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Project Management Cycle: The Four Vital Development Phases

What is the difference between a project and a programme? A project is a temporary endeavour that has a definite start and end. Also, unlike a programme, it has a defined scope and limited resources. Thus, every project is unique as compared to the mundane activities carried out at a particular organisation.

Considering the expertise required for these unique projects, the project team comprises people that don’t usually work together. They belong to different departments and, based on their expertise, they are grouped for a project. This is where the concept of project management emerges.

Project management integrates knowledge and uses the team’s skills to meet the objectives of a particular project. Whether it is a small-scale or multi-departmental task, the management cycle is strictly followed to understand the project implications.

The project management cycle contains four phases, which are discussed below:

  • Initiation

    Firstly, you need to identify a problem to rectify it and to optimise your business’ performance. During this step, you need to come up with relevant ideas that can help solve problems on the list. Next, you should determine whether the project is feasible and if it meets the business objectives.

    The steps for the initiation phase are discussed below in detail:

    • Conduct a Feasibility Study

      You must highlight the main problem that the proposed project will solve. Also, assess if the project is feasible enough to meet the objectives and deliver successful results.

    • Identify Scope

      You must comprehend the project’s viability to meet long-term company goals. Define the length and breadth of the project with close observation.

    • List Deliverables

      You must identify the services and products that are to be provided from the proposed project.

    • Locate Project Stakeholders

      You must assess the needs of stakeholders and outline questions they may have in this regard.

    • Prepare a Business Case

      You must document the project objectives based on the collected information stated above. Also, you must document the potential cost and the expected benefits of the project.

  • Planning

    After the business case is approved, you must concentrate on the planning phase. This includes:

    • Splitting the project into smaller tasks.
    • Building a work team.
    • Preparing a work schedule.

    To meet these objectives mentioned above, the planning phase comprises the following steps:

    • Draft a Project Plan

      This document should embody the project timeline and its different phases. Also, it should highlight the probable working constraints.

    • Produce Simulations and Diagrams

      After picking up a work team, you need to brief them about their job roles. For this purpose, you must prepare workflows to assist your team. Also, if your project involves designing, you must prepare simulations to help your team members visualise the project with mutual discussion.

    • Create a Financial Plan

      At this stage, you must calculate the maximum return on investment by estimating the project’s total budget.

  • Execution

    This phase is all about working according to the concocted plan. During this phase, it is important to keep the team members organised to manage timelines. To do so, the following steps should be taken:

    • Delegate Tasks

      You must assign every team member their responsibilities and brief them about the same. While doing so, you must ensure that they are not pressurised.

    • Communicate Frequently

      You must keep the stakeholders and management bodies updated about the project progression. Also, you must frequently communicate with your team members to meet the goals in time.

    • Monitor the Budget

      You must use the resources wisely so that the budget can be kept within the defined limits.

  • Closure

    The closure phase starts after the work on the project is completed. During this phase, final deliverables are provided, and the probability of success is calculated. These objectives can be met by completing the following steps:

    • Analyse Project Performance

      You must identify whether the project goals were met on time or were cost-effective. Also, you must assess the team’s performance during the evaluation and planning phases.

    • Document Project Closure

      You must ensure that all jobs for the project are completed. Next, you should prepare a project completion report for the stakeholders and involved parties.

    • Conduct a Final Project Analysis

      You must conduct a project analysis while also highlighting relevant lessons for future projects.

    • Draft a Budget Report

      You must prepare a document, including details about the expenses and the used resources. This document should also indicate the unused resources, which must be allocated for future projects.

These are the four phases of project management that can help initiate, plan, execute, and close projects easily. For more information on this subject, contact our essay writing service UK now.

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