As a project manager, you will be expected to understand all aspects of the project management life cycle, whether working on a small project or a large, multi-departmental project. Every project has the same life cycle, regardless of category or size. When you know the different phases of the project management life cycle, you are in a better position to take the initiative, identify risks, and forecast resource management.
This is why PMP certification training emphasizes educating project managers about the four phases of the project management life cycle. If you are unaware of these phases, you might be susceptible to the most common challenges project managers face that prevent them from delivering the project successfully.
This article will explore the four phases of the project management life cycle in detail.
What is the project management life cycle?
The ultimate responsibility of project managers and their teams is to deliver the project as per the schedule within given resources to satisfy its objectives. The project’s final goals are broken down into smaller processes carried out in stages throughout the project life cycle.
Simply put, a project management life cycle is a sequence of operations designed to streamline the progress and management to offer financial and management benefits. Whether creating software or manufacturing an automobile, a project management life cycle can help you break down the entire project into smaller attainable processes that are much easier to manage.
To learn about the four-step structure of the project management life cycle, project managers can take several courses with certifications offered by different bodies. PMP course in Qatar stands out from other certification programs because it is the most widely acknowledged project management certification. Through PMP certification training, you will learn how to perform your role effectively to make project activities more efficient and keep operations running smoothly.
Here are the four phases of the project management life cycle that must be aware of.
The first phase of project management is project initiation. It is the stage at which you decide how to streamline communication and the flow of information throughout the project to ensure that stakeholders have access to the information they need and when needed.
The project initiation stage defines the following aspects of a project:
- Identifying the goal of the project-what problem it will solve, or why it is being undertaken
- Identifying the opportunities that can be utilized to solve the problems
- Anticipating whether the project is feasible and will be able to provide the needed solution
- Defining the scope of the project and the associated deliverables
- Identifying all the stakeholders involved in the project
- Defining the necessary resources to execute the project
Once you have all this information, you can create the project charter containing essential information such as its purpose, objectives, resources, and other vital information. The initiation phase of the project management life cycle underlines the factors that help you anticipate the project’s progress in the future.
The next phase is planning. During this project management life cycle phase, project managers break down the project scope into smaller tasks and build teams to complete the assignments. Planning involves creating smaller goals within the larger project to ensure that these goals are achievable within their decided time frame.
Depending on the size and complexity of the project, the planning phase can include the following:
- Identifying the project timeline considering the requirements, tasks, and possible constraints
- Creating workflow diagrams visualize the process to ensure that all the members understand their roles and responsibilities within the project.
- Estimating budget for financial planning to plan for maximum return on investment
- Gathering resources such as hiring talent and arranging the necessary tools
- Identifying the issues that can stall the project to mitigate those risks
- Holding a project kickoff meeting to get started
The project planning phase is when project managers get involved with the execution.
Now that you have all the information, workflow schema, and resources, it’s time to bring the team on board and start with the project. The execution phase is where your planning acts into action. At this stage, a project manager’s responsibility is to organize team members, monitor progress, manage timelines, and ensure all tasks are completed according to the original standards.
The execution phase of the project management life cycle includes:
- Creating tasks and streamlining workflows
- Briefing team members about their assignments
- Communicating with team members, stakeholders, and clients regularly
- Monitoring the quality of work
- Managing budget
After the successful execution of the project, you enter the closure phase, where you release project resources, provide final deliverables, and determine the project’s success. The closure phase of the project management life cycle does not imply that your project management job is done.
At this stage, you have to:
- Analyze the overall project performance
- Analyze team performance
- Create a project closure document
- Conduct post-implementation reviews
- Evaluate the use and unused budget
The project management life cycle is an essential concept for project managers. Understanding the four phases of this life cycle puts you in a better position to plan, budget, and execute a project.At Team Academy, we provide instructor-led PMP certification training. Our PMP course in Qatar is a 100% passing rate which speaks of the quality of the course.