Top 5 Project Management Phases

5 project management phases

There are different schools of thought about the number of phases during a project. Some claim there are 3 phases, others say it’s 5. At the base of it, the PMBOK points-out that the number of phases is determined by the project team and type of project. Project management is solely based on the idea that a project goes through a number a phases characterized by a distinct set of activities or tasks that take the project from conception to conclusion. Projects are big and small, with constraints like cost, time and resources. As projects become more complex, it’s important to structure and define projects throughout the entire life-cycle. That way, you won’t get lost in the hustle and bustle. One way to organize a project is to sort it into 5 phases and here they are.

The 5 Phases of a Project

  • Project Initiation Phase – a project is formally started, named and defined at a broad level during this phase. Project sponsors and other important stakeholders due diligently decide whether or not to commit to a project. Depending on the nature of the project, feasibility studies are conducted. Or, as it may require, in an IT project – requirement gathering and analysis are performed in this phase. In the construction industry a project charter is completed in this phase.
  • Project Planning Phase – a project management plan is developed comprehensively of individual plans for – cost, scope, duration, quality, communication, risk and resources. Some of the important activities that mark this phase are -making WBS, development of schedule, milestone charts, GANTT charts, estimating and reserving resources, planning dates and modes of communication with stakeholders based on milestones, deadlines and important deliveries. A plan for managing identified and unidentified risks is determined as this may affect aspects of a project later on. Risk management planning includes: risk identification and analysis, risk mitigation approaches, and risk response planning.
  • Project Execution Phase – a project deliverable is developed and completed, adhering to a mapped-out plan. A lot of tasks during this phase capture project metrics through tasks like status meetings and project status updates, other status reports, human resource needs and performance reports. An important phase as it will help you understand whether your project will be a success or failure.
  • Project Monitoring and Control Phase – occurring at the same time as the execution phase, this one mostly deals with measuring the project performance and progression in accordance to the project plan. Scope verification and control occur to check and monitor for scope creep, change control to track and manage changes to project requirement. Calculating key performance indicators for cost and time are done to measure the degree of variation, if any, and in which case corrective measures are determined and suggested to keep a project on track. To prevent project failure, consider why projects are likely to fail and the ways to prevent failure.
  • Project Closure Phase – A project is formally closed. It includes a series of important tasks such as delivering the product, relieving resources, reward and recognition to the team members and formal termination of contractors in case they were employed on the project.


Book Suggestion

Five-phase Project Management: A Practical Planning And Implementation Guide

five-phase project management

We reviewed this book


Planning a project in 5 steps – Going directly to executing a project


Roli Pathak

Roli Pathak

Over the last 7 years, I have worked on a variety of tasks and projects assisting in many roles from Technical Writing to Business Analysis, from receiving instructions and executing to making work packages and distributing among team members.

11 Responses

  1. Avatar logain says:

    How do I use the control phase if my project. Is about building a warehouse?

    • Avatar Jo Nicholson says:

      Surely you need monitoring and control on your building project just as anyone else would do? How else would you know if the quality of construction was meeting your standards? Or if the materials were being built at the costs you estimated? Or that the phases of the build were sticking to your pre-planned timetable?

      Control and monitoring is super important no matter what type of project it is…

  2. Avatar says:

    thank you.

  3. Avatar mary rose says:

    Describe the product/process development phase in a typical product development process. What is the importance of this phase and give practical examples.

  4. Avatar Berry Doves says:

    Thanks for posting this wonderful article on Project management phases, really loved the way you explained the top phases of project management.

  5. Avatar anis kintapson says:

    Hi thanks for the information found it very usefull in my degree programe at the university.


  6. Avatar Alain says:

    which of the following phases is one of the main phase of a project: A. designing phase, B. commissioning phase, C. evaluation phase, D. planning phase

  7. Avatar Leonie says:

    Describe a typical project life cycle?

  8. Avatar Proggio says:

    Im just starting out and this is very helpful for me. Thanks

  9. Avatar Tran David says:

    Great. Really thanks for your sharing exp.

  10. Avatar harshk says:

    Thanks for sharing such a valuable blog. It will improve the knowledge of PMP students…Keep sharing.

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