In this day and age, our daily activities require us to plan, so we need to manage things accordingly.
Whether you’re working on a small project with modest business goals or a significant, multi-departmental initiative with sweeping corporate implications, understanding the project management life cycle is essential.
In this topic, we’ll learn about the four phases of Project Management that will help you for planning out your project and team members.
First of all, let’s have a look at what is a Project Management Life Cycle?
What Is a Project Management Life Cycle?
The project management life cycle describes the parts of a project: the beginning where we gather the necessary information to embark on the project journey, the middle where we complete tasks that move us towards the end, and the end itself.
What Are the Project Life Cycle 4 Phases?
The project management life cycle is usually broken down into four phases:
- execution, and
These phases make up the path that takes your project from the beginning to the end.
In the project initiation phase, you’re setting the foundations for later success.
No other aspect of communication means as much as the communication you’ll experience at the very beginning.
Again, your goal is to systematise how you process the initial information and ensure you’re always getting the information you need.
The first step is defining the project through:
- Identifying a need or a problem that the project will solve
- Identifying opportunities you can use to solve the problem
- Understanding whether the project is feasible and will solve the problem
- Defining the scope of the project and the deliverables
- Identifying the stakeholders and defining the necessary resources
After fulfilling these requirements, you’ll be able to create a project charter containing all the information on purposes, objectives, resources and other aspects.
The analysis you conduct in this phase of the project life cycle will help you understand how your project will be progressing in the future and organise and assemble all the necessary people and resources.
In this part of the project management life cycle, you:
- Set a budget and estimate a timeframe
- Establish milestones
- Perform a risk analysis
- Define tasks and responsibilities
- Create a workflow.
You should look at this phase both strategically and practically.
Try to understand how each task leads to the ultimate goal of solving the problem and keep in mind that the tasks should be practical and easy to accomplish.
The most important part of project planning is a risk analysis that can help you identify any potential roadblocks.
Now that you’ve set everything up correctly, it’s time to bring the team on board and get to work!
The execution phase is the one where communication can make or break a project.
Project Management steps for Execution phase:
- Creating tasks and organising workflows: Assign granular aspects of the projects to the appropriate team members, making sure team members are not overworked
- Briefing team members on tasks: Explain tasks to team members, providing necessary guidance on how they should be completed, and organising process-related training if necessary
- Communicating with team members, clients, and upper management: Provide updates to project stakeholders at all levels.
- Monitoring quality of work: Ensure that team members are meeting their time and quality goals for tasks
- Managing budget: Monitor spending and keeping the project on track in terms of assets and resources
Once your team has completed work on a project, you enter the closure phase. In the closure phase, you provide final deliverables, release project resources, and determine the success of the project. Just because the major project work is over, that doesn’t mean the project manager’s job is done—there are still important things to do, including evaluating what did and did not work with the project.
Project Management steps for Closure phase:
- Analysing project performance: Determine whether the project’s goals were met (tasks completed, on time and a budget) and the initial problem solved using a prepared checklist.
- Analysing team performance: Evaluate how team members performed, including whether they met their goals along with timeliness and quality of work.
- Documenting project closure: Ensure that all aspects of the project are completed with no loose ends remaining and provide reports to key stakeholders.
- Conducting post-implementation reviews: Conduct a final analysis of the project, taking into account lessons learned for similar projects in the future.
- Accounting for used and unused budget: Allocate remaining resources for future projects
By remaining on task even though the project’s work is completed, you will be prepared to take everything you’ve learned and implement it for your next project.