Understanding Project Cycle In A Nutshell

To ensure that the product of a project is delivered on time, on a budget, and in the best quality, it is important to effectively and efficiently carry out each stage involved in the life cycle of a project. This will ensure that you have a product that makes the customer happy and hence, the funders of the project.

The vital phases of a project include Initiation, Planning, Execution, and Closure of the project. They are further discussed below.

Initiation

The Initiation of a Project is the first phase of the life cycle of the Project. This phase is where you define the objectives, scope, purpose, and also the list of the deliverable. The initiation phase is also where the appointed project manager makes the selection of skilled team members and professionals for the project.

This stage employs the use of common tools and methodologies such as project review, plan, and overview of the project.

Planning

The next stage after the Project Initiation is the Project Planning. Of all the phases from the birth to the end of a project, planning plays the most vital role in the project.

This stage involves the breakdown of work to be completed, determination of the sequence of operation, estimation of effort needed, and allocation of resources to the successful completion of the project. It also includes a detailed analysis of the risk involved as well as the definition of all criteria required for the successful completion of each milestone according to the prepared schedule by the project manager.

In summary, this stage involves the creation of plans which guide the project team through the execution and closure of the project. These plans will help with the management of time, cost, quality, risk factors, and any other related issues. They will also help you in relating to senior management and external suppliers. When your plans are effectively executed, you will be able to deliver quality products on time and on budget.

Execution

The execution of the project is the 3rd phase of the life cycle of the project. It is usually the longest stage of the project. It essentially consumes the most energy with the highest allocation of resources. This is the phase where all hands are put on deck to develop/manufacture the physical deliverables prior to presenting to customers for approval.

Optimum care needs to be taken at this stage to ensure that all activities are executed properly in a controlled manner. Here, all the efforts put into the initiation and planning are acted on. If this stage fails, so does the whole of the project.

Closure

After successfully executing a project and getting the client’s approval, closing the project is the only thing left. It marks the end of the life cycle of the project. The project manager must ensure that contract is completed as portrayed by the contract signed with the client at the start of the project.

Closing the project is usually characterized by a formally written review/report of the project. This document will reveal the level of success of the project to your sponsor. Here, you will be delivering the product of the project to your customer/client, and the passing of all necessary documentations to signify the end of the project to the appropriate personnel. After a while, you will need to provide a post implementation review to indicate the benefits of the project.

The successful completion of a project requires that all of these steps are carried out effectively.

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