Project Management's Five Phases

five wooden blocks form graph
Ancin Cooley, CIA, CISA Photo
Synergy Credit Union Consulting

1 minute

Know the basics, so you can talk with your team

Even though executives typically won’t be in the day-to-day trenches of actually doing project management, you’ll still want to know enough about the details to be able to talk with your team members. To that end, here’s an overview of the five-phase process of project management as defined by The Project Management Institute, Newtown Square, Pa.

During the first phase, project conception and initiation, an idea for a project will be carefully examined to determine whether it benefits the credit union.

In the second phase, project definition and planning, a project plan, charter and/or project may be put in writing, outlining the work to be performed. During this phase, a team or individual should prioritize the project, calculate a budget and schedule, and determine what resources are needed.

In phase three, project launch or execution, tasks are distributed and individuals are informed of responsibilities.

During project performance and control, phase four, the project manager will compare project status and progress to the actual plan, as the scheduled work is performed. During this phase, project managers may need to adjust schedules or do what is necessary to keep the project on track.

The fifth phase is the project close. After project tasks are completed and the client has approved the outcome, an evaluation is necessary to highlight project success and/or learn from project history.

Ancin Cooley is principal of Synergy Credit Union Consulting Inc.

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