When planning and executing a project, many things can go wrong. Project management success is more likely if your team follows a certain structure.
By adhering to the following five main phases of project management, it helps team members stay focused on the task and complete procedures in the fastest and most efficient manner. These PM phases can also prevent your organization from making project mistakes such as setting unrealistic expectations.
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Phase 1: Design and launch of the project
The first phase of project management covers all the tasks necessary to determine the purpose of your project and the best way to achieve your project goals.
Determine project objectives
During this part of the first phase, you turn the project idea into a plan. To begin, you need to determine what you want to achieve by running the project. Ask questions such as “Why does this project need to be completed?” » » and « what will this project ultimately be used for?
Having identified meaningful goals, it will be easier to unify the motivations and efforts of each individual involved in the project. It will also help you develop your project charter.
Develop the project charter
This document serves as a formal means of defining the project. The charter contains essential project details, including objectives, scope, success criteria, milestones, budget plans, expected timeline, and execution details.
Identify project stakeholders
Stakeholders are all people involved in supporting the project. You should list each project stakeholder in another document called the stakeholder register; it should contain information about each stakeholder, such as their role, group, and organization.
Phase 2: Project definition and planning
Once the project charter is approved, the project definition and planning stage can begin. This phase should allow your team to get a better idea of the scope of the project and the actions involved in its execution.
Develop a project plan
The project plan is the most important deliverable of this phase; it should contain the schedule, technical requirements, timelines, actions, task dependencies, and estimated project effort and duration.
Other deliverables and documents involved in this phase may include the following, depending on your organization’s procedures.
- Resource Allocation Plan: This should consist of a schedule of the availability of project team members throughout the project life cycle.
- Communications Management Plan: This helps establish processes for collaboration and communication with stakeholders.
- Work Breakdown Structure: It should be a detailed table or list of a project’s deliverables and how they are broken down into smaller deliverables.
- List of requirements: This should list the business requirements and technical requirements needed to complete the project.
Create a project budget
Planning a budget is crucial to ensure the success of the project plan. Team members should create the project design and task list, and estimate the budget based on the effort, resources, and time needed for completion.
Identify roles and responsibilities
You need to assess the strengths and abilities of team members to assign roles and responsibilities.
Phase 3: Project Implementation or Execution
Your team begins to perform tasks and achieve project goals as planned in the first two phases.
Manage project resources
You will be in charge of organizing the tasks and resources involved in the execution of the project; this includes ways to keep everyone on the same page by establishing workflows, tracking resources, and ensuring quality of work and project team progress.
Collaborate as needed
Team members should update and collaborate with every project stakeholder; this may involve creating and providing documentation for work orders.
Adapt to project challenges
You are responsible for ensuring that the work is carried out, even if problems arise. You may need to implement and manage adjustments to the project plan to ensure operations run smoothly.
Use software tools
Project management software tools can be useful for managing team member workflows, supporting collaborative efforts, tracking resource availability, and centralizing project information. For example, solutions like monday.com and Smartsheet support collaborative efforts by allowing participants to provide feedback and communicate about work tasks.
Phase 4: Project control and management
You must monitor aspects of the project to determine the progress of the team and support their success according to plan.
Monitor efforts, resources and costs
Your entire team should track the effort, resources, and costs used throughout the project. Recording these details can help you determine if team members are meeting expectations and ensure they are on budget and on schedule for the project.
Follow the progress of your project team
You can use key performance indicators and critical success factors to measure and review project progress. Project management software can also make it easier to track team progress and productivity. Project management software solutions like Jira and Teamwork help teams stay on track throughout the project lifecycle with workload management features that show team members’ actions. team on a time scale.
Carry out the actions according to the project plan
You must be proactive in identifying issues with the project plan or operations. By detecting issues or potential issues early, you can develop a mitigation plan and revise project plan processes to address the issue. Staying on top of project plan issues can also be helpful if additional resources and/or time are needed, and you can communicate these details to relevant stakeholders as needed.
Phase 5: Project closure
In this final phase of the project management process, all activities in the process are completed.
Complete closing tasks and documentation
You should communicate the final status to all relevant stakeholders at the conclusion of the project. Participants and stakeholders should also be aware of any ongoing actions relevant to their role in this project.
Additionally, you will be required to complete the required documentation to terminate the contracts of external talent hired for the project, if required.
Present closing project deliverables
Closing the project may require the submission of more deliverables. The documentation needed for this phase may depend on why the project closure occurred; a closure may occur due to the completion, termination, cancellation or transfer of the project.
Evaluate project results and reflection
It’s always a good idea for project teams to have a reflection meeting after a project is complete; this retrospective allows the teams to discuss their successes and the points that posed problems throughout the project. Also, teams should review the entire project and create a detailed report with data and information about it to store for future reference.
For example, suppose the organization faces issues with late delivery of resources throughout its project, causing it to fall behind schedule. In this case, the organization can refer to this experience when adjusting its future project plans by allowing more time to acquire project resources.
This review meeting can help project teams ensure continuous improvement of their future project processes. Additionally, maintaining project documentation can provide insight into best practices for future projects that can be referenced over time.
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