The project manager and the project team always share one goal: there only goal is to achieve all the planned objected, planned by the project team.
Every project includes beginning, a middle period in which you do all the work to accomplish the objective, and the most awaited part of the ending (result can be good or bad.). A standard project normally has four main phases (every phase plays an important role).
- Project execution
- Project monitoring and control
When all the phases are together, it will represent the project’s path, starting from the beginning to its end. The whole process all together makes the project life cycle or project management.
The initiation phase is the first phase of the project life cycle or project management. In this phase, we find out the needs or objectives of the project, objectives, or needs can be a problem in business or can be a business opportunity; it can be anything.
To know that all solutions are vital, we investigate whether each option addresses the project’s needs or objectives and determine the final recommended solution for conducting a feasibility study. It is also very important to address and know the issues of feasibility and justification.
A project manager gets appointed for initiating the project so that it can deliver the approved solution after the approval of the recommended solution. After identifying all the participating workgroups and major deliverables, then the project team starts to take shape. Then the project manager approves to move forward with the detailed planning phase.
Planning is a second phase of the project life cycle. In the planning phase, we further develop the project solution in as much detail as possible. We also plan all the necessary steps so that we can meet the project’s objective. We identify the project tasks and resource requirements, with all the strategy to produce them.
We outline the activities, dependencies, tasks, and timeframes get created in the project plan. Providing the cost estimates for the equipment, material, and labor, and supervising the project budget is the work of the project manager. During the project implementation, this budget will help us to monitor and control expenses.
After the identification of work, preparation of schedule, and estimation of the cost by the project team completes all the three fundamental components of the planning process.
After preparing everything, use your time to effectively terminate all the problems which will or which can come in between your success plan. Identifying and dealing with problems is often called risk management. In risk management, we try to identify every problem high-threat or low-threat and find a solution to face only minimal damage.
If you want to provide all quality plans which provide you quality targets, control measures, and assurance, then you have to document quality and acceptable plan and listing the criteria, which will help you to gain customer acceptance. The planned and detailed project should be there at this point for executing the project.
Implementation [Execution] Phase
Implementation [execution] phase is the third phase of the project life cycle or project management. In the third phase, we perform all the project work, and the project plan comes into motion. As needed, during implementation, it’s very important to maintain control and communicate.
Continuously monitoring the progress and recording every appropriate adjustment made which were not from the original plan is important. The implementation phase is the only phase where the project manager spends most of his/her time in every project. People are completing the tasks, and every progress information passed on and reported in uniform team meetings during project implementation.
With the progress reports, the project manager maintains, controls, directs the project, and compares it with the project plan to take corrective measures if required. If the project manager takes correct measures, then the first measure he/she should take is to always bring back the project on the course (bring back to its original plan).
If that is not possible, then the team should record variations they have taken apart from the original plan and publish all the new information to the plan as required. As the consent of frequency and format of communication, all the information the project sponsors and stakeholders need to get updated about project status during the whole process. Every plan and progress needs to get updated and published regularly.
Project monitoring and control are critical to giving your client what you promised under the given time frame. Schedule, quality of deliverables, and term of cost should be the focus endpoint in any status report. Reviewing the quality of the result produced and measuring it against the acceptance criteria in every project is essential. After the deliverables get produced, and customers like and accept the final result, then you can close the project.
The closing phase is the last and final phase of the project life cycle. In the final phase, more focus is on releasing the results to the customer, putting an end to all the supplier contracts, passing on all the project files to the business, releasing every project resources, and informing all the stakeholders about the closure of the project. In the end, conducting lessons-learned studies help us to examine the whole project. It tells what went wrong and what went right according to the plan. By doing these types of studies and analysis, we experience new situations which will help in future projects.
Copper Mining Industry Project Lifecycle:
The contract of designing and construction of the first-ever copper mine went to a U.S construction company. Northern Argentina doesn’t have an existing infrastructure for any large construction project like mining. In the initiation phase, the only focus of the project manager was to find out the knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced leadership team who can manage and work on large complex projects in remote areas.
The project team established three offices, one in Chile and the other two in Argentina. In Chile, they set up the office where large mining construction infrastructure was already present.
One office was in Catamarca, Argentina – only the largest town near the mining city, and they set up another office was in Buenos Aries, which helped establish a relationship with Argentinian expertise. After the offices’ set-up, the team started the work by developing a relationship with Chilean and Argentina partners and getting all the work procedures and permits done.
When the project was in its planning phase, the project management team developed an integrated schedule. This schedule made coordination between the activities of design, procurement, and construction team, and the project control team looked after the expenses. Also, the project design team looked after the detailed drawing and designing of construction.
The procurement team used the drawing to order equipment, materials, and much more. In the planning phase, everyone’s focus was on developing enough details so that other project teams could easily and effectively coordinate their work. In the implementation phase, completion of work was the main focus, such as the delivery of equipment and material, hiring of labor, and then training them, building construction sites from scrap to a copper mine.
The closing phase includes handing over the complete site to the client. The office at Buenos, Aries, archived all the documents related to the project and Catamarca office got closed. Closing of accounts and distribution of the final report.