The ultimate introduction to project management phases

The ultimate introduction to project management phases

What are project management phases in a project? The project manager and the team are working on one share goal of meeting the project’s objective on time and in budget. Every project has certain stages and these stages are an integral part of project management. A project should be always treated according to the phase it will fall into.

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A project goes through a number of phases and a Project management is solely based on this idea with unique set of activities that will take the project to conclusion. While working on a project there are certain constraints like time and resources depending on the size of projects. In order to improve control and quality, project management is sometimes done in phases. This simply implies that a project is broken down into smaller pieces with specific deadlines and deliverable to move on to the next phase. The various project management phases are like the steps and are important to follow in order to successfully complete the task of managing a project.

The phases of project management are:

Project Management Initiation Phase

Inititation Phase in Project Management

The goal of this starting phase of a project is to define the project broadly. It involves all the research work required to check whether the project is feasible and if it should be undertaken. The feasibility is everything that occurs before a project is approved and before detailed planning begins. Typically the initiation phase clarifies three main things: the project’s objectives, scope, constraints.

  • Objective: During the initiation phase, the managers need to meet the project objectives and decide what information they need from the project. All objectives must be clearly defined.
  • Scope: A manager should know the cope of a project to be successful and determine a approach for the tasks required for a project. A scope can be changed during the project but should not be done without the approval of the manager.
  • Scheduling and budgeting: Manager should know the amount time needed to complete a task and define a timeframe to reach deadlines. They should plan the project according to the specific budget of the project.

Project planning phase

planning phase in project management

A project management plan usually have individual plan that constitutes the whole project. It includes some of the important activities like making WBS, milestone charts, GANTT charts, estimating resources, and modes of communication and other important deliveries. There should be a definite plan for unidentified risks that may affect the progress of a project later. The roles and responsibilities of a project should also be defined so that everyone know what they are accountable for and does their role well. During this phase, there are many things to take care of to ensure that the project will stay on track:
Work Breakdown Schedule – WBS is a form of visual representations that breaks down the scope of the project into manageable sections.

  • Milestones – Project goals need to be met throughout the project and milestones can be set in the Gantt chart.
  • Gantt Chart – It is a visual timeline to plan out tasks and visualize your project timeline.
  • Communication Plan – Communication plan is important for remote workers or for them whose project stakeholders are outside. A proper communication will create a schedule of when to communicate with team members based on deadlines.
  • Risk Management Plan – All common risks like cost estimates, customer review cycle, budget cuts, and lack of committed resources should be discussed in the project plan phase.

Implementation phase

Implementation phase in project management

During the implementation phase, it involves the production of the actual result of the project. The team needs to work on different areas of project in detail. At this project management stage project becomes visible to the outsider. So, it is important to maintain the momentum of any project in this phase where deliverables are developed and completed.

Tasks completed during the Implementation Phase include:

  • Develop team
  • Assign resources
  • Execute plans
  • Project management if needed
  • Time tracking system
  • Task assignments are executed
  • Status meetings
  • Project schedule

Tip: Use a cloud-based project management software for updating task status in real time.

How to implement the project

The plan to action phase has the following steps:

  • Monitor and control process

As the implementation phase include the action phase, it becomes important to maintain a big-picture to measure your project progress. All that it includes is regular check-up. respond quickly to any changes made and look for problems in early stages to take action.

  • Hold weekly team meetings

Team meetings are good if done once in a week. It will keep you teams on important activities and no time will be wasted. You can easily discuss with your team what is important for the success of the project and clear the required agendas. This is a good step to increase productivity and overall performance.

  • Manage problems

When the project is in progress, there are probabilities of arising problems like quality issues, time management, and much more that should be solved to prevent it from threatening the success of your project. So, manage problems before it turns into a disaster.
Report progress
In the implementation phase, regular updates and status reports are required to provide the necessary information in the right format.

Monitoring phase

Monitoring phase in Project management

Implementation phase and monitoring phase are occurring side by side and are merely related to each other. Monitoring project management phase is mostly concerned with measuring the performance of the project and the progress of the project in accordance to the project plan. In order to monitor the project, it is important to manage changes to the project requirement. To keep a project on track and to prevent project failure, have a quick monitoring of why projects are likely to fail and what are the ways to prevent project failure. There should not be any event that can deteriorate the success of the project. So, here are the important steps to follow in the monitoring phase.

  • Objectives: A project will meet stakeholders objective if you are keeping a measure on schedule and budget of a project.
  • Deliverables: Monitoring whether the specific task deliverables are being met.
  • Project performance: Any changes in the project should be monitored by considering the types of issues that arise and need to be addressed.

During the monitoring phase, a project manager will have to adjust schedules and resources to ensure the project is on track and make adjustments to the project plan as required.

Follow-up phase

follow up phase in project management

Follow-up phase represents the completed phase of a project. It is the time to to recognize the valuable team members, give thank to people who participated in the project for their efforts and organize small work events. During the follow-up phase a project manager will often hold a meeting to evaluate what went well in a project and what did not go well. All these things helps in keeping a record of all the things that are learned in a project to make improvements in future projects.

When once the project gets completed, create a project punch list of things to complete the last minute tasks left. Work with team members to complete them and prepare a final project report. The follow up phase is often neglected but it is quite important for the successful completion of projects. Some activities of follow-up phase include writing the project report, preparing help desk, celebrating the result, writing handbooks and dismantling the project team.These little activities will clear up all concerns related to when and where the project ends. In this phase, when the boundaries of the project set initially are reached, the project can be closed up.

Project management phases are now covering traditional elements of a project. Each phase has its own importance and focus of concentration that is important to follow in order to benefit the organization.

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