What is the project life cycle and what is its importance?

What is the project life cycle and what is its importance? For some, talking about the project life cycle is confusing. In this complete guide, we have tried to provide brief information about managing different parts of the project management process with useful links. In this article, we are going to examine the details of project life cycle management stages, the main stages of project management, and how these factors can help deliver a successful and managed project.

What is the project life cycle?

A project life cycle is really just a great way to describe the life of a project. How projects happen and how a team completes the project process from the first step to delivery. Every project has a beginning and an end. As the life cycle is completed, the project is born, matures, and then “dies”.

What is the project life cycle
What is the project life cycle

To further explain and make it easier to understand the essence of the problem, the Project Management Institute (PMI) has defined five process groups that come together to form the project life cycle.

The stages of the project life cycle are:
  • The beginning
  • planning
  • Performance
  • Monitoring and control
  • End of the work

In this review, PMI considered all the usual steps and called it the project life cycle.

Why is the project life cycle important?

The project life cycle describes the high-level process of project delivery and the steps involved in making things happen. Although this cycle may not seem so interesting, the important thing is that this is what we as project managers lead and facilitate. The main stages of each project are always the same.

  • Defining the goals of a project
  • Create a project plan to achieve goals
  • Then creating things to make it happen

Different managers or agencies may use slightly different terms to describe the phases of the project life cycle in their different activities, but they are essentially the same.

There is always a starting point

The problem you need to solve must be defined. In the project life cycle, this importance is concentrated in the initiation phase of a project. Then a solution should be created to fix that problem and an approach to do it, which is actually talking about planning.

The plan must then be implemented while the follow-ups do not stop to ensure that what we are going to do has been adequately monitored and controlled. In the end, the project is deployed, the performance is evaluated and the project ends. All of these are the core of the project life cycle as shown in the diagram below.

Further Details

Next, we’ll go through each stage of the life cycle and explain what happens in each of the five stages.

1. Start: Define what needs to be done

Inception is the first phase of the project lifecycle, which includes everything about the first step of working with your team and the client, plus the necessary commitments. You systematically gather all available information to define project scope, cost, and resources.

At this stage, it is usually necessary to identify all project stakeholders and ensure that they all have the same understanding of the project. At this stage, the entire team agrees on the business case (the problem the project is trying to solve).

It is at this stage that you decide whether the delivery of this business case is possible or not. As a project manager, you need to do enough research to determine the project’s goals and then propose a solution to achieve them. After approval, you will go to the next stage of the project.

The main steps of project management to get started:
  • Create a project charter: what is the vision, goal, and roadmap of this project?
  • Defining Scope: What are the products or services to be provided?
  • Conducting a feasibility study: What are the main problems and their possible solutions?
  • Cost estimation: What are the costs and benefits of the solution?
  • Identification of stakeholders: Who are the people affected by the project and what are their needs?
2. Planning stage: Defining how to do the things that need to be done

Once approved to begin work, you can begin planning the project. Undoubtedly, this is the most important stage of project management. If you do this step wrong, you will lose the chance to deliver the project on time and reduce the budget.

Planning is where you define all the work to be done and lay out the roadmap for the remainder of the project. It is in the planning phase that you figure out how to do the project and answer the questions. Questions such as:

  • What exactly do we do?
  • How we do it
  • When do we do this?
  • How do you know when we’re done?

At this stage of the project life cycle, you develop goals to decide how to achieve them. Each of your goals should have the three principles of feasibility, motivation, and inclusiveness.

Check Also:

A complete guide to the definition, benefits and methods of cost control

What is project control and what are its steps?

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