The 5 phases of project management

March 23, 2023
Project phases

Managing a project is like conducting an orchestra. To achieve a beautiful symphony and reach your objectives, you need rigor and precise planning.

Project management is presented as a multi-step organization, and rightly so: developing a project is indeed a delicate task. Breaking it down into several stages makes it easier to organize, and ensures that no detail is overlooked.

It doesn't matter how big or small: whether a project is fast-paced and "light" in terms of tasks to be produced, or more substantial and resource-intensive, you need to integrate these phases into your project methodology . The reason we organize project management into several phases is because it is extremely complex.

These different phases make up what is known as the project life cycle. There are five main phases, but these can be adjusted to four or six, depending on your company's methodologies and habits.


All phases of a project's lifecycle need to be planned in advance, so that you can build a foundation on which the project can rest. This will give you greater visibility over the course of the project, making it easier to monitor and manage any risks or unforeseen events.

For the progress monitoring phase, it is then imperative to ensure that all objectives are met. Create a work breakdown structure for each phase, check that you are meeting the requirements, conduct a review at each stage of the project. To simplify the task, you need to use software. A project management tool like Stafiz can make your job a lot easier, thanks to its intuitive interface, automation and collaborative features!

Once the project has been launched, always work directly with the team concerned before embarking on the next phase of the project. You'll then be able to r assess their performance. The project team and the project manager have the same motivation: to achieve the project objectives.

Phase 1: Project design

At this stage, the project begins to take on a conceptual form. This is when it's time to define the project's properties and scope of action. The first step is to create an overview of the project, in order to decide on the strategies to be adopted to achieve the expected results.

The project manager needs to talk to stakeholders and customers to understand the importance of the project's objectives.

After this meeting, you can already start creating a project dashboard. The idea is to create something similar in form to a project map, which will make it easier to understand the fundamental objectives.

Just as a task can be broken down into several sub-tasks, so each project phase is organized into several stages. In the case of project planning, the following four axes can guide you.

  • Carry out a feasibility study: this variable involves assessing the project's objectives, timetable and cost, to check whether they can be achieved. To achieve the project's expected results, it is important to be able to create a balance between the requirements and the resources used.


  • Define the scope of the project: this involves identifying the project's objectives, expected deliverables, deadlines, tasks and cost analysis. Find out what needs to be done to complete the project, and what still needs to be done. By doing this, you'll be able to define - or discover - the project's limits.


  • Project deliverables: this part involves identifying the scope of the work required, and what form it will take. Based on the statement of work (which describes the project's work requirements, schedule, invoicing schedule, what's acceptable and what isn't), instructions for supporting the deliverables and their numbers will then be clearly defined for the stages of completion.


  • Drawing up a business case: once all the above steps have been completed, start creating your business case. This can then serve as a Proof of Concept: it demonstrates why the project is essential, and what financial benefits can be acquired from the outset.

Preparation phase - Project management


Phase 2: Project planning

Once you've got the green light from the investors, create a plan that everyone can follow. You draw up a schedule of tasks, and assign them to team members, setting deadlines for each task.

"Failure to plan is planning to fail. So, planning is the most important phase in the project life cycle. It's not the most exciting part of the project, and it's true that planning can be a bit daunting. However, it is crucial to the success of your project.

Once again, this phase can be broken down into several stages.


Create a project plan

It should serve as a guide for project managers on how to produce quality results, manage risks, but also help them keep costs within budget.

It can also be used to assess the value of the project, and to help teams accomplish their tasks within a given timeframe.

Create a resource plan

This plan should provide you with the necessary number of resources required to complete the project. In other words:

  • the number of project managers ;
  • the number of workers ;
  • the number of raw materials.

This also includes essential project management techniques and information technology (IT).


Gather the necessary resources

Once you've created the plan, gather together all the other resources such as capital, equipment, workspace, etc. Make sure someone is in charge of monitoring resources and replenishing them as needed.

A solution from resource planning can take care of many of these tasks and help you to better allocate your resources.

Stafiz, the smart tool for managing your resource planning


Financial budget planning

Based on the resources required, you can then forecast your financial costs budget. Create a detailed cost analysis with :

  • the cost of performing each task ;
  • the cost for the whole team to carry out a task ;
  • provide a safety margin for unforeseen expenses.


Risks and obstacles

Even when a great deal of planning is done, risks are part of the equation. Try to adopt an anticipatory approach, thinking through the different types of obstacles and risks you may face during the project, so you're ready when they surface. 

Include a percentage of your risk in the financial budget as an expense, to provide security and prevent your project from failing.

The Stafiz platform allows for monitoring and controlling in project management in order to create detailed production plans whether that be on customer projects or internal projects. Plan your entire budget: pre-staff specific collaborators or groups and integrate your expenses, purchases, and subcontracting operations.

Discover the Stafiz project management tool

Phase 3: Project implementation

Dashboard – Project management


This is when everything that has been planned takes shape and becomes concrete. During this phase, project managers distribute tasks to teams and allocate resources.

But remember: success depends on how the planning phase has been structured! For even greater efficiency, project managers can keep a checklist to ensure that stakeholders' requests are taken into account and respected, as agreed in the business case.

It's important to learn from your mistakes, but also from your successes. A vital aspect of the project execution phase is to keep track of what caused the project to fail or to succeed. That way, you can move forward.

To do this, various metrics must be tracked:

  • objectives ;
  • performance reports ;
  • project status updates ;
  • the need for human resources.

Project progress report

During the execution phase, there is a series of data updates as the project progresses and resources are expended. That's why it's necessary to maintain regular updates on what's happening, and to identify critical project issues.

Find out how Greenworking optimized its project tracking with Stafiz!

The Greenworking success story

Plan regular meetings with stakeholders and the project team

We recommend that you update your reports for stakeholders and customers. Check with them to see if the project is still moving in the right direction, and communicate with your team to give them feedback and suggestions for improvement, particularly on topics such as understanding customer needs or progressing along the trajectory to ensure objectives are met.

Phase 4: Project follow-up

This phase of the project takes place at the same time as the execution phase. It can be easily carried out using ERP software or a project management tool.

The aim of this stage is to ensure that all parameters, such as budget, plans and deadlines, are aligned with the project plan. 

The project manager must ensure that production quality, scope creep, and resources remain within the projected budget budget. If everything has gone according to plan, the project manager should be able to anticipate potential risks and prevent them from occurring. Keep the project moving, despite obstacles!

Make your projects more profitable! With the Stafiz platform, benefit from visibility on your costs and resources in real time and easily compare them to the initial plan thanks to indicators and reports.

To learn more about project management and task automation:

Download the Stafiz e-book

Phase 5: Project closure

After successful completion of the project, communicate the results to the stakeholders and hand over the project to them. 

On the internal side, take stock with your team members and learn from any mistakes that may have been made. Learn how to make adjustments for future projects (manage your teams better, allocate your resources wisely, plan better, etc.).

Don't forget to congratulate your team and show your appreciation for their hard work. This will help the team achieve better results in future projects.

Analyze team performance

  • Check the quality of the work and the results obtained. 
  • Suggest areas for improvement. 
  • Compare performance with previous projects to see how it has improved.

Draw up project documentation

Write a detailed document describing how stakeholder expectations were met. By explaining the strategies and different phases implemented to achieve these objectives, it gives you food for thought, and enables a retrospective understanding of how events unfolded.

Review your budget

Finally, find out whether the project has been carried out on budget. Evaluate whether costs and profit are in line with the original plan. Look for any opportunity costs that may have been overlooked during the project.

Project management can sometimes seem overwhelming. There are many tasks that involve risks, problems and failures. To be successful, it's essential to follow the five steps outlined above. 

To take things to the next level, you can also equip yourself with an IT tool that supports every phase of the project lifecycle. This is guaranteed to save you time, help you manage your resources more effectively, and make complex projects easier to organize.

To find out more about the Stafiz platform, request a personalized demo!

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