The methodology presented here is based upon the Capital Value Process which uses 6 generic phases. At the end of each phase there is a decision gate (M). A Mx is a milestone where line management decides either to approve the project to proceed to the next phase or to stop the project. The model is suitable for all types of projects.
The business planning phase is to validate and document business ideas and provide enough basis to decide whether the project idea should be matured further. The business planning takes place before the project feasibility study. The work prior to the project initiation is done by the business and should document business ideas including the first version of the business case to provide enough basis to decide whether a project opportunity should be matured further during the project feasibility study phase. Relevant documents include the project proposal and the business case. The project proposal will include a definition of the expected scope, a preliminary cost and time estimate, and preliminary assessment of the resource requirements.
M0 is where the project owner takes the decision to start the feasibility phase. The purpose of M0 is to ensure that the feasibility phase is based on an idea for a business opportunity that is assessed to be aligned with the business direction of the organization, and that it is initiated and procured in a business-oriented manner.
The feasibility phase is the preparatory phase in the project model, prior to starting the project formally. In the feasibility phase, an investigation of a business opportunity is done. All relevant commercial, technical and organizational aspects are considered and addressed, including any risks and opportunities they could include. This phase should provide enough information to enable a decision to be made to start a formal project.
M1 is where the project owner takes the decision to start the formal project. The purpose of M1 is to ensure that the Concept phase is aligned with the business direction of the organization, that it is initiated and procured in a business-oriented manner, and that the benefits for the business are considered.
The concept phase is the phase in the project model where the project is outlined and preparations for successful project completion are made. The concept phase includes definition of the project goals, the project scope, the project organization (including roles and responsibilities), the project cost estimate and the project plans in order to provide a solid foundation for successful project execution and completion.
M2 is where a decision is made to start the Definition phase. The purpose of M2 is to ensure that project execution is based on a business case aligned with the business direction of the organization where the benefits for the customer are considered. It is also the main decision gate before, in large extent, involving external resources.
The definition phase develops the project ready for the execution phase. The purpose of the definition phase is to define the requirements and finalize the scope of the project, thus finalising the time and cost, so that a M3 decision can be made.
M3 is where a decision is made to start the Execution phase. The purpose of M3 is to approve the final scope, cost and time of the project. The execution phase develops the project further towards handover to the customer.
The purpose of the execution phase is to follow the plan in order to reach a formal decision to hand over the result of the project.
M4 represents a decision to start the operational verification and hand-over of the result of the project. The purpose of M4 is to make a go/no-go decision as to whether the project is ready to hand over its result. There can be several M4s, if the project plans to roll out in phases, one country at a time or parts of the result in succession.
The operations phase consists of verification and acceptance of the result of the project prior to close-down. The purpose of the operations phase is to verify that the result of the project is acceptable, that any errors or inconsistencies are dealt with and any remaining actions are handed over to another project, the operations department or the business.
M5 represents a decision to close the project. The purpose of M5 is to finalize hand-over and close the project. This includes transfer of responsibility to the customer and the operational responsible, return of project resources to their base and finalizing of project cost. The M5 decision must include the financial overview of the total project cost, including any pending costs received after the project work has stopped as well as how and by whom these costs will be followed up.
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