Project Management Phases and Process flow
Project Management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to a broad range of activities in order to meet the requirements of a particular project.
Each Project has a lot of components. There are a lot of things that needs to be done and coordinated in between these components to execute a Project successfully. That’s why projects are split up into various components called Phases so the project is structured and planned better.
These are the 5 phases/processes in a Project Management
- Project Conception & Initiation
- Project Planning
- Project Execution / Project Launch
- Project Control & Validation
- Project Closure
These 5 phases collectively makes up the project management life cycle. Let’s have a look at these five phases in detail.
1. Project Conception & Initiation
Every project has a initial starting point which is the beginning. This phase usually starts with a business case which will be researched to understand whether the project will be feasible or not. All feasibilty tests are done in this process and the value of the project if determined.
Initial Stakeholder meeting is done and whether the project is a “go” will be determined. Once the project is given a go ahead, a Project Charter and a Requirement Specification documents are created.
The output of this process is
- Business Case
- Feasibility Study
- Project Charter
- Requirement Specification
2. Project Planning
Project planning is one of the main process in project management. The Project Plan provides a roadmap that everyone will follow in the implementation of the project.
The purpose of Project Planning (PP) is to establish, maintain and manage plans that define project activities.
Project Plan includes Scope, Schedule, Cost, Configuration Management, Quality, Human Resources, Communications, Stake Holder Management, Change Management, Staffing Management, Procurement, and Risk Management Plans. Project Plan also includes the procedure for closing the Projects.
The activities are detailed in this process description and in supporting documents for the project teams to describe the work they will do, develop estimates of effort, develop a schedule, plan their management and technical approaches, identify measures to gather, and develop a risk management approach.
Project planning requires an in-depth analysis and structuring of the following activities:
1. Setting project goals
2. Identifying project deliverables
3. Creating project schedules
4. Constraints, dependencies, Assumptions and Risks
5. Creating supporting plans
The output of this process include Communication Plan, Data Management Plan, Goods and Service Procurement Plan, Project Plan Checklist, Project Initiation Plan, Project Schedule Management Plan, Project Scope Management Plan, Project Proposal etc.
Project Execution / Project launch
After the project plan is done and all the supporting documents are created , in this phase, the project management executes the project in order to achieve project objectives.
Tasks completed during the Execution Phase include:
- Develop team
- Assign resources
- Execute project management plans
- Procurement management if needed
- PM directs and manages project execution
- Set up tracking systems
- Task assignments are executed
- Status meetings
- Update project schedule
- Modify project plans as needed
Project Control & Validation
The purpose of Project Monitoring and Control is to track, review and regulate the progress of a project. This makes potential problems or setbacks easier to identify and ensures a project stays on track to meet its objectives
A project’s documented plan is the basis for monitoring activities, communicating status, and taking corrective action. Progress is primarily determined by comparing actual work product and task attributes, effort, cost, and schedule against the plan at prescribed milestones or control levels in the project schedule or WBS.
PMC will have an impact on three critical areas of process in a Project Management activity.
Scope includes the below:
- Ensure the team is working on the correct activities
- Ensure the team is on-schedule
- Have any changes occurred that will require a scope addition?
- Ensure the team is on-budget
- Ensure the quality of the work is acceptable
- Ensure project control activities can be performed if deviations from the plan are identified
- What is the status of the activities that have been scheduled for this (week, month etc.)?
- How are activities progressing? Ahead, behind or on-schedule?
- Are any course corrections required?
- How much of the budget has been spent to date?
- How much is remaining?
- Do we have a revised estimate to complete the work?
The purpose of this phase is also to provide the relevant stakeholders with data on the deliverable’s adherence to the expected baselined standards, relevant guidelines and organizational process, by comparing against available artifacts and data submitted; by which deviations can be identified and rectified with immediate effect.
Milestone Audits and Periodic Audits are done for this purpose.
The output of this process is Communication between Stakeholders, Change Requests, Project Management Plan Updates, Project progress report, Project Milestone Report, Project Issue Management Template and Decision Analysis and Report Template and Audit Report.
The project isn’t over once the project goals and objectives have been met. The project deliverables will be verified and if they are in par with the acceptance criteria defined by the client, the project will be duly accepted and project is marked as closed.
A project lessons learned template is used to record all the lessons learned during the implementation of the project which can be considering for future projects. A contract closure document is signed and all the information is distributed and archived.
Project Management process Flow
Here’s a sample Project Management Process Flow chart from projectmanager.com which outlines the process flow in Project Management.