Project Life Cycle
At PJ Global, we are responsible for planning, organizing, and directing the completion of specific projects for organizations while ensuring these projects are on time, on budget, and within scope.
By overseeing complex projects from inception to completion, PJ Global Services have the potential to shape an organization’s trajectory, helping to reduce costs, maximize company efficiencies, and increase revenue.
Our exact solution for your firm depends largely on your industry, organization, and the types of projects that we are tasked with overseeing. But across the board, we have the responsibility to maintain the process commonly referred to as the “project life cycle,” which consists of five phases (or processes):
- Monitoring and Controlling
While it may be tempting to think of these as “steps,” they aren’t. Rather, these are processes we continually return to throughout the life of a project.
Below, we take a closer look at each phase of the project life cycle, as well as the different responsibilities a project manager might have in each.
"See steps below"
We begin each new project by defining the main objectives of the project, its purpose, and its scope. We also identify key internal and external stakeholders, discuss shared expectations, and gain the required authorization necessary to move a project forward.
Important questions that we ask during the initiating phase include:
- Why is the project important?
- What’s the specific problem you are trying to solve?
- What is the desired outcome?
- What are the project’s success criteria?
- Who are the stakeholders on this project? Who is impacted by, or who impacts, this project?
- What are the requirements and constraints within this project?
- What assumptions are you making?
- How will the project be funded?
- What is within your scope? What is not within your scope?
- Has this project been executed before? If so, what was the result? What information from that past project should be considered in this project?
It’s important to recognize that we don’t do this on our own. Oftentimes, we aren’t assigned until much of this work is well underway.
As soon as we are assigned, we will needs to fully engage in the project, which should culminate in the project being chartered and formally assigned.
During this phase, our team members complete the work that has been identified in the project plan in order to reach the goals of the project. Our role is to assign this work and to ensure that tasks are completed as scheduled. We will also typically:
- Protect the team from distractions
- Facilitate issue resolution
- Lead the team in working through project changes
Monitoring and Controlling
Despite being listed as the fourth phase, monitoring and controlling processes actually commence at the beginning of a project and continue throughout planning, execution, and closing. In the monitoring and controlling phase, our work includes:
- Monitoring the progress of a project
- Managing the project’s budget
- Ensuring that key milestones are reached
- Comparing actual performance against planned/scheduled performance.
Of course, things rarely go exactly according to plan. Therefore, we are always flexible enough to work within a project’s plan but readily adapt when necessary.
During this phase, we strive to ensure all activities necessary to achieve the final result are completed. During the close of a project, we will:
- Work with you to get formal sign-off that the project is complete
- Release any resources (budget or personnel) who are no longer needed for the project
- Review the work of third-party vendors or partners in order to close their contracts and pay their invoices
- Archive project files for future reference and use
After the project has been completed, we use post-implementation review to identify key lessons learned. Understanding what went well, what could be done differently, and what to stop doing can help inform and improve project management practices moving forward.