PMI’s 5 Phases of Project Management
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By Rebecca Langdon
Project Management in itself is a broad area of expertise, but it can be thought of as a series of
distinct phases, which in some cases do happen simultaneously. The Project Management Institute
(PMI) helpfully divides the Project Management process up into 5 distinct phases as follows;
1- Project Initiation
This is the beginning of the project and the point at which the project will be broadly defined. It
usually starts with a Business Case and a Feasibility Study. If the Business Case is signed off by key
stakeholders it is time to create the Project Initiation Document (PID).
2- Project Planning
This phase is about setting clear goals and agreeing clear roles and responsibilities. A lot of the
artefacts will be produced during this phase. A Project Plan including Project Scope will be created
which outlines what will be done, by whom, when, and for how much money. This allows a Resource
Plan to be produced.
3- Project Execution
This is the core delivery phase and it typically starts with a kick off meeting run by the Project
Manager who will ensure all resources are aware of their responsibilities. Phase 3 and phase 4 will
typically happen in parallel.
4- Project Performance & Monitoring
This phase is about continuous monitoring to ensure the project is on track to plan and budget. The
Project Manager will make necessary changes to resources to ensure alignment to the plan. A
Project Manager should define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure project performance.
This may include quality deliverables, cost tracking, and project schedule etc.
5- Project Closure
Once all project tasks are completed and the project is signed off, there should be a process of
reflection. The Project Manager should run a session to evaluate the project successes and failures.
This is an opportunity for learning so that future improvements can be made when running projects.
It is at this stage the Project Manager will also produce the Final Project Budget and Final Project
In conclusion, there is a lot to learn for a budding Project Manager, but the PMP program
is a great way to kick start that learning process with formal training,
and an accreditation thereafter.