Today, everything is a project with more and more people finding themselves in a project management role of some type. What exactly is project management and, more specifically, what are the five phases of project management?

What is Project Management?

Projects are unique events and not processes, yet project management is definitely a process and not a unique event. Project Management is a disciplined utilization of tools and methods for successfully describing, organizing, and controlling a project. It is a structured process of disciplined actions that follows a common Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle found within the five phases of project management.

five phases of project managementWhat Are the Five Phases of Project Management?

  1. Project Initiation
  2. Project Planning
  3. Project Execution
  4. Project Monitoring & Control
  5. Project Review & Close

All projects go through the same five project phases that typically culminates in some type of project management phase review. Each of the five project phases has a distinct purpose, importance, and set of output documents designed to ensure that the project manager is moving the project toward the desired result.

Following a disciplined project management process should help you to eliminate common project issues resulting from poor buy-in, projects consistently going wrong, failing to learn from past project mistakes, or difficulty in getting your projects approved.

Project management begins with the “Project Initiation” phase. The remaining of the five phases of project management are planning, execution, monitoring & control, and close & review.

What is a Project Manager?

What do you think? Do you find yourself managing a collection of related tasks to achieve a desired result? If so, you qualify as a project manager. Businesses today are evolving, downsizing, and pushing more work down the organization chart. You may be a project manager and not know it. But if you haven’t been trained as a Project Manager, it may be harder to initially recognize the five project phases.

Now that you know how the project management process works, it’s clear that every project manager (or would-be project manager) should have the answer to:

  • What is project management?
  • What are the five phases of project management?
  • What are some project management tools and methods?

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