There are lots of people who think project phases are a project management related concept. The fact is, project phases are more of a work and deliverable concept. Project phases get confused with the project management process groups defined by the Project Management Institute (PMI): initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing. These process groups are a different beast all together.
What Project Phases Really Are
Let’s put the confusion to rest once and for all. Project phases, or sometimes called project lifecycle phases, are high-level summary categories of activities that produce project deliverables. Project phases are usually industry specific and have been established through years of experience in an attempt to create a repeatable approach to efficiently producing products, services or results.
Here are some examples of industry projects with established phases:
- Construction Projects: planning, approval, design, contracting, construction, and operation
- Software Projects: planning, requirements, design, develop, test, and implement
- Six Sigma Projects: plan, define, measure, analyze, improve, and control
So, don’t confuse project phases with project management.
Ben Snyder is the CEO of Systemation, (www.systemation.com), a project management, business analysis, and agile development training and consulting company that has been training professionals since 1959. Systemation is a results-driven training and consulting company that maximizes the project-related performance of individuals and organizations. Known for instilling highly practical, immediately usable processes and techniques, Systemation has proven to be an innovative agent of business transformation for many government entities and Fortune 2000 companies, including Verizon Wireless, Barclays Bank, Mattel, The Travelers Companies, Bridgestone, Amgen, Wellpoint and Whirlpool.