Project Management Phases: a Guide on How to Use Project Management Phases
If your organization assigns you a project to manage, you need to learn the different project management phases for effective planning, execution, monitoring, and control. Read on to learn about project management phases.
What are the Project Management Phases?
Phase 1: Project initiation
During the project initiation, you should determine what you need to achieve and the project's feasibility. It is a time when you should define the project's scope and identify the significant elements that will help you achieve your goals.
Identify stakeholders and appoint the project managers and other team members who will manage the project. Also, determine your budget, communication channels, timeframe, potential risks, impact on the end-user, and potential costs.
Phase 2: Project planning
In this second phase, break the project goals into smaller tasks. Working with goals without breaking them down can lead to frustration in the long run. You may lose focus, and this becomes challenging to achieve your goals.
The project team should put together the goals and analyze the project structure, milestones, and schedules to manage the project effectively. This is also the best time to analyze risks that you may face along the way.
The team should also create a risk management plan which includes the potential risks and steps to mitigate the risks. Additionally, it is imperative to estimate the budget to develop an effective financial plan for your project.
Phase 3: Project execution
It is at this phase that the team works on delivering the project plan. As a project manager, you need to create efficient workflows for the team. Organize the team members to ensure everyone aligns with their project roles.
You need to monitor the team and ensure they work within the expected timelines as per the earlier set objectives. This is also the best time to organize meetings with the stakeholders and determine the project status and progress.
The execution phase helps you to determine whether the project will succeed or fail. You need to make critical decisions and analyze each detail to help you make informed decisions.
Phase 4: Monitoring and control
You can still merge project monitoring and control with the execution phase. It is a time when you need to keep a close eye on the project's progress and ensure you achieve your objectives.
At this point, you should have key performance indicators to determine your ROI, earned value, and cost variance. Calculate the overall performance and compare it with the cost and time spent to know the degree of variation.
As a project manager, you need to verify the scope of your project, manage any changes and track the project. The project's success depends on your ability to manage it effectively.
As you monitor the progress, check the budget and see whether you're working within your initial financial plan. You do not want to go out of the budget because you may not have sufficient funds to complete the project.
Phase 5: Project closing
Now here comes the final phase of your project. It is time to close your project after the team completes the work. You need to review the entire project, reward team members, create a detailed report, and determine the project's success.
If you worked with a third party to manage your project, it is your responsibility to end the project and terminate the contract according to the terms.
Remember, the data you acquire from the project is essential. So, store it well since you may want to use it later.
Simplify your project management
With advanced technology today, you do not have to go through a lot of hustles to plan, execute, and manage your project manually. You can invest in project management software to make your project easier and more seamless.