Articles - The project lifecycle

By Manjeet Singh (based on excerpts from the free ProjectMind's quick guide to project management)

A project lifecycle typically has the following processes as defined by the Project Management Institute (PMI):

Project Lifecycle









Here is a quick description of each process:


During the initiating process, you will refine the project goals, review the expectations of all stakeholders, and determine assumptions and risks in the project. You will also start project team selection -- if the project team has been imposed, then you need to familiarize yourself with their skill set and understand their roles in the project. At the end of this phase you will produce a Statement of Work (SOW), which is a document that provides a description of the services or products that need to be produced by the project.


During the planning process, you will detail the project in terms of its outcome, team members’ roles and responsibilities, schedules, resources, scope and costs. At the end of this phase, you will produce a project management plan, which is a document that details how your project will be executed, monitored and controlled, and closed. Such a document also contains a refined project scope, and is used as the project baseline.


During the executing process, you apply your project management plan. In other words you direct your team so that it performs the work to produce the deliverables as detailed in the plan. The executing process also involves implementing approved changes and corrective actions.

Controlling and monitoring

During the controlling and monitoring process, you supervise project activities to ensure that they do not deviate from the initial plan and scope. When this happens, you will use a change control procedure to approve and reject change requests, and update the project plan/scope accordingly. The controlling and monitoring phase also involves getting approval and signoff for project deliverables.


During the closing process, you formally accept the deliverables and shut down the project or its phases. You will also review the project and its results with your team and other stakeholders of the project. At the end of the project you will produce a formal project closure document, and a project evaluation report.

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