Except in case of the smallest assignments, project managers make use of properly established management methods. Some of the methods are PRINCE2 or PMBOK. These are however, in-house methodologies that are practiced only in a particular organization. There is a difference in emphasis in some of these approaches and there is a tendency to use different terminology. However, there are two common features among these approaches. They are: projects are rendered in phases and common project management procedures that are run in the phases. In this article, we will discuss about these stages and procedures in details.
Project managers find stages a very important aspect. If managers think in terms of phases, they can make sure that the product at the end of each stage meets the purpose, for which it has been created. Moreover, phases prepare managers for the next stage.
- From the Work Breakdown Structure, the manager should identify the needed products for each phase. The Work Breakdown Structure is drafted by keeping in mind the preparation of the manager and then it is validated by the other team members.
- When a phase finishes someone approves the products from the last phase. The manager has to decide which executive needs to sign off on the products at each stage. The people who sign off on the products may consist of project sponsor, project board or major stakeholders.
- Once the products are approved by the concerned person, the phase is considered complete. After this, the team passes on to the next phase. This is the reason why the terms ‘stage’ and ‘gate’ are used in project management.
Stages of Project
The specific stages and the order, in which they are executed, can differ a little bit. This depends on what the manager requires to attain with the project. Mentioned below are the phases in a project.
- Strategy of the project and business case
- Developing and testing.
- Getting ready for business after training
- Providing support
- Closing the project
Stages in Details
#Strategy of the project and business case
- In this stage, the manager describes the total requirement of the business and comes up with the approach she wants to use to work on it.
- The closing gate is the approval of the proposal of the high profile project of the manager and of the business case that authenticates the manager’s approach. She should also prove that she can attain the goal of the project within the stipulated budget and timeline.
The manager works with stakeholders to start the project. The following steps highlight the phase.
- Complete the Work Breakdown Structure.
- Decide the high profile plan of the project at the milestone level. She should work with efficient team members to produce elaborate plans at each phase. This makes sure that they feel that the plans are owned by them.
- Select team members for the assignment.
- Create and come up with the initiation document of the project.
- Choose the third parties who will work in the initial stages of the project, such as partners or IT subcontractors.
- Activities like, desk allocation and room reservation should be conducted which help in securing major resources.
- The manager uses business case, strategy of the project and project initiation document to create the products of the project. Then she collaborates with stakeholders to design the deliverables.
- After this, a project sponsor signs off the total design, but she has to ensure that other stakeholders also approve the deliverable.
- She can use a flow chart to make a map that will help in determining the way things will work if any alterations are needed. In this phase, she should do all requisites to deal with issues in the project before the deliverables are created.
- For the detailed design stage, she has to choose stakeholders careful. If the detailed design is not good, the product may not meet requirements.
# Developing and testing
After the planning and designing phase is over, the project team starts developing and building elements of the output of the project. The manager should test that the components work properly.
# Getting ready for business after training
- This is the phase where the project launches. The following activities are practiced in this stage.
- Users are trained
- Ongoing support should be placed
- Information is transferred to new systems
- She has to understand the things that are needed for the assignment to be fruitful from the very date it is launched.
# Providing support
- She has to ensure that she provides support to the business after the launch of the project. She also has to decide what other things to be done before the team members are assigned to some other projects.
- She has to control the delivery of the benefits of the project. This can be used to promote the assignment or to provide data about other products.
- She can monitor the advantages as part of usual business activities and should resume the activity even after the project is closed.
# Closing the project
Project closure is not the most happening part of the lifecycle of a project. However, if she does not do it accurately, she may hinder the delivery of advantages to the company. She should do the following.
- Finish and store the documents
- She should carry out a post-implementation review. This enables the team members to use the experience she has achieved in future assignments.
- She should utilize the business connections to assign the team members to other roles in the organization. She should not let the company lose the expertise and the knowledge of the employees.
To Wrap Up
From this article, it can be deduced that project management phases and processes are important for managers because they help in deciding the actions chronologically. There are phases in a project which a manager should adhere to. They are strategy of the project and business case, preparing, designing, developing and testing, getting ready for business after training, providing support and closing the project.