The project lifecycle is the sequence of phases through which a project will progress.  Each phase contains activities and deliverables that will be similar regardless of the project. Outlined below are some common examples of activities and deliverables that occur in each phase of a project.  


A lot of work happens before projects are officially initiated.  Most of this work does not involve an ITPMO project manager.  In the pre-initiation phase project ideas are discussed and documented.  They can be discussed between co-workers, managers and peers. These ideas are generated at all levels of the University. They may get documented in a list and a business case might be drafted.  Eventually if an idea gains enough steam and is prioritized it will reach a point where it will need to be initiated.  This decision is usually made by the Executive Director overseeing the department.  Once this decision is made the project enters the initiation phase. 


- Brainstorming Sessions

- Conversations

- Strategic Planning Sessions





- Approval to initiate a project







The initiation phase is the first official phase of the project life cycle.  It involves transforming an idea into a proposal that will document what the effort will accomplish, why the effort is a good idea and how it will be accomplished. In this phase the project manager is assigned to the project. The project manager works with the sponsor to develop or further develop the business case and stakeholder register. The phase concludes with the approval of the business case from the project sponsor and leadership team. After the approval, the planning phase can commence.



- Assign project manager

- Develop business case

- Identify stakeholders

- Establish project team

- Define high-level requirements

- Define high-level risks

- Draft preliminary milestones


- Business Case

- Stakeholder Register

- Approval to begin project planning






The planning phase follows the project initiation phase and involves the creation of the project management plan. The plan helps guide the team through the implementation and closure phases of the project. The project manager will work with the project team to develop activities which include scope, schedule, cost, quality, human resources, communication, risk, and change. The planning phase will be iterative and will allow for progressive elaboration of the project. Any changes will be documented in the plan as updates. The phase concludes with the approval of the project management plan by the project sponsor leadership team. Following approval the implementation phase can begin.




- Develop project plan

- Collect requirements

- Define scope

- Develop schedule

- Define activities

- Estimate Budget

- Confirm project team

- Identity Risks

- Plan communications


- Project Plan

- Project Schedule

- Approval to begin implementation








The implementation phase consists of performing the work defined in the approved project plan by completing tasks and developing the project deliverables.  The project manager will work to coordinate the activities of the project in accordance with the project plan. Additionally, the project manager will track, review, and orchestrate the projects progress against the approved project plan identifying any variance from the plan and performing change control when needed. The benefit is that project performance is measured at regular intervals. The phase concludes with the project deliverables achieved and accepted by the customer and sponsor. 



- Measure Progress

- Execute plans

- Manage change

- Manage risks

- Identify issues

- Manage project team

- Direct project work

- Provide status reports


- Meeting Minutes

- Status Updates

- Final Product







The closing phase is the final phase of the project life cycle as it involves the conclusion of all activities for a project and formally establishes the project as complete by obtaining acceptance of all project deliverables from the project sponsor. The finished product is transferred to the customer who is responsible for its operations and maintenance. Lastly, the project manager works with the project team to document lessons learned and archive all project documentation to be used for organizational improvement. 


- Transition project to operations

- Archive documentation

- Conduct close-out meeting




- Closeout Report

- Lessons Learned Document

- Approval to close-out project