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5 Phases of Project Management Process

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Phases of project management process

Have you ever had an amazing plan that seems great, but when implementing it, you only seem to reach halfway? 😣 Well, this is often the case in projects, too. 

The reason why most of the projects fail even before they start or stop halfway is due to poor project management. So, to complete your project successfully you must be familiar with the term Project Management Process.  

The project management process breaks down the project lifecycle into five distinct phases, each with its own crucial tasks, making it easy to take every step properly. 

This guide will help you to know more openly about the five phases involved in the project management process and explore how they work together to turn your project ideas into reality.

🔑 KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Project management is the overall process that is conducted to complete any given project seamlessly. 
  • There are 5 different phases involved in project management: Project Initiation, Project Planning, Project Execution, Project Monitoring and Controlling, and Project Closure
  • Assessing project risks, establishing a high-level project plan, and defining project goals and objectives properly are some of the key activities of the project Initiation phase. 
  • Defining project scope, estimating resource requirements, and breaking down the project into manageable tasks with dependencies are some of the key activities of the project planning phase. 

What is a Project Management?

Project management is a process of planning, executing, controlling, and closing a project to achieve or exceed specific goals within defined timelines and budgets. It is achieved through a series of interconnected steps, also known as project management phases, that uplift a project from its initial conception to its successful completion. 

Having proper management is a necessity if you want to scale your business or organization much further. So, during the time of project management, the assigned project manager should always oversee the planning, execution, and oversight of projects, ensuring that they are completed on time, within budget, and to the specified quality standards. 

Effective project management requires strong communication skills, attention to detail, and adapting to ever-changing circumstances. It is critical in many industries, including construction, engineering, software development, and marketing, among others.

🔍 Also Read: A Definite Guide to Small Business Management

5 Phases of Project Management Process

5 Phases of Project Management Process

The project management process is to go through different phases to operate correctly. It also has its own phases, and it must go along to deliver the right result you are looking for. 

A project management life cycle basically consists of 5 different phases which include: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closure. By going through each phase strictly it finally comes as one to turn your project idea into a working product.

Phase 1: Project Initiation 

The first phase of project management is project initiation. At this stage, companies decide if the project is needed, how much value it can offer, and how it can be helpful to the customer. After going back and forth with your idea, you have to finally decide the requirements for your project and design a project charter within this phase.

The project charter is a file of important documents that include details such as the goal of the project, project constraints, budget, the appointment of the project manager, the expected timeline, tools required, and other essential stuff.

After creating a proper project charter, the next thing you must do within this phase is to identify key project stakeholders who are gonna be involved in this project. By creating a proper list of stakeholders with designated roles, communication requirements, and influence, makes it easy for you to divide the team properly and effectively.

Some of the key activities you must include in the project initiation phase:

  • Identifying project stakeholders who are involved in the projects
  • Defining project goals and objectives properly
  • Establishing a high-level project plan
  • Assessing project risks

Some questions to ask during project initiation:

  • Is this project practical?
  • What’s the long run of this project?
  • What problem is this project going to solve?
  • What are the results this project going to deliver?

Some outputs of project initiation:

  • Project Charter
  • Feasibility Study
  • High-Level Project Plan
  • Stakeholder Register

Phase 2: Project Planning

After the project initiation process comes the project planning. Project planning is a road map to give action to your initiation. Within this phase, you must develop a proper outline that your team will follow until the project is completed. This is essentially the phase where you are going to build a proper path to give life to your imagination. 

During this phase, you are going to determine and break down the steps about what steps you’re going to take to achieve the goals you have defined in the previous phase. Within this phase, the primary tasks you must do are to identify any technical requirements, develop a proper as well as detailed project schedule, create a communication plan, and set up goals. 

Always remember that within this phase you must define the project with proper detail including estimated costs, resources, and time period. Also, be sure to appoint the right role to the right individual defining who’s responsible for what during this phase so everyone understands their responsibilities. 

Some of the key activities you must include in the project planning phase:

  • Defining project scope
  • Breaking down the project into manageable tasks with dependencies
  • Estimating resource requirements
  • Developing a project budget with cost estimates for all resources

Some questions to ask during the planning phase:

  • What project-managing software is necessary for this project?
  • What’s the estimated budget?
  • What’s the deadline?
  • What resources do we have to work with?

Some outputs of project planning:

  • Statement of scope
  • Communication plan
  • Risk management plan
  • Work breakdown schedule

Phase 3: Project Execution

Project execution is the phase where the real work begins. Within this phase, your team actually starts the actual work. This is a crucial phase in project management as it helps you to transform the strategies you have planned into an action that takes you toward the result you are looking for. 

Throughout this phase, the project manager plays an important role. They will be the ones responsible for establishing efficient workflows and carefully monitoring the progress of your team. This can be done by utilizing different project collaboration tools and ensuring seamless communication with the team. 

During this phase, it is also the job of the project manager to make sure that the collaboration among project stakeholders is smooth. This guarantees that all individuals are aligned, and the project progresses seamlessly.

Some of the key activities you must include in the project execution phase:

  • Execute the project plan according to the schedule and resources.
  • Assign tasks to team members and monitor progress.
  • Manage and track project outcomes.
  • Manage communication and collaboration among team members.

Some questions to ask during the project execution phase:

  • When is the meeting, and who’s joining?
  • When will the recurring status meetings be?
  • What steps are being taken to avoid any negative consequences?
  • Is the communication plan for all stakeholders developed?

Some outputs of project execution:

  • Balanced team
  • Begin project management plan
  • Proper task assignment
  • Project schedule updating
  • Refined project plan

Phase 4: Project Monitoring and Controlling

The fourth phase of project management is project monitoring and controlling. The third phase of execution and the fourth phase of project monitoring and controlling run simultaneously to ensure that objectives and deliverables are met. During this phase, you keep track of the project by using KPIs to measure project performance while working actively to resolve any issues or problems that may arise.

Throughout the phase of monitoring and controlling, the project manager is also responsible for tracking the effort and cost during the process. By tracking these things, it not only ensures that the project operates within the budget but also is important for future projects. 

Some of the key activities you must include in the project monitoring and controlling phase:

  • Monitor project performance such as schedule, budget, and scope.
  • Track project progress and identify any deviations from the plan.
  • Analyze project data to identify trends and potential issues.
  • Report project status updates to stakeholders.

Questions to ask during the project performance and monitoring phase:

  • Is the quality of the project good?
  • Is everything within the budget?
  • Are there any roadblocks?
  • Will the project meet the deadline?

Some outputs of project performance and monitoring phase:

  • Proper project status reports
  • Overall performance metric reports
  • Risk assessments and management plans
  • Quality control reviews and reports

Phase 5: Project Closure

Project closure is the final phase of the project management process. Within this phase, the completion of the project is indicated, and after that, various steps are conducted, such as delivering the project outputs, reviewing the project’s success, documenting lessons learned, and releasing resources. 

During this phase, various actions are taken place such as completing the necessary paperwork, terminating contracts, holding reflection meetings to contemplate successes and failures, and storing all related documents securely.

After going back and forth about the process, reviewing the entire project, and making a detailed report that covers every aspect, all of the necessary data is then stored in a safe place that can be easily accessed by project managers.

Some of the key activities you must include in the project closure phase:

  • Finalize all project tasks and deliverables.
  • Evaluate project performance against goals and objectives.
  • Document lessons learned for future projects.
  • Formally close the project and release resources.

Questions to ask during the closing phase:

  • Did everything go well?
  • What things can be done better next time?
  • What are necessary for the future projects?
  • Have all outstanding invoices been submitted and paid?

Some outputs of project closure:

  • Lessons learned documentation
  • Final project deliverables
  • Archived project information
  • Sign-offs and approvals

Conclusion

By following five project management steps, project managers can effectively guide their teams toward achieving project goals within budget and time constraints. This structured approach will help you to ensure your projects are completed successfully, minimizing risks and maximizing the value delivered.

Without proper project management, getting the result you desire is going to be pretty hard and a work of jeopardy. So, understanding more about project management and its phases can help you boost your overall completion rate more seamlessly and accurately. 

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Dinesh Silwal

Dinesh Silwal is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of KrispCall. For the past few years, he has been advancing and innovating in the cloud telephony industry, using AI to enhance and improve telephony solutions, and driving KrispCall to the forefront of the field.

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