Doing project management is a complex task, regardless of the size or scope of the project. Many things need to be handled, from planning the most minor details to managing clients’ constantly shifting requests to delivering projects on schedule. It is simpler to control the project and the caliber of the product when it is broken up into manageable stages, each with its own goals and deliverables.
According to a project management guide, it is best to start studying the fundamental phases of the project life cycle if you are placed in a situation where you are expected to manage projects for your firm and feel overwhelmed.
Initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closure are the five distinct phases that make up a project management life cycle, according to the PMBOK Guide (Project Management Body of Knowledge) by the Project Management Institute (PMI), which together transform a project idea into a usable product.
Project Management Process Phases
Phases are a part of any project’s lifecycle. Before going on to the next step, the project management process helps ensure that each phase has been effectively completed. The phases of a typical project are as follows:
Initiate: The project is officially defined and launched.
Planning: A plan is made when the project team has been put together.
Execution: Everything is done as planned.
Monitoring and Control: Managing and supervising the project’s development.
Closing: Completing and accessing the project.
The project initiating phase is the first step in transforming an intangible notion into a worthwhile objective. You must create a business case and provide a comprehensive project definition. You must first ascertain the project’s need and establish a project charter to do it.
The project charter is a crucial document that includes information on the project’s limitations, objectives, budget, anticipated schedule, etc.
Determine the main project stakeholders or individuals involved in the project after you know the project goals and the project scope. List the stakeholders’ responsibilities, titles, impact, and communication requirements.
Although the project’s aim is clearly defined at this phase, a project charter needs to include the technical specifics that are worked out during the planning phase.
Consider a car maker assigned to develope an electric vehicle. The commencement step will not include choosing the vehicle’s design, capacity, or battery power. The only thing that could be guaranteed is that it will create an electric car within the allocated spending limit and period.
The planning phase involves five essential procedures that move it toward profitability:
Setting Project Scope: Setting the Project Scope is the first stage in the planning phase. This entails determining the project’s goals and objectives and the precise deliverables they will make.
Making a Project Schedule: Making a Project Schedule is the next stage. The tasks that must finish are listed, along with the sequence in which they must be completed.
Finding Issues and Hazards: Finding issues and risks that can affect the project is another crucial planning phase action. This entails determining outside variables that could impact the project, such as political or economic climate modifications.
Making a Project Budget: Making a Project Budget is the last stage in the planning phase. This budget guarantees sufficient funds are available to finish the project by outlining its expenditures.
Stakeholder Communication of Project Plans: After planning the project, must inform the stakeholders of the project. This comprises the project’s sponsors, top management, and others with a stake in its accomplishment.
Creating a thorough plan that will direct the project’s execution is the primary goal of the planning phase. This stage ensures carrying out all relevant activities with minimal risk.
Your team does the actual work throughout the project execution phase. It is your responsibility as a project manager to create effective procedures and closely monitor the development of your team.
During this phase, the project manager also must continually sustain productive stakeholder collaboration. This ensures everyone is on the same page and that everything goes off without a hitch during the project.
The top project collaboration solutions on the market might be of assistance to you. Not only will they simplify your life, but they’ll also boost team production and efficiency.
Monitoring and Control Phase
The monitoring and control phase follows the project execution phase. This phase is tracking and measurement of the project. When deviations from the program are found, appropriate steps are made to put the project back on track. Project managers use this phase to update stakeholders on the project’s progress.
Because it ensures that the project is practical and satisfies its goals, the monitoring and control phase is crucial in the project management process.
Additionally, managers of projects need to be aware that the monitoring and control phase is flexible. The project manager must modify the monitoring and control procedures as the project advances to ensure its success.
Finally, project managers should ensure a project stays on track and achieves its goals by monitoring and regulating it.
The project management process ends at this stage. The project closing stage signals the project’s conclusion after the last delivery. The company reaches external talent, particularly for the project. The project manager is also in charge of ending these contracts and completing the relevant documentation.
After the project is over, most teams have a reflection meeting to discuss the project’s accomplishments and problems. This is a practical way to guarantee ongoing development inside the business and boost team productivity in the long run.
This phase’s last responsibility is reviewing the entire project and writing a thorough report covering every element. The company’s project managers have access to all relevant data, which they keep in a safe location.
Processes for project management
All of these phases involve the essential project management procedures, which are as follows:
It ensures you fully meet the requirements for starting and concluding each phase. To do this, be sure that you are well aware of the “gates,” or deliverables, that must be finished and authorized by the necessary stakeholders for a phase to be completed. Review the Project Initiation Document as needed during the project since it often lists deliverables and sign-off criteria.
High-level planning should be done for the entire project at the outset, followed by more in-depth preparation for each phase at the beginning. To complete the project on schedule, within budget, and following the necessary quality standards, make sure you have the required personnel, materials, procedures, and supporting tools for each planning step.
Managing time, risks, and rewards successfully is crucial while keeping scope, cost, and concerns under control. Make reports that include the data required to accurately portray the situation’s state. Using a project dashboard is a typical method for accomplishing this.
You are in charge of managing the project team as the project manager. Working on a project frequently differs from most “business as usual” operations, which could call for a unique strategy and set of abilities. As a result, you’ll likely want specialized project management training and assistance. Additionally, managing team members simultaneously performing multiple duties within the project presents extra management challenges.
Be careful to identify clearly who is in charge of informing team members, the project board, various business stakeholders, and relevant third parties. Poor communication is a joint project problem, requiring much effort to communicate well.
Procurement is IT specialists. Outside contractors frequently manage to purchase. Project managers often have responsibility for overseeing these third parties.
Many initiatives stand together. They frequently influence other company divisions. So consider the relationship between your project and other projects or functions.
Streamline your project management methodology
These days, it’s typical to save all project-related documents utilizing cloud-based project management software.
Creating several phases for a project provides it with a sense of certainty. In addition, it provides a framework for action, making it simpler to plan and carry out. In the past, spreadsheets and post-it notes were sufficient, but today’s demands for digital project management are quite different.
It would help if you had the appropriate tools to manage, track, and plan projects. To make the project management phases for each project simpler, you require online project management software.
With little adaptation, all projects follow standardized project management procedures without a hitch. The best practices and common rules are included in project management procedures. They provide a systematic project management strategy. The success of projects has increased as more and more firms worldwide have standardized their project management procedures. Enroll in a project management professional training course to thoroughly understand project management procedures.