Projects often start off full steam ahead, but a poor project management process results in poor communication, wasting of time by trying to put out fires, and delivering a final product that is over budget, late, or off-scope.
During this stage, you’ll want to make sure that you have a well-defined set of deliverables (I usually call this a scope), a timeline, and a budget. One of the BIGGEST mistakes people make on projects is that they don’t get buy-in from the right people.
It’s so important when you have a great project that you get the right people to sign off on it, and get excited about what you and your team are working on. It’s important that at the end of each project you take some time to reflect as a team on the wins, the losses, and to learn from the process. I know this is a 10,000-foot view of project management, but I wanted you to see this first so that over the next few months I can zoom in on each of these sections and start creating a guide for you to learn about managing projects.
CAUTION!FAILING to follow a structured Project Risk Management process for your projects in a self-disciplined manner will quickly lead to project failure. Your Project Risk Management process should also consider and deal with the following: Risk or Opportunity? With some projects, a level of residual risk may exist after the project has been completed, which will require continual monitoring and management.For example, the safe storage of non-recycled nuclear waste following decommissioning of a power station. In the absence of an application-specific life cycle model, a generic model can be used to provide the necessary framework. Conceptual phase - the project proposal is developed, objectives and constraints are identified, and the feasibility of the project is assessed (this will normally involve making a rough estimate of project cost, the human resources required and the timescale over which the project activities will take place). Planning phase - assuming the decision has been taken to proceed with the project, detailed planning must now take place. Implementation - the product or service that is the subject of the project will be produced and tested during this phase, making it the most intensive phase of the project in terms of expenditure and effort.
Termination - this phase, sometimes overlooked when aspects of project management are being considered, is where loose ends are tidied up and the relative success or failure of the project is evaluated.


The project life cycle model can be used as a framework within which to plan project activities and to define project milestones. The below process will save time, money, and give you and your team freedom to do higher quality work. You have to have a stage where you think, ponder, and pray that through this project you’re going to make something that is great. Please, please, please take my advice and think about all of the people that could possibly have an opinion that effects your project and get their buy in early.
The main thing is that you need to make sure that everyone you’re working with has a crystal clear understanding of the timeline, the scope, and the budget. The beautiful thing about projects is that the whole team learns, grows, and is more prepared for the next project at the end. I would love any input that you have—please feel free to ask questions—it would help us all. Each industry or application area has its own distinct model with very specific characteristics (a simple software development life cycle model is illustrated below). The phase may also include the identification of project milestones and an assessment of risks associated with undertaking the project.
The scope of the project will be defined and work will be scheduled and allocated to workgroups or individuals as appropriate.
The kind of project management activities that take place during this stage will include the management of change - depending on the nature of the project, the requirements (or scope) of the project may change as time goes by. Depending on the type of project being undertaken, it may include a process of handover whereby the customer or end user takes ownership of the new product or service, and is given all of the necessary documentation (e.g. Each phase of the life cycle will be associated with a specific set of deliverables which can be evaluated against the planned objectives for the current phase, and which will form the foundation on which the next phase of the life cycle will build. It will set up your team to make a habit of pushing hard to the finish line on each project.


Even within a particular application area both the model used and its precise interpretation can vary. A detailed schedule of the resources required will be produced, and a detailed project budget will be prepared. Other activities will include monitoring expenditure to ensure that the budget is adhered to (or if necessary amended), and work carried out to ensure that any delays are flagged up and dealt with promptly (this could entail making changes to the schedule of work or a re-allocation of resources).
In every case, however, the lifecycle model provides project managers with a structure within which work can be identified and organised into phases. The project budget, together with the various schedules that are drawn up, will constitute the baseline against which progress will be measured. An audit may be carried out to assess how well (or badly) the project was managed, and to derive any lessons to be learned for future reference. In many projects, the phases of the life cycle model used will form the basis for the Work Breakdown Structure (we will look at this in some detail elsewhere), which is used to define and organise the units of work that must be undertaken during the projecta€™s lifetime, and which forms the basis for the project plan. Once an appropriate life cycle model has been selected, its structure can be used to form the basis for developing the project plan. It is at this stage that the tools and techniques that will be used to manage, monitor and evaluate the project, including any specialist software packages, will be identified.
The standard assumption is that each phase will be completed before the next phase begins, although there are invariably exceptions to this rule.



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