk and uncertainty

Project Phases


  • Predictive Project Lifecycle
    • In a predictive project lifecycle project scope, and the time and cost required to deliver that scope, are determined as early in the project life cycle as practically possible.
    • The project proceeds through a series of planned phases and changes are carefully managed
    • Predictive project can also use the concept of rolling wave planning where high-level concepts are planned and more details are put in as activities are approached and resources are allocated
    • Iterative and Incremental Lifecycle
    • Project phases (iterations) intentionally repeat one or more times.
    • Iterations develop the product through repeated cycles
    • Increments add functionality to the product
    • The iterations can be performed in sequential r overlapping fashion
    • During an iteration all PM process groups will be performed and deliverables met at the end
    • Each iteration builds the deliverable until the exit criteria is met
    • The work required for different iterations may vary
    • Changes to iterations are carefully managed once work begins
    • This helps when partial delivery of a product is beneficial and provides value
    • Large complex projects can be simplified when delivered in iterations
    • Adaptive Lifecycle
    • Also known as change driven or agile
    • Involves high level of change and stakeholder involvement
    • They are also iterative and incremental but the iterations are rapid (2 to 4 weeks) and are fixed in cost and time
    • The can perform different processes in each iterations
    • Overall scope of the project is is decomposed to a set of requirements called the product backlog
    • Work is done within iterations on a priority base from the backlog
    • At the end of each iteration the product is open for review and input form users and stakeholders that is added to the backlog
    • These lifecycle is good when working in a rapidly changing environment where user requirements are difficult to define or changing

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