In the not too distant past, My Favorite Company, embarked on My Favorite Project to revolutionize My Favorite Industry and leave competitors in the dust. When competitors got wind of this plan, mysterious things started to happen. And before too long, mysterious turned to sinister. Then one day, My Favorite Project was found terminated. How could this happen? Who would do such a thing? A special task force was commissioned to investigate. Who killed ‘My Favorite’ project? You decide.

Victim: ‘My Favorite’ Project

Injuries: Depleted budget, fractured Scope, and fatal hit to Quality

Description of the Suspects: Project Manager

The Project Manager was assigned to achieve the project objectives by understanding and applying tools and techniques to manage the project including the authority to approve certain types of change requests as defined the project’s roles and responsibilities.

The Project Manager was diligent about identifying project objectives, addressing the various concerns and expectations of the Stakeholders and balancing the project constraints including: scope, quality, schedule, budget resources and risks. Because of the potential for change, the Project Manager crafted a plan that was iterative and went thru progressive elaboration throughout the project’s lifecycle which allowed for continuously improving and detailing a plan as more specific information and more accurate estimates became available.

Software Product Manager

The Software Product Manager’s main role was representing the product to the customer. The Software Product Manager investigated, selected, and developed the products for the organization, performing the activities of product management at all stages of the product lifecycle. (Note: The four main stages of a product’s life cycle are: 1) Market introduction stage, 2) Growth stage, 3) Maturity stage, 4) Saturation and decline stage.)

The Software Product Manager was also responsible for gathering software requirements using a Marketing Requirements Document (MRD) developed by the product planning/marketing team, and developing a high level Product Requirements Document (PRD). In addition, the Software Product Manager created an elaborate Software Requirements Specification (SRS) for the software engineering/development organization for subsequent design, development, and testing activities. Lastly, the Software Product Manager created User Acceptance Test (UAT) procedures, facilitated UAT sessions with end-users, and ensured that the product met the specifications and that it was deployed successfully.

Possible Motives/Scenarios:

1) The development of a product was a project on its own

2) Or, an existing product might have benefited from a project to add new functions or features

3) Or a project might have been created to develop a new model

Clue1: The product lifecycle consists of generally sequential, non-overlapping product phases determined by the needs of the organization. The last product lifecycle phase for a product is generally the product’s retirement. Project lifecycles on the other hand, occur in one or more phases of a product lifecycle. All projects have a purpose, but in those cases where the objective is a service or result, there may be a lifecycle for the service, not a product lifecycle.

Clue2: The project lifecycle is a collection of generally sequential and sometimes overlapping phases determined by the management and control needs of the organization. While every project has a defined start and end, the specific deliverables and activities that take place will vary widely with the project. The project life cycle provides the basic framework for managing the project, regardless of the specific work involved.

Hint: Many facets of the product life cycle lend themselves to be run as projects (e.g. performing a feasibility study, conducting market research, installing a product). In each of these examples, the project life cycle would differ from the product lifecycle. Did the Product and Project Managers have different agendas? Did the two not make it clear who was driving My Favorite Project? Or did the two simply not communicate, which dealt the fatal blow?

Who Dun it?

The Jury is out for deliberation.

You decide.


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