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PMI Project Life Cycle (PLC) – Introduction (#1 in the series PMI Project Life Cycle)
By Brian Denis Egan, B.Sc, M.Sc., M.B.A., PMP – Global Knowledge Course Director

This series provides a review of the steps and stages associated with project management according to the Project Management Institute® (PMI). It is a primer for anyone new to the Project Management Body of Knowledge® (PMBOK®) and who is preparing to take the PMP exam.

In order to understand how the PMI recommends that projects be run it is necessary to understand the project life cycle (PLC). The PLC is the framework around which project management activities are structured. It is a key concept in formal project management according to PMI.

In this series the structure and function of the PLC is introduced along with a number of related terms that are commonly confused.

What Is a Life Cycle?

The term ”life cycle” implies two things: that a process is perpetual and that the sequence of events is obligatory or uni-directional.

A typical life cycle is depicted below. There is no beginning or end to a life cycle and the sequence of events cannot change. A seed cannot go directly to being a mature plant nor revert back to the blossom stage.

A Typical Life Cycle

A typical life cycle such as the above is applied to projects and Project Management

About the Author

Brian Denis Egan is CEO of a manufacturing company (Book Box Company) and a management consultant. He has written three professional development manuals and numerous white papers on aspects of management science. Since 2000, Brian has been a part-time instructor for Global Knowledge within the Management product line.

This article was originally published in Global Knowledge’s Business Brief e-newsletter. Global Knowledge delivers comprehensive hands-on project management, business process, and professional skills training. Visit our online Knowledge Center at for free white papers, webinars, and more.

© Copyright 2008, Global Knowledge. All rights reserved.

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