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I've got a project based on a WBS with 4 main phases:

  1. Project Initiation
  2. Planning
  3. Implementation
  4. Acceptance

I would like to do some kind of partial acceptance during implementation for a few already-implemented requirements. Do the necessary work items have to be part of the implementation phase or the acceptance phase?

Basically, in a timeline the implementation phase would look like:

  1. Implement requirement 1
  2. Implement requirement 2
  3. Acceptance of requirement 1 & 2
  4. Implement requirement 3
  5. Implement requirement 4
  6. Acceptance of requirement 3 & 4

Afterwards there would be the acceptance phase with the big acceptance of the whole project. Should I put work item 3 into phase "implementation" or into phase "acceptance"?

  • Sounds like you're re-inventing the "sprint" or "iteration". Have you researched any of the Agile frameworks? – RubberDuck Jul 8 '16 at 11:06
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TL;DR

There's nothing wrong with building in inspect-and-adapt phase gates into a project management process, even a traditional waterfall model. In fact, it's a very sensible approach to ensure that you have completed a work package (or set of packages) before moving onto the next phase of the project.

Make Phase-Gating Activities Explicit

Personally, I would suggest adding the gates or milestones, along with an explicit feedback loop, directly into the plan. For example:

  • Phase I
    1. Implement requirement 1,
    2. Implement requirement 2.
    3. Phase Gate: Acceptance of requirements 1 & 2, or restart phase.
    4. Delivery of Milestone A.
  • Phase II
    1. Implement requirement 3.
    2. Implement requirement 4.
    3. Phase Gate: Acceptance of requirements 3 & 4, or restart phase.
    4. Delivery of Milestone B.

Even before I fully embraced more agile methodologies, I found this technique extremely helpful in my own project management practice. While I now consider phase gates to be part of the Definition of Done, and bake milestones into Scrum's "potentially-shippable increments," I still find the techniques useful to this day. This is especially true for larger projects, or projects that require release planning.

Your mileage may vary. Hopefully, though, you'll find the technique as useful as I continue to do.

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