Are you having trouble understanding what the life cycle of project management really is? In this comprehensive guide to the life cycle of project management, we will provide you with an overview of the various steps of the process, along with examples on how to successfully manage each step. So, let’s start, shall we?
Project Management Life Cycle Overview #
What is the project life cycle? #
The project life cycle is a five-step phase created to assist project managers successfully lead their projects from inception to completion – initiation stage, planning stage, implementing stage, monitoring or controlling stage, and closing stage.
It means that the project life cycle describes the overall project execution procedure. It specifies the actions required to initiate something. And despite the fact that the project life cycle may not sound all that intriguing, it is vital. As project managers, we are responsible for directing and facilitating the project life cycle.
The core of any project life is the same. It’s about defining the goals of a project and then doing everything possible to achieve those goals. Different project managers or organizations may use somewhat different words to describe the project management lifecycle phases, but they are fundamentally the same.
Why do you need to know about the project life cycle? #
You can improve your ability to manage, organize, and plan for your project by first gaining an understanding of the five stages of the project life cycle and then making plans for those stages. These are the three main things on how having project life cycle can help you and your team better:
- Facilitate communication between the teams working on the project and the stakeholders.
- Make sure goals can be reached with the resources you have.
- It helps you to mitigate the risk easier to keep the project on track.
5 Phases of Project Life Cycle #
What are the 5 stages of the project life cycle? The five-stages of the project life cycle are initiation, planning, executing, monitoring or controlling, and closing.
Now, we have covered all the basics of the project life cycle, but what does it look like when the cycle is at each of its stages? We got you covered! Here are the five stages of project life cycle in details:
1. Initiation Stage #
What is the first stage of a project? The first stage of a project always begins with the initiation stage. Some project managers might use the term ‘conceptualization phase’, but these are the same. In this phase you need to gather all available information in a planned way to figure out the project scope, cost, and resources. During the initiation phase, you also need to know the project’s goals, priorities, deadlines, and risks. It’s about getting everyone on board with starting the project. Again, the goal of this phase is to describe a project in general terms and set out what needs to be done and accomplished for the project to be successful.
Usually, this means finding out who is involved in the project and making sure they all have the same idea of what the project is about. Also, everyone needs to agree on the business case, which is the problem the project is trying to solve. During the initiation stage, you also decide if the business case can be done. As a project manager, you need to do the right research to find out what the project’s goals are and then suggest a way to reach those goals. After being accepted, you move on to the next step.
To initiate a project, there are important steps to take in project management:
- Make a project statement. What is the project’s vision, goal, and set of objectives?
- Find out the big picture goals and what needs to be done. What product or service needs to be delivered?
- Do a feasibility study. What is the main problem, and how can it be fixed?
- Estimate the overall costs and make a business case. What are the costs and benefits of such a solution?
- Find out who is involved in the project. How they are involved, and what their needs are.
Most of the time, these are summed up in a Project Initiation Document for Prince2 or PMI methodologies (PID). In an agency, on the other hand, the information is usually written down in an Initial Statement of Work (SoW), which only covers the beginning of the project.
2. Planning Stage #
As soon as the project’s business case, Statement of Work (SoW), or Project Initiation Document (PID) has been accepted, you will enter the planning stage. The planning stages involve establishing resource availability, developing a project budget, and allocating tasks to specific resources.
During the planning stage, you divide the overall project into smaller tasks, assemble a team, and create a plan for completing assignments. Create smaller objectives inside the overall project, ensuring that each is realizable within the allotted time. Smaller objectives should have a high chance of success.
The following are some process on project planning stages: #
- Developing a project strategy: Determine the project timeline, including the project phases, activities to be completed, and any constraints.
- Making a workflow diagram: Swimlanes can help you visualize your processes and ensure that everyone on your team understands their role in the project.
- Budgeting and planning a financial strategy: To get the best return on investment, use cost estimates to figure out how much to spend on the project.
- Resources gathering: Build your functional team and make sure everyone has the resources they need to execute their responsibilities (software, hardware, etc.).
- Identifying potential risks and quality roadblocks: Identify challenges that could cause your project to stop, and make plans to manage those risks while maintaining the project’s quality and schedule.
- Organizing a kickoff meeting for a project: Bring your staff on board and lay out the project so they can begin to work right away.
3. Execution Stage #
This is the phase of the project life cycle where the project plan is put into action. You recruit your resources, brief them, establish ground rules, and introduce them to one another. Then, everyone begins performing the tasks outlined in the plan. Shortly, the execution stage is when you follow out all of the activities and tasks that you set out during the planning step. As you progress through the project, expect to change your goals and timeline.
Key project management steps to complete a project: #
- Leadership role – Leaders must empower their teams to achieve success.
- Create tasks – Clearly outline the task and its conditions.
- Task briefing – Brief the team on what they need to do and when.
- Customer management – Ensure deliverables are acceptable.
- Communication – Be careful to communicate and update the correct individuals at the right time. Make sure to also implement daily scrum meetings everyday within your team.
4. Monitoring Stage #
Here’s when it gets tricky. As a project manager, you monitor and regulate the project’s progress. This requires keeping an eye on the project’s schedule. If not, it’s kept in check by devising solutions to get it back on track.
In monitoring stages, you need to gather data, typically from timesheets and completed tasks to track progress against the original plan and then compare the completed activities, money spent, and completion dates to the original plan.
And if things don’t go as planned, you find out on how to adjust the project, so that the customer is satisfied with the outcome. You accomplish all of this on time, on budget, but without compromising the quality of product.
The key steps in project management to monitoring project: #
- Examine timesheets and expenses to maintain track of the project’s budget, timeline, and tasks, as well as to record, control, and report on them.
- The practice of reviewing deliverables and ensuring that they meet the acceptance criteria is known as quality management.
- Risk management entails keeping an eye on, controlling, managing, and minimizing potential issues and dangers.
- Conduct user acceptance tests and establish a grading system to ensure that all deliverables satisfy the client’s requirements.
- Working with the client to determine adjustments that are acceptable if the project isn’t progressing as planned. This will ensure that the necessary changes are acceptable to them.
5. Closure Stage #
The fifth and final phase of the project life cycle is known as the closure stage or the termination phase. This phase begins after the completion of the project. In closure stage, you need to ask these questions:
- Are all of the project’s requirements met?
- Is a final report on the project’s status being worked on at this time?
- Is the project’s artifact collection complete and archivable?
- Do you have plans for a post-mortem project in mind?
Once you’ve accomplished your project objectives and your stakeholders have approved the findings, it’s time to close the project. During the project closure phase of the project management procedure, you must:
- Hands over the finished project
- Release project and team members
- In a project retrospective, evaluate project performance.
There are numerous methods to conduct a project retrospective meeting, but you should focus on identifying your greatest successes and failures and developing remedies. If you are working as a consultant, you should request comments and feedback from your client. Keep track of your notes in a location that your entire team can view, such as a shared spreadsheet or you can send out an email after meeting.
In the project closing phase, a project manager may also be responsible for evaluating the team’s performance based on the quality of their work and their ability to fulfill deadlines.
How To Improve The Project Life Cycle With FoxPlan? #
Foxplan helps project managers by providing a platform that streamlines project life cycle and makes it easier to track project progress. In addition, Foxplan offers a free demo so you can see how the platform can help your project management process. Contact us to get a demo of our application.
The Project Life Cycle enables you and your teams to complete each task in each phase more efficiently. Additionally, it improves the team’s ability to communicate with one another. Any competent project manager is aware that clear communication is the foundation of any successful project. When you reach the end of the stage and conduct evaluation, as a project manager you will be able to use everything you’ve learnt for your next project.
So, what are you waiting for? Implement your project life cycle today for FREE with FoxPlan!