How to Manage a Project

Project Management

The Project Life Cycle    

All projects progress through five phases:     

Five Project Stages 

All project and project-like activities progress through these phases - take activities either at work or at home. For example, they apply to a new procedure, a new building, a new policy, a move of house or a holiday. They simply represent the dynamics of all projects.

Key Points: 

  1. Which are the key phases?
    All projects progress through these five phases. However, for some projects the early phases of concept and feasibility are the key ones, particularly creative projects such as an advertising campaign or a novel. For others the later phases of planning and implementation are the key ones, particularly delivery projects such as building a house.
  2. Pacing the project
    When managing a project, it is important to "pace" the project - manage the time spent in the different phases. For example, not to spend too long on the early phases at the expense of the later ones.
  3. The work in different phases
    The work carried out in the different phases is quite different, and may well be carried out by different groups. Possibly all of us are more suited to one phase than another.
  4. Overlap of phases
    In the diagram the phases are quite clear-cut and distinct. In practice the sequence and move from one phase to another is rarely quite as neat and clear-cut as that. There is often some overlap and lack of clarity where one phase ends and another starts.