A typical project is divided into four key phases (each with its own set of activities and issues): commencement, planning, implementation, and closing. These phases, when taken together, describe the course a project travels from start to finish and are sometimes referred to as the project's "life cycle."
Start-up projects are often initiated by someone who has never worked on a project team before or who needs a way to demonstrate his or her skills quickly. Such projects tend to be small in scale and have very specific goals. For example, a new product manager may want to see how she performs on a small project so that she can be assigned a larger one later.
Planning a project involves defining the scope and estimating the time required to complete it. The goal is to give everyone a sense of what will happen over the duration of the project and to avoid any surprises that may arise during implementation. If problems become evident during planning, they can be fixed before they cause major delays.
Implementation is the phase in which a project is completed. It starts once all the requirements are met and none of the risks involved with going forward have been identified. Implementation ends when the project is turned off or goes live; it does not matter how many bugs are found after this point.
Closing a project is similar to termination counseling in that both act as final steps before releasing funds.
The project management life cycle is often divided into four stages: planning, execution, and closing. These phases provide the road that leads your project from start to finish. The more clearly you understand each phase of the life cycle, the better able you will be to manage your project effectively.
There are many tools available to help you plan your project. At a minimum, you should use task lists and time tables to determine what needs to be done when. You can also use project management software such as Microsoft Project or Gantt charts to organize your tasks and timelines. If you want to get even more detailed, you can use work breakdown structures (WBS) to break down large projects into smaller tasks that can be assigned to individual team members. Finalizing your project involves checking off items on the list and following up with any individuals not involved in the process for feedback or additional information.
Once you have planned your project, the next step is to execute the plan. This stage is where all of the action takes place! During this time, you will need to keep the project on track by reviewing and updating activity reports as necessary. Make sure everyone on your team has access to these reports so they can stay informed about how much time remains before deadlines, any outstanding issues, and more.
The project life cycle is made up of specified project phases that are generally established and recorded as part of the organization's project management approach. The division of the project into phases helps the organization to have more control. These stages are frequently consecutive and overlap. For example, a project may start with planning and design and then proceed to development and testing before being implemented.
Project life cycles consist of distinct phases that represent specific tasks within the project scope. These phases can be sequential or may overlap. For example, project planning and research may take place simultaneously but are considered separate phases. Similarly, implementation and evaluation/clean-up could each be split across multiple time periods as long as you keep track of what phase you're in.
Project life cycles provide clarity and structure around projects by grouping them into discrete phases. The beginning and end of these phases are defined so that everyone can understand when they are involved with the project and what their responsibilities are during that time period.
These phases are not fixed and usually change depending on how much progress has been made on the project. For example, if development starts late in the project life cycle, it might continue for several months after completion of evaluation/clean-up just to be sure all problems have been resolved.
The project life cycle is very important because it ensures that no project is completed until its planned out.