Linking the Comprehensive Six-Phase Project Life Cycle Model and Project Team Cognitive Readiness with the TCM Framework


Russell D. Archibald, Ivano Di Filippo,
Daniele Di Filippo, and Shane C. Archibald

Mexico, Italy & USA


This paper describes and justifies how the comprehensive six-phase project life cycle model plus the concepts of project team cognitive readiness are linked to the TCM Framework through holistic management and systems thinking. This project life cycle model recognizes that there is always a Project Incubation/Feasibility Phase prior to the currently existing Project Starting Phase of most project management standards, and also that there must be an additional Post-Project Evaluation Phase after the current standard Project Close-out Phase. These phases are defined and discussed for two basic types of projects: 1) delivery or commercial projects and 2) innovative, transformational projects.

It is recommended that this Comprehensive Project Life Cycle Model be adopted as the standard for important projects. The Project Incubation/Feasibility Phase provides the opportunity to introduce the TCM Framework properly as an integrated component of the project management methodologies to be used throughout the project life cycle. Regarding the Post-Project Evaluation Phase the need to differentiate between ‘project success’ and ‘project value’ is discussed. This new phase is also consistent with TCM practices and enables effective project evaluation from the total cost engineering viewpoint. Finally, the concept of Project Team Cognitive Readiness, applying recently acquired knowledge from cognitive psychology of human behavior in teams, is described briefly and related to potential improvements in effectively using TCM processes.

This paper contains original recognition of the need for improvements in project management standards and best practices, as indicated by the final recommendations and conclusions, which are:


Adopt as a Standard the Six-Phase Comprehensive Project Life Cycle to Include the Incubation/Feasibility and the Post-Project Evaluation Phases: Adoption of this comprehensive project life cycle will bring the standard up to widely used best practices that are described in this paper.

Revise the AACE International TCM Framework to Recognize the Comprehensive Six-Phase Project Life Cycle: Such revision will link the TCM Framework more closely with current best practices in project, program, and portfolio management. 


Project Management Principles and Practices Provide Benefits When Used Throughout the Strategic Asset Management Processes in the TCM Framework: These principles and practices are equally beneficial when applied throughout the entire TCM Framework, and not just during the project planning and execution phases. 

More Research is Required to Develop and Apply Project Team Cognitive Readiness to all Important Projects: All projects are planned and executed by people, but the discipline of project, program, and portfolio management has neglected to capitalize on the advances of the cognitive sciences to achieve high-performance teamwork on projects.

Keywords: project management, systems thinking, project life cycle, total cost, TCM, team cognitive readiness.


To read entire paper (click here) 

Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English. Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright. This paper was originally presented at the 2014 ICEC World Congress in Milano, Italy. It is republished here with permission of the authors.

About the Authors

russell d archibaldRussell D. Archibaldflag-usa-mexico                                 


Russell D. Archibald: PhD (Hon) ESC-Lille (Fr), MSc (U of Texas) & BS (U of Missouri) Mechanical Engineering, PMP, Fellow PMI and Honorary Fellow APM/IPMA (member of the Board of IPMA/INTERNET 1974-83), held engineering and executive positions in aerospace, petroleum, telecommunications, and automotive industries in the USA, France, Mexico and Venezuela (1948-1982). Russ also had 9 years of active duty as a pilot officer with the U.S. Army Air Corps (1943-46) and as a Senior Pilot and Project Engineer with the U. S. Air Force (1951-58.) Since 1982 he has consulted to companies, agencies and development banks in 16 countries on 4 continents, and has taught project management principles and practices to thousands of managers and specialists around the world. He is co-author (with Shane Archibald) of Leading and Managing Innovation: What Every Executive Team Must Know About Project, Program, and Portfolio Management (2013), also published in Italian and soon in Spanish and Portuguese; author of Managing High-Technology Programs and Projects (3rd Edition 2003), also published in Russian, Italian, and Chinese; other books (in English, Italian, Japanese, and Hungarian); and many papers on project management. Web-site: http://russarchibald.com E-mail: [email protected] LinkedIn: profile

pmwj16-nov2013-archibald-difillipo-AUTHOR IMAGE 2 I DI FILIPPOIvano Di Filippo    flag-italy                                                   


Ivano Di Filippo: Certified PM and Member of Istituto Italiano di Project Management/ISIPM. Member of Professional “Project management – Level 7” list held by ASSIREP. Team leader of Genial Software, a high performance expert team. Ivano has over 20 years of experience as a consultant and project manager in business information and systems development. During three years of study with the medical faculty at La Sapienza University in Rome he developed a strong interest in subjects concerning human behavior and human mental processes, and has continued over many years to cultivate and develop this interest by applying the cognitive psychological theories as an important key to success in the numerous projects he has directed. Contemporarily he studied computer science to become a web site programmer and IT programmer as applied in project management. Ivano has 25 years with Radiotaxi 3570 Company, Rome, Italy, (the largest Radiotaxi company in Europe) and at present he is in charge of human resources in its Operations Control room. He is the author of “When Does a Project Start? The Critical Buffering Theory” in the Magazine “Il Project Manager” No. 8, 2011, published by Franco Angeli. Website: www.genialsoftware.it Email: [email protected] LinkedIn: profile

pmwj16-nov2013-archibald-difillipo-AUTHOR IMAGE 3 D DI FILIPPODaniele Di Filippo flag-italy  


Daniele Di Filippo: Graduate Student at Roma3 University (Rome, Italy) in IT Engineering, concluded an internship at NTT Data Company and received his bachelor degree in IT Engineering in July 2012. Member of Istituto Italiano di Project Management/ISIPM. He participated to InnovAction Lab 2013, where he further developed teamwork and business skills and experienced startup context. He was part of the logistics management at Umap 2013 International Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization. He is currently studying for his Master Degree and researching for his Thesis on Brain Activity Map project, supported in Europe by the Human Brain Project/HBP, which aligns with Obama’s Initiative in America. He’s also designing an IT infrastructure as an in-the- field application of Project Management frontier Standards: Compass4Business. Website: http://danieledifilippo.wordpress.com Email: [email protected] Linkedin: profile

pmwj16-nov2013-archibald-difillipo-AUTHOR IMAGE 4 S ARCHIBALDShane C. Archibaldflag-usa


Shane C. Archibald: BSc, Managing Principal, Archibald Associates llc. Shane has 20 years of experience in the development and implementation of advanced, integrated project management processes and systems on large complex projects and programs in several industries and governmental agencies. Most recently, he implemented the first phase of Project Controls applications and procedures for a large international heavy equipment design-manufacture-installation corporation, including advanced planning, scheduling, cost management, contract management, change management, and risk management processes. Co-author (with Russell Archibald) of Leading and Managing Innovation: What Every Executive Team Must Know About Project, Program, and Portfolio Management (2013), also published in Italian and soon in Portuguese and Spanish. Previously Shane has:

  • Developed and documented the project planning and control policies, processes and procedures for a US$10+ Billion transportation engineering & construction portfolio for one of the 50 United States, and managed the scheduling effort for that portfolio. Provided Subject Matter Expertise for a State-Wide Project Controls System Implementation.
  • Managed the Project Controls Department for the Washington State Ferries, Terminal Engineering and Construction program, valued at US$1+ Billion.
  • Managed the scheduling effort on a nation-wide US$4+ Billion telecommunication systems and facilities upgrade project.
  • Managed the development process of a set of Web-based global enterprise products (shipping, pricing and logistics.)
  • Implemented various project management and controls software applications and integration efforts, including several generations of Oracle Primavera systems.

Website: ArchibaldAssociates.com    Email: [email protected] LinkedIn: profile