The Five Traditional Project Management Phases at a glance

Process groups are very important in project management. Each process group is expected to carry out five processes which are Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing. The process groups are designed to give us an organizational background that will help us successfully plan, execute and manage our projects. Let us have a look at them.

The Five Traditional Project Management Phases

01. Initiating
The process of initiating is designed to help us set the vision of what the end goal is. It is at this stage that the project is formally and fully authorized by the sponsor and where the scope is defined and stakeholder identified. The project's objective must be known at this stage so that it doesn’t end up being a haphazard one.
It is also very important that the project manager is appointed at this stage. If the project manager isn’t appointed, then the project hasn’t begun.

02. Planning
The next step is the planning stage. This is the stage where the total scope of the project is being established. At this stage, thorough interactions and more detailed planning processes are being handled and project documents are also developed at a much more detailed level in this stage. The project manager will identify the processes involved in planning while the project team can decide which one is more suitable for their project.
Process Groups
This is a crucial part of the planning stage and it is required that the team thinks the whole project through even before the project begins. The process groups aren’t only required to know what the plans are but to also know the risks attached to each plan and how they will effectively control them when it happens.

03. Executing
This is where the plans become reality. The stage where the actual work is done. It has been made easier because by this stage, the team already has a plan and how they are going to execute it. The plan helps to keep the team on track. The workers get the job done while the project manager handles and coordinates the resources. It is very important that a highly efficient team is organized in order for the project to be executed to perfection.
The project manager will be on hand to not only engage the workers but also the stakeholders and ensure that the project and product quality are up to the standard that was initially set. The budget to be spent is also done at this stage and it is highly likely that the stakeholders will change the request in this stage. The execution should stay on track no matter the duration of the project.

04. Monitoring and Controlling
This point actually begins from the beginning of the project. The project manager must ensure that the project is managed and control right from the beginning. These processes require tracking, reviewing and regulating the progress and performance of the project; identify any areas in which changes to the plan are required, and initiate the corresponding changes.
Monitoring and Controlling allow you to get back on track if you are having difficulty staying on track or if the project has lost its track entirely. Monitoring and Controlling is a stage where you can compare plans to actual and measurable data and take corrective actions from there. As a project manager, areas that need controlling and managing might include scope, cost, and schedule. These all have variations in regards to which tools and techniques you would use to control them.

05. Closing
Well, this is where the project ends. You will get to close the project and also get acceptance from customers- which is perhaps the biggest reward. As a project manager, you will have to ensure that every worker comes to each meeting till the end so that the project doesn’t fizzle out. Best practice dictates that the rigor applied to the rest of the project should be applied here as well.
The records should be archived at the end of the project, lessons should be held and payments should be settled. The lessons learned from the whole project should also be archived as it might be used on a later project.

To master projects even better, you should enroll for the Certified Lean Project Manager® Certified Lean Project Manager®

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