Life Cycle of a Project

All projects can be broken up into five distinct phases.  Below is the list of phases and what they entail.

Project Initiation

  • Agree to a vision for the project, define the major goals & have the justification (problem it will solve).
  • Bring together the core team members and the stakeholders.
  • Assign a project manager and establish others' roles and responsibilities.
  • Identify the resources that will be needed and the cost estimates.
  • Have all involved agree to the elements above.


  • Develop a work plan that establishes the work breakdown structure, the time and cost estimates, and a schedule.
  • Determine special skills needed to accomplish project tasks.
  • Determine resources needed (resources can be special skills, hardware, software, services, etc.).
  • Assess the communication needs and prepare a communication plan if required.
  • Perform a risk assessment, analysis, and plan, if required
  • Assess the security issues for the project and its deliverable(s).


  • Direct and lead the project team.
  • Procure or secure required resources (hardware, services, software, etc.).
  • Conduct status review meetings.
  • Manage project progress.
  • Implement plans for training, if appropriate.
  • Implement plans for testing.
  • Implement some quality assurance procedures.


  • Measure performance against the plan.
  • Take corrective action when measures are outside the limits.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the corrective actions.
  • Ensure that project progress continues according to the plan.
  • Change management - modifications of original vision, goals, schedule, and budget.


  • Obtain acceptance of project deliverables.
  • Document or summarize costs spent on project and close any purchase orders.
  • Document the lessons learned over the course of the project.
  • Formalize closure.
  • Outline the long-term operational implications.