Understanding the phases of a project management life cycle involves first understanding the purpose of project management itself, and how it relates to your business' overall profitability and effectiveness as it competes for customers and strives to stay on top in its field. When you have a thorough understanding of the phases of project management you can better manage your company's day-to-day operations, oversee employees, and find creative ways to cut expenses and boost profits and productivity in specific areas as well as company-wide. Learn about all of the phases of a project management life cycle and apply your knowledge to increase your own business acumen and results.
There are four distinct phases of a project management life cycle, including Initiation, Planning, Execution, and Closure. Each phase has a specific purpose and focus and none can be replaced or skipped if you want the full results of what project management has to offer your business.
Initiation: In the initiation phase, you are right at ground zero, beginning your project, planning for the future analyses to take place, alerting your staff of the oversight being conducted into their daily tasks, and creating a management plan that includes introducing employees to necessary contract employees or appointing employees from within to oversee the process. The initiation phase also encompasses creating an overall plan to conduct the project management roll out in phases.
Planning: In the planning phase, you have already dived into the pool, and now you are swimming around to see what you can see. You will create several plans-within-a-plan in the planning phase of the project management life cycle, factoring in such necessary elements as how to fund the project management process, how to handle review of vendors and suppliers, how to manage inherent risk during the project management phases, and other key elements that will feed into the ultimate failure or success of your project management plan.
Execution: During the execution phase, you will create several goals, called "deliverables" in the world of project management, and also create a plan to achieve and then measure each deliverable in turn. Here you will look at what you expect the project to cost, best and worst case scenarios for what it actually may cost, dealing with issues that may have arisen since the initiation and planning phases concluded, and launching the actual oversight that comprises the core of the project management life cycle.
Closure: Finally, during the closure phase, it is time to wrap up your project management life cycle by terminating contract staff or sending employees back to their regularly assigned duties. In this phase you will also perform an evaluation of the entire project management life cycle, and identify any subsequent issues that have arisen and need attention as a result of the project management life cycle. As you review the project management life cycle in its entirety during the closure phase, you will take away valuable key learnings for future performance and be better situated for future business success by using what you have learned.