project phase

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Depending on their size, projects can be divided into sections (synonymous: phases ). Project phases each end with a milestone , the achievement of which is a measure of the progress of the project. Overlapping project phases in terms of time and content is possible, but not common. With iterative process models, different work packages can be in different phases. In didactic projects the word is used as a technical term in the sense of a sequence of "process phases" which structure the course of the individual learning project.

Structure of phase models

There are different phase models (standardized project structures for creating the project product), depending on the type of project product being created. In software projects, you will usually find models like

  1. analysis
  2. design
  3. development
  4. test
  5. delivery

choose. There are different models on the market, some of which mix product creation with project management activities. In this case one speaks more of procedure models than of phase models. When building a house, you will therefore choose completely different project phases.

Waterfall and iterative phase models

If the different phases of the project product creation take place completely sequentially, one speaks of a waterfall model . In practice, a waterfall-like (i.e. completely sequential) approach has proven to be unfavorable, especially for long-term projects. The reason for this is that the requirements for a project product change over time as a result of knowledge gained or changes in the market (end users). This then requires subsequent changes in project phases that have already been completed (e.g. updating the analysis and design if additional functionalities are required).

Iterative models optimize this procedure in that partial functionalities are controlled one after the other or at least offset by the phase model. Here, for example, the presumably stable core components are developed first and the "additional features" are only implemented much later in order to take the current market conditions into account.

Examples of phase models

Construction model

Phases and sub-phases based on the SIA 112 building plan (SIA: Swiss Association of Engineers and Architects)

1 Strategic Planning
11 Formulation of needs, solution strategies
2 preliminary studies
21 Definition of the project, feasibility study
22 Selection process
3 project planning
31 preliminary project
32 construction project
33 Approval procedure
4 tender
41 Invitation to tender, comparison of offers, award application
5 realization
51 Implementation planning
52 execution
53 Commissioning, completion

Plant construction

General phase model for plant and instrument construction

  • (A) Conceptual phase with the system concept review
    ( SCR System Concept Review )
  • (B) Definition phase with the system specification review
    ( SSR System Specification Review )
  • (C / D) design and development phase ( Design and Development phase ) with the
    preliminary design review ( PDR Preliminary Design Review ) and the
    critical design review ( CDR Critical Design Review )
  • (E / F) Manufacturing, operation and maintenance phase ( Deployment and Operational phase ) with the
    system production review (
    System Production Review )
  • (G) decommissioning phase

Space travel

Project phases according to ECSS

Phase model of the European Cooperation for Space Standardization (ECSS) for space missions.

Please note:

The ECSS definition is based on CNES program logic with less weight to the PDR; all international and larger ESA programs (e.g. Spacelab, Columbus) were carried out according to the NASA definition, i. In other words, the PDR is part of Phase C (Preliminary Design), as in the plant engineering example above. Its results (including qualification through analysis) enable the production of the "engineering models" based on formally released and controlled drawings. The final review of a phase B only contains descriptions and "view graphs" (sometimes called system configuration or system definition review), because the funds for phase B are usually limited because it is carried out by several competitors or the complete program release only after submission a binding offer can be made for the entire development phase C / D, which is based on the phase B results.

Since the ECSS diagram does not show the division into phases C and D, the assignment of the PDR to phase B is incorrect. The QR and FAR events also belong to phase D and are covered by the C / D contract.

Phase 0
TRL: 1-2
Preparation phase or mission analysis
Degree: Mission Definition Review (MDR)
Phase a
TRL: 2-3
Conception or feasibility .
Degree: Preliminary Requirement Review (PRR)
Phase B
TRL: 4-5
Definition phase or Preliminary Definition phase .
Interim report (divides phase into B1 and B2 ): System Requirements Review (SRR)
Degree: System Definition Review (SDR)
Phase C.
TRL: 6-8
Draft phase or preliminary design
Start: Contract conclusion for phase C / D
Conclusion: Preliminary Design Review (PDR), approval of production engineering models
Phase D.
Development and delivery or final design
Design approval : Critical Design Review (CDR), approval for production of flight models
Qualification completion : Qualification Review (QR), confirmation that all requirements have been met
Conclusion: Acceptance Review (AR), delivery with confirmation that there are no manufacturing or material defects
Phase E.
Deployment or Utilization
Interim report : Operational Readiness Review (ORR)
Interim report : Flight Readiness Review (FRR)
Interim report : Launch Readiness Review (LRR)
Degree: Flight Qualification Review (FQR)
Degree: End of Life Review (EOLR)
Phase F.
Disposal or Disposal

Technical tasks

Phase model for technical tasks

  • Conception
  • planning
  • realization
  • test
  • introduction
  • use

Organizational projects

Phase model for organizational projects

  • ACTUAL analysis
  • Goal planning and target conception
  • Pilot application
  • Evaluation of pilot test
  • Implementation of the overall concept
  • Evaluation of the overall concept

Investment projects

Phase model for investment projects

  • Project planning
  • management
  • Engineering
  • Administrative procedures
  • procurement
  • Construction and assembly
  • Installation
  • Training & documentation
  • Use planning

Phase structure of didactic projects

Didactic projects in the form of historical project lessons are characterized by a specific structure that structures the educational process in terms of method and organization. The technical terms “phase structure” or “process phase” or “project phase” are used for this.

In the context of this type of teaching and learning, the interdisciplinary teaching processes develop in so-called "process phases". A learning project is determined by a certain "phase structure" that must be strictly adhered to if a demanding project is to be successfully completed. The founding fathers of project work, such as the American pedagogue John Dewey and his student William Heard Kilpatrick , already provided essential basic structures for the success of a learning project under the terms project method and progressive education at the beginning of the twentieth century . From the 1970s onwards, with the revival and didactic development of the method by educationalists such as Karl Frey (1982), Herbert Gudjons (1978), Peter Struck (1975) or Siegbert Warwitz (1974), these became a demanding, interdisciplinary form of teaching and learning that established itself in the entire educational system from elementary school to university teaching. The didacticians Siegbert A. Warwitz and Anita Rudolf describe the following phase structure with six process phases as constitutive for the success of a demanding teaching and learning project:

  • The exploratory phase

has the function of checking the run-up to the planned project, such as the factual, personal, financial and organizational possibilities of the task as well as the development status and social structure of the planned project group.

  • The motivation phase

must arouse interest in the work topic, attract suitable employees, create sustainable motivation and achieve a mutually agreed target.

  • The planning phase

deals with the joint production of ideas, with the definition of the sub-goals, the participation of subjects, the time frame, the conclusion of a 'project contract' that is binding for all participants.

  • The preparatory phase

regulates the procurement of money and materials, the division into groups, the assignment of work orders, the acquisition of project-related basic skills.

  • The realization phase

goes to the concrete processing of the self-set tasks in the direction of the project goal.

  • The recollection phase

assesses the success of the project on the basis of the documentation and presentation of the project results, reflects on the learning processes, and possibly plans a follow-up project.

The phases form a framework on whose structure the project can gradually build. If the teachers and students have advanced project experience, they can also flow into one another. In the preliminary form of project-oriented teaching , the phase structure still plays a subordinate role.


Individual evidence

  1. ECSS-M-ST-10C Rev.1, Space project management - Project planning and implementation, March 6, 2009
  2. ^ John Dewey, William Heard Kilpatrick: The Project Plan. Foundation and practice . Böhlau, Weimar 1935
  3. Knoll, Michael: Dewey, Kilpatrick and "progressive" education. Critical studies on project pedagogy. Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt 2011. pp. 83–144.
  4. ^ Siegbert Warwitz, Anita Rudolf: How a project is created . Basic article, main topic "Projects". In: Sports Education. ed. v. Friedrich Verlag Seelze 6 (1982), pp. 16-23

See also

 Wikipedia: WikiProjekt Projektmanagement - Wikipedia-internal specialist editorial team on the subject of project management