Successfully completing a project is not an easy task; many things are involved & need to be taken care of before completing the project. So, the whole life of a project is divided into multiple phases to ease the process and take things in control. No matter what kind of project you are working on, it must be segregated into these phases to make it more organized and viable to execute from ideation to completion.
The project management life cycle refers to a five-step framework designed to segregate the project into small steps to increase completion.
Having the knowledge of these five steps will help you organize and execute your project so that it can be completed without any hitches.
The process becomes a lot easier when everything is broken into small steps; each phase has a dedicated goal with its own characteristics.
Project initiation is the first phase of the project management lifecycle; it is where you turn an abstract idea into a meaningful goal. At this stage, you determine the need for the project, develop a business case, define the project on a broad level, and create a project charter.
A project charter is a document that consists of all the details about the project like constraints, objectives, budget, expected timeline, etc.
So, once you have identified all of this, then comes the part of meeting with key stakeholders to decide who is to be involved in the project.
The only thing that we do in the project initiation phase is deciding that this project has to be done within this budget and timeframe.
Project planning is undoubtedly the most crucial part of any project. At this stage, you lay out the whole roadmap of how everything has to be done. This stage consumes a heck lot of time if you don’t use modern tools and methodologies like agile project management etc.
The primary tasks in this phase are identifying technical requirements, resources, creating a detailed schedule, communication hierarchy, and end deliverables.
The two common and most used methods of setting project goals are given below:
1) S.M.A.R.T Goals- It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals.
2) C.L.E.A.R. Goals- It stands for Collaborative, Limited, Emotional, Appreciable, and Refinable goals.
As a project manager, you must make a plan that can be updated when the time comes, as unforeseen surprises often happen during the project.
Also, Read- How To Crack PMP Certification
Project execution is the stage where you and your team do the actual groundwork. Being a project manager, your job is to create smooth workflows, carefully monitor your team’s progress and maintain a collaborative relationship with key stakeholders.
Also, you have to make sure that there is two-way communication to ensure everyone is on the same page and that the project runs smoothly without any issues. To do this, you can also use team collaboration tools like Trello and Proofhub.
The monitoring and controlling start right along with the execution phase. You have to monitor and control the project as your team executes it to ensure that the project runs smoothly and deliverables are met.
It is your responsibility to make sure that no one strays from the original plan. Your job is to quantitatively track the team’s efforts and keep an eye on the allotted budget.
So, in a nutshell, you oversee everything necessary to ensure that the project is completed on time and on budget with minimal risk.
This is the final stage in the project management lifecycle. The project closure stage means that the project has been completed and is ready for final delivery.
At this stage, reanalyze everything, look back at failures and successes, make a final report, terminate the contracts with all the externally hired professionals, and complete the necessary paperwork. Most teams also hold meetings to document and analyze how they solved multiple problems to improve their skills further.
Finally, they review the entire project and make a complete report that covers every aspect. This data is stored in a secure place so that the project managers of that organization can access it.
This is Krishnamraj S, Senior Trainer for PMP, Agile, PRINCE2, MS Project, and ITIL, with over 21 years Of experience in project management and training. I’ve trained over 5000+ Professionals across the globe.
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