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Project management steps: Crucial for successful projects

Project management is a crucial component in sticking to all things important. From budget plans to ensuring deadlines are met, it’s important that tasks fall within their allocated resources and it’s up to the project manager to make this happen. Project management, as a process, is a calculated, step-by-step process and following the project management steps is one of the sure-fire ways to ensure the success of a company’s campaign.

Since every company has different goals to achieve and desired outcomes at the end of a project, outlining the steps of project management is broad. However, following the steps is important in order to keep everyone on the same page and with the same understanding. 

The elements of a project life cycle

Before implementing the steps of the project, you should be able to define and answer the following:

  • What work needs to be achieved.
  • What the defined deliverables are.
  • Who will be involved in each process, especially in the first two phases of the project management life cycle.
  • The review process and how to control and approve different phases in the project.

Determining and organising these help achieve success for the project by setting out defined, systematic and controlled processes.

What are the five project management steps?

Phase 1: Project initiation 

The very start of the project requires defining the project at a broad level with a brief overview of what the project is set to achieve and what it might entail. This is where general research begins, where case studies and possible testing for the feasibility of the project is undergone.

It is important for stakeholders to accept a project in this phase, otherwise, it will waste time if a project is rejected later in its life cycle. Once given the go-ahead, a project manager takes the next step towards finer detail planning of the project. 

Phase 2: Project planning

“Fail to plan and plan to fail.”

Planning a project is crucial to its overall end result. Having key focuses in place helps ensure the project roadmap is drawn up with an outlines intention and that the right steps are in place to follow.  

Planning involves setting clear and smart goals with realistic objectives. If planning is done well (which includes planning for the worst-case scenarios or unforeseen circumstances which might arise), the project is more likely going to run smoothly.

Phase 3: Project execution

When a project has been planned, the action is set in motion. In this step of the project management, deliverables are developed, and actions are completed. This is the substance of the project where things happen, and outcomes start getting checked off. 

In this phase, teams are developed and tasks are assigned. With a successful allocation of resources and with team members knowing what their duties are, the execution phase can run smoothly with the right tracking systems in place. 

It’s important to note that adaptability is key in this phase and that changing things can (and most likely will need to) happen to ensure the success of the project to avoid any obstacles.

Phase 4: Project management

Managing the project throughout the process is one of the most important steps during and following the project. This refers to measuring, metrics, performance indicators, managing and tracking goals to ensure that the project is on the right trajectory to succeed. 

Phase 5: Project closure

Concluding the project is just as important as beginning the project and the steps to finish strong should not be missed. This phase represents all the steps that need to be taken to completely wrap up the project before the next one can initiate. For example, contractors should be paid and contracts terminated accordingly, team members should feedback on how they feel the project went and all steps taken should be evaluated. 

Project closure is important in how the next project will go – and the right steps should be taken to improve on anything that went wrong and replicating things which had success.

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