Lifecycle is both iterative & incremental.


Atern integrates a PM lifecycle and a product development lifecycle into a single framework.


Each phase has objectives & pre-conditions, & delivers products that are used to assess progress.


Acceptance of products enables agreement project can move safely from one lifecycle phase to another.





1    Pre-Project Formalises a proposal for a project.

  • Describe the business problem to be solved
  • Identify the Business Sponsor & Business Visionary
  • Confirm project is in line with strategy
  • Scope, plan and resource feasibility phase
  • Output is a Terms of Reference


2    Feasibility Viability of project should be continually assessed, to ensure benefits outweigh costs

  • Establishes whether viable solution
  • Identify benefits
  • Outline possible approaches, including strategies for sourcing solution & project management
  • Describe organisational governance
  • State first cut estimates of timescale & costs
  • Plan & resource Foundations phase
  • Pre-conditions:
    • Terms of Reference must have been approved
    • Resources are available for feasibility
    • Business Visionary has sufficient time to help shape the project


3    Foundations Aimed at establishing firm & enduring foundations for project

  • Baseline high level requirements
  • Describe business processes to be supported by proposed solution
  • Identify information used, created & updated by proposed solution
  • Describe strategies for all aspects of solution deployment
  • Detail Business case
  • Start designing solution architecture & identifying physical / infrastructure elements of solution
  • Define technical implementation standards
  • Describe how quality will be assured
  • Establish appropriate governance & organisation for project
  • Describe solution development lifecycle, along with techniques to be applied in managing the project & for demonstrating & communicating progress
  • Pre-conditions:
    • Agreement of feasibility assessment (if created)


4    Exploration Iteratively & incrementally investigate detailed business requirements & translate them into a viable solution

  • Elaborate on requirements captured & baselined in PRL during Foundations
  • Explore full detail of business need & provide detailed requirements for evolving solution
  • To create functional solution that demonstrably meets needs of business
  • Give wider organisation early view of solution they will eventually operate, support and maintain
  • Evolve Business Area Definition, Systems Architecture Definition products from Foundations phase into models that describe how the solution works & how it supports all impacted business processes & systems
  • Pre-conditions:
    • Business, Solution & Management Foundations products have been collectively accepted
    • Environments (physical & technical) are in place to support the development of the solution


5    Engineering Iteratively & incrementally evolve the preliminary solution created during exploration to achieve full operational readiness

  • Refine evolving solution from Exploration phase to meet agreed acceptance criteria
  • Expand & refine products required to successfully operate & support solution in live operation
  • Pre-conditions:
    • Evolving solution from Exploration phase has been approved
      • Business Visionary has acknowledged features demonstrated are in line with vision
    • Environments are in place to support development of solution
    • All required personnel & stakeholders are engaged as required


6    Deployment Purpose is to get the solution into live use (/ready to ship)

  • Confirm ongoing performance & viability of project & re-plan as required
  • Deploy solution into live business environment
  • Train end users and/or provide documentation to support live operation in business environment
  • Train and/or provide documentation for operations and support staff responsible for supporting & maintaining technical aspects
  • Assess whether deployed solution is likely to enable delivery of intended business benefit described in Business Case
  • After final deployment:
    • Bring project to a close
    • Review overall project performance from technical and/or process and business perspective
  • Pre-conditions:
    • Deployable solution has been approved for deployment


7    Post-Project After last planned deployment (3 – 6 months later)

  • Assess whether the business benefits described in the business case have been achieved
  • Pre-conditions:
    • Solution has been successfully deployed

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