The 5 Phases of Project
Phase 1: Project Initiation
This is the start of the project, and the goal of this phase is to define the project at a broad level. This phase usually begins with a business case. This is when you will research whether the project is feasible and if it should be undertaken. If feasibility testing needs to be done, this is the stage of the project in which that will be completed.
Phase 2: Project Planning
This phase is key to successful project management and focuses on developing a roadmap that everyone will follow. This phase typically begins with setting goals. Two of the more popular methods for setting goals are S.M.A.R.T. and C.L.E.A.R.:
S.M.A.R.T. Goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
C.L.E.A.R. Goals are Collaborative, Limited, Emotional, Appreciable and Refinable.
Phase 3: Project Execution
This is the phase where deliverables are developed and completed. This often feels like the meat of the project since a lot is happening during this time, like status reports and meetings, development updates, and performance reports. A “kick-off” meeting usually marks the start of the Project Execution phase where the teams involved are informed of their responsibilities.
Phase 4: Project Performance/Monitoring
This is all about measuring project progression and performance and ensuring that everything happening aligns with the project management plan. Project managers will use key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine if the project is on track. A PM will typically pick two to five KPIs to measure project performance.
Phase 5: Project Closure
This phase represents the completed project. Contractors hired to work specifically on the project are terminated at this time. Valuable team members are recognized. Some PMs even organize small work events for people who participated in the project to thank them for their efforts. Once a project is complete, a PM will often hold a meeting – sometimes referred to as a “post mortem” – to evaluate what went well in a project and identify project failures. This is especially helpful to understand lessons learned so that improvements can be made for future projects.