7 Stages of PM Lifecycle for Optimal Results
Understanding the project flow from start-to-finish allows you to set realistic goals.
You are a project manager and were just given a high-profile client project. You have a tight deadline and everyone needs to be on top of their game.
How does your project management lifecycle look? A project management cycle is a step-by, plan-based process that outlines the best practices for moving a project from beginning to end. Each project is managed by a project manager who follows a consistent template, adding tweaks as needed. It is a method to create, execute, then finish a project.
A PM lifecycle is scalable and repeatable across projects and teams.
Your teams will be more efficient in completing client-facing tasks and internal tasks once you have established a basic project management process. To achieve the best results, regardless of your industry, take a look at the seven stages in the project management lifecycle.
The planning stage, also known as initiating, is the most important phase of project management. Dwight D. Eisenhower once said that plans are useless but planning is indispensable. Planning allows you to plan for possible contingencies, and also allows for unexpected developments.
Planning can be subdivided into four main activities.
Once you have a solid plan, the next step in project management is to analyze data from experts and stakeholders. This will help you decide if you can move forward.
Conduct feasibility studies
Your team can determine if the project’s goals can be achieved through feasibility studies. All stakeholders must evaluate the pros and con of the project. They also need to determine if you have enough resources, such as data and expertise.
Summarize your findings
Once your feasibility studies have been completed, you can summarize your findings and present them to the stakeholders. A brief summary of your findings (one to two pages) should suffice. You can give the details of your analysis if people require more information.
Get approval from decision-makers
Your project now moves into the hands if they can approve the summary. This is because the investment in the project becomes more prominent.
3Design and analysis
You created a detailed outline of the project’s scope during the planning stage. Based on the information you have gathered in the feasibility study, the design stage of project management allows you to create details about the strategy and let stakeholders move forward.
Your feasibility study estimates that digital transformation will require a $75,000 upfront investment for labor and technology. Your study shows that the plan will result in $250,000 more revenue per year for teams because staff can concentrate on higher-level tasks. The design stage gives you more data to make informed decisions about advancing your project.
If the analysis shows that the project can still move forward it’s time for the next stage.
Also known as execution, development is the part of project management that requires the most time and labor. Everyone involved in a project now knows what tasks must be completed. As part of the project design phase, people may meet up to discuss the successes and challenges in the project.
As people get deeper into their daily work, it is inevitable that some aspects of the project will change. It is important to keep detailed notes about staff problems and how they are solved, especially as you move on to the project management stages.
Monitoring, also known by testing, is done concurrently with development. This is where you remove any bugs from the system and retest it until it works.
If you are a software company, the testing phase is what you need to manage your project.