Project lifecycle – a real-life example from a project management course

The project lifecycle is a frequently discussed topic in project management practices. In this post, we share a real-life example of a project lifecycle related to the development of a new innovative product – a washing machine.

The life cycle is created by a Project Management Academy bachelor and is maximally tailored to the needs of the initial activities of each project management office. The material presented also contains some product-oriented details and is an important part of the overall picture of the project lifecycle in this example. The course is regulated by The Global Regulatory Network and is part of BVOP.org’s Certified Project Manager program, which is also regulated by us.

The project lifecycle – Sections, phases, and descriptions

1. Analyzing markets and consumers and creating a business model

Defining target groups. The requirement for a smart washing machine excludes certain age groups. The requirement to integrate only with the App Store is very restrictive, given that in certain countries Apple products are not very common, and on the other hand, the trade war of Huawei, Samsung, and Apple (or iOS vs. Android) lead to an additional segmentation. This staging leads to product placement, highly dependent on Apple’s restrictions. At this stage, a recommendation should be made to remove the App Store-only integration restriction and include the Google Play Store.

On the other hand, developing your OS leads to many difficulties, further maintaining a team with non-company specific activity, dependency, as well as mandatory maintenance, OS development, policies for modification and updating. The existing OSs should be re-examined and a recommendation should be made for the possible use of a standard solution (if any, meets the expected price framework, does not lead to dependencies, etc.)

2. Graphical interface, touch screen, and prototype

This type of UI has to meet several parameters – pad resistance, response, moisture and dust standards, design and ease of use. Directly related to OS development and product design. Manufacturers need to be identified, competitor models analyzed. Prototyping is a hybrid process that depends on the chosen business model, component suppliers, OS development, and UI. These are concurrent processes that must be carefully planned with the necessary tolerance and buffers. After the prototype production, internal functional tests, stress tests, user tests with users of different age groups should be planned.

3. Native operating system and the ability to install additional applications to it from the App Store

In the decision to create your OS, because of the hypotheses above, the RV of the product and the ROI of local resource development and outsource must be analyzed. For the outsource option, a procedure must be initiated through the appropriate purchasing/logistics department. Development, testing, and commissioning must be planned in detail. This is one of the potential stoppers in the project.

4. Remote control capability

This is a requirement associated with many risks that need to be identified, anticipated, assessed and mitigated. Providing access to the laundry in question means being connected to the Internet in any way, which implies the availability of internet and customer connectivity, compliance with network security policies, protection against various types of network attacks and prevention of possible theft of personal data and so on. These requirements are governed by ISO 270001, GDPR, NIS and other specific US and other countries, so it should be assessed in compliance to analyze that it is better not to limit the remote control to the home network. If not, the cost of penetration testing, certification, new Security officer positions and more should be provided.

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