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Commonalities & Differences In Project Management Around the World. A Survey of Project Categories and Life Cycles Russell D. Archibald & Vladimir Voropaev. Purpose of This Survey. To encourage global agreement on:

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Commonalities differences in project management around the world

Commonalities & Differences In Project Management Around the World

A Survey of Project Categories and Life Cycles

Russell D. Archibald

& Vladimir Voropaev

Purpose of this survey
Purpose of This Survey World

  • To encourage global agreement on:

    • Definition of basic project categories & sub-categories in common use for essentially all types of projects

    • Identification & definition of life cycles in use for each project category

  • To identify differences in these areas so that these can be understood and minimized

Presentation outline
Presentation Outline World

  • A Global Vision: PM Practices

  • Systematic Model of Project Management

  • Proposed Project Categories/Sub-Categories

  • Life Cycles for Various Categories

  • Survey Questionnaire and Conduct

  • Next Steps

1 a vision of global project management practices
1. A Vision of Global Project Management Practices World

  • Widely used set of concepts, methods, systems and tools

  • High degree of uniformity and understanding across economic, cultural & political boundaries

  • Enabling broad collaboration with minimum conflict

  • Interchangeable managers & specialists

2 systematic model of project management
2. Systematic WorldModel of Project Management

The following figure is from Voropaev et al, “Systematic Model of Project Management,” presented at the 17th IPMA World Congress 2003 in Moscow

This survey focuses on
This Survey Focuses On: World

  • Managed Objects: Projects and Programs

  • Life cycle phases of projects

Projects: World

  • Are the common denominator for all aspects of project management

  • Exist in many sizes & types

  • Produce many different products & results

Required analytical framework
Required WorldAnalytical Framework

  • Systematic grouping into defined categories and sub-categories

  • Many possible classification schemes

  • Most practical scheme reflects the products of the projects at the first levels of classification

3 proposed major categories of projects

Aerospace/Defense World

Business & Organizational Change Projects

Communication Systems Projects

Event Projects

Facilities Projects

Information Systems

International Development

Media & Entertainment

Product/Service Development

Research & Dev.

3. Proposed Major Categories of Projects

Other major categories may be required
Other Major Categories WorldMay Be Required

  • See Table 1 in the paper

  • Survey will determine how practical and complete these recommended categories are

  • Further breakdown is obviously required

  • A few examples follow

Project Categories: World

Each having similar life cycle phases and a unique project management process


1. Aerospace/Defense Projects

1.1 Defense systems

1.2 Space

1.3 Military operations

New weapon system; major system upgrade.

Satellite development/launch; space station mod.

Task force invasion

2. Business & Organization Change Projects

2.1 Acquisition/Merger

2.2 Management process improvement

2.3 New business venture

2.4 Organization re-structuring

2.5 Legal proceeding

Acquire and integrate competing company.

Major improvement in project management.

Form and launch new company.

Consolidate divisions and downsize company.

Major litigation case.

3. Communication Systems Projects

3.1 Network communications systems

3.2 Switching communications systems

Microwave communications network.

3rd generation wireless communication system.

4. Event Projects

4.1 International events

4.2 National events

2004 Summer Olympics; 2006 World Cup Match.

2005 U. S. Super Bowl; 2004 Political Conventions.

5. Facilities Projects

5.1 Facility decommissioning

5.2 Facility demolition

5.3 Facility maintenance and modification

5.4 Facility design/procurement/construction




High rise





Closure of nuclear power station.

Demolition of high rise building.

Process plant maintenance turnaround.

Conversion of plant for new products/markets.

Flood control dam; highway interchange.

New gas-fired power generation plant; pipeline.

Chemical waste cleanup.

40 story office building.

New manufacturing plant.

New shopping center; office building.

New housing sub-division.

New tanker, container, or passenger ship

6. Information Systems (Software) Projects

New project management information system. (Information system hardware is considered to be in the product development category.)

7. International Development Projects

7.1 Agriculture/rural development

7.2 Education

7.3 Health

7.4 Nutrition

7.5 Population

7.6 Small-scale enterprise

7.7 Infrastructure: energy (oil, gas, coal, power generation and distribution), industrial, telecommunications, transportation, urbanization, water supply and sewage, irrigation)

People and process intensive projects

in developing countries funded by The World Bank, regional development banks, US AID, UNIDO, other UN, and government agencies; and

Capital/civil works intensive projects—

often somewhat different from 5. Facility Projects as they may include, as part of the project, creating an organizational entity to operate and maintain the facility, and lending agencies impose their project life cycle and reporting requirements.

8. Media & Entertainment Projects

8.1 Motion picture

8.2 TV segment

8.2 Live play or music event

New motion picture (film or digital).

New TV episode.

New opera premiere.

9. Product and Service Development Projects

9.1 Information technology hardware

9.2 Industrial product/process

9.3 Consumer product/process

9.4 Pharmaceutical product/process

9.5 Service (financial, other)

New desk-top computer.

New earth-moving machine.

New automobile, new food product.

New cholesterol-lowering drug.

New life insurance/annuity offering.

10. Research and Development Projects

10.1 Environmental

10.2 Industrial

10.3 Economic development

10.4 Medical

10.5 Scientific

Measure changes in the ozone layer.

How to reduce pollutant emission.

Determine best crop for sub-Sahara Africa.

Test new treatment for breast cancer.

Determine the possibility of life on Mars.

11. Other Categories?

Sub categories are required
Sub-Categories Are Required World

One example:

  • Business & Organization Change Projects:

    • Acquisition/merger

    • Management process improvement

    • New business venture

    • Organization re-structuring

    • Legal proceeding

    • Other: ?

Example category 5 facilities projects
Example: WorldCategory 5. Facilities Projects


  • Facility decommissioning

  • Facility demolition

  • Facility maintenance & modification

  • Facility design/procure/construct1.Civil 2.Energy 3.Environmental 4.Industrial 5.Commercial 6.Residential 7.Ships 8.Other:

  • Other: ?

Categories are not mutually exclusive
Categories Are WorldNot Mutually Exclusive

  • Programs and large projects usually involve more than one category or sub-category

  • These projects are placed in their predominate category

  • Must “Mega” projects be treated separately? Probably: yes

Classifying within categories sub categories
Classifying Within Categories & Sub-Categories World

  • Project size

  • Project complexity

  • External or internal customer

  • Degree of customer involvement

  • Levels of risk

  • Other:

Classifying within categories cont d
Classifying WorldWithin Categories (Cont’d)

  • Major & minor projects

  • Mega projects: not categorizable

  • Stand-alone versus create supporting infrastructure

  • Standard versus transitional

  • Other: ?

Commonalities differences a framework for analysis
Commonalities & Differences: A Framework for Analysis World

  • Define appropriate project categories and sub-categories

  • Identify life cycles within each of these

  • Identify PM practices & tools in use by life cycle phase within various regions or countries

4 life cycles searching for common processes
4. Life Cycles: Searching for Common Processes World

  • Life cycle definition enables:

    • All involved persons to understand the processes to be used

    • Capture of best experience

    • Assignment of responsibilities

    • Repetition of success

  • Important starting point in our search for common processes

Generic life cycle phases
Generic Life Cycle Phases World

  • General agreement on four generic life cycle phases:

    • Concept

    • Definition

    • Execution

    • Closeout

      However these are too broad for our purposes

Designing life cycles phases and decision points
Designing Life Cycles: WorldPhases and Decision Points

  • Three basic design parameters:

    • Number and definitions of phases/sub-phases

    • Whether sequential or overlapping, once-through or re-cycling, predictive or adaptive

    • Number and placement of decision points (approvals, go/kill, go/hold, go back)

Basic life cycle model types
Basic Life Cycle Model Types World

  • Predictive

    • Most common

    • Generic, waterfall, other

  • Adaptive/heuristic

    • Incremental build

    • Short-term cycles

    • Evolutionary

Life cycle models differ by category
Life Cycle Models WorldDiffer by Category

  • Different project categories (and sub-categories) often require very different life cycle designs

  • Incomplete literature search produced list shown in Table 2 of our paper

Examples of predictive life cycles
Examples of WorldPredictive Life Cycles

  • Generic/Standard:

    • Concept, definition, execution, closeout

  • Waterfall:

    • Generic with overlapping, more detailed phases

  • Cyclical (when number is known)

  • Spiral

Examples of adaptive life cycle models
Examples of WorldAdaptive Life Cycle Models

  • Adaptive Software Development/ASD:

    • Component based, iterative time-boxed cycles, risk-driven, change tolerant

  • Extreme Programming/XP:

    • Programming in pairs, teams include managers & users, each team codes & tests, fluid cost & schedule

  • SCRUM:

    • Iterative 30 day sprints, short daily meetings (scrums), several small teams

      Source: Desaulniers & Anderson 2002

Extreme programming xp
Extreme Programming/XP World

  • “A cooperative style of software development promises to deliver better applications — on time and on budget.”

    PC Magazine, Feb. 25, 2003 p. 68

  • For helpful links, see “Extreme Programming Resources” at

Nasa process based mission assurance program life cycle
NASA “Process Based Mission Assurance Program Life Cycle”

  • Program Management

  • Concept Development

  • Acquisition

  • Hardware Design

  • Software Design

  • Manufacturing

  • Pre-Operations Integration & Test

  • Operations

Information systems life cycle examples
Information Systems Cycle”Life Cycle Examples

  • Desaulniers & Anderson 2002:

    • Predictive (waterfall, prototyping, rapid application development/RAD, incremental build)

    • Adaptive (ASD, XP, SCRUM)

  • Whitten 1995:

    • Code and fix, waterfall, incremental, interative

Product service development life cycle examples
Product & Service Development Life Cycle Examples Cycle”

  • Cooper & Kleinschmidt 1993:

    • Stage-Gate Process Model

  • Thamhain 2000:

    • Phase-Gate Model

  • Murphy 1989:

    • Pharmaceutical Model

Stage gate model
Stage-Gate Cycle” Model

5 global survey project categories sub categories
5. Global Survey: Project Categories & Sub-Categories Cycle”

  • Purpose: To determine:

    • If such a concept is used & if so how common it is around the world

    • Whether the recommended categories are used or useful

    • What additions or changes are needed

    • What are the common practices in further classification within sub-categories

Global survey project life cycles within categories
Global Survey: Project Cycle”Life Cycles Within Categories

  • Purpose: To determine for each category/sub-category within each country:

    • Which of the listed life cycles are in use

    • Whether other life cycles are used, & if so their names and references

    • How the life cycle models are used and the benefits they produce

Conducting the survey
Conducting the Survey Cycle”

  • The questionnaire is available on-line at

  • Completed questionnaires are to be completed on-line prior to November 1st, 2003

Project categories survey
Project Categories Survey Cycle”

Enter These Codes for Each Item in Table 1:

U – Universally accepted and used

W – Widely accepted and used

A – Accepted and used by some

R – Rarely accepted and used

N – Never accepted or used

ALT – Alternative term used as noted

Project categories survey cont d
Project Categories Survey Cycle”(Cont’d)


  • Useful to have an agreed list of project categories? Why?

  • What other classification systems are in use?

  • What subordinate classifications are used?

Project life cycle survey codes each category

SEQ – Sequential Cycle”

WF – Waterfall Model

PAR – Parallel

CYC – Cyclical

Spir – Spiral

INCR - Incremental

ITER – Iterative

ADAP – Adaptive

GATE – Stage-Gate

CFIX – Code and fix

Spec – Special (describe)

Project Life Cycle Survey Codes – Each Category

Project life cycle survey other information
Project Life Cycle Survey - Other Information Cycle”

  • Number of life cycle phases

  • Number of decision points

  • Additional comments

    ….for each project category listed in Table 2 plus any that have been added by the respondent

Project life cycle survey
Project Life Cycle Survey Cycle”


  • Useful to have an agreed list of project life cycle types? Why?

  • List any other life cycle models or type that you know are in use, with descriptions or references.

  • Any other comments or suggestions

Promoting the survey
Promoting the Survey Cycle”

  • ISGI Workshop participants are invited to respond — and encourage their colleagues to do the same

  • The survey is being publicized through appropriate PM associations around the world — primarily using the Internet and Web

Inducements to complete the survey
Inducements Cycle”To Complete the Survey

  • Respondents will receive a complete copy of the survey report

  • Their names will be listed in the report (if desired)

  • They will have the satisfaction of having contributed to the advancement of the project management profession

6 next steps
6. Next Steps Cycle”

  • Survey conduct: June — October

  • Compilation of results and preparation of the survey report: Sept.— December

  • Release of final report:

    December 31, 2003

  • Presentation of results at the 18th IPMA World Congress in Budapest June 2004

Download this paper complete the on line survey questionnaire at
Download this paper & complete the on-line Cycle”survey questionnaire at:

The site, paper & questionnaire are available in English & Spanish

Volunteers welcome
Volunteers Welcome! Cycle”

  • We would like to have a survey leader within each country to promote the widest possible participation

  • Please contact us:

    Russ Archibald: [email protected]

    Vladimir Voropaev: [email protected]

Your feedback is requested
Your Feedback Is Requested! Cycle”

  • Thank you for listening

  • Please complete the on-line survey questionnaire prior to November 1st

  • Please give us your comments or suggestions on the survey

  • Is this worth all the effort?