Phases of a project
A good execution of the project is only possible if it starts with a realistic planning of the phases of the project. It is equally important that the different phases are well-separated. Using the medical analogue, a project starts with gathering the complaints of the patient, gathering information of the physical and psychic condition of the patient (anamnesis) and making a diagnosis. The anamnesis should precede the diagnosis and should not be influenced by prejudices about possible diagnoses. Similarly, a thorough diagnosis should precede decisions about the cure.
Evident as this may seem, mathematicians have a strong tendency to behave contrary to these simple rules. Therefore, it is important that the supervisor guides and controls this process. In order to help the trainees in managing projects, the executors of the project are obliged to organize a brainstorming session within the Modeling Seminar based on anamnesis and (eventually a partial) diagnosis. Another help is the obligation to document the essential phases of the project. This can best be done during each phase and should lead to a report, which accounts for the choices made. It is important that participants in the program are trained to make choices explicitly and that choices are accounted for.
Summarizing, a modeling project consists of the following phases, each concluded by an activity.