What is the Project Management Lifecycle? and Its Phases

Project Management Lifecycle
Project & Program Management

What is the Project Management Lifecycle? and Its Phases

A project is a time-bound sequence of activities designed to achieve a goal or meet a specific objective. It may include research, planning, design and implementation, testing, maintenance, and monitoring as well as completion.

The term project management can be defined as the discipline that plans, organizes, and supervises the activities of team members who collaborate over time to create a final product or service. It is not just about managing people but also understanding the various steps involved in creating an effective product.

Understanding what these steps are, and how they’ll affect your team, is an important part of staying organized and effective as a team. This article will detail the phases of a project life cycle, and which ones you should identify as applicable to your project.

What is the Project Management Lifecycle?

The project management lifecycle is a structured, sequential process of planning, executing, monitoring, and closing a project. It involves a series of activities starting from identifying the objectives, defining the scope of work, analyzing the business case and selecting the right project team, and ending with closing the project.

It is commonly used to manage projects ranging from small to large in size and has several complexities. This process can be broken down into five phases: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closure.

Project Initiation

To turn an abstract idea into a meaningful goal, you need to carry out the project initiation phase. In this phase, you create a business case and define your project on a broader level. To do that, you must determine the need for the project and create a project charter. The project charter is a document that details the project’s goals, constraints, and timetable. A stakeholder register is utilized to identify project stakeholders, including their roles, titles, and communication requirements. You should also create a project stakeholder register with project goals, scope, and info required. Although the project charter identifies a clear goal, it doesn’t reveal the technical details for the planning stage.

Project Planning

In the project planning phase, complete attention is required to lay out the project’s roadmap. In accordance with modern project management methodologies, it will take more than half of the entire project’s time period. During this phase, technical requirements are identified, a detailed project schedule is developed, a communication plan is established, and goals and deliverables are set up.

As it lays out the project’s road map, the project planning phase is the most crucial and necessitates complete attentiveness. It entails defining the task that needs to be done and determining how to do it. This is especially true for projects that are large or complex and are typically carried out utilizing conventional approaches. Using Agile methods of execution, projects also go through a planning phase, but the plans may be stated at a high level, leaving the team to plan the specifics in brief iterations or sprints.

With a project plan, the project manager starts by identifying goals. A well-written project plan includes a detailed timetable for the project as well as a communication strategy to direct the team in delivering high-quality results and managing risks.

The project manager establishes the project’s scope, which covers the project’s budget, quality, resources, and deadline, during the planning phase. The project manager is responsible for establishing a scope statement and Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) (the deliverables for the project).

Project Execution

The project execution stage is when your team does the real work. During this phase, your job as a project manager is to establish efficient workflows and carefully monitor the progress of your team. It includes establishing efficient workflows, carefully monitoring the progress of your team, and maintaining effective collaboration between project stakeholders. This ensures that everyone stays on the same page and the project runs smoothly without problems. There are many excellent project collaboration tools on the market that you may use. You will not only save yourself time but also increase your team’s efficiency and productivity.

Project Monitoring & Control

The third and fourth phases of the project management process are not always sequential. The monitoring and controlling phase ensure that project goals and deliverables are met concurrently with project execution.

A project manager can ensure that no one deviates from the original plan by developing Critical Success Factors (CSF) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

The manager is also in charge of objectively tracking the effort and expense incurred throughout the process during the monitoring phase of project management. This tracking is crucial for current projects as well as ensuring that the project stays under budget.

Project Closure

The project management process ends at this stage. When the last delivery has been made, the project closure stage marks the end of the project. External talent may occasionally be contracted out, particularly for the project. The project manager is also responsible for ending these contracts and completing the necessary paperwork.

After the project is finished, most teams have a reflection meeting to discuss the project’s successes and problems. This is a practical way to guarantee ongoing development inside the business and boost team productivity in the long run.

Reviewing the entire project and writing a thorough report that covers every aspect is the last responsibility of this phase.


The project management lifecycle may sound simple, but it is of course complex with each stage playing a dynamic role in the overall success of the project. Each stage has its own set of tasks and responsibilities you need to consider when working on a project. Each stakeholder is accountable and responsible for ensuring the output of the current stage is the appropriate input for the next.

Thus, Project Management Lifecycles play a crucial role in executing projects successfully across industries. Understanding their vitality is a crucial first step. No matter how large or small the project is, it always involves intensive costs and resources to complete, so due diligence in this matter is the minimum prerequisite. The goal of a business is to optimize costs and investments while maximizing return on investment (ROI).  Therefore, it’s a no-brainer that understanding and utilizing the perks of the Project management lifecycle is essential for delivering business value.

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