The project initiation phase is the first phase of the project life cycle as it involves the conceptualization of a project. It consists of the processes performed to define a new project. In this phase the project manager is assigned to the project. The project manager works with the sponsor to develop the project charter and stakeholder register. The phase concludes with the approval of the project charter from the project sponsor and steering committee. After the approval, the project becomes officially authorized.
The project 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 sponsor and steering committee.
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.
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.