Project Life Cycle Definition:
Project life cycle is a workflow of activities defined in the systematic ways to gain maximum benefits from business project. A project stands out for its life cycle, which is usually presented as consisting of phases. The number of phases and their designation may vary from one application to another, from one application area to another and from one author to another.
The project engineer will sometimes define the phases of the project under its responsibility by taking account of parameters specific to the project or the company culture. Project plan may keep on changing depending on the complexity, budget and size of the project. These differences limit in any way valid and relevance of the model. But when we are discussing about business project management, it is highly recommended that an engineer should follow the below four phases of the business project life cycle structure in any type of project model. With you follow the proper project model, it will benefit you in many ways. For example: It will help to project goals and objects appropriately; It will help you to give clear picture to promoters and stakeholders; Also it will help you to balance project quality, scope, cost and resources. Finally, this would lead you towards successful project with implementing successful project plans.
Project Life Cycle Stages:
Let us understand about various stages involved in project life cycle when we are discussing about business project management. Below listed are the stages and phases of project life cycle.
1. Identification Phase:
This is the first stage of project life cycle. It is also known as initiation phase. In this stage project objectives are identified and requirements are clarified. Apart from this, business opportunities, business problems and business needs are discussed. Further investigation is done to find the feasibility. After doing all the studies final recommendations are been addressed whether we can do this project or not? Or whether this project is profitable or not?
Once project is been approved, hiring of employees and managers are conducted. Team are built to deliver the business project. Finally detailed planning is been performed on the project by key members of the projects. Here comes the next stage of project which is planning.
2. Planning Phase:
In project planning phase, scope of the project is defined more accurately. Once the project team is been finalized and work is been identified, schedules of deliverables and estimated cost are been figured out. Detailed planning is established for its duration; timelines, resources and expenditures, as well as policies and management procedures.
In planning stage, it is a good time to identify possible risk and prepare the risk management strategies. Further you can create a communication plan for project stakeholders describing risks, planning, scope and delivery timelines. Finally after drafting and presenting project plan, acceptance plan is been prepared by project managers. It is assumed that all the project planning activities are been completed and now project is ready to move to next phase of implementation.
3. Implementation, Monitoring and Controlling Phase:
This is the third stage of project life cycle. In this phase product or service is actually carried out according to plan and in accordance with the applicant’s requirements. Project managers keep close watch on implementation activities, since this is one of the important stages of life cycle. During this stage, team carry-on with task assigned to them and daily status report is been presented to management to track the activities and schedule of the activities. Apart from this stakeholder are also been communicated on the activities on regular basis.
Status report should highlight key points in it. For example: activities performed, schedules, cost and quality of the product. Before delivering the project, quality and control measures are closely monitored and reviewed against acceptance plan. One deliverables are presented and accepted by the customer or a client, project moves to final stage of closing activities.
4. Closure Phase:
This is the final stage of project life cycle. In this stage product or service is been delivered to customer or a client for evaluation. Project documentations like user manuals and other documents are been handed over to the client. All key members and stakeholders are been communicated regarding closure of the project. Lastly, documentation of lessons learn is been prepared by team members for the purpose of examinations and self learning for the future projects.
Apart from this, there are various different project life cycle stages and phases based on different project according to its areas, such as construction, academic research and software engineering. But this project life cycle is the common procedure followed across many industries.
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