Having a successful project is not that easy. Whether you are moving your business to another location, developing a website for your new business, or updating information on a system, you have to follow the due process. That means following the five main phases of any project: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closing.
Before looking for project management software or an alternative to Jira, you have to understand all the major project management processes. So, what does each project management phase involve?
Phase 1: Project initiation
You are simply turning your abstract idea into a goal at this stage of the project. You should be defining the business case and the whole project on a broader level. If you want to go through the initiation process without facing any hurdles, you should determine the reasons behind this project and then develop a project charter.
A project charter should contain useful detail like goals, constraints, project manager, budget, and the project timeline. All these details should be defined clearly in the project charter.
Once you are done creating the project charter, you can now identify all the stakeholders in the project. Create a register for your stakeholders; assign each individual a role, designation, and communication requirements. You should also specify how each stakeholder will influence the project.
Phase 2: Project planning
Planning is the second phase of project, where you will require complete diligence and a free issue tracker like Jira to help you. Unless you have software that can help you plan, this stage of the project is supposed to take nearly half the project timeline.
In the planning stage of the project, you are supposed to:
- Identify all the technical requirements of the project.
- Come up with a detailed project schedule.
- Create a communication plan.
- Set up goals and deliverables.
The most popular way of creating project goals is using the SMART technique. This method limits every project manager to define the project goals clearly and ensure they are achievable. A SMART goal should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
Also, project managers should set a project timeline at the planning stage. By creating a timeline, managers can develop a communication plan and schedule their communication with all the stakeholders. The manager should also go through past data, identify all the risks, and come up with ways to minimize them.
Phase 3: Project execution
The execution phase is the most important part of the project. At this stage, your team puts their tools to work. You create a workflow that your team can follow while executing the project. With a clear workflow, you can easily monitor the team’s progress and ensure productivity remains at its peak.
At this phase of the project execution, a project manager must collaborate effectively with project stakeholders. This is done to ensure everyone remains on the same page as the project runs. You are free to use collaboration tools to speed up the execution and keep the productivity of your teams in check.
Phase 4: Project monitoring
Project monitoring and controlling is the fourth and most important stage of the project. This stage can run simultaneously with the execution stage. It ensures that the goals as outlined in the project plan are met on time.
As a project manager, you can establish the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Critical Success Factors (CSF) to ensure nobody in your team deviates from the project plan. You should also be monitoring and tracking the effort and cost of the project at this phase to ensure the project remains within the budget.
Phase 5: Project closing
Project closing is the final stage of project management, indicating the end of the project. The project manager can hire external talents and contracts to speed up tasks during the project execution. Before project closure, the project manager should terminate all the contracts and complete the necessary paperwork.
To contemplate the failures and success of the project, most project teams will always hold a reflection meeting after completing the project. The project manager does this to ensure the teams learn from their mistakes and improve their overall productivity in future projects.
At this final stage, the project manager should write a complete and detailed report covering every aspect of the project. The report and the data collected throughout the project are stored safely for future reference.
If you want to go through a successful project, you should come up with a plan, set your goals, and have the right tools and a team to achieve your deliverables.
You can use cloud-based management software at every stage of the project to speed up the timeline and improve productivity. Divide your project into different phases to make it predictable and easy to execute and manage.