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Development Approach and Life Cycle Performance Domain

In this sample chapter from Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® Exam Official Cert Guide, you will learn fundamental concepts involved in the Development Approach and Life Cycle Performance Domain and how to use deliverables and milestones in project planning and execution.

This chapter is from the book

This chapter covers the following topics:

  • Fundamentals of the Project Life Cycle: This section covers basic life cycle concepts and provides an introduction to how life cycles work.

  • Project Life Cycle vs. Product Life Cycle: This section describes how products are managed and how the various components of a product’s market life cycle can be similar to those of the project life cycle.

  • Development Approach and Life Cycle Performance Domain: This section covers the typical activities associated with the Development Approach and Life Cycle Performance Domain.

  • Life Cycles in Practice: This section provides examples of how practitioners think of life cycles in various contexts.

  • Considerations for Selecting a Development Approach: This section describes key factors that help in making a decision about what development approach to use.

  • Project Activity, Deliverables, and Milestones: This section describes some of the activities involved in various types of life cycles, defines what deliverables and milestones are, and explains why it is important to define what deliverables are in projects.

This chapter introduces the fundamental concepts involved in the Development Approach and Life Cycle Performance Domain. This domain involves the choices a project manager makes in terms of the order in which certain required tasks are done, to what extent the team can take different paths through those required steps, and how these factors influence the life cycle of the project. Several types of life cycles are described, including the typical considerations for choosing which type of life cycle is best for a given situation and project context. Finally, this chapter covers the important concepts related to deliverables and milestones to ensure that you know how to define them and use them in the planning and execution of a project.

By the time you reach the end of this chapter, within the context of the following domains and tasks, you should be able to:

  • Domain 1: Project Management Fundamentals and Core Concepts

    • Task 1-1: Demonstrate an understanding of the various project life cycles and process groups.

      Distinguish between predictive and adaptive approaches.

    • Task 1-2: Demonstrate an understanding of project management planning.

      Distinguish between the different deliverables of a project plan vs. a product plan.

      Distinguish the difference between a milestone and a task duration.

    • Task 1-4: Determine how to follow and execute planned strategies or frameworks (e.g., communication, risks, etc.).

      Give examples of how it is appropriate to respond to a planned strategy or framework (e.g., communication, risk).

  • Domain 2: Predictive Plan-Based Methodologies

    • Task 2-1. Explain when it is appropriate to use a predictive plan-based approach.

      Identify the suitability of a predictive, plan-based approach for a particular organizational structure (e.g., virtual, co-location, matrix structure, hierarchical).

      Determine the activities within each process.

      Give examples of typical activities within each process.

      Distinguish among various project components.

  • Domain 3: Adaptive Frameworks/Methodologies

    • Task 3-1: Explain when it is appropriate to use an adaptive approach.

      Compare the pros and cons of adaptive and predictive plan-based projects.

      Identify organizational process assets and environmental factors that facilitate adaptive approaches.

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz

The “Do I Know This Already?” quiz allows you to assess whether you should read this entire chapter thoroughly or jump to the “Exam Preparation Tasks” section. If you are in doubt about your answers to these questions or your own assessment of your knowledge of the topics, read the entire chapter. Table 4-1 lists the major headings in this chapter and their corresponding “Do I Know This Already?” quiz questions. You can find the answers in Appendix A, “Answers to the ‘Do I Know This Already?’ Quizzes.”

Table 4-1 “Do I Know This Already?” Section-to-Question Mapping

Foundation Topics Section


Fundamentals of the Project Life Cycle

2, 13

Project Life Cycle vs. Product Life Cycle


Development Approach and Life Cycle Performance Domain Concepts

3, 8, 10

Life Cycles in Practice

1, 7, 12

Considerations for Selecting a Development Approach

9, 11, 14

Project Activity, Deliverables, and Milestones

4, 6, 15

1. If the requirements for software change in a minor way due to customer feedback or testing failure, the project team can revisit these minor changes through revised design, coding, and testing. The idea is to discover these issues as early as possible because the cost of changing the system can be greater as more of it is developed through the life cycle of the project. When you have this viewpoint, you are viewing software development as a(n) _____.

  1. predictive approach

  2. product approach

  3. adaptive approach

  4. hybrid approach

2. Which of the following is the term for a temporary endeavor to develop a unique outcome through a series of interrelated steps from initial concept to a completed state?

  1. Phase

  2. Product life cycle

  3. Activity

  4. Project life cycle

3. Your operations manager has tasked you with defining a development approach for the construction of a tool shed next to your manufacturing facility. The scope, schedule, cost, resource needs, and risks can be well defined in the early phases of the project life cycle, and they are relatively stable. Which approach should you take in this case?

  1. Predictive

  2. Product

  3. Adaptive

  4. Hybrid

4. Which of the following is the term for a scheduled step in a project plan that has a distinct beginning and end and may consist of several substeps?

  1. Phase

  2. Deliverable

  3. Activity

  4. Milestone

5. ABC Company has determined that its Widget 452 model is selling less briskly than it has during the past two years. Executives of the company determine that it is time to phase out Widget 452 and bring Widget 673 into production and sales. These factors would lead you to believe that the executives are discussing a(n) _____.

  1. phase

  2. product life cycle

  3. activity

  4. project life cycle

6. Which of the following is a tangible or intangible measurable output of one or more project activities?

  1. Milestone

  2. Deliverable

  3. Phase

  4. Objective

7. You are managing a software development project and have planned that the final deliverable will be brought into existence in successively refined stages at prototype, pilot, testing, and deployment stages. In this case, you are viewing software development as a(n) _____.

  1. predictive approach

  2. adaptive approach

  3. hybrid approach

  4. product approach

8. The product owner for a clothing manufacturer/retailer has tasked you with defining a development approach for a new line of children’s clothing. This organization has never sold clothing for children, and no one on the team has had any experience with this type of product. One very rigid consideration is that this particular company wants a line of children’s clothing that is unique in the market, so you cannot just import a line from another company and rebrand it. Which development approach should you use in this case?

  1. Predictive

  2. Product

  3. Adaptive

  4. Hybrid

9. Scheduling constraints, the availability of funding, and the nature of the involved stakeholders are all factors that are part of which aspect of the model of considerations for selecting a development approach?

  1. Product, service, or result

  2. Project

  3. Organization

  4. Competition

10. You are the project manager for information systems in a major banking firm. This particular company has not had its own mobile application. The senior vice president for operations has asked you, along with others in the IT and operations groups, to define a project that will produce an initial mobile application. The vice president has been particularly emphatic about the fact that this application must meet all compliance requirements for consumer use; other than that, your teams have freedom in the design and operation of the app. These factors suggest that you probably want to use which development approach?

  1. Predictive

  2. Product

  3. Adaptive

  4. Hybrid

11. The project team size and location, the overall culture, and capability are all factors that are part of which aspect of the model of considerations for selecting a development approach?

  1. Product, service, or result

  2. Project

  3. Organization

  4. Competition

12. Certain aspects of your retail store project allow you to plan for a known outcome of the construction of your retail store location. Other aspects of the market development and product testing are less stable at the early stages because you want to establish a more unique approach to your store. To bring about the final operating store in your chosen location, which approach might you want to adopt?

  1. Predictive

  2. Adaptive

  3. Hybrid

  4. Product

13. A(n) _____ is a collection of logically related project activities that culminates in the completion of one or more deliverables.

  1. phase

  2. product life cycle

  3. activity

  4. project life cycle

14. Degree of innovation, ease of change, requirements, and regulations are all factors that are part of which aspect of the model of considerations for selecting a development approach?

  1. Product, service, or result

  2. Project

  3. Organization

  4. Competition

15. Although a(n) ______ is scheduled in a project plan, it has no estimated duration and is used to provide information about progress through the major segments.

  1. milestone

  2. deliverable

  3. phase

  4. activity

Foundation Topics

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