A project is any task or a set of tasks you are currently working on to give the final product or service within the deadlines and the cost available. Where project management is an absolute necessity since it helps you and your team to stick to the budget and complete all the required tasks before the deadline.
This process is to ensure that you understand the job, plan the requirements like cost, resources, number of people, and an ideal date to complete that task. Moreover, prioritizing the tasks based on their importance to make this process even smoother. If you are not planning a project carefully and are not good at managing the tasks, you should forget about the future of your business as it will be very hard for such businesses to survive.
So, if it appears like every team and department within your organization has their own idea of completing tasks then we are most certain it is harming the overall efficiency, productivity, and environment.
Now is the right time to take the first step towards a more planned, managed, and unified model and start implementing it in all the departments. You will have to either hire project managers for each department and come up with a final model or encourage all your employees to get PMP certification training online. This will help you in designing and implementing proven project management processes at your organization. This will not only increase the work efficiency but will also streamline the workflow.
Phases of Project Management
Today, most of us are familiar with agile processes where everything changes so fast. Regardless of the size of the projects, the processes defined for them also need a proper coordination and tracking so that every change made, and every update done is known to everyone is the team to get a successful execution of the plans. Therefore, it is important to break down the project into smaller tasks and work on them in steps, commonly known as project phases.
Project phases let you organize your big project more efficiently and progressively. There are five phases of project management:
- Project Initiating
- Project Planning
- Project Executing
- Project Monitoring
- Project Closing
These phases add up to an effective project management life cycle. By following these phases or steps, we basically are ensuring the better productivity and a well thought out process.
Initially, the whole process of planning a project in 5 phases and work required might seem tiring. Since, there could be numerous tasks under one project needed to be done within the given time, resources, and pattern.
Senior project managers are familiar with this approach and know that it is easier to a project in steps and pieces then the whole project together. Planning and dividing the efforts into the above mentioned five phases will further structure your efforts and will also simplify them into a logical and manageable series of steps. Let’s take a detailed look into these project management phases to understand them better and further.
First phase of every project lifecycle is its Initiation. At this step, project managers analyze the value of the project and its feasibility is measured. Normally, there are two steps to evaluate a project to decide if a project is worth pursuing:
- Case Document – Business case document is made to highlight and justify the major requirements for the project like time, resources, budget, tools, profit, and number of employees working on it.
- Feasibility Study – Feasibility study is done to evaluate the project’s goals, its timeline and cost required to decide if or not a project should be executed. Here, a project manager estimates and balances the requirements with available resources to check if execution is possible.
Once these two evaluations are done, project managers make the final call and propose the profitability and feasibility of a project. The project that passes these two steps will be assigned to the team for further phases.
After a project is decided to good-to-go, it moves to the planning phase. In this phase, project manager will inform and guide the team members about the available time and budget allotted for the project. The idea to plan a project before finally start working on it is to give clear idea of the project and guidelines to obtain resources, acquire budget and procure material required. The project plan directs the team to produce quality work, handle risk, create acceptance, as well as communication.
This phase also helps the teams in preparing themselves in case of any encountered obstacle in the project lifecycle. It also helps them in understanding the cost, timeframe, and scope of the project.
Third step in the project lifecycle is its execution. Once the project is taking on board and planned, the execution takes place. It is also the most important step of the project which basically decides how clear was the plan and how easy it is to realize the expectations with the project. This phase is about building deliverables to satisfy the client or the customer. Managers and leads allocate the tasks and resources to the team to carry out the execution.
- Project Monitoring
Project Monitoring is often done simultaneously with the execution. As teams are responsible to execute the plan and leads and managers to continuously monitor their progress. This consistency in the execution and monitoring helps to keep the project pace smooth.
Last phase is the project closing in which teams complete the tasks and the project and are ready to they deliver the final project to the client. This step is to evaluate the final project and document it. This documentation helps the managers and team to realize their past mistakes, hurdles, efficiencies, and team expertise to use on the next project. This also helps in communicating the final achievements based on the initial requirements to the final stakeholders.