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May 06, 2019

Breaking Down Into 5 Phases of Project Management



In the current time, project management is the most vital part for organizations looking to produce quality outcomes from projects. While the term may sound easy and straightforward, projects are a lot more complex to handle. They have different facets and need proper planning and organization before execution.



Project management professionals are thus trained to handle projects in all their complexity. They have to maximize the resources while enforcing teamwork, team integration, control of expenses, and quality output. A PMP course gives the project managers the competence they need to handle the parameters of any project and provide the desired result.

Since project management carries more weight than the literal meaning, this article will highlight its profound sense and expound further on the various phases involved.

 What is Project Management?

Project management is making use of pre-set principles, rules and parameters to manage, carry out, and implement a project from its inception to completion. Projects are short-lived goals or plans that have a beginning and an end. Unlike other recurring processes within an organization, projects have a pre-determined period and outcome.

Understanding the importance of proper project management takes continuous training for aspiring project managers. As a head of a project management team, a project manager must stay steps ahead of the project, oversee teamwork and coordinate planning, and implementation.

Pmp training is thus a crucial part of equipping the managers with the right skills to ensure projects’ success.

Below are the five phases of project management as covered in pmp certification and helps to organize projects into logical and manageable bits.

5 Phases of Project Management Explained

Phase 1: Project Initiation and Conception

It’s the first step in project management lifecycle, and it sets the pace on how to proceed with the rest of the project. Projects are usually triggered by problems and the need to come up with valuable solutions within a foreseeable future.

The conception identifies the problem and through team effort, come up with supposed solutions. The first phase helps to determine the project’s sustainability and feasibility. Once that is settled, documentation may take place to establish the course and an outcome.

Phase 2: Project Planning

After the project is considered viable, then it’s time to work on a project plan. That includes the full documentation of the project and time stamps for each procedure. A project manager is most hands-on at this phase to create strategies that shall guide the team through the project.

 The planning phase has further subdivision as shown below.

  • Project Scope: It gives time restrictions for the whole projects and puts into place the maximum expenses to incur and how to resource for funds. Putting down the rules prevents the project from over-running while protecting the organization from losses.
  • Project Estimation: Every bit of the project must be detailed in terms of time taken, the resources needed, the workforce required and the after results. A visual plan with estimates for each step keeps the project guarded against flowing over.
  • Communication Plan: Communication breakdown can fail a project especially when clients and other stakeholders are part of it. Setting out a communication strategy will give the team from contradicting one another when sharing information regarding the project.
  • Risk Management: Every project has its unique number of risks that a project manager must list out and communicate to the team with solutions throughout the project.

Phase 3: Project Execution

The actual project takes place at this phase, and the team has to keep checking the set guidelines to stay within the arranged time, and resources guardrails. The project manager's role in this phase is to direct and oversee the team through various processes.

It’s the phase where resources, tasks, and processes are assigned, and each member of the team works to deliver according to the project plan. As it's an action-packed phase, it also determines the more significant percentage of the project's success or doom.

Phase 4: Project Performance and Control

This step helps in reviewing the project’s progress in terms of budget allocation, team performance, adherence to timelines and adjustment when the need occurs. Some changes in terms of resource allocation or time adjustment may take place at this phase.

Other crucial indicators like project deliverables and overall project performance help to determine if the whole project is on track and achieving value.

Below are some of the most critical aspects of this phase.

  • Project Goals: Although they determine the direction of the project as well as the outcome, sometimes adjustments are inevitable. Keeping the communication open during amendments and giving enough time to catch up helps the project to run seamlessly.
  • Quality of Deliverables: Before sending out outcomes for a review, a PM needs to check the quality with the team against the organization's standards which saves on time and resources.
  • Team Performance: A PM's most prominent role is to oversee the success of a project.  Working with a team helps to carry out different tasks successfully. Thus, managing a team is crucial to ensure none of the team members are lagging in their assignments.

Phase 5: Project Closure

The final part of the project's life cycle is the project closure, which in some cases calls for a celebratory event while in other cases, it may have been a fail.

 When closing a project, the project manager (PM) terminates contracts with suppliers and some employees.  Review meeting takes place to go through the project's process and highlight the setbacks and successes. These lessons help to strengthen the procedures for the subsequent projects. 

Finally, after reviewing the project with stakeholders, or clients, the PM makes the final report and gathers all the documents from the previous project into one place.

Conclusion

When an organization gets the project management right, it determines the organization’s success and customers’ satisfaction. Investing in the right course for project management is crucial for the organization's growth. Project managers have to keep learning new methods of solving problems that bring in value to the organizations while using as few resources as possible.



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