Project management software ensures that you successfully complete your project after accomplishing its pre-set goals. Therefore, as a project lead, it is important to acknowledge the fact that every project comes with a set of 6 distinct phases in project life cycle. They are as follows:

  1. Initiation stage
  2. Planning stage
  3. Implementation stage
  4. Closing stage
  5. Adaptation stage
  6. Monitoring stage
Project Life Cycle

Project Life Cycle | OfficeTimer

Each of these stages plays a vital role in ensuring the success of the following stage.

Initiation Phase:

As the name suggests, this stage is when the idea or the conceptualization for the project is seeded and funded to begin. This phase lays special emphasis on fixating the objectives and goals that are meant to be achieved through the functioning of the project or towards the completion of the project. It is also important for the risks, scope, budget, issues, timescale and approach to be clearly defined.

It includes broad step-wise activities such as conceptualization of project; project approval; project proposal; approval of the proposal; negotiating the project and project contract.

If the project is not funded and initiated well, it is bound to have a high probability of failure. With a well-planned initiation of a project, it tempts to begin the work at the soonest. However, poor project initiation kills the vibe along the journey which directly leads to failure.

Planning Phase:

Let’s face it, the key to the successful completion of any activity, irrespective of the scale and its intensity, is in the effective planning. Planning is often confused with the initiation phase. To gain clarity on the difference, in the initiation stage, the project life cycle is built to the extent that planning its activities is possible. It is only the initial stages which involve approvals and permission sanctioning. However, in the planning phase, the project has been permitted and supported through a sanctioned budget. Planning phase needs to focus on how to let the project rock ‘n roll.

Some of the key planning stages include:

  1. Project charter
  2. Organize a suitable team for the project
  3. Kick-off the project
  4. Management plans and control measures
  5. Plan approval is crucial
  6. Communicate the plan to the entire team

Implementation Phase:

After successful planning, approval of the plans and communication to the teams, it is time to finally execute and implement the project in order to achieve the desired end result. It is very important to remember that every project comes with a time constraint and achievement of the goals within the prescribed allotted time frame is what makes a project successful. Moreover, this stage requires project realization along with continuous attention of the project manager.

In other words, this phase includes taking all the suitable and necessary actions in order to complete the project and deliver the results. The steps in the implementation phase are as follows:

  1. Develop a team for the project
  2. Assign tasks and work breakups with daily schedules
  3. Contract management
  4. Procurement processes
  5. Assurance of quality
  6. Effective and timely 2-way communication

Monitoring Phase:

Monitoring the project status of completion and activity update is crucial in order to avoid deviation. This phase primarily focuses on the usage of some of the best project management software in order to execute effective monitoring. With the help of project management, you can remind your team about the objectives and the path to be taken in order to get there. Therefore, monitoring the progress of the project is one of the most important stages of the project life cycle.

Unlike the product life cycle where there are 4 stages: the introductory, the growth, the maturity and the decline, the project life cycle is rather specific. It also lays special and specific emphasis on the importance of controlling the parameters and monitoring deviations. Making use of a few online project management software  is crucial in order to achieve a high success rate. The steps involved in the monitoring phase are as follows:

  1. Evaluation of project reports and documentation
  2. Control the activity quality
  3. Monitoring the risks and issue control
  4. Team evaluation
  5. Analysis of variance and deviations
  6. Determine the need and extent for changes

Adaptation Phase:

Make sure to scrutinize, implement control measures and monitoring techniques with the help of easily available project management software free versions. With this, every project manager will be able to come up with a set of deviations or variances. These deviations do not have to be extreme and on a high level but they usually do exist. Upon determining the extent of variation in the project, the entire team adapts to the changes that need to be brought upon the functioning in order to reduce the distance between

  • The expected direction and extent.
  • The current direction and extent.

In other words, the process of adapting to the methods, processes and actions is the primary focus of the adaptation stage. These actions so taken should facilitate successful project completion. This phase, basically, bridges the gap that exists between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’. Effective adaptation can be done by:

  1. Reviewing performance reports.
  2. Reviewing change requests.
  3. Update the project plans.
  4. Capture, retain and communicate the lessons learned.

Closing Phase:

Now, you’re done! This phase includes that stage when the project team and the manager know that the project is complete. The objectives are accomplished, the goals are achieved, the team has learned and the project is ready to go out there and solve a problem.

The closing phase has a set of steps that further complete it and bring value out of the project. They are as follows:

  1. Evaluation of the project
  2. Also, evaluation of the final project reports
  3. Further closing the contracts.
  4. Administer the closing process.
  5. Moreover, reassign the teams the other projects and do not leave them abandoned and jobless.
  6. Finally, distribute the lessons learned and have a brief/detailed discussion about the do’s and don’ts.

Project management software plays a very crucial role in helping Project Managers accomplish their goals. Moreover, these software ensure that the project is on the right track, minimize deviations and encourage better performance.

Further Reading

4 Things You Need To Look For in Project Management Software

Top 10 Project Management Software for Catapulting Productivity

Tips to Select the Best Project Management Software For Business

Project Tracking Software will Eliminate Redundancy at Work

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