Project Phases & Activities

Identifying Phase

The Identifying phase is the first phase of the project life cycle and includes activities related to the development of a business case and proposal. This phase is usually triggered when an a business need, demand, or opportunity is identified. During this phase, a sponsor requests and/or receives a business case that includes cursory information on the purpose and need for the project, a cost estimate, timeframe, and any associated major risks. A Project Proposal Summary is prepared and submitted to the IT Council (ITC) for evaluation. The ITC determines if the project should be undertaken and prioritizes it. Projects receiving formal sponsorship progress to the second phase of the life cycle.

Activities: Develop Business Case => Create Project Proposal Summary => Submit proposal for approval => Prioritize Project

Outputs: Project Proposal Summary

Initiating Phase

The Initiating phase is the second phase of the project life cycle. The phase begins with the sponsor assigning a project manager. The project manager proceeds to fully describe the project scope and prepare the project charter. The major deliverable of the phase is the project charter, which (1) identifies key stakeholders, (2) defines the project timeframe, (3) describes the rationale for the project, and (4) establishes measures of success. The phase concludes when the sponsor signs off on the charter, signaling that the project manager may begin the detailed planning work required in the next phase.

Activities: Set up project => Gather information => Draft charter => Get approval => Hold kickoff meeting

Outputs: Approved Charter

Planning Phase

The Planning phase builds on information captured in the Initiation phase and is traditionally considered the most important. The project plan consist of the schedule and resources for the project, budget requirements, performance measures, and clear actions for managing change, risk, and communications. The phase concludes with a sponsor-approved project plan.

Activities: Identify and analyze all stakeholders => Create communication plan => Create Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) => Determine start requirements => Create project schedule

Outputs: Stakeholder List/RACI Chart, Communications Plan, WBS, Project Schedule, Risk Management plan

Executing Phase

With an approved plan, a project can move into the fourth life cycle phase referred to as, Executing. This is where "the work gets done"; where the project team completes the tasks outlined on the project schedule and develops the project deliverable(s). To track the work, the team also delivers status reports, monitors and reports on issues and risks, creates change requests, and conducts procurement activities. The Executing phase concludes with the project deliverable(s) achieved and accepted by the users and the sponsor.

Activities: Manage and track decisions => Manage and track action items => Manage project changes => Execute and revise communication plan => Execute and revise project schedule => Monitor and manage risks and issues

Outputs: Status Reports, Meeting Notes, Issues log, Risk Log Updates, Change Log

Closing Phase

Projects are temporary in nature and a project team must complete the activities of the fifth and final phase–the Closing phase–in order to complete the project life cycle. Conducting the activities of this phase is vital to continuous improvement efforts and successful transition of the project deliverable(s). After achieving acceptance of the deliverable(s), the project team documents lessons learned and archives project documentation for future use. The project manager transfers the project deliverable(s) to operations and support staff or unit, who will maintain it as an operational activity. Finally, the project team disbands.

Activities: Gather lessons learned => Handoff Service to Operational Owner => Address and transfer ownership of open items => Conduct Closing Meetings => Organize and store final documentation

Outputs: Transition/Deployment Plan, Lessons Learned