Project management can be challenging – regardless of the size and budget of the project.
Many things can go wrong without the right project manager or plan set in place. Without taking the proper steps, you can face roadblocks every step of the way – whether that comes in the form of task delegation, budgeting issues, scheduling, or anything in between.
Taking the right approach and going through the phases of a project one by one can help you manage your schedule, meet project goals, and reach project success.
If you’re struggling with project management, you’re not alone. Here are five essential stages of project management.
The 5 Stages of Project Management
There are five stages of a project life cycle: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and reviewing.
Successfully completing each stage of the project life cycle can help teams meet deadlines, improve workflows, and ultimately reach project success.
Here’s everything you need to know about the different stages of project management.
Stage 1: Initiation
The first stage puts the plan into motion. This stage occurs when an idea turns into a full-fledged goal.
In this stage, you should ask and answer the following questions:
- What is the need for the project?
- What is the budget?
- What are the goals?
During the project initiation stage, you also create a project charter. A project charter is a document that works as the foundation for the entire project. It outlines the project responsibilities, participants, objectives, goals, scope, budget, and more.
The project manager, stakeholders, and team members can use the project charter as a reference guide.
Stage 2: Planning
Next comes the planning stage. This stage lays out the groundwork for the entire project.
Planning is one of the most essential parts of a project. It takes up nearly half of the project’s timeline.
During this phase, the project manager creates a project roadmap.
A project roadmap is an overview of an entire project. It outlines the project’s deliverables, scope, deadlines, resources, timeline, milestones, and more. It provides a complete overview of the project’s objectives and what you need to reach them.
A road map is an excellent way to visualize a project from its initial start to its finish. It also allows project managers and stakeholders to track the project’s progress.
Stage 3: Execution
In this stage, the plan goes into action. The work begins.
During this time, the project manager’s responsibility is to monitor the project’s progress, support the team, and handle any challenges that present themselves.
The project manager’s role is to ensure everything goes as planned while maintaining open lines of communication with stakeholders.
Stage 4: Monitoring
Project monitoring occurs at the same time as project execution. During this stage, project managers ensure that the project is going according to plan and running smoothly.
During the monitoring stage, project managers ensure that the project meets all deliverables.
They assess project objectives progress reports, address any challenges, and ensure that each team member fulfills their roles and tasks.
The project manager also ensures that the project meets specific key performance indicators (KPIs), which indicate that the project is going according to plan. As they track the project’s progress, they also track costs and timing to ensure the project is running on time and on budget.
The monitoring stage plays a vital role in the overall success of a project because it is during this stage you can identify challenges and make improvements.
Stage 5: Closing
Closing occurs when you finish the project. The team reviews the project and completes a report to analyze its success.
This stage, also considered a review, reports how the project did, identifies any risks, looks for areas of improvement, and presents findings and recommendations that the team can carry forward in future projects.
We Can Help You Manage Your Next Project
Don’t be afraid to ask for outside help to manage your next project. A fresh perspective might be just what your enterprise needs to find new life.
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