C|PM Ask Peter About Project Management Phases

How do you eat an elephant?

What does eating an elephant have to do with project management phases? The answer is what we will discover together today.

Hi, I’m Peter and I am a project management assistant.

Today, we will be discussing project management phases with a special focus on the first phase, which is Initiation. Now let’s answer the question ‘’How do you eat an elephant?’’ The answer, as you might know, eats the elephant one bite at a time. The elephant, in this case, is a huge project that needs to be delivered. To achieve project objectives you really need to divide it into phases, and each phase must be divided into tasks and actions. By dividing up the project this way, you’ll eat that elephant before you know it!

Let’s dive into the first phase!

Phases of Project Lifecycle:

At the beginning of any project, the amount of work and planning required can look huge. There may be a lot of activities and tasks that need to be done at the right time and in the right sequence.

Experienced project managers are aware that making the job easier is all about dividing it into phases. Therefore, it is mandatory to divide the project into four or five main phases.

Let’s have a look at the project phases.


Initiation is the beginning of the project journey. It is always the shortest phase but a very important part of the project lifecycle. Mistakes at this early stage can impact the final results.


Planning is the second step, and if you ask project managers about their primary function, they will answer “planning’.’ Planning requires a strict process of designing plans to ensure objectives are achieved.


The next phase includes execution and control. Sometimes execution and controlling are two separate phases. This phase is about accomplishing specific deliverables to meet the objectives of the project.


It is the final phase, It is in this phase that the deliverables are achieved and in this phase when the stakeholders can finally experience the benefits of the completed project.
During the closure of a project, you need to get feedback from your team and the stakeholders.

As promised, this month we will take a deep dive into the initiation phase.
Initiation phase:

During this phase, you will have to think about the following questions:

  1. Is this a project?
  2. What is the problem that I’m seeking to solve?
  3. What resources do I need?
  4. And what options do I have?

Once you have sufficiently addressed these questions and you have a clear idea of what you need to do, you can proceed to the next phase.

During initiation, the project’s deliverables must be determined. Project deliverables are the results the project is aiming to achieve and are measurable and come with deadlines.

Now, let’s see how we can bring the previous questions to life.

The starting point is to define what a project is. In other words, determine what the project needs you to do. Does the project have a defined start and end date? Define what problem needs to be solved as projects often come about as a result of an identified problem.

Contemplate the resources you need to tackle the project. This could include materials, human resources, equipment, and anything else you need to finish the project within the set period.

It is important to take time to consider what you have, what you need, and how you plan to address any shortfalls in resources. Consider combining resources to achieve the project goals.

When you have a clear vision concerning these issues, you will be able to go into the planning phase with confidence. Remember, a good initiation phase leads to a better planning phase.

My next blog is going to be about the planning phase its importance to the project management lifecycle.

Stay Tuned!

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