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PHASES OF A PROJECT LIFE CYCLE: ALL THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN DETAIL!

Phase 1: Project Initiation

The Project initiation phase is the very basic and the crucial phase defined explicitly in the Project Management Life Cycle model. This is the base where the foundations of the project are usually made and involves a lot of brainstorming over the development of a business case is done by identifying opportunity in detail and exemplify the preferred solution for its successful implementation. The business case involves:
  • A detailed description of the given problem which includes introduction to the project, business objectives, problem statement, assumptions and constraints and the like.
  • A listing of alternatives solutions available for the above problem statement.
  • An analysis of the business profits, risks, costs incurred and issues that can arise
  • The preferred solution to the given problem.
  • The essential project requirements for the same.
  • Phase review which includes the highlighted points for implementation which includes drafting of a schedule and its corresponding financial analysis.
Once the business case is drafted, the project sponsors review it and decide upon its approval and the required funding is allocated to go ahead with the project.
Feasibility study is also an excruciating factor while triggering the beginning of the project planning phase. It, basically, includes the approval for the idea if the project is worth undertaking or needs termination.

Phase 2: Project Planning

This is the phase where a project management plan is brought to life through the drafting of comprehensive individual plans with respect to cost, scope, time requirements, quality enhancements, communication involved, risk factors and resource utilization. Important steps that are to be followed in this phase are as follows:
  • Definition of the project scope and the strategy to be followed for completion of the project.
  • Duration of tasks is defined with the estimations duly noted on the respective Gantt charts
  • Enlisting of the tasks to be done and the cost that may be incurred upon it accordingly
  • The quality factors are to be kept in mind while drafting out the charter for the project development.
  • The risk factors are jotted down notably.
  • The amount of funds to be allocated to each part of the project development is decided upon and the eventful considerations for the same are made.

This phase witness the drafting of the plans listed below:
  • Project Plan
  • Resource plan
  • Financial plan
  • Quality plan
  • Risk plan
  • Acceptance plan
  • Communication plan
  • Procurement plan
  • Contract the suppliers


Phase 3: Project Execution and control

This is the fundamental phase of the project management life cycle. All the plans which were drafted above are now given some meaning. The project execution and the project monitoring and control are the two phases that overlap. Resources for the corresponding tasks are allocated and the teams informed of their responsibilities accordingly. It is the most time consuming phase of the life cycle and needs the team lead’s discretion and close monitoring over the tasks being performed.

Listed below are the activities involved during this phase:
  • Execute Cost management
  • Execute Change management
  • Execute time management
  • Execute quality management
  • Execute risk management
  • Execute issue management
  • Execute procurement management
  • Execute acceptance management
  • Execute communications management

The term control in this phase is specifically included and is meant not as a blind implementation of what was written prior but is actually a resourceful process where the things being done go hand in hand to the understanding of what is being done. It is a necessary evil for the project team so as to maintain the integrity of the project and also verify the quality and the efficacy of the work done.

Phase 4: Project performance and control

This phase specializes in assessing the quality and quantity of the work done with respect to the guidelines mentioned in the aforesaid phases. This phase works parallel to the execution phase where every execution process is being closely monitored and controlled of its implementation at the appropriate level of oversight and corrective action.
According to the project management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK),
“The Monitoring and Control Process Group consists of those processes performed to observe the project execution so that potential problems can be identified in a timely manner and corrective action taken, when necessary, to control the execution of the project. “

The main purpose of this phase is to be proactive in finding any problems and issues ahead of time and thus rectify them accordingly by use of corrective action.

The monitoring and control processes included in this phase are mainly as follows:
  • Monitoring and controlling project work
  • Integrated Change control
  • Scope verification
  • Scope control
  • Schedule control
  • Cost control
  • Performing quality control
  • Managing the project team
  • Performance reporting

Phase 5: Project Closing

This is the final phase of the project management life cycle and basically includes wrapping up of the whole project management procedure as such. It is the phase where the task force can successfully ensure to capture and document the lessons obtained, review and handle the disposal of the recycling materials accordingly, close the contracts and de-allocate the resources successfully. This phase indicates successful project management and also may include rewarding and recognizing the tea members and the formal termination of contractors in case they were employed in the corresponding project.

After the project has been closed, a post implementation review is completed and successfully handed over to the business organization which stimulated the project.

The project closing phase mainly includes the following steps:
  • Conduct lessons learned
  • Close contracts
  • Dispose and deallocate resources wherever necessary
  • Perform the final project closure
  • Review project completion.


The last phase which is also known as the post implementation review is submitted between one and three months after the project has been closed successfully and the business has begun to experience the benefits provided by the project. This review allows the business to identify the level of success of the project and list any lessons learned for future projects.


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