Saturday 17 July 2021

Project Life Cycle: A Simple Formula for Effective Management

Every organization, be it a startup or an international corporation, is interested in the successful implementation of projects. Although each of them requires an individual approach, all projects have a similar structure.

In other words, no matter what methodology is chosen to manage the project,each of them will always have a beginning, middle and completion. This is the lifecycle of a project.

People who do not specialize in project management may think that it is not so difficult to conduct: it is enough to agree with the client, make a plan and specify deadlines.

From our article you will learn what the life cycle of the project is and how it is useful to divide the project into stages.

What is the lifecycle of a project?

The lifecycle of a project is a sequence of steps through which projects go from initiation to completion, regardless of their specificity.

A clear understanding of these phases allows managers and managers to control projects as effectively as possible. The goal of the lifecycle is to create an easy-to-use structure for project management and management.

According to surveys by the Institute for Project Management (PMI), on average, organizations lose almost 10% of every dollar invested due to low productivity. About one in three projects do not meet the original target, 43% go beyond the budget, and almost half (48%) of the project is not up to the budget. not completed on time.

At the same time, 85% of senior managers believe that their organizations are working at full capacity and achieve their strategic goals. This discrepancy in numbers causes significant financial losses for businesses around the world.

The lifecycle of the project helps:

Improve communication between the team and customers.
Be sure that the goal is achievable with the resources available.
Manage risks and minimize them.

What are the phases of the project's life cycle?

Project lifecycle phases

According to Project Management Body of Knowledge,or PMBOK, the life cycle consists of five phases:

  • initiation.
  • planning.
  • execution.
  • control.
  • completion.

As a rule, the phases of the cycle go sequentially, one by one. But it's different. If you see changes during the implementation, you can always go back to the planning stage to adjust the team's work in the future.

Let's look at each phase of the life cycle individually.

1. Initiation

Initiation is the start of work on the concept, preparation for its planning and implementation. First, determine what the team is facing and whether your idea will help solve the problem. If the answer is yes, start writing a concept and an economic rationale, as well as finding partners.

The initiation phase involves many discussions, research and analysis. In meetings with potential partners, try to find out what is important to them, what projects they have conducted in the past and what they expect from the future.

The aim of this phase is to identify common goals that will lead each side to the desired outcome.

Once agreements have been reached, it is necessary to fix the main talking points and agreements in the statute of the draft. The Charter is a formal, rather concise document that describes the project. It is an important part of planning because it is used throughout the lifecycle of the project and helps to resolve all the controversial issues throughout the workflow.

The charter reflects the following information about the project:

  • Purpose and mission.
  • advantages.
  • Possible risks.
  • The planned budget and timing.
  • Key partners/stakeholders.
  • Planning
  • When the documents are signed and the terms are finalized by the interested parties, the planning stage begins.

Now the manager moves on to creating a detailed project plan (or roadmap) that each team member can access at any stage of the workflow. The document details details and objectives that are in line with the expectations of the parties.

During the planning phase, the manager breaks down the workflow into small tasks, creates a command, distributes roles, develops a step-by-step sequence of tasks and denotes deadlines. To have a better chance of success, it's important to make sure that there are enough resources for each of them.

It is worth noting that the Gant chart is a great tool for creating and controlling a roadmap. Charts are ideal for scheduling and charting and for further tracking progress at all phases of the life cycle.

With the Gant diagram, you can also:

  • Create dependencies, are the values.
  • Keep an eye on each team member's workload.
  • Interact with the team.
  • Create reports.
  • Export files to popular formats.
  • Work with project portfolios.
  • Share the charts.
  • Create work and personal calendars
  • and more.

When the schedule is ready, key roles and areas of responsibility are identified, possible risks and ways of preventing them are identified, and the budget is planned, the time for an organizational meeting is planned.

During this meeting, the manager presents the project and its goals, discusses with the team the most important stages of the plan, answers questions, and introduces everyone to the tools that the team will use in the process. After the general meeting, each team member should have a clear idea of the project as a whole, its stages and their implementation.

To do this, after the meeting, it is recommended that participants be given permanent access to the project plan. Thus, team members will be able to be constantly aware of the affairs and changes during the workflow.

3. Execution

Now that the project has been approved, the team is formed and ready to get down to business, the workflow goes to the execution phase.

The manager's task at this stage is to monitor the synchronized running of all departments and make sure that everyone is doing their job.

4. Control

This phase usually coincides with the initiation phase. Because to achieve the goals and complete the project as successfully as possible, it is not enough just to successfully start the workflow. The manager needs to be constantly monitored to ensure that the team follows the original plan.

Therefore, in this phase of the life cycle, the manager controls resources and timely performance of tasks, coordinates team members, promptly makes edits to the project plan in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Changes in the plan at this stage are absolutely normal. Flexibility in this case even plays into the hands. After all, the sooner the problem is identified, the faster it will be solved. And don't forget that all innovations must be agreed with the customer.

Hold interim meetings with the team. At these meetings, the manager collects feedback from project participants about the workflow, discusses innovations and adjustments. Also, joint discussions of contentious issues often lead to new, often more effective solutions to problem situations.

5. Completion

This is the last stage, meaning its official end. But do not immediately wash your hands and switch to the following tasks. In order to leave a pleasant impression of the professionalism and work of the team, an experienced manager:

  • He will hand over the project along with documentation to the client or team that will lead it in the future.
  • He will "work on errors." At this final meeting, the team will learn useful lessons from the successes and failures of the project.
  • Will report on the success of the event to customers and managers who were interested in the results of the team.
  • Place documentation in a centralized store for easy access to it in the future.
  • The project has now been officially completed.

Gantt PRO is an online project management tool based on the Gantt chart. The service easily allows you to divide projects into phases, as well as to observe and control all processes of their life cycle.

Try it for free!

An example of the project's lifecycle

Let's take a closer look at all the stages of the lifecycle by planning, organizing, and hosting a music festival.

Thus, at the initiation stage it is necessary:

  1. To formulate the goals of the project.
  2. To study the problem. In other words, to analyze existing festivals, to identify the needs of the target audience.
  3. To think about the concept and purpose of this festival.
  4. To justify the implementation of the event from an economic point of view.
  5. Find potential partners and schedule appointments with them.
  6. Write a document that provides a summary of the project (information on the objectives, partners, timing and budget of the event).

When partners are found and the documents are signed, we draw up a more detailed plan of action(planning phase). To do this, you need:

  • To prescribe the goals and purpose of the planned festival.
  • Identify partners, customers, contractors and other stakeholders.
  • Break the training into parts (booking artists, searching and arrangement with the site, stage editing, design, media work, etc.) and draw up a clear calendar schedule of each of the stages.
  • Assemble a team, appoint those responsible in each of the departments.
  • Describe possible risks and ways to prevent them (for example, in case of heavy rain will be prepared free raincoats).
  • Now that the team of the upcoming music festival has familiarized themselves with the detailed plan, we can safely start the workflow(the execution phase).

Active preparatory work begins: search for a venue, negotiations with musicians, development of the festival visual, its announcement and so on.

Next, the team goes to work on the location. Installation of the stage, monitors, sound equipment. On the territory of the festival there are play areas, recreation areas, food courts and many other entertainment.

General rehearsals are held, water is purchased, dressing rooms and a press area are prepared. And now, finally, the day of the event comes.

All the while, the project manager (or managers) control every task, every workflow(control phase). In the case of force manure, the manager promptly solves problems, adjusts the plan, and changes are discussed and agreed with the team at intermediate meetings.

The festival has passed, the audience is delighted, the stage is dismantled. Small case: close the documentation and discuss with the team the results of the work(the completion stage).

Now you can relax and celebrate with colleagues another successful case.


At times, project management seems to be overwhelming. However, dividing the project into five separate phases, called project lifecycle, will help the team spend time and resources wisely, increasing the chances of success of projects of any size and complexity.

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