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5 Basic Phases of Project Management

5 Basic Phases of Project Management

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Published by Aditi Mahajan

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Published by: Aditi Mahajan on Jun 26, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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5 Basic Phases of Project Management:
Project Management Institute, Inc. (PMI) defines project management as "the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to a broad range of activities in order to meet therequirements of a particular project." The process of directing and controlling a project from startto finish may be further divided into 5 basic phases:
Project conception and initiation
An idea for a project will be carefully examined to determine whether or not it benefits theorganization. During this phase, a decision making team will identify if the project can realistically be completed.
Project definition and planning
A project plan, project charter and/or project scope may be put in writing, outlining the work to be performed. During this phase, a team should prioritize the project, calculate a budget and schedule,and determine what resources are needed.
Project launch or execution
Resources and tasks are distributed and teams are informed of responsibilities. This is a good timeto bring up important project related information.
Project performance and control
Project managers will compare project status and progress to the actual plan, as resources performthe scheduled work. During this phase, project managers may need to adjust schedules or do whatis necessary to keep the project on track.
. Project close
After project tasks are completed and the client has approved the outcome, an evaluation isnecessary to highlight project success and/or learn from project history.Projects and project management processes vary from industry to industry; however, these aremore traditional elements of a project. The overarching goal is typically to offer a product, changea process or to solve a problem in order to benefit the organization.
The initiating processes determine the nature and scope of the project. If this stage is not performedwell, it is unlikely that the project will be successful in meeting the business’ needs. The key project controls needed here are an understanding of the business environment and making surethat all necessary controls are incorporated into the project. Any deficiencies should be reportedand a recommendation should be made to fix them.The initiating stage should include a plan that encompasses the following areas:
analyzing the businessneeds/requirements in measurable goals
reviewing of the currentoperations
financial analysisof the costs and benefits including a budget
stakeholder analysis, including users, and support personnel for the project
 project charteincluding costs, tasks, deliverables,and schedule
Planning and design
After the initiation stage, the project is planned to an appropriate level of detail. The main purposeis to plan time, cost and resources adequately to estimate the work needed and to effectivelymanage risk during project execution. As with the Initiation process group, a failure to adequately plan greatly reduces the project's chances of successfully accomplishing its goals.sgenerally consists of 
determining how to plan (e.g. by level of detail or rolling wave);
developing the scope statement;
selecting the planning team;
identifying deliverables and creating the work breakdown structure;
identifying the activities needed to complete those deliverables and networking theactivities in their logical sequence;
estimating the resource requirements for the activities;
estimating time and cost for activities;
developing the schedule;
developing the budget;
risk planning;
gaining formal approval to begin work Additional processes, such as planning for communications and for scope management, identifyingroles and responsibilities, determining what to purchase for the project and holding a kick-off meeting are also generally advisable.For  new product developmentprojects, conceptual design of the operation of the final product may  be performed concurrent with the project planning activities, and may help to inform the planningteam when identifying deliverables and planning activities.
Executing consists of the processes used to complete the work defined in the project plan toaccomplish the project's requirements. Execution process involves coordinating people andresources, as well as integrating and performing the activities of the project in accordance with the project management plan. The deliverables are produced as outputs from the processes performedas defined in the project management plan and other frameworks that might be applicable to thetype of project at hand.
Monitoring and controlling
Monitoring and controlling consists of those processes performed to observe project execution sothat potential problems can be identified in a timely manner and corrective action can be taken,when necessary, to control the execution of the project. The key benefit is that project performanceis observed and measured regularly to identify variances from the project management plan.Monitoring and controlling includes:
Measuring the ongoing project activities ('where we are');
Monitoring the project variables (cost, effort, scope, etc.) against the project management plan and the project performance baseline (
where we should be

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