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Project Phases

MyMG Team
June 21, 2011

project phasingProject phasing becomes important in the context of achieving the project’s purpose and its objectives stated by the policy. It gives information required to understand how to methodologically achieve the project’s purpose, what the project phasing process is, and which phases are typically involved in the project implementation life-cycle.

The Project Phases section of the Implementation Guide includes the following paragraphs:

  • Implementation Methodology
  • Project Phasing Process
  • Project Phasing Map

Implementation Methodology

A comprehensive implementation methodology for a project is the key driver for ensuring the project success since it allows laying out the right foundation for the project startup and dividing the implementation life-cycle into a number of coherent phases in order to produce project deliverables, accomplish the objectives and gain the benefits.

The way to choose a methodology for project implementation will generally depend on the project type, including requirements and deliverables. The given below five high-level phases follow a logical sequence and can be used to understand the major (traditional) phases of a typical project:

  • Measure: The first phase of project implementation initiates actions to measure the existing environment in order to identify whether the project meets initial requirements, is feasible within the given environment and has an economic sense, so it’s profitable.
  • Plan: This phase is intended for setting up and approving the project objectives and the key success criteria. The Plan phase results in defining and validating major milestones, resources and responsibilities which are to be included in the general project plan.
  • Produce:This phase investigates rapport between people, technology, and methods of organization. The relationship is defined by the project requirements and technical specifications as well as by skills and knowledge of people involved in the project. The Produce phase results in producing the project product.
  • Introduce:This phase is focused on the key activities required for moving results of the implementation process forward. The Introduce phase covers building of environment, installation of the final product, initial pilot of the product’s components, introduction of policies for monitoring, reporting, and alerting the project work.
  • Manage: This phase is intended for ensuring the project’s optimization and its alignment with the best practices. The Manage phase should be repeated regularly during the project course. It involves a review of new functional, technical and business requirements to identify any changes to be applied to the project and to align the project with the changes.

These phases are sample. There are numerous implementation methodologies, guidelines and standards that set up specific phases for various projects. For example, the PMBOK Guide (Initiate-Plan-Execute-Monitor&Control-Close), the PRINCE2 methodology (Preparation-(Pre-Project)-Initiation-Implementation-Closure), Six Sigma (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control), and so on. Please browse the this website to find the Methodologies category describing those methodologies.

Project Phasing Process

Project phasing is a process of dividing and sub-dividing a project into a number of logically related phases that must result in completion of the associated deliverables. The phasing process is an important task of project planners who should carry out the planning process while considering whether the major phases of project work overlap and run concurrently or sequentially.

The process is carried out under the supervision of the project manager. This person takes the ultimate responsibility for developing a complete set of phases that are required to implement the work identified by the general plan. Planners must assist the manager.

The project phasing map is a separate document developed in accordance with the implementation methodology to outline the high-level representation of steps for project fulfilment and show objectives for each of the steps with durations and priorities. It’s an efficient tool for project phasing. Typically the project phasing map is combined with a schedule, so that the tool shows the key implementation phases with durations, deadlines and time breaks.

The project phasing map can be designed in two steps, as follows below:

  1. Identification. The first step in developing the project phasing map is to identify which phases, sub-phases or/and sub-projects will be required for completing the overall project life-cycle. The identification should be based on the objectives and expectations stated by the project policy. Time becomes the critical factor that determines the phasing so schedules are used to identify the key phases. All the objectives are divided into groups considering expected delivery time for each of the objectives. Then for every group the primary goal is to be determined. The goal combines and aggregates all the objectives included in each given group. In such a way project planners can group the policy objectives by delivery time and therefore divide the entire project implementation life-cycle into certain phases.
  2. Prioritization. This step is about setting up priorities for each of the identified phases. The relative ranking or priorities for the phases should be based on the extent to which every phase carries out a specific objective. Often priorities are set up by defining the critical path for all the objectives of the identified phases. Here’s how it works: an objective with the longest duration in every phase is investigated and selected; such objectives are compared with each other and organized by durations (from shortest to longest). Then priorities are set up for the phases.

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