The 4 Phases of the Project Management Life Cycle

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Importance Of Project Management

In any organization where people work on multiple projects simultaneously, it is crucial that there be some level of project management in place. Project management encompasses the whole life cycle of any project at hand, from the very initial start and requirement gathering to the date delivery each phase and the tasks performed / functionalities added within that phase are handled through project management. Project management helps break large projects into smaller tasks that people can carry out more easily, through project management similar tasks are bundled into sprints and the whole project is then divided into sprints of tasks.

How Project Managers Play A Key Role In Any Organization

Project managers decide which task should be allocated to which teams and more specifically which teams should be composed of which individuals with the desired skill set to accomplish the tasks at hand. It is the sole responsibility of the project manager to gather initial requirements and wireframes from the client and estimate how much time and how many people will it take to get the required tasks done within the deadline.

Resource management and time management is a major part of a project managers job description. Project managers are the number of go to people in case of any delay or setback in the project as they always have a bird’s eye view of the whole project at any given time. Any set back faced by one employee can result in a delay for the delivery date of the whole project. Hence, it is essential that project managers keep sight of and track the progress of each individual.

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Although you can get a master’s degree in project management and land a job as a project manager, that doesn’t essentially give you the proper tools or skills to become an effective project manager. To become an effective project manager, one can take tutorials and certifications training online such as PMP certification training, agile scrum certification training, etc.

4 phases of the project management life cycle

Throughout the project management life cycle, four phases are observed, the whole project management life cycle can be divided into these four phases or stages.

  1. Initiation
    This is the most initial part of project management. In this phase, the scope of project is set, and initial requirements are gathered. Long meetings with the client are carried out. At this stage, the project manager understands the project initially and decides whether the team at their disposal can carry out such a project or not. If there will be any difficulties in the future that can be communicated, then the project managers take proper action at this stage.
  2. Planning
    Once the initiation phase is completed then comes the planning phase. In the planning phase, time allocation and resource allocation are thought of. This is the most important part of project management. As any future development or changes depending on the solid plan that is made in this phase. Project’s durability and the ability to get things done within the given time totally depends on the planning phase. If planned correctly, the whole project life cycle becomes easier to work with and minimal difficulties are faced during the implementation phase.
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But if not planned correctly, the chances of failure of the whole project become alarmingly high. For instance, if during the planning phase a developer is assigned some task for which he/she has no experience then obviously they will fail at that task or execute it terribly.
Hence to overcome such failures, the planning phase is given proper attention and the whole project is impacted during the planning phase.

  1. Implementation / execution

After successful planning, the implementation or execution phase comes into play. Since now you have all the requirements listed down and have a pretty clear picture of what needs to be delivered. Along with this, you have a proper plan of how to achieve the required deliverables within the deadline. Now you can actually start the work of creating whatever needs to be created.

This is the most time-consuming phase of project management, as in this phase new things are developed tested, because of which new bugs occur and they need to be resolved as well.
The overall quality of the end result of any project totally depends on the implementation phase. And this is also one of the main or most crucial phase of project management because what good is a good project plan along with all the necessary requirements if there is no implementation in place.

  1. Closure
    The last phase of the project management life cycle is the closure phase. If you have somehow survived the proper planning and implementation that this phase could be really rewarding. This is the phase in which the project is termed closed. The client shakes the hand of project managers and tells them that no further development is required. Hence, the whole project is marked as finished.
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In the real world, a project can go from the closure phase back to the implementation phase more than once, depending on the satisfaction level of the customer.

These four phases cover the whole project management life cycle and any one of these phases cannot be skipped in a project. As they all rely on each other and are interconnected, almost all of the projects that are acquired by any organization go through these four phases.

Conclusion

Project management is an essential part of any organization’s workflow. Usually, organizations hire project managers with several years of experience and who are coming from reputable organizations. Because if an individual is joining your company coming from a bigger organization, then they have so much more to add to the table. They can introduce new structural improvements in the organization and can uplift the whole work pace based on their experience and skills.\

No matter how experienced the project manager is, under no circumstances should any one of these phases of project management be discarded as unimportant. Even if at a point it seems irrelevant to carry out one of these phases (except closure), all three phases should always be carried out during the project management life cycle.

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