PMP Concepts: The 5 Project Management Steps

project management steps

The project management steps are important PMP concepts to know for the certification exam. Although there are some differences in each industry, most project managers follow the same 5 project management steps for each project that they oversee. Here are those 5 project management steps explained:

Step 1: Initiation

The first step of any project involves defining the project. Therefore, name the stakeholders and find out if they are committed to the project. Then, determine if the project is even feasible. To do this, complete a Feasibility Study or write up a Business Case Document.

If the stakeholders decide to move forward with the project, move on to Step 2: Planning. Otherwise, look for ways to salvage the project and start the initiation phase over.

Step 2: Planning

During the second step, stakeholders sit down to create an outline of the work to be performed. Based on the outline, the project manager works to determine the following:

  • Costs
  • Sequence of events
  • Schedule and deadlines
  • Communication with stakeholders
  • Resources and supplies to be reserved or purchased
  • Manpower needed
  • Financing
  • Risk

Notably, one should pay extra attention to risk management. Because you don’t want anything to delay the schedule, the planning stage requires stakeholders to identify and analyze potential risks. Also, determine the mitigation process and plan the necessary response.

It should also be noted that depending on the industry, some projects may require the completion of GANTT charts and milestone charts to help with the planning process, as well.

Step 3: Execution

The third and fourth steps occur simultaneously. Step 3 refers to the process of actually executing the plan. It might include allocating resources, conducting meetings, communicating updates, and delivering performance reports.

During this step, team members receive their list of responsibilities for the project. Therefore, project managers should communicate these to each team member, making sure that each person understands what is expected of them to achieve the goals of the project.

Step 4: Monitoring and Controlling

Complete the process of monitoring and controlling in tandem with the execution. This involves tracking progress and comparing it to the plan. That way, adjustments to the plan can be made as needed.

It’s important to conduct quality control checks throughout the process, as well. As a result, you guarantee that everything is in order and follows the necessary standards or guidelines for the specific industry.

Step 5: Closure

Finally, deliver the product to the client and get their approval. Then, with the project finished, other things that you should do include:

  • Return rented resources;
  • Provide recognition and rewards to team members; and
  • Terminate contracts with contractors.

In the end, take the time to evaluate the project’s success. This is the most noteworthy step because it facilitates the process in the future.

Ask yourself:

  • Did everything go according to plan?
  • Were you able to stay within your budget?
  • What did you learn from the process that you could apply next time?

Take these notes, discuss them with the stakeholders. After that, prepare to start the project management steps all over again with your next project.

What have you learned from your experiences using these 5 project management steps? Do you use the same steps every time? Or, do your steps differ? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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