Project Life Cycle

Every project, from conception to completion, passes through various phases of a life cycle synonym to life cycle of living beings. There is no universal consensus on the number of phases in a project cycle. An understanding of the life cycle is important to successful completion of the project as it facilitates to understand the logical sequence of events in the continuum of progress from start to finish.

Typical project consists of four phases

1. Conceptualization
2. Planning
3. Execution
4. Termination.

Each phase is marked by one or more deliverables such as Concept note, Feasibility report, Implementation Plan, HRD plan, Resource allocation plan, Evaluation report etc.

Conceptualization Phase

Conception phase, starting with the seed of an idea, it covers identification of the product / service, Pre-feasibility, Feasibility studies and Appraisal and Approval. The project idea is conceptualized with initial considerations of all possible alternatives for achieving the project objectives. As the idea becomes established a proposal is developed setting out rationale, method, estimated costs, benefits and other details for appraisal of the stakeholders. After reaching a broad consensus on the proposal the feasibility dimensions are analyzed in detail.

Planning Phase 

In this phase the project structure is planned based on project appraisal and approvals. Detailed plans for activity, finance, and resources are developed and integrated to the quality parameters. In the process major tasks need to be performed in this phase are; 

· Identification of activities and their sequencing 
· Time frame for execution 
· Estimation and budgeting 
· Staffing 

A Detailed Project Report (DPR) specifying various aspects of the project is finalized to facilitate execution in this phase.

Execution Phase 

This phase of the project witnesses the concentrated activity where the plans are put into operation. Each activity is monitored, controlled and coordinated to achieve project objectives. Important activities in this phase are ;

· Communicating with stakeholders
· Reviewing progress
· Monitoring cost and time
· Controlling quality Managing changes

Termination Phase

This phase marks the completion of the project wherein the agreed deliverables are installed and project is put in to operation with arrangements for follow-up and evaluation.


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