The world has been discovering better management techniques because of limited time and increased workload on individuals. Much work has been done to identify how management can be improved in an individual’s life and an organization.
In researching better management techniques, the project life cycle has been studied to ensure that each project can be structured, monitored, managed, and finished successfully for saving time, cost, and limited resources.
What is Project Lifecycle?
The project life cycle is the breakdown of a project into different stages for better management and results. Project lifecycle has gained maximum popularity over the last few decades because of the successful results it has been generating in terms of results, quality, and cost control.
The project lifecycle starts from the initial stage of brainstorming a project and ends once the project gets completed and is handed over to the authority who has assigned the project.
Project life cycle differs from project to project. It has the most importance for a successful task as it rightly breaks down a project and subtasks associated with it, which helps properly manage the project and improve results.
Phases of the Project Life Cycle
A project life cycle is divided into five phases, from brainstorming to completion. The work done in five stages are:
Brainstorming is the stage before starting a project in which a project, its nature, the vision, scope, and stakeholders are identified. The project’s importance and relevancy are checked in this stage to ensure that no time is lost by starting a wrong project.
Once brainstorming has been done, and the project and its objectives are identified, the next step in the project lifecycle is planning. In this phase, all the planning related to a project, the subtasks associated with it, the project’s schedule, the budget, risk, the completion date, and milestones are all predetermined for smooth working on a project.
Planning is a crucial phase in which the overall project and its approach are discussed. Alternative plans are also finalized in this phase to avoid any failure of the project.
Dependent upon the previous phase, the next stage of a project lifecycle is execution. In this step, all the resources are utilized to work on the planned project based upon the schedule and guidelines.
The step is performed following the planning phase, and each step is linked to the planned schedule to ensure that risks and costs are minimized and the project is done as planned and expected.
The next phase of a project life cycle is monitoring. The phase continues throughout the project so that the project is outclassed in terms of quality, reduced cost, and minimal risk.
The phase compares planning and execution stages to analyze what needs to be improved, which step requires more employees’ efforts, and how time can be balanced between tasks for expected results.
The last phase of the project life cycle is completion. In this phase, the project is announced completed, and a report has been issued to identify how the overall project went and how successful the project life cycle was.
The stage highlights the difference between budgeted cost and actual cost and the difference between the dates for completion and the completion date.
Importance of the Project Life Cycle
The project life cycle has significant importance in assuring the delivery of a quality project on time with budgeted cost and minimal risk.
The project life cycle helps better manage a project, which is crucial in assuring successful results for a given task. The importance of project life cycle includes:
· Structure a Project
Better structuring of a project helps in better monitoring and better results. With a project life cycle, one can divide the project into several stages, making the structure easier to understand and monitor.
The employees know which task to perform, and the management knows when to expect completion of a sub-task of the project, which enhances the project’s overall efficiency.
· Better Communication
With the better structuring and planning of a project, the project life cycle helps in better communication between employees and management. The employees know in advance which tasks to perform on which date and when to complete them.
Similarly, the management knows when and what to expect from each employee and when to motivate them to uplift their work, which helps in better communication and better results between employees and management.
· Helps in Tracking Progress
Project lifecycle has the most importance in progress tracking. With the task’s divisions and prior finalization of schedule and cost, the project life cycle helps evaluate how competitive project work has been going with planning and where the pace is required, or cost-cutting is essential.
Tracking helps complete a project as planned, which helps finish the project with the required resources and cost. Before the project life cycle, projects exceeded their budgeted cost, and risks related to a project were not identified. After the project life cycle, the projects are not only completed in a predetermined time, but they are completed in allocated cost and resources, which helped in savings for the authority of the project.
· Helps in Better Project Management
The project life cycle has great importance in terms of managing a project. It helps in managing the project time, cost, resources, and efforts of employees. With the use of the project life cycle, each aspect of a project is identified and planned initially, which helps strategize each sub-task at a low cost.
Project management has improved as employees predetermined their tasks, and when they complete the task on a pre-decided deadline, the cost and resources are indirectly appropriately managed.
· Helps in Cost Controlling
With the completion of tasks as planned and allocated resources, the project life cycle helps in cost controlling a project. When projects get delayed, their cost and resource usage increases. The project life cycle holds great importance as it makes sure that the project is completed as strategized by the management that helps in cost controlling as the project is completed within the decided resources.
The project life cycle is of great importance for project management and better project results. The life cycle has been used widely for project planning and completing a project because of its colossal significance. To improve the project life cycle, many software has been designed to help track the project’s performance and maximize the project life cycle application.