Phases of Project Management Life cycle

Phases of Project Management Life cycle

Whether you’re working on a small initiative with fundamental business goals or a detailed project, an understanding of the project management life cycle is crucial. The project management life cycle is a high-level process for the successful completion of the project. For every 1 billion USD invested in different projects by US companies, around 120 million USD was wasted due to a lack of organized project plans.

Wastage money and other resources can be very well countered by smart project management. Around 60% of projects fail to deliver promising results and meet deadlines due to the communication barrier.

The project management life cycle helps in setting goals and planning for their execution to drive it towards successful completion.

The project management life cycle is usually broken down into four phases

  • Initiation
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Closure

These phases create the path with minimum hurdles to vector your project from the beginning to the end.

1. Initiation

First, it is crucial to analyze business needs and problems and brainstorm solutions that the project team can manage to deliver. During this phase, an objective for the project is established, making sure whether the project is fruitful.

Project Management Steps for the Initiation phase:

  • Feasibility study: Figure out the primary issues your project will solve and whether your project will find a way to create a solution to that problem.
  • Determine scope: Identify the High and Low of the project.
  • Identifying deliverables: Define the final product or service that your project will provide.
  • Identifying stakeholders: Identify who will be affected by the project and what their requirements are.
  • Business Case Study: Use the above strategy to make costs vs. outcomes comparison, if the project moves forward.

Maintaining a work statement: List the project’s objectives, scope, and outcomes that were decided earlier during a working agreement between the project owner and those working on it.

2. Planning

Once the project is approved based on your business case and initial documentation, it enters into the planning phase.

During this phase of the project management life cycle, the whole project segments into smaller pieces of work with respect to task differentiation. Team building and scheduling for the completion of independent or dependent tasks are decided in this phase. Smaller goals with broad scope within the lengthy project are essential for feasibility. Making sure a goal is conquerable within the schedule.

Project Management Steps for the Planning phase:

  • Planning: Plan the project roadmap and timeline. Design a smart roadmap to meet the objectives within the designated timeframe.
  • Workflow diagrams: Visualization is an essential tool for the whole process to make sure that all team members clearly acknowledged their role in a project.
  • Financial planning: Run cost estimation process to determine how much to spend on the project as an investment to get the maximum return as a profit.
  • Resource Collection: Build your functional team from while making sure everyone has the necessary tools (software or hardware) to accomplish their respective tasks.
  • Identifying risks and possible hurdles: Identify hurdles that may cause your project to slow down or completely halt. Plan to dodge those risks and assure the project’s quality in meeting goals.
  • Regular Meetings: Call your team on the table and brief the project and related tasks so they can quickly take over their designated jobs.

3. Execution

It is a practical implementation phase and the most lengthy among all. This phase turns your theory into practice. The project manager’s job in this phase is to make sure a project is on track, organize team, manage time, and make sure the work is moving towards completion in accordance with the schedule and plan.

Project management steps for the Execution phase:

  • Organizing workflows: Assign tasks to the appropriate team members, making sure team members are not overworked and meeting the deadlines.
  • Tasks Briefing: Explain designated jobs to team members, provide necessary guidance on how to complete the designated tasks, and organize task-related drills if necessary.
  • Communication with Stakeholders: Provide updates to project stakeholders at all levels and maintain transparency.
  • Monitor Work Quality: Make sure that all team members are utilizing their time and delivering quality.
  • Budget Management: Monitor budget and keep the project on track by efficient utilization of resources.

Depending on your methodology one follows, there is a variety of visual tools that can help in smartly portraying which tasks have been completed to ensure that your project vectors in the right direction.

4. Closure

Once work is done for the project, a closure phase comes up. In the closure phase, the delivery of the final product, releasing project resources, and determination of the fruitfulness is carried out. Just because the major part of the project is completed, it doesn’t mean the project manager’s job is over, there are still many things to do, like running a check for what did and did not work with the project.

Project Management steps for the Closure phase:

  • Analyzing Project Performance: Examine whether the project's goals were achieved like tasks completed within the designated time and budget, plus all the initial problems were solved using a checklist.
  • Analyzing Team performance: Run an evaluation process to check how team members performed, including whether they completed their tasks according to the timeliness and their work conforms to the required quality.
  • Post-Project Documentation: Make sure that all subtasks of the project are completed with zero loopholes.
  • Conducting post-processing reviews: Run a final analysis of the project, taking into consideration lessons reflected for similar projects in the future.
  • Budget Accounting: Categorize the used and unused budget and allocate remaining resources and budget for future projects.

Once the project is completed, you will be ready to observe everything you’ve learned and then implement it for the mirror projects in the future.


Project managers hold the responsibility for the intelligent planning and successful execution of a project. The project is everything that needs to be completed in a budget and has defined starting and defined ending points. Demand for Project managers around the globe is undeniable. To achieve notable success in this field, Project Management Professional certification or PMP certification training is a globally recognized certification for project management. PMP certification training consists of the education, skill, and experience required to lead and manage projects. This certification training can be useful in all sorts of fields including construction, banking, computer science, engineering, and other industrial or corporate job roles.

Some methodologies also include a fifth phase, that is, controlling or monitoring, but for general purposes, these processes are covered under the execution and closure phases instead of a separate phase.

About The Author
Associate Consultant at QuickStart

Sajid Amjal

Sajid is an excellent associate resource we have at QuickStart; having proficiency in various Microsoft based technologies such as SQL, Power-BI, coupled with extensive practical knowledge he adds immense value to our team.