The project life cycle methodology described here has been created for use by Duke University's Office of Information Technology (OIT). It is a result of benchmarking with similar institutions as well as with accepted industry practices. The methodology is meant to guide the practitioner, whether a project manager or operational manager, in the rolling out or retirement of products and services. Though developed within the context of information technology (IT), the methodology may be applied to any industry. When used by an organization consistently, the methodology can help realize improved communication and efficiency within project and operational teams.
The process provides a framework for initiating a project and guiding it through the standard phases of project management (discovery, planning, execution, and closure) in order to ready a product or service for ongoing operations (service management). Integral to the methodology is the use of document templates, from project proposal to operational and service level agreements. These templates are guides to the practitioner, prompting him or her to ask questions throughout the process and cover key areas or concerns. As needed, practitioners should revise the templates to fit their particular environment.
The methodology is considered a "living" process. OIT will continue to adjust, realign, and add to the process and documents to meet the changing needs of our organization. Leadership for this process is provided by OIT Project and Consulting Services and the collaborative efforts of operational project managers throughout the organization.
We encourage other departments at Duke and organizations outside Duke to use part or all of the methodology. Let us know what you find useful, and share any thoughts you have to improve the overall process, templates, and information provided.
For an overall view of the process, see the flowchart.