Every project – regardless of its aim and result, contains three elements: end date, budget, and resources. A typical project has four major phases (each with its own set of tasks): initiation, planning, execution, and closure. These phases represent a path the project takes and are generally referred to as the “project lifecycle.”
It’s important to know where you’re going before you hit the road. At the first phase of the project, we have to gather all the information needed to prepare the specification. We need to define the scope, document project risks, assumptions or constraints, and describe the character of the project. Discover and write down the main motivation, once you’ve done that, start looking for different solutions and pick one that suits best. When the idea is approved it’s time to move to detailed planning and delivering it with the chosen method.
The next phase is where you want to give your project as much detail as possible and the steps that need to be taken in order to complete it. The manager and the team identify all of the work to be done. A project plan is created outlining the activities, tasks, dependencies, and timeframes. The project manager has to remember about the budget which is used to monitor and control expenses during the whole project.
Implementation (Execution) Phase
This is when the actual work of the project is performed. Required materials, tools, and resources are transformed to products. During this phase, performance is continually measured to ensure the project is successful. Even the best plan that we’ve prepared for this moment won’t be perfect so you should be prepared to make appropriate adjustments that may influence the next phase, as well as the final outcome. Change is a natural part of every project so don’t be afraid to make it – as long as it will add to the value. Nonetheless, you should remember to place these adjustments at the right stage of the process. There’s nothing worse than last minute changes or task imbalance.
During the implementation phase, it’s good to deliver the outputs to the customer, to gather feedback and get final acceptance.
The purpose of the closure phase is to verify if the project has met all the agreed goals and deliverables. We always make sure that the client has a product that works in his favor and fits all needs of the company.
Many projects skip this phase. Once the execution phase is complete, they deliver the product and move on. At Inwedo, we believe that closing phase is just as important, and allows the team to gain valuable knowledge of the project. This way you can find out if the project objectives have really been met, and what to improve and work on in the future.
All the time
Monitoring and controlling the project, as well as the general project management and knowledge transfer are the things that should be an ongoing process.
If you want to meet your goals don’t cut project corners, and make sure you go all the way through the project lifecycle. It’s a vital circle that affects your company. Knowledge and insights gained in the process may help your company succeed and stand out to your target customers.