Project Management Processes, Methodologies and Lifecycles

By Aradhya Kumar

Last updated on Feb 9 2022

Project Management Processes, Methodologies and Lifecycles

Project Management Processes Explained

When it comes to building a structure or launching an app or launching marketing campaigns, every project needs a set of steps to make it happen. These project management processes are fairly consistent regardless of the field or type of product to be delivered. What is the purpose of these process management practices and what are they made up of?

 

Five project management processes

The guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) breaks down the management of projects into five phases that are known as "process groupings." The project management processes are generally grouped and described as follows:

Beginning: During this phase projects are conceptualized and feasibility of the project is assessed. According to the SME Toolkit, some of the tasks to be completed in this process are determining the goal of the project; the scope of the project as well as identifying the project's managers and the most important participants; identifying risks, and creating estimates of budget and timeframe.

  • Plan: Next, the project manager will design an outline that will guide the project from concept to final. This blueprint will define the project's scope, resources needed to produce the deliverables, estimated time and commitments to financials; a strategy for communication to ensure that all stakeholders are informed and in the loop in the execution plan and an ongoing maintenance plan. If the project hasn't had its approval yet, the document is a crucial element of your pitch. This is a crucial part of the project planning process.

 

  • Implementing the project manager will manage the required procurement for the project as well as staff the team. The achievement of the project's objectives will require effective leadership of team members in the field. PMs are accountable in delegating and supervising the tasks of the project, while maintaining good relations with team members as well as keeping the project within the budget and timeframe. The PM should therefore be highly organized and a superb leader. This is because they'll have to resolve team issues and other issues that come up during the course of their work, which requires constant and clear communication with team members and other stakeholders. This is a pivotal part of the project planning phase as plan of execution is vital.

 

  • Monitoring and Control: During this process, the project managers are able to closely monitor the project's progress in order to ensure that it's developing in a proper manner. Documentation, such as data collection, verbal and written status reports can be utilized. "Monitoring and controlling is closely connected to planning projects. Planning is what determines what needs to be accomplished. Monitoring and controlling will determine the extent to which it was done," explains SME Toolkit. "Monitoring will reveal any needed correction or changes to the project in order to ensure that the project is in the right direction."

 

  • Closing: The closing process group takes place after the project deliverables are created and the project stakeholders have validated and accepted the deliverables. In this phase the project manager must end contracts with external vendors, supplier’s consultants, and third-party service providers. Documentation will be archived and a final report will be created. Additionally, the last part of the plan for the project -the plan for troubleshooting and maintenance will be implemented. This rounds up the various groupings of project management processes.

 

What is the Project Life Cycle?

The Life Cycle of Projects is a four-step procedure that is followed by almost every project manager when going through the phases of the project's finalization.

This is the typical project life-cycle that most people know about. These steps in project planning provide a structure for managing all kind of projects in a company. Project managers have conducted studies to find the best method to manage projects. It was discovered that following a life cycle is crucial for any company that provides services. Following the Life Cycle of a project is the most common method by which teams succeed in their projects.

The professional Services Life Cycle is in place because the typical life cycle of a project doesn't satisfy everyone's requirements. The process is not particularly well-known but is gaining popularity. The typical life cycle for projects can be used by some project managers, however professional services require a more comprehensive procedure. Unlike other businesses, in case of professional services, their primary product are their staff. Professional services offer their expertise to other businesses to earn a profit. Because of the continuous involvement of customers in professional services, they require the creation of a distinct project life cycle which requires a continuous feedback loop that ensures the success of the project. Understanding these cycles is crucial to get a deeper understanding of the various things that constitute project management processes.

 

The Project Risk Management

It refers to the process of continuously identifying, analyzing and responding to possible risks to the project. The definition of a Project risk could be anything that can hinder the project's success, delay in the project's timeline, causes going over-budget, or resulting in a reduction in project performance in another way.

Through effective risk management it is possible to address any risks that may arise during the course of your project. This will help you reduce the risks to ensure that your project is on time, within budget, and on schedule.

A good project risk management strategy isn't reactive. It's proactive. In the ideal scenario, you'll need to develop your risk management strategy during the project planning stage. So, you'll be able to be the best judge of any risks, and the impact they could have and track those risks during the course of the project. Instead of being in the dark, you'll keep an eye on the potential risks should they turn into a problem. Risk process management is after all crucial in decreasing costs of the operation.

If you're looking to reduce the risk of a project in a process that has already begun or started take a look at it to apply the concept of constraint. The theory of constraint is a method to determine the weakest link in the process or project, and then address it in order to decrease the risk. Managing risks in a project is an integral part of the project management processes.

 

Project Management Methodologies

 

A project management method is a set of guidelines and procedures that help the way you organize your projects to ensure optimal efficiency. It's basically an approach that will help you control projects in the most effective method possible.

The management of project is vital for teams and organizations however, for it to be truly efficient, you have to ensure that you are mapping the process of managing your project to your team's type and project type, as well as your organization and the goals. There are no two projects that are identical (even when you're using helpful features such as templates to duplicate your previous successes). In addition, when you take into account the diverse objectives, KPIs and production techniques of not just teams of different types but also various types of industries It's clear that there's no universal solution to managing the project.

What is most effective for one team can be a total nightmare for another team. For instance, the majority of software developers began to realize that the traditional methods for managing projects had a negative impact, rather than assisting their workflows, which in-turn negatively affected their efficiency and performance. The result was that software teams started to create a brand-new method for managing projects that was developed to address their specific concerns.

After a while other industries and teams began to adapt the new methodologies for managing projects to suit their particular needs and requirements. It went on and on using different methods of managing projects being reused and modified to different industries, and tweaked to suit specific scenarios.

We're left with many different methods for managing projects that we can choose from. How do you determine the best project management strategy for you and your team? Read on to find out!

 

Project Planning and Management

In order to bring a project to completion, the manager must create a plan for the project. The plan outlines the costs, scope and timeline of the undertaking. It defines precisely what tasks and activities will be needed and the necessary resources from equipment to personnel to financing, and how they are able to be sourced. A well-planned project also takes in the risk and ways to manage it, which includes contingency plans and an approach to communication to keep everyone informed and engaged.

A project manager prepares the plan for managing the project based on suggestions from the project team as well as important participants. A project Management Plan is an official, endorsed document that outlines the manner in which the project will be executed tracked, monitored, and managed. It can be a summary or a full-length document that can include baselines, subsidiary management plans, as well as other plans documents. This document will determine the method that the team of project managers will use to complete the project management requirements of the project.

The work progresses and the efficiency of the undertaking is assessed by what is known as the measure of the performance baseline which is part of the management plan of the project. A scope baseline as well as the schedule baseline as well as the cost baseline, are called the baseline for performance measurement. If there deviations from the baseline when the work is being completed the project manager must deal with the issue by making adjustments to fix the deviation. If these adjustments don't rectify the deviations, formal changes to the baselines will be required.

 

Project Management Life Cycle

The life cycle of managing projects defines the high-level process for delivering an effective project. In every dollar spent in projects by businesses within the United States, $122 million was wasted because of poor performance of the project as per Project Management Institute Research.

The waste of money and resources can be prevented by effective management of projects, since nearly 57% of unproductive projects fail because of communication issues. Through the phases of the management cycle when you have an idea for a new project, establish its objectives and plan the implementation, and then ensure that it is completed.

The project management lifecycle is typically divided into 4 phases: initiation planning implementation, execution and closing. These four phases form the route that will take your project from its beginning until the point of completion.

Note: Some methods include a fifth stage--controlling or monitoring. However, in our case, that is covered by the execution and closing phases.

 

Project Controlling

Effective project control can be used to provide timely information about the project which allows the project manager to implement corrective actions to ensure the project is on the right track. Project control is a way of comparing plans for objectives as well as risks, requirements budgets, schedules, and requirements against the actual results being accomplished. The base of these goals and metrics comes from the initial business analysis that identifies the requirements of the project. Any weaknesses in the business analysis directly correlate to major issues and deviations from the project.
Project Control involves the regular examination of reports and metrics which will reveal any deviations from the baseline project. The variances are assessed by comparing the performance metrics during the Execution Phase against the baseline metrics set at the time of the Plan Phase. These variances are integrated into control processes to assess their significance.

The impact on Project Control
Project Control has a direct relationship to project's progress and stakeholder's expectations. Projects seldom fail due to a single issue. Failure is more often the result of a series of small problems which, when taken individually, have a negative impact in a particular area of the project but, when taken over the entire scope of the project, these small factors can result in significant changes on schedule, cost or risk. They could manifest in the form of deviations from the initial Project Plan. Controlling processes and processes controlling is basically controlling and monitoring the key elements of project management, such as quality, scope, timing and cost. The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK(r) Guide) defines the most important controlling procedures as:

* Control of integration changes
* Control of scope change and verification of scope
* Control of the schedule
* Controlling and monitoring risks
* Quality control

* Cost Control
* Project progress and performance reports.

 

Taking the help of a reputed accreditation platform like Sprintzeal to understand the various stages of project management can prove quite beneficial for those looking to upgrade their skillset. Right from the initiation of project the process management plan needs to be in place. This is why having an understanding of project management processes or an understanding of the various phases of a project can prove to be quite useful. One needs to be able to change management plan as per the intricacies of every unique project.

 

Phases of Project Management

Managing a project isn't a simple task, no matter how big or broad the requirements are. From planning the smallest details to coping with the constantly changing demands of clients to delivering the products on time, there are many things that can be wrong. When you split the task into manageable steps each with its own set of goals and deliverables it's easier to manage the process and the quality of your output. Understanding these project management phases is crucial to understanding project management processes.

The planning and effort needed to finish a project could be overwhelming. There are dozens and even hundreds that have to get completed at the required time and in the proper order. Project managers usually are able to better manage the whole extent of a project by breaking it down into five phases that comprise the life cycle of managing projects. These different stages of project management are what ultimately constitute project management processes.

Differing your work into these five management phases can provide structure and help to simplify them into easy-to-follow steps.

 

Project Initiation

The initial phase of the life cycle is the project's inception. This is the time when the value of the project and its feasibility is assessed. Project managers usually use two assessment tools to determine which option to go ahead with the project:

  • Business Case Document This document explains the necessity of the project and contains an estimate of the potential financial advantages.
  • Feasibility study This is a review of the project's objectives timeframe and expenses to determine whether the project can be completed. It weighs the needs of the project and the available resources to determine if taking on the project is a good idea.

Teams stop pursuing projects that are considered to be inefficient and/or impossible to implement. If they are able to pass these two tests then they may become part of specific project staff or appointed project office.

 

Project Plan

A project plan is a collection of formal documents that outline the control and execution phases of the plan. The plan includes aspects of managing risk communication, resource management, risk management, and also addresses the scope, cost and schedule benchmarks. Software for planning projects is utilized by managers of projects to make sure the plans they create are complete as well as robust. The plans, sometimes known as the planning for project management, addresses the who, which, what, when, why, how, and at what time of the project. It's more than just a graph that lists tasks and due dates. The aim of a plan is to direct the execution and monitoring of project phases.

 

Project Execution

The execution stage is the part of the project when everything that your team has thought of is implemented.
Your team will do all it can to get projects started with a positive start. The kickoff meetings are held to ensure that all-important people are on the same page. You sketch out detailed timelines and work with everyone on a plan for the project. The pieces are set. Then...the wheels break off.

Deadlines are repeated. This project plan has become more of a suggestion than a guideline. There's frustration, confusion and you're all feeling as if you've wasted the time spent trying to get your ducks in the right order.

What's the issue? Your project's plan is flawless; however, your execution of the project is seriously inadequate.

Project execution is working hard and executing everything you've written in your project plan. Simply put, you're using the strategies to make sure the project gets to the final stage.

There is also the possibility of hearing the term "project execution" used to refer to project implementation. It's a fancy term that means the same thing.

Execution is the 3rd phase in the normal lifecycle of projects with four phases that include initiation, planning execution, and finally, closure.

 

Most Popular and High Paying Project Management Certifications:

PMP® Certification

CAPM® Certified Associate Project Management

PRINCE2® Foundation Practitioner

PgMP® Exam Prep training

 

Project Monitoring and Control

Project Monitoring and Control activities take place in conjunction with Project Execution Process Group activities to ensure that, as the project work is carried out the project is monitored and controlled through implementation of the proper level of supervision and corrective actions.

The project is monitored and compared regularly to the plan of work to ensure that the project stays within acceptable deviations in the cost, schedule, and scope. It also ensures that risks and challenges are continuously evaluated and rectified as required.

The reason for monitoring and controlling processes is to detect issues before they occur and take corrective actions. Corrective action may mean revisiting the Planning Process Group and updating the Project Management Plan as needed with the ultimate aim to bring the plan in line with the project's goals and limitations and improving the future process to prevent repeating the same mistakes.

Conclusion

Learning the art of managing projects and curating it to the specific needs of the company can go a long way in increasing the efficiency of a project and in a larger context, the company itself. Therefore, it has become a highly sought-after skill-set among recruiters. After all the Project management processes are what determines the efficiency of the workplace.

Therefore, with further ado, it would be prudent to take the help of a qualified platform like Sprintzeal and start learning the art of understanding project management processes and learning in-depth the subject of project management planning.

To get details about the best project management certifications, chat with a course expert

 

About the Author

Sprintzeal   Aradhya Kumar

With years of experience and a vast amount of knowledge in Project Management, Agile Management, Scrum, and other popular domains, Aradhya Kumar is well-versed in creating content for audiences from various fields and industries.

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