5 Stages of the Project Management Life Cycle

The project management life cycle is the complete process of starting, planning, executing, closing, and controlling a project. Knowing these key stages of the project management cycle can help organize and focus your project.

Each phase of the project management cycle has a specific purpose, allowing you to track each step in-depth throughout the cycle.

In this article, we look at what a cycle is in project management, explore the five phases of the project management cycle, and compare the different types of cycles.

Table Of Contents

1 What is the project management cycle?
2 Benefits of using the project management cycle
2.1 Efficiently streamlined organization for project teams
2.2 Consistent results
2.3 Faster project completion
2.4 Provides thorough insight into project status
3 Stages of the project life cycle
3.1 1. Project initiation
3.2 2. Project planning
3.3 3. Implementation or implementation of the project
3.4 4. Project closure
3.5 5. Project monitoring and control
4 Types of project life cycle
4.1 1. Predictive life cycle
4.2 2. Iterative and incremental life cycle
4.3 3. Adaptive life cycle

What is the project management cycle?

The project management cycle represents the phases a project goes through from start to finish. It includes all the operations, tasks, and steps that a particular project has to perform. According To Adriana Girdler PROJECT MANAGEMENT LIFE CYCLE EXPLAINED

A project manager manages the various tasks involved in starting, executing and completing a project. Planning the expected stages of a project before it starts can help ensure the project is completed on time and has fewer delays or complications.

Both simple and complex projects benefit from having an overarching structure that guides them from start to finish.

Benefits of using the project management cycle

The project management cycle is an effective organizational tool that standardizes the project systemization and implementation process. The main benefits of using this tool are:

Efficiently streamlined organization for project teams

Projects may involve several steps and tasks. By planning the stages of a project’s life cycle in advance, project managers can more effectively assign work and oversee various parts of the project.

Consistent results

Many companies offer turnkey or project-based services for clients. Using standard work processes allows managers to provide a reliable level of support and maintain better control of the project scope. This makes project outcomes similar across multiple projects, even for clients with other needs.

Faster project completion

When project managers define the life cycle early in the process, they can more easily oversee different parts of the project. They can also ensure that any prerequisite tasks are completed before the next step.

By creating deadlines and tasks associated with each stage, managers can balance work so that everything is completed on time.

Provides thorough insight into project status

Project managers can provide clear status updates to clients or internal managers when a project is organized into stages. This helps manage the other party’s expectations.

It also allows project managers to more easily adapt to changing orders that affect later stages of the project.

Project life cycle stages

Each project life cycle involves several steps. While there are different models for the project life cycle, almost all of them cover the following five stages:

1. Project initiation

During the project initiation phase, the manager identifies the problem and evaluates whether it is necessary to create a project-based solution. They use business case documents and feasibility studies to assess the value and feasibility of potential projects. If the project idea passes this evaluation, the project proceeds to the second phase.

2. Project planning

The project planning stage is when a project manager establishes the goals and scope of the project. Also, the project manager uses this stage to determine the project budget, identify the required resources and start organizing the team to carry out the tasks involved in the project.

Depending on the nature of the project, the project manager may create a report that thoroughly establishes the plan. A formal program may also include ideas for barriers, required form templates and a time frame for project completion.

3. Implementation or implementation of the project

During this stage, the project manager assigns tasks to team members, and the team completes them. This stage is when the actual production and work take place to achieve the project objectives. Team members create deliverables and execute the plans created during the previous phase.

4. Project closure

After all the work required during the implementation phase is completed, the project moves to the final stage. During the project closure phase, the project manager communicates its completion to key stakeholders.

Stakeholders receive all submissions at this stage. Many project managers evaluate project success during this stage to improve their life cycle management processes for future projects.

5. Project monitoring and control

Some project life cycle models include a fifth stage which coincides with the third stage of implementation or execution. During this monitoring and control phase of the project, the project manager oversees the project’s performance.

They provide feedback to team members, see that all project elements are completed on schedule and overcome obstacles. By monitoring project execution, managers can ensure that the scope does not increase and the project remains within acceptable time parameters.

Project life cycle types

Depending on the project’s time, cost, and scope requirements, project managers can choose between three different types of project life cycles:

1. Predictive life cycle

The predictive life cycle follows a very detailed plan. High-level strategies are created during the planning stage, and more detailed plans are designed immediately before the project begins with each progressive level of work.

This tightly planned life cycle structure ensures that work is predictable and follows time, cost and scope constraints.

2. Iterative and incremental life cycle

This type of life cycle also has a high-level review made during the planning phase. A more detailed plan is created before the project moves to each successive step. The scope of each phase is created immediately before each phase, not early in the project.

3. Adaptive life cycle

The adaptive life cycle also goes through several iterations. In a customer-facing project, the deliverables are reviewed at the end of each iteration, and a new scope is created for the new iteration based on the feedback.

These projects have unpredictable life cycles. They contain every stage of the traditional life cycle, but they may go through several phases multiple times.

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