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Why Project Phases Aren’t a Project Management Concept

why project phases aren't a pm concept

There are lots of people who think project phases are a project management related concept. The fact is, they are more of a work and deliverable concept. Project phases get confused with the project management process groups defined by the Project Management Institute (PMI): initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing. These process groups are a different beast all together.

What Project Phases Really Are

Let’s put the confusion to rest once and for all. Project phases, or sometimes called project lifecycle phases, are high-level summary categories of activities that produce project deliverables. They are usually industry specific and have been established through years of experience in an attempt to create a repeatable approach to efficiently producing products, services or results.

Here are some examples of industry projects with established phases:

  • Construction Projects: planning, approval, design, contracting, construction, and operation
  • Software Projects: planning, requirements, design, develop, test, and implement
  • Six Sigma Projects: plan, define, measure, analyze, improve, and control

So, don’t confuse project phases with project management.