Software development is a challenging but still exciting journey that consists of several phases. If you, as a startup founder, want to make your project successful and spend your resources smartly, you must understand the specifics of the life cycle phases of a project and their deliverables.
In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the phases of a project and share bonus tips that will help you manage your project better.
Every project has a beginning and an end, but what happens in between? Even though each project is unique, they go through the same stages. The project life cycle is a framework of the stages that lead your project from the idea to the final goal. Typically, the life cycle of all tech projects looks like this:
It’s important to note that all these phases have three constraints: budget, time, and scope. These three elements are defined at the beginning of the project. Based on their correspondence, we can determine whether each phase of the project was successful or not.
*triple Constraints of each project management life cycle phase
Project initiation is the very early stage that is aimed at the investigation of your project's feasibility. In simple terms, it means that you should:
Based on this, you can evaluate the capability of your project to move forward. If you want to investigate your opportunities more precisely, you can use the following six criteria:
|Technical capability||Assess the needed technical resources|
|Budget||Here’s important to evaluate not just the current budget needed to undertake the project but its potential profitability as well|
|Legal aspect||Are there any specific legal requirements/constraints for your project?|
|Risks||What challenges could you face on your way to project success? What consequences could they bring? Are there any ways to overcome these risks?|
|Operational feasibility||Could this project somehow improve the operational performance/solve problems of your business?|
|Time||Do you have enough time to deliver this project without hassle and with appropriate attention to the details|
Important to note: initiation phase of a project is often confused with planning. However, these terms are not interchangeable! To put it simply, initiation is everything that happens before planning. Are you assigning tasks right away? Well, slow down, you’re going too far now. The initiation of the project is only a so-called general overview.
The result of this overview is a specific brief document - Project Charter. It includes the basic info about your project. As practice shows, it can be edited many times before the start of actual work on the project, so our friendly recommendation is not to spend too much time on its creation. Moreover, don’t make it too detailed! It will be enough to describe the following points in 1-2 sentences:
Proper project planning is the key to a successful project without excessive stress and losses of resources. During this phase, you together with your tech team should create a detailed roadmap that will lead you to your final goals.
It will be much easier and more convenient to divide all the planning activities into separate areas. Consequently, you will end up planning the project with several documents:
With a detailed plan and clear strategy, you can move to the execution of a project. It is the most time- and money-consuming phase of the project life cycle. To put it briefly, during this phase your team implements all the previously set tasks while keeping in mind:
What is the sequence of activities that you should expect from your team during the execution of the project? To get the ball rolling, it would be great to set a kickoff meeting. This will help all the team members to sync up and discuss relevant questions. When all the tasks are assigned, your team can start their work on the first milestone (yes, it’s crucial to divide your project into several milestones and move to the result step-by-step).
The number and type of your milestones depend on the specifics of your project. Usually, they are based on the following project execution steps:
Prototyping >> UI/UX design >> backend development >> frontend development >> quality assurance >> project delivery.
Project management monitoring and controlling are always conducted simultaneously with the execution phase. Generally, it means a review of current tasks statutes, evaluation of project progress, etc. Proper project control is of crucial importance not just to keep up with deadlines and budgets but also to react quickly if any unexpected circumstances appear. In this case, you can make the necessary project changes and maximize your chances of success.
Of course, the micro-management of the inner processes is the area of responsibility of your tech team. However, this does not mean that your participation is not required at all. You should set up with your team a convenient report/approval format that will keep you in the loop on what’s going on.
The end goal of this phase of project life cycle is to make sure that all the planned deliverables are completed with high quality and within the initially set time, scope, and budget. Also, it’s important to fix that these deliverables were accepted by the client (you and all the stakeholders).
Congrats, it’s a project closure! You did a great job! However, before starting celebrations, you need to summarize the results and make a project closure report. It’s a document that outlines the achievements of your team and recommendations for further improvements.
Also, here is a checklist for project closure:
Friendly reminder: closure of a project it’s a great opportunity to praise your team. Be motivational!
Software development can be a challenging journey, especially when it comes to app development for startups. So if you want to move smoothly through all the phases of a project, you should keep in mind the following recommendations:
We’re only human, so project lifecycle management is impossible without small emergencies. However, some of the typical pitfalls can be avoided, if you read the pieces of advice below carefully:
Hope this article helped you get a basic understanding of the project lifecycle. If you need more detailed consultations on this topic or want to create an application for startup, feel free to contact our DreamX team!
|Table of contents|
|What Is The Project Life Cycle?|
|The Project Initiation Phase|
|The Project Planning Phase|
|The Project Execution Phase|
|The Project Monitoring & Controlling Phase|
|The Project Closure Phase|
|Bonus. Important things every founder should know before starting a project.|
|Bonus. What mistakes should be avoided during the project life cycle?|