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Breaking the Project Down Into Major Stages
By Richard Morreale

In one of my previous articles, I introduced my 9 step process for producing a structured plan for your project. In this article I’ll be talking about the 1st step which is to ‘Break the project down into major stages of work with each stage delivering a major ‘end of stage’ product.

Almost every Project can be broken down into major Stages of work. In fact, I haven’t found one yet that can’t. Let’s look at two examples which, although fairly simple, should give you a good idea of what I’m talking about in this Blog.

A Project to build a house, for instance, could be broken down into Stages and major end of Stage Products as follows:

Stage End of Stage Products
Requirements Definition Statement of Requirements
Design House Plans/Drawings
Build Completed House
Acceptance Owner Inspected/Accepted House

Each of these Stages meets the requirements for a Stage in that they include major effort and the output for each Stage is a major Product.

A Project to build an IT system, for instance, could also be broken down into Stages and major end of Stage Products as follows:

Stage End of Stage Products
Project Initiation Approved Project Initiation Report
Feasibility Study Approved System Options/Selected Option
Requirements Analysis Requirements Document
Top-Level Design Top-Level Design Specification
Detailed Design Detailed Design Specifications
Development Developed System (Code)
Testing Tested System (Code)
Acceptance Client Accepted System
Implementation Implemented System

These are just 2 examples but I think you probably get the picture.

This step is important because it forms the foundation of the Project Plan. It forces you, from the beginning, to think logically about your Project Plan and, eventually, everything that must be done to successfully deliver the project. When done properly, it helps to ensure that nothing is missed. Tomorrow I’ll cover Step 2 in the Structured Planning Process.

Richard is a project manager, professional speaker, author and consultant specializing in Project Management, Leadership, Achievement and Customer Service.

You can book Richard for your next meeting or conference at or 336 499 6677.

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