Project Management Life Cycle

The Project Life Cycle represents a sequence of crucial activities necessary for achieving project objectives. Regardless of a project’s size or complexity, it can generally be structured into four distinct phases:

  • Initiation Phase
  • Planning Phase
  • Execution Phase
  • Monitoring Controlling and Closing Phase

Initiation Phase: This phase encompasses the processes required to kickstart a new project. Its primary goal is to determine the project’s purpose and objectives. It mainly involves two key activities: developing a Project Charter and identifying stakeholders. The Project Charter and Stakeholder Register contain essential project-related information. Once the project charter is approved, the project officially begins.

Planning Phase: The Planning Phase consumes approximately 50% of the project’s overall effort. It defines the project’s scope and objectives. This phase builds upon the outputs of the Initiation Phase, including the charter, preliminary scope statement, and project manager assignment. The output of the Planning Phase serves as input for the Execution Phase. Key considerations in the planning process are to avoid starting execution before completing initial planning and to continuously update plans until the execution phase begins.

Execution Phase: The Execution Phase involves executing the activities specified in the project management plan. This phase encompasses tasks such as managing stakeholder expectations, coordinating resources and personnel, and performing actions related to project deliverables.

These phases represent a structured approach to managing projects, ensuring that they are well-defined, planned, executed, and monitored to achieve their objectives efficiently and effectively.

During the Execution Phase, it may be necessary to re-evaluate and make adjustments to existing project requirements. Actions taken during this phase can impact the project management plan and associated documents.

The phase known as Monitoring, Controlling, and Closing is dedicated to overseeing, assessing, and maintaining control over the project’s progress to ensure alignment with its objectives. It also verifies that the deliverables adhere to the project management plan. This stage primarily focuses on identifying any deviations from the original project management plan and determining suitable preventive measures.

Key inputs for this stage include:

  1. Project management plan
  2. Performance reports
  3. Cost forecasts
  4. Schedule forecasts
  5. Change validation
  6. Enterprise environmental factors
  7. Organizational process assets

The expected outputs consist of:

  1. Change requests
  2. Updates to the project management plan
  3. Updates to project documentation

This phase involves closely monitoring and adjusting the project as needed to ensure it stays on track and successfully reaches its goals.

Hence, this is the overview of what a project management cycle looks like.