Project Management Life Cycle

14/12/2021 1 By indiafreenotes

A Project Management life cycle is a five-step framework planned to assist project managers in completing projects successfully.

The primary competency of a project manager is to gain a thorough understanding of project management stages. Knowledge and planning for the five Project Management steps will help you plan and organize your projects so that it goes off without any hitches.


Initiating: Defining what needs to be done

Initiating, the first phase of the project management life cycle, is all about kicking off a project with your team and with the client, getting their commitment to start the project. You bring together all of the available information together in a systematic manner to define the project’s scope, cost and resources. The goal of the initiation phase is to take a loose brief of a project and define it in terms of what it needs to do and achieve in order to be successful.

That usually necessitates identifying the project stakeholders and making sure they all share the same perception of what the project is and agree on the business case the problem that the project is trying to solve. It’s during project initiation phase too that you decide whether it is feasible to deliver the business case. As a project manager, you will need to conduct adequate research to determine the goals of the project, and then propose a solution to achieve them. Once approved, you move on to the next of the project phases.

Planning phase: Defining how to do what needs to be done

After approval to proceed from initiation, you can begin project planning. This is arguably the most critical of the phases of project management. Get it wrong, and you’ll scupper your chances of delivering the project on time and budget. Planning is where you define all the work to be done and create the roadmap that you follow for the remainder of the project to get you there. It’s during planning phase that you figure out how you’re going to perform the project and answer the questions what exactly are we going to do, how are we going to do it, when are we going to do it, and how will we know when we’re done?

At this point in the project life cycle, you take the goals of the and expand on those goals to decide how to attain them. It’s worth keeping evaluating those goals with three criteria: what’s Possible, Passionate, and Pervasive?

  • Possible: Strive for something that is achievable. Ask yourself, does this solution match the budget? Does my team have the ability to do this? Do we have enough time? Setting unrealistic goals is setting yourself up for failure.
  • Passionate: Projects are tough, so you want a team that is emotionally engaged in the project. Ask yourself, Is this a project that your team can be passionate about? Is it something that can bring them together to collaborate to achieve the same goal? Even though it might be their job to do what you tell them to do, no one is going to invest into something they don’t think is worthwhile
  • Pervasive: Does this have the potential to become a ground-breaking success? Is this something that is a complete solution to the problem that was given to you or is it really just a band-aid temporary or partial solution? Does it have the potential to be improved on, developed and to become a permanent way of working?

Executing: Making a project happen

This is the part of the project management life cycle where you finally get to execute on your awesome project plan it’s where planning gets turned into action. You bring your resources onboard, brief them, set the ground rules, and introduce them to one another. After that, everyone jumps in to perform the work identified in the plan.

As the project manager, you shift from talking about a project and creating documentation to get the green light to proceed with the project execution to leading the team and managing them toward delivery. You’ll spend your time in briefings, meetings, and reviews to lead the team, and keep the project on track as it moves through the project development lifecycle.

Monitoring & Controlling: Keeping a project on track

This is one of the toughest areas in the project management cycle. In parallel with the project execution, as a project manager, you report performance, and monitor and control the project. That means monitoring the project life to ensure the project is going according to plan, and if it isn’t, controlling it by working out solutions to get it back on track. In reality, a project manager is monitoring and controlling a project in some way throughout all of the project life cycle phases.

First, that means ensuring you capture the data (usually derived from timesheets and tasks completed) to track progress effectively against the original plan. Secondly, it means taking the data and comparing the task completion, budget spend and timeline allocated in the original plan. By comparing the plan against actuals, you can establish whether or not you’re hitting the objectives for timeline, cost, quality and success metrics.

Closure: Ending a project

In this final phase of the project management life cycle, your project is essentially over and your job as project manager on the project comes to a close. But the project’s not over yet check out our article on How to manage a project when it’s over. At this point, before everyone forgets, it’s useful to hold a meeting post project review or post-mortem to discuss the strengths and weaknesses or the project and team, what went wrong and what didn’t go so well, and how to improve in the future.

This can be one of the most rewarding stages of project management, as it’s a great opportunity to recognize and acknowledge valuable team members and celebrate the successes. At the same time, taking the time to make a report outlining learnings and actionable advice can help you do better in your next projects. Use writing tools to help you convey your ideas clearly.