What is the Project Management Life Cycle?

What is the Project Management Life Cycle?

In today’s competitive business landscape, as organisations are striving hard to deliver excellence, the need for a systematic approach has become more prevalent. This is where the significance of project management shines the brightest. 

Project management has the potential to help enterprises effectively plan, execute, and control their projects to achieve successful outcomes. In addition to this, the project management process also bears several advantages, including efficient resource allocation, time management, cost control, customer satisfaction, and more. 

Let us take you through a detailed guide exploring the various steps that fall under the realm of the project management life cycle. We will also introduce you to one of the exceptional leadership courses that might just be the only certification you need to kickstart your career in successful management!

Steps Involved In Project Management Life Cycle

Project managers employ a structured framework known as the project management life cycle to guarantee the successful execution of a project or several projects at once. Within this cycle are distinct phases, each with its unique set of objectives, deliverables, and tasks.

There are five main phases in the project management life cycle. They are namely,

  • Project Initiation
  • Project Planning
  • Project Execution
  • Project Monitoring and Control
  • Project Closure

Project Initiation

The first stage of the project management journey is project initiation, wherein the purpose, objectives, feasibility, and stakeholders are defined properly. It sets the project in motion, ensuring a well-defined purpose and commitment from stakeholders. Some of the main tasks carried out during this step include,

  • Conducting a preliminary assessment of the project’s feasibility
  • Identifying all individuals or groups with an interest in the project, including both internal and external stakeholders
  • Designing a business case and defining the project at a high level

Project Planning

Following this comes project planning, one of the most crucial phases, as it lays down the roadmap for the entire project. It involves developing a comprehensive plan that outlines the project’s scope, schedule, budget, quality standards, risk management approach, and communication plan. A WBS, also known as a work breakdown structure, is created, wherein large and complex projects are segregated into smaller manageable tasks and subtasks.

Another crucial aspect of project planning is resource allocation. It includes identifying the necessary resources, including HR, materials, and equipment, and allocating them accordingly to project tasks. 

Project Execution

The execution phase involves carrying out all the tasks and responsibilities that were decided in the planning stage. It includes assigning people to specific tasks and efficiently completing all of the work. During this phase, the project manager assumes a central role, as they are directly accountable for understanding and overseeing the project team, ensuring alignment and collaboration toward a common objective.

A crucial element for achieving overall project success is the practice of maintaining transparent and efficient communication with stakeholders. This approach ensures that stakeholders are consistently informed about the project's advancement and any potential challenges that may arise.

Project Monitoring and Control

This phase typically runs concurrently with the Execution stage and focuses on tracking and managing project performance. The primary objectives of project monitoring and control are,

Performance Measurement - Project performance is continuously assessed against the predetermined project plan, which includes scope, budget, and schedule. 

Quality Assurance - Project managers ensure that the quality standards are being upheld with due diligence and that project deliverables meet the desired quality standards.

Risk Management - This includes monitoring identified risks, assessing their status, and implementing risk management strategies as and when required.

In addition to this, the project monitoring and control stage also includes addressing any roadblocks or hindrances that might impact the project's overall progress. Clear communication is maintained with the stakeholders to keep them informed about the project status and updates. 

Project Closure 

Lastly comes project closure, which, as the name suggests, is the final stage of the entire project management lifecycle. Once the final deliverables have been shared and approval from the stakeholders has been gained, project managers focus on the other aspects of closure. This includes conducting a ‘post-project review meeting’ wherein all the challenges faced during the project and the lessons learned are discussed with team members. This helps gather valuable feedback and information on how to increase productivity further for the next project.


Project management is crucial to every business as it encourages enterprises to evaluate their project processes and outcomes. The lessons learned from the previous projects can be used to make improvisations in future projects. In addition to this, project management also enables organisations to adapt to the ever-dynamic market conditions. In this way, they can always stay updated with current trends, technology, and customer preferences. 

If you wish to learn more about effective management, leadership courses like the IIM Ahmedabad General Management program from Imarticus Learning can be a great addition to your skill set. This six-month program will fuel your management skills, from strengthening your leadership abilities to providing diverse quantitative and qualitative tools for effective management. 

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