How to Understand the Project Life Cycle

Updated: Aug 17



The Project Life Cycle describes the four-step pattern typically followed by most project managers during stages of development and project implementation. This is usually the general project life cycle that most people are very familiar with. At the beginning stages of this cycle, the project manager begins planning and then establishes a concept for the proposed project and then establishes a functional team to carry out the design and implementation of the project. The project progresses from this initial phase where the project manager has an overview of the project concept, the functional teams have been established, and a preliminary cost estimation has been generated. Finally, the project proceeds to the next three phases of this life cycle, which are detailed in the paragraphs below.


The project proceeds to the middle phase of the life cycle and the in-depth design stage, which are described in the following paragraphs of this article and in the Project Management Body of Knowledge. In the middle phase, the functional teams involved in the project are given the opportunity to identify issues that need to be resolved before the design phase can commence. Once these issues are identified and resolved, they will work with the design and implementation teams to produce a functional plan that will serve as the basis for the project's design and implementation. A Project Baseline schedule is prepared keeping in mind the whole steps and sequences involved during the execution / implementation phase as well as handing over / finalization phase. After the functional Project schedule is approved by the design (Consultants) and implementation teams (Clients), the project progresses to the next phase of the life cycle, which is the implementation stage where the implementation team completes the project according to the planned functional plan.


During the process of implementation, all stakeholders are involved in the project. All stakeholders have the opportunity to provide their feedback and comments that are needed to ensure the success of the project and to determine the course of action that should be taken once the project is complete. The project then continues to the end of the life cycle, which is referred to as the completion stage and is described in the Project Management Body of Knowledge and the Project Management Practices. All phases are thoroughly go through monitoring & control phase.


When the project is completed, the project manager is able to look back at the project's success and to identify the areas where improvements could have been made. In order to ensure the success of future projects, the project manager will continue to review the life cycle and Project Management Practices, identifying those areas of improvement that need to be addressed in future projects, or that need to be improved to address certain risk factors that are unique to the project, and which are not present in most project management practices.


As the project is completed, the project manager will be able to refer to the Project Management Body of Knowledge to learn about the basic processes involved in project management, including the different types of analysis that are done to determine the success or failure of the project. In addition, the project manager will also be able to refer to the Project Management Practices to identify the key performance indicators that should be used to measure the progress of the project and to evaluate its results.


With this knowledge, the project manager will be better able to develop the best management practices and to improve the performance of his or her project. In addition, the project manager will be able to identify problems that should be corrected in order to achieve better results for future projects. This knowledge is important in identifying how to avoid common problems in future projects and how to minimize the risk of them.


The final stage is the finalization stage or you simply call it as Project Handing over phase where testing and commissioning is already completed and project is ready to be delivered to the main stakeholder (Client). The Handing over has a procedure to get the approvals from the relative authorities (Different authorities for different areas, sectors, and countries).

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