What are the 4 phases of project management?
01 - Initiation
This is the 1st phase of a project management lifecycle in which the project and its objectives are defined based on the expectation of the stakeholders. The initiation phase is crucial to the project’s objectives which directs the project team and provides clarity.
The initiation phase is carried out in a number of steps which are studying the project’s objectives, identifying its scope and project stakeholders, raising a project proposal, and determining SMART(specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely) goals. The tools and documents used in this phase are the Project Proposal document, Project Charter, and RACI Charter.
02 - Planning
The planning phase commences when the project is sanctioned to advance on the basis of a business case, work statement, project initial document, and project scope. The actual steps needed to complete the project are determined in this phase. Planning includes breaking down the entire project into scheduled intermediary operations and tasks assigned to different teams.
The steps involved in the planning phase are developing a project plan, creating flow charts(Gantt charts) and diagrams, estimating budget and preparing a financial plan, gathering as much as possible project related information, predicting the risks that can occur through the project’s lifecycle, and convening a kick-off meeting to commence the project.
03 - Execution
Execution is the phase in which plans are brought into action. The project operations are initiated as per the schedule and are simultaneously tracked, monitored, managed, assessed, and modified if necessary. It is the project manager who keeps the project on track, organizes the teams, manages schedules and ensures that the project is not delayed.
The steps included in the execution phase are creating tasks and coordinating workflows, briefing team members, establishing communications, monitoring progress, and managing the cost of the project. To propose any changes to the project’s scope or goals change request documents are prepared.
04 - Closure
After all the project operations have been executed, the project progresses towards the closure phase. In the closure phase, the final results are provided to the client, leftover project resources are released, and ascertain the success of the project. The finished product is handed over to the owner and the things that didn’t go well are assessed. The steps followed in the closure phase are analyzing the entire project operation, analyzing the team performance, recording the project closure process, post-implementation, and analyzing the budget status.