Phase One Project Initiation: This is where a project starts. Define the project on a broad level. Research the feasibility and if the project should be undertaken. If the shareholders give their approval, a project initiation document that outlines the purpose and requirements of the project needs to be created.
Phase Two Project Planning: This is the phase where goals are determined and set. There are two popular methods used for setting goals:
- Specific-Set specific goals that answer the questions, who, what, when, where, which, and why.
- Measurable– Establish criteria that you will use to measure the success of each goal.
- Attainable– Prioritize the most important goals and what it will take to achieve them.
- Realistic– Your willingness and ability to work toward a particular goal.
- Timely-A specific timeframe set to achieve each goal.
C.L.E.A.R. Goals: A method for setting goals while considering today’s fast paced business environment.
- Collaborative- Encouraging employees to work together.
- Limited– Goals should be limited in time and scope to keep them manageable.
- Emotional– Goals that tap into the passion of your employees. Something they can form an emotional connection to. This can increase the quality of their work.
- Appreciable– Reduce larger goals into smaller tasks that are more quickly achievable.
- Refinable– As situation change, be flexible and refine goals when needed.
During project planning, the scope of the project is defined, including a project management plan. The plan should include the potential costs, quality, available resources and a realistic timetable. The plan should also include baseline performance measures.
During this time, roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined so that everyone involved knows what they are accountable for.
Phase Three Project Execution: This is the meat of the project. There are lots of things happening like, status reports, meetings, development updates and performance reports. Deliverables are developed and completed. A kick-off meeting marks the start of the project and each team is informed of their responsibilities.
Tasks included in the execution phase include:
- Team development
- Resources assigned
- Project management plans executed
- Procurement management
- Project manager directs and manages execution
- Tracking systems are set up
- Task assignments are executed
- Continual status meetings
- Project schedule updated
- Project plans modified as needed
Phase Four Project Performance & Monitoring: This phase occurs simultaneously with the Project Execution phase, but with a different set of requirements.
This phase measures project progression and performance. Project managers will use key performance indicators to determine if the project is on track.
Key Performance Indicators or KPI:
- Project Objectives: Measuring if a project is on schedule and budget is an indication if the project will meet stakeholder objectives.
- Quality Deliverables: This determines if specific task deliverables are being met.
- Effort and Cost Tracking:PMs will account for the effort and cost of resources to see if the budget is on track. This type of tracking informs if a project will meet its completion date based on current performance.
- Project Performance:This monitors changes in the project. It takes into consideration the amount and types of issues that arise and how quickly they are addressed. These can occur from unforeseen hurdles and scope changes.
During this phase schedules may be adjusted to ensure the project is on track.
Phase Five Project Closure: This phase occurs when the project is complete. A punch list is created to follow up on anything not completed. A final project budget is prepared along with a final report. All project documents and deliverables are collected and stored in a single location. The keys are turned over to the owners.