Project Life Cycle

The Project Life Cycle refers to a series of activities which are necessary to fulfill project goals or objectives. Projects vary in size and complexity, but, no matter how large or small, all projects can be mapped to the following life cycle structure:

  • Starting the project
  • Organizing and preparing
  • Carrying out project work
  • Closing the project

PMO - ProjectLifecycle Graph

Projects are broken down into phases so that extra control can be applied to effectively manage the processes. These phases are further divided into subsets for easy management, control, and planning.

For a project to be successful, the project team must:

  • Select the appropriate processes to meet project goals and objectives.
  • Use a defined approach focused on meeting the requirements of the project.
  • Clearly define and agree upon stakeholder/customer needs and expectations.
  • Balance the competing demands of scope, time, cost, quality, resources, and risk to produce the specified product, service, or result.

4 Phase Project Life Cycle

The Project Life Cycle has been divided into 4 phases:

  • Initiation
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Closure

Each phase has activities associated with it. Each activity has an activity definition, guidelines and may have plan templates. These components facilitate the activities performed by the Project Manager.

The number of activities recommended depends upon the scope and duration of the project. A Basic project will involve only a few of these activities while a Major project will involve all the activities in the framework.

Each phase is detailed below: