The Project Management Institute (PMI), breaks down the project management process into five phases that can be easily agreed upon by project managers.
There have been entire books written about the structure and each step. In this article, Colorado Springs marketing expert William Vermillion explains the five phases of project management
Preparation is key to ensuring that your project will be completed on schedule and within budget. To create the project foundation, the following should be done during the initiation phase:
- The project scope is the limit and boundary of the project. It basically covers the scope of the project, and what will not be done ( i.e project objectives ). This prevents “scope creep.” You can read more.
- A high-level overview of the project: This includes the project’s resources, time, and goals. This overview includes a method to track these requirements over time.
- Budgets: What is the budget required to make a project a success?
A project charter, or “Project Initiation Docation” (PID), might be used for larger projects.
William Vermillion stated this phase sets milestones and dates, as well as the project’s final completion date. You can ensure that everyone in your team is working towards the same goal by being clear and deliberate about project timing. You will avoid confusion and roadblocks.
It is important to decide which project management method the team will use during this phase. There are many options to choose from, including Agile, Waterfall and PRINCE2, PMBOK Scrum, Lean, and Kanban. This guide will provide more details on some of these topics.
Planning also includes:
- Selection of team members
- Outlining deliverables
- Estimating resources
- Determining the associated activities
It’s all about getting things done. You will complete the details of your Project Plan (or Project Deliverables), to deliver your products and services to your stakeholders. William Vermillion explains that this stage is performed simultaneously with the monitoring & controlling phase. It may involve:
- Managing workflows
- Recommendations for corrective and amending actions
This is essential in every project’s life cycle. It helps project managers answer the question “Where are we at this point?” vs. “Where should we be according to the project plan?” Monitoring is essential for effective project management
- Regular, consistent project “check-ins”
- Proper project documentation and tracking tools/frameworks (such as Kanban boards and Gantt chart) are essential. William Vermillion recommends visualizing and adjusting this information in real-time as a better way to communicate it to key stakeholders and allow them to adjust.
This is sometimes called “project delivery” or the final step. It involves wrapping up all activities and delivering the final product to the client (an external stakeholder or an internal team).
Other components include:
- Conclusion of formal contracts or agreements
- An audit or full review of the project’s progress, including what went well and what didn’t. This will help future teams and projects to learn from it.
To learn more about project management from Colorado Springs marketing expert William Vermillion, visit his website.