Every business irrespective of its size requires a technique to organize work. Project life cycle comprises of various stages of a project executed for its completion. Breakdown of tasks into different phases help in managing the work in a better manner and have complete control over it. It is worth mentioning here that every service or project has a life cycle of its own, but generally, they follow the same stages.
Let's assume a certain person has an idea. He feels it is worth pursuing. He gathers support for his project. You hardly require money or staff at this stage. A project is presented before a committee. They evaluate it, and if selected, you can proceed with the work. It includes budget allocation and other requirements, such as hiring staff.
A delay in the project life cycle is often due to more time spent in the origination phase. Selection of the idea consumes time.
Phase 1 – Initiation
The first and vital phase of the project life cycle acknowledges the processes required to be done. The phase defines the scope and purpose of the project. Research undertaken in this stage is discussed to ensure they meet the goals of the project for it to be considered successful. Management skills are tested. The management evaluates alternatives for tackling risks, dependencies, and constraints. The last step in this is assigning a deadline based on resources available.
Phase 2 – Planning
Planning is the most vital stage where planning for the execution of the project takes place. Since every project is different, so is the approach. Although planning continues all through the project, this phase of the project life cycle is the core of it that comprises answers to several vital questions. Project planning includes planning for resources, finances, quality, risk, communications, procurement, suppliers, and even review of the plan. Plans for undertaking B2B email marketing (if the business requires it) can be thought of during this phase.
Moreover, it establishes the methodology to be followed for completing the project successfully.
Phase 3 – Execution
In the execution phase of the project life cycle, the tasks are assigned and the deliverables constructed. These deliverables include documents, plans, schedule, budget, and the blueprint to complete the project. There is a quality management team that focuses on the changes and defects that need fixing. This analysis helps in making an adjustment to fit project scopes or make compensation for the deliverables that did not meet the deadline.
These deliverables are then presented to the customer before he decides to accept it or not. Generally, the execution phase is the longest phase, but the length cannot be defined. It varies from project to project. After determining the corrective actions, it's time to implement them.
Phase 4 – Closure
The closure phase begins when you enter the closure. In this phase, you hand over the deliverables to the client, finalize billing and contracts, and release resources for future use. This phase determines the success of the project, as well. It evaluates management skills the most. Though the project has got over, the project manager's work is not over yet. He must assess the entire project – what worked and what didn't and to what extent. The onus is on him to look for improvement scope and identify success.
Any small business owner would accept that these phases are essential and a normal part of the business.
However, it is seen that the project management life cycle is poorly implemented in most of the cases despite understanding its importance. These people are in dire need of external help. Some of the best project management software can help them achieve their goal.
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