Project phases

Project phases diagram

The Opportunity phase includes the completion of an Opportunity Report. At this stage, the project manager requires effective influencing, communication, analytical and presentation skills to sell the report to Business.

The Feasibility phase follows the acceptance of the Opportunity Report. The project manager will be required to present a Feasibility Report to the Board/Executive Committee that will allocate funds for the project. At this stage the project manager requires good financial, analytical and marketing skills.

The Establish phase begins once the funds have been allocated and the project has been approved in principle. At this stage, Business will require a Business Case and will also need to be informed about the impacts of the project, so that preparations can be made for future change. A project manager requires sound negotiation, planning and influencing skills at this stage.

The Design phase consists of a detailed process mapping procedure to determine the Business Process and People and System requirements to sustain the new project. A project manager requires creativity and good stress management skills at this stage to keep resources focused.

The Development phase entails refining the nuts and bolts of project implementation.

The Execute phase involves the co-ordination of all the project activities and tasks according to agreed timelines on the Project Plan. Risks and issues must be identified at this stage and the project manager will be required to make important decisions with regards to the three Project Management constraints: time, cost and quality.

During the Handover and exit, the project manager will ensure that any loose ends are tied up and that internal staff are equipped to sustain future processes. Once sustainability has been established, the project members will exit according to an upfront agreed exit strategy.

The Review phase relates to the project manager’s responsibility to assess the project’s achievement of the benefits set out in the Business Case. A Post-Implementation Review is completed at this stage.