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What is the Project Lifecycle?

The Project Lifecycle is the sequence of phases through which a project progresses. It includes initiation, planning, execution, and closure. Learn more.

The Project Lifecycle is the sequence of phases through which a project progresses. The number of phases and sequence of the cycle may vary based on the company and the type of project undergone. As part of a project, however, they should have a definite start and end, and they are constrained by time. The lifecycle provides the basic foundation of the actions that has to be performed in the project, irrespective of the specific work involved.

The Project Lifecycle typically involves these four stages:

  1. Project Initiation – this is the start of the project. It may involve many sub-activities including: a feasibility study, identifying the scope, identifying deliverables, identifying project stakeholders, developing a business case, creating a statement of work, and possibly initial costs, price, and timeline for work to be done.
  2. Project Planning – Once the project is approved from the initiation phase, it moves into planning. This phase involves creating a project plan, including the tasks, schedule, resources, and constraints on the project. The budget for the project is also created in this phase. In addition, risk should be anticipated and identified at this stage, as well as mitigation plans.
  3. Project Execution – This phase is where the work gets done. Task owners begin work and the project manager oversees that tasks are done in a timely manner and workflow continues smoothly. Monitoring and Controlling (managing the work and financials) are a big part of this phase, as issues will always arise and require quick adjustments as the project progresses.
  4. Project Closure – Once the team has completed all the tasks, and the project owner signs off that all deliverables are complete, the project is closed. Any documentation is handed over to the project owner and if required to an ongoing maintenance organization. The project is then analyzed for performance to determine whether the project’s goals were met (tasks completed, on time and on budget).

Now the question is, how do you manage this lifecycle as a project-based company? Learn about Project Lifecycle Management.

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