Project Life Cycle
What is the Project Life Cycle?
The project life cycle is the full range of tasks required to deliver a project. Typically, this is seen to be done over four phases.
Phases of the project life cycle
The phases of a project life cycle are:
Each phase has many associated activities. Monitoring and control are a vital part of each phase, as is a project review at the end of each to check that objectives and deliverables for that phase have been satisfactorily completed.
Initiation of a Project
This phase identifies a project’s scope of work, objectives, stakeholders, resources and timing. Important documents produced during this phase include:
- the business case
- a feasibility study
- the Project Charter
On approval of the project to proceed, a Project Manager is appointed and the project team selected.
Planning of a Project
A Project Plan is prepared to detail how objectives will be met. The Project Manager uses it to monitor and control scope, time, cost and quality. A range of subsidiary plans are prepared to help to more closely monitor and control specific aspects such as resources, finances, quality, communication, procurement and client acceptance. Other planning tools such as a Work Breakdown Structure are prepared during this phase.
Execution of a Project
The project team produces the deliverables; the Project Manager monitors and controls all project activity, including the tender process. This includes managing the project’s schedule, budget, quality, risks and procurement process. Managing scope change is another critical component of this phase. Regular team meetings and progress reports occur, with outcomes checked against the Project Plan.
Closure of a Project
On approval of a closure report, the project team releases final deliverables and formally closes off all agreements. Project staff are relocated, documents are filed, and offices are closed.
A formal review is held to evaluate the project’s success in meeting its objectives, with any lessons learned documented.
Where does the Project Lifecycle fit into Project Management?
A Project Manager or Project Officer is appointed to ensure that a Project reaches a satisfactory result for all the people who are involved in the Project. The Project becomes a reality when it has reached a stage where there is adequate funding and approvals from all parties to complete the allocated tasks that form the Project. The Project lifecycle starts at this point where the primary decision makers agree to complete a Project within an amount of time. The Project is then initiated and further approvals are required to proceed to the Planning stage. after approvals from the Planning stage are received then the next two stages should occur (i.e. Execution and Closure). Each Project has a lifecycle and a Project Manager maybe be involved in a few projects that have different lengths of lifecycles.
What is Project Lifecycle like?
A Project Lifecycle is similar to a person’s lifecycle. That is a person is born and grows up through childhood where they learn different skills to become adults that can work productively until they become old and eventually die. This person has a birth date and a death date. Similarly, a project has a start date and a closure date. The project requires a lot of resources at the beginning to ensure it has a successful chance to be completed onetime and within budget. During the execution stage the project should be progressing rapidly and without too many unknown issues to prevent it from achieving its completion. At the end the project is closed down and the Project Manager moves onto another project.
Where can I find more information about Project Lifecycle?
To read more about the phases of a project’s life cycle, view: