Project Management Phases Explained

By Arthi

Last updated on Mar 25 2022

Project Management Phases Explained

What is a Project Management Phase?


Project management phases are used to create the complete outline for the project. This helps the project manager and the project team to reach their goal. The project management phase is developed by the Project management Institute (PMI) project phase. The project management life cycle uses specific knowledge, skill, and techniques to deliver valuable information to the users. The main purpose of project management is to deliver the project within the timeframe. Project management uses several elements to progress data groups and a control system. It can be a successful project or an unsuccessful project based on the performance, requirements, etc.


Five Phases of Project Management

The project management process is the sequence of phases that represent the advancement of a product from abstraction to delivery, maturity, and finally retirement.


The essential steps of the project management process are:


  • Project initiation & conception
  • Project planning
  • Project execution
  • Project monitoring & controlling
  • Project closure


The project manager follows the same steps in project management to perform well and to reach the goal.

 PMP Certification


Project Initiation & Conception

Project initiation is the most critical phase of the project management process. The objectives help to identify the process and the project goals. It usually works on the business case to do the primary research on project achievability. A project usually arises for two main reasons; one is to solve the problem to reach the goal and the other one is to explore new ways to do business.


For example; if a company is looking to reduce the number of customer service messages they receive, they would research and explore what’s the reason behind a high number of messages. This research would inform the way to reduce the number of messages.


The project outline’s purpose is to understand the challenges and goals through the business case. And it works better to involve the stakeholder and client’s alignment based on their requirements.


Here are some steps included:


  • Project proposal - It gives the idea behind the project to reach the overall goal on time.
  • Project scope - It helps to find the project direction and track.
  • Product breakdown structure (PBS) - It delivers the hierarchy and the outcome.
  • Work breakdown structure (WBS) - to get the work done it uses the hierarchy to perform daily tasks.
  • Responsibility assignment matrix (RACI) - It works with the role and responsibilities aligned to the outcome.
  • Tentative project schedule - To reach the milestones, it works with important dates before the deadline.
  • Requirements of business analysis based on measurable goals.
  • Review the current operation to reach the next level.
  • The budget includes the financial analysis of the costs and benefits.
  • The project charter includes cost, tasks, deliverables, and schedules.
  • SWOT analysis - It refers to strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the business.


 All these above-recorded series of documents are called project initiation documents. The use of this series is to create well-planned documents and timing. Initially, the process determines the nature of the project to perform well. Some key project controls are needed to understand the business environment.



The second stage of the project management phase is planning. The main purpose of planning is to plan time, cost, and resources to work efficiently and to manage the risk during the project execution. It reduces the failures initially which increases the project's chance to reach the goal successfully.


Project planning generally consists of:


  • Strictly follows the project management methodology.
  • Helps to develop the scope statement.
  • It identifies the easy deliverables and creates the product to work with breakdown structures.
  • Their logical sequences activity controls the complete networking.
  • Evaluates the resources required for the activities.
  • Evaluate the time and cost of activities.
  • Develops the scheduling.
  • Develops the budget.
  • Risk planning.
  • Evaluate quality assurance measures.
  • Helps to gain formal approval to begin work.

 Stages of project planning sessions work for the management for communication, identifying the roles and responsibilities generally.


Some subsections help in planning, they are communication plans, and risk management plans.


Communication plan: A communication plan is valuable when it works for a large team if the stockholder is from outside the organization. A communication plan needs to set expectations to communicate with stakeholders informatively. The information that they provide, should include dates, check-ins, status reports, and other meetings.


Risk management plan: The risk management plan is the last part of the planning strategy in project management. And it's necessary to check the risk plan in each place. A risk management plan identifies the predictable risk to avoid.  And it is the project manager's job to examine the risk and report to the team. Best way to create a simple outline for a risk management plan.

  • Title of the risk
  • Details of the risk
  • Why it exists
  • A plan for the risk and how to avoid risk and solve risk
  • Additional notes for the team and stakeholders to understand.


Therefore, risk management provides input to the project management team.


Project execution

Project execution is the longest process of project management. It works in terms of collaborating, reviewing work, presenting to stakeholders, and revising. Before starting project execution, a project manager examines the previous project phase, to perform well in the current project. Hence a project manager takes complete responsibility to guide the team and stakeholders throughout the project execution.


 During this project execution, a project manager is responsible for:

  • Budget management
  • Timeline management
  • Resource planning
  • Change management
  • Risk management
  • Quality management
  • Internal deliverable reviews
  • Team meeting management
  • Communication and facilitation


A project brief, scope, and plans serve as their source of truth in the project execution. All these documents help to decide for the project manager. At the same time, a project manager needs to glance at the team and their job. This can be done regularly for the team check-ins, conversations, status reports, timeline review, and budget tracking.


Having a unique platform to track the project, timeline, resources, and communications certainly makes managing a project easier. Mainly a project manager should be aware of, whether the planned terms are executed perfectly. The implementation phase and the project management plans are executed accordingly. The result of this phase is the project deliverables.


Documentation:  Project management documentation by phase is the project key to any successful project. A physical document of each specific task such as budget, scope effectiveness, and pace of a project needs to be maintained with correct documents. It is easy to analyze whether a project's requirements have been met. Project documentation provides complete information about the project. In most cases, the documentation helps in monitoring and controlling the specific phases of a project. The successful place can be observed in the project process. Documentation can be the backbone of the project’s success if it performs correctly.


Monitoring and controlling:

Project execution observes the process of monitoring and controlling constantly. And the potential problems can be identified promptly. It takes the action to correct the problem if it is necessary to control the execution of the project. With the help of key benefits, the project performance can be observed and measured continuously to identify variances from the project management plan.


Monitoring and controlling includes:

  • It measures the ongoing project execution phase activities where the project and the project management team are present.
  • Monitoring the project variables such as cost, effort, scope, etc., and performing a baseline for the project management plan.
  • To get on to the track again, it serves to identify the corrective actions to address issues and risks properly.
  • Influencing the factors that can help the integrated change control to implement.

Contracts, scholars in business, and management are the two main mechanisms that support monitoring and controlling the project. Contracts work to set an offer for rules and incentives often supported by possible penalties and sanctions. And the scholars in business and management work for paid attention to the role of integrators to achieve project objectives. Sometimes monitoring mechanisms operate as substitutes for contracts and integrators to interplay in the project management life cycle. The organization might decrease the advantage of using the mechanisms. And it provides feedback between project phases to implement corrective actions to lead the project into compliance with the project management plan.


Project maintenances ongoing process includes:

  • It supports the end-users to continue.
  • Correction of errors
  • And it updates the product over time.


 For any project, the work scope might change. It is a normal and expected part of any project. The change can be the design modification, differing site conditions, material availability, contractor-requested changes, value engineering, and may impact the other parties.


A part of the project monitoring phase can include:

  • Project goals
  • Quality of deliverables
  • Team performance


Project goal: it plays a very big responsibility in project management. The project manager and the team must understand the project goal. To make a decision, use the important goals such as design, functionality, and any new requests.


Quality of deliverables: Quality needs to be consulted with leadership on company is better to review all deliverables before sent to work on the present one.


Team performance: when it comes to team performance, a project manager is responsible for the management of the team. And the success always depends on the project team's performance. If the team finds any difficulties it needs to be addressed to a project manager.


Project closure:

In the project closure phase, the team would follow certain procedures to close the project to hand over to the stakeholder. Many organizations may not take time to close down a project properly. It hardly takes a few hours to close properly, reflect, and time to celebrate a project. Here are some steps to consider.


Celebrate the project: once the project is launched successfully, it is time to appreciate the team and stakeholders by gathering them.  And the project management needs to congratulate them for their hard work.


Hold a retrospective meeting: it is important to conduct a retrospective meeting for the entire management team to discuss where the projects are not performing well. Hence, record the results, suggestions and share notes with the organization to improve the project in the future.


Create a project closure report:  maintaining the project report with details might help the organization. Information might include:


  • Project name
  • Stated goals
  • Initiation date
  • Deadline vs delivery
  • Project budget vs actual budget used
  • Number of the team members
  • Stakeholders involved
  • Project issues and points
  • General comments

Hence these valuable points would help the project team to learn from experience and apply them to future projects.


PMP Certification


It is common to use cloud-based project management software to sort the documents related to the projects. generally, a project's multiple phases result from the appearance and liability of the project. In past, spreadsheets and post-it notes were sufficient for project management, and it is completely different requirements in digital project management. In the project management phase, it helps track the projects, with the right tools to plan and organize them well. To simplify the project management phases for each project, the online project management cycle is used.


After the achievement of the project, there might be a few unused project resources. It can include the remaining budget, that can be used by the project manager later. these are called excess resources and budgets to prevent wastage. This is the last step of the project life cycle in project management.


Sprintzeal offers Project Management program certification and courses globally.


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About the Author

Sprintzeal   Arthi

Arthi is a content writer at Sprintzeal. She is fond of creating informative content for readers in the Education Domain. Her work is focused on professionals aiming to upskill in their careers.

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