5 PHASES of
You probably know Benjamin Franklin's famous quote, "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail."
Planning is a prerequisite for successful work and successful projects. However, in practice, we usually pay too little attention to the planning phase, which usually leads to poor decisions, inefficient work, overburdening and other problems related to lack of planning and implementation.
As long as we have a lot of reserves in time, available resources, less demanding customers …, we do not even notice problems with planning and implementation. But, usually, the situation worsens very soon, which means that it is time to start structured project implementation.
We are talking about investment projects, which include the introduction of equipment, etc., the development of a new product or service, organizational projects, projects to implement the strategy.
We can divide most projects into 5 phases of implementation:
- Start, the definition of the project,
PHASE 1 / Start, project definition
In this phase, the project team evaluates the idea based on various criteria:
- Is this idea in line with the company's business and goals?
- Do we have all the resources available for implementation?
- Does this bring us a benefit and added value for the company?
If the answer to all three questions is yes, you can start defining the scope and expected results of the project, processing the specifications that are the basis for defining the project. If your project requires a feasibility study, now is the right time to do so.
The result of this phase are specifications and a project plan that all involved parties must approve. By doing this right, you prevent later misunderstandings and false expectations.
PHASE 2 / Planning
In this key phase, the scope and expected vital results are defined. Next, we also define roles and responsibilities by topic, setting specific goals, estimating costs, and preparing the project timeline.
We plan the scope of resources and identify elements of performance quality, managing risks and unexpected circumstances. In this phase, a communication plan is developed, which determines the cooperation between the project team members and other external participants. Ideally, the timeline contains definition tasks of what needs to happen and when. In addition to the estimated start and end dates of each step, project milestones are set to indicate the transitions between the different phases or stages of the project. Milestones are a kind of checkpoints for moving to the next phase of a project.
PHASE 3 / Execution
In this phase of the project, concrete things begin to happen physically. The project team monitors, leads and also implements the assigned activities. All involved are informed about the status of their tasks and important project details. This phase requires quality execution, for which the main responsibility lies with the manager or the person responsible for the project. The project manager is responsible for obtaining and allocating the necessary funds and resources. His role is to constantly guide the project team to carry out their tasks on time and with good quality. At this stage, many errors caused in the definition and planning phase are revealed.
PHASE 4 / Control
Project monitoring and control often overlap with the implementation phase. If we don't take care of the interim controls, it can quickly happen that we end up wondering what all there is to do or what all went wrong. Therefore, it is important that the project manager and those responsible for the phases of the project regularly and carefully monitor the situation results and communicate about this at regular team meetings. This is the only way to ensure that we stay on track.
PHASE 5 / Completion
The project is completed when the final results are officially confirmed, and all parties are informed. But beware! Before that happens, it's wise to sit down with the team and evaluate the project: what went well and what could have gone better. It is correct that the criteria for assessing the project's success are not ambiguous, that we also do it formally, in the form of an audit, etc. With this process, we can learn a lot, save many similar mistakes in the future, improve processes, and work more efficiently.
You may also face many challenges in implementing any project, such as:
- meeting deadlines and project goals present you with serious problems;
- it is difficult to ensure control over the quality of the implementation of set tasks;
- you often encounter communication and organizational barriers;
- you are tired of inefficient project planning in the form of Excel spreadsheets, e-mail assignments and the like …
Want to learn how to improve real-time control of your projects using the EPP - Enterprise Project Planner software solution?
We will be happy to present the solution to you in person and provide you with a free one-month testing period.
Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org