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A complete breakdown of the 5 phases of project management process

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Updated on:
July 2, 2024
July 3, 2024
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Generally, the Project Management Process consists of five key phases: project initiation, project planning, project execution, project monitoring, and project closure. It is important to highlight that these phases guide the project from conception to completion, ensuring seamless coordination among project stakeholders. 

One thing is for sure: during project initiation, the project scope along with project stakeholders are identified. Notably, the planning of the project phase involves detailed task management and project scheduling. It's crucial to consider that the project execution phase essentially focuses on accomplishing the project deliverables within the project timeline. 

An interesting thing about project monitoring is it takes place simultaneously to identify and mitigate project management risks. What’s important is the project finish phase signifies the successful completion of the project, with all objectives met and deliverables handed over. In particular, reporting, documentation, and feedback are crucial parts of this phase. 

Introduction to project management process

Significantly, the Project handling process is a critical approach that guides a project from its inception to its completion. It encompasses several key stages such as: 

  1. Project initiation
  2. Project planning
  3. Project execution 

Know that these phases aim to define the project scope, identify project stakeholders, and set out project goals. Mainly, it ensures that every task is aligned with the overarching project management plan. Moreover, critical stages in this framework include project monitoring and project closure. 

  • Precise project scheduling
  • The Monitoring of project management risks
  • Guaranteeing the submission of project deliverables within the agreed timeline 

It is safe to say that, “The project handling process is an orderly method to steer a project toward successful completion, and, obviously, it fulfills the demands of the stakeholders.”

How Bonsai support project management process

Bonsai is the ultimate project management tool, offering a single platform that caters to the diverse needs of modern businesses. Bonsai supports each phase with its comprehensive features, enhancing the overall project management process.

Here's how Bonsai empowers you at each step:

Streamlined workflow

Bonsai acts as an all-in-one platform, combining project management with features like proposals, contracts, invoicing, and client communication. This eliminates the need to switch between multiple tools, saving time and reducing complexity.

Link to Project Management

Enhanced collaboration

Bonsai fosters teamwork through features like task assignment, Kanban boards, and built-in chat. Team members have a clear view of project progress, deadlines, and discussions, ensuring everyone stays on the same page. Assign tasks to your team members, organize your weekly priorities, and monitor the progress of your projects.

Financial management

Bonsai integrates project management with features for tracking billable hours, creating invoices, and accepting payments. This simplifies the financial aspects of your projects, improves cash flow, and ensures you get paid efficiently.

Link to Utilization Report

Improved client visibility

Bonsai's client portal allows you to share project details, proposals, and even receive client feedback within the platform. This transparency fosters trust and strengthens client relationships. By streamlining administrative tasks, Bonsai frees you and your team to focus on what matters most - delivering exceptional creative work for your clients.

Link to Client Management


Overall, Bonsai offers a comprehensive project management solution designed to simplify workflows, enhance collaboration, and improve financial management, particularly for creative and service-based businesses.

Understanding the importance of project management

Inarguably, project management is pivotal in achieving project goals and aligning them with the business strategy. It’s a cool thing that it involves different stages and each of which plays a crucial role in steering the project towards its objectives. The remarkable thing about the project management plan is it outlines the project scope and project deliverables. As a result, this ensures proper task and resource management. What’s fascinating is effective project management and scheduling ensure project success, ultimately contributing to organizational growth.

Defining the project management process

An interesting thing is the management of the project process is an organized method to ensure smooth progression and completion of a project. Commonly, it involves critical stages beginning with project initiation, where an idea or proposal is evaluated and approved. Then moving on to project planning, which determines the project scope, goals, and timeline. It's no secret that a project management plan is created with: 

  1. The management of tasks
  2. Resource management
  3. Project scheduling 

Phase 1: Project initiation

One interesting thing is the Project beginning phase in project management is the primary stage in the life cycle of a project. Remember, it involves defining the project scope, identifying the project stakeholders, and setting project goals. 

It goes without saying that this step is evident because it establishes the groundwork for subsequent project planning. What’s ironic is throughout the project initiation phase, a comprehensive project management plan is developed. Delightfully the end result of this phase should be complete readiness for project execution and project monitoring.

Understanding the project vision

Never forget that the project vision fundamentally encompasses a comprehensive understanding of the project initiation, project planning, and project execution. What's worth mentioning is task management and project scheduling play a critical role in adhering to the project timeline. 

To add on, the project management plan further involves resource management to efficiently utilize available resources. The beneficial thing about this monitoring of project management risks is they consistently ensure the project is on track along with preparing for possible future obstacles. In the final stages, evidently, project monitoring and project deliverables contribute to an effective project closure. 

Identifying stakeholders and defining their roles

What’s remarkable is the success of project planning and execution heavily relies on the identification and management of the stakeholders of the projet. Amazingly, these include anyone who has a vested interest or can affect the project's outcome! For instance:

  1. Team members
  2. Clients
  3. Vendors
  4. Investors

It’s staggering to find out how their roles can be defined and categorized according to their impact on the project! In addition to that, they may be involved in resource management and project scheduling. One usual thing is instrumental to project beginning and monitoring– stakeholders can also help to anticipate and mitigate any project management risks. It's crucial to be aware that they can also assess the quality of project deliverables as per the project management plan at the point of the closure of the project.

Creating the project charter

One thing is for certain: The first step in project management is project initiation, which includes the creation of a Project Charter. What’s worth noticing is the charter helps to mitigate project management risks by providing guidelines along with a roadmap for project planning. It is essential to understand that key elements in the Project Charter often include: 

  • Timeline of the project
  • Aiding efficient project scheduling 
  • Task management tactics for project execution 

It is irrefutable that having a comprehensive Project Charter ensures transparency, and facilitates smoother project monitoring until project closure.

Conducting a feasibility study with SWOT analysis

It's proven that a feasibility study is imperative during the project's beginning phase, and it's no secret that this involves a SWOT analysis to understand the project's scope, goals, and potential management risks. It’s fascinating how it helps in the planning of the project and links to the project management plan guiding project execution! Key aspects addressed are: 

  • Project stakeholders' interests and influence.
  • The project timeline which is crucial for project scheduling.

Phase 2: Project planning

It is generally agreed that the project planning phase is critical in defining the project scope and outlining the project goals. Another thing to note is the project management plan is also devised in this phase. What's obvious is strategic outlining of the project timeline is essential for effective project scheduling. At this stage, it is important to identify and engage project stakeholders.

What’s worth noticing is potential project management risks are identified and mitigation strategies are set in place to ensure smooth project execution and eventual project closure. 

Particularly, what's intriguing is project deliverables, specific outcomes, or outputs that are expected at various stages of the project, are also defined during project planning. 

Developing a detailed project plan

An obvious thing is a detailed project plan is crucial for smooth project starting, and effective project execution. Notably, it involves precisely identifying project stakeholders, and outlining clear project goals. One thing to be noted: An organized project timeline must be set to guide project scheduling and task management. This would include project deliverables with set deadlines. Another notable thing is resource management should address all project management risks to ensure a successful project finish. 

Setting realistic goals and objectives

There is no denying that project planning plays a pivotal role in setting realistic project goals and objectives. It is fair to say that the project timeline, and project deliverables are central to the creation of a feasible task supervision plan. Note that interactions among project stakeholders at the project's beginning stage are essential to align expectations and define clear, attainable goals. Then Project execution takes the plan into action. However, it must be coupled with constant project monitoring to ensure no deviation from the intended goals. 

What's proven is advances in task management and project scheduling are key in providing a framework where project goals can be adjusted. But do you know what is the ultimate? Well, know that it is the closure of the project. 

Creating a work breakdown structure

It's obvious that the creation of a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a critical part of project planning. Regularly, it involves the decomposition of the project scope into smaller, manageable tasks. 

The great thing about this is it helps in resource management and project scheduling. It is beneficial to understand that the WBS provides a visual representation of project deliverables, and helps identify project management risks. The notable thing about this is stakeholders refer to it throughout various phases of the project so that they can ensure adherence to the project timeline.

Planning for risk management

Significantly, Project Management, Risk planning involves defining potential threats to the project during initiation and outlining mitigation measures in the project management plan. This phase, which is a must as it controls impacts on project planning, execution, and closure. Key elements to consider include: 

  • Project stakeholders' roles in risk management
  • Integration of the management of risks into project scheduling 

Phase 3: Project execution

It is relevant to mention that during the project execution phase, the project team works to deliver the project deliverables outlined during the project planning phase. One amazing thing about effective resource management and task management is they are essential to ensure tasks are completed according to the project timeline. 

The outstanding thing is the project management plan is put into action and closely aligned with the project's scope and goals. Don't forget that project execution also involves consistent project monitoring, which helps identify and mitigate project management risks. 

Allocating resources and building the team

One notable thing is in the project planning phase, careful attention is given to resource management. Continually a project's success heavily depends upon the effective allocation of resources, like personnel and equipment. 

It's interesting to point out that it's essential for project stakeholders to understand and agree on the project scope and project goals to ensure maximum efficiency during the project execution phase. You should not forget that building the team involves the careful selection of individuals capable of achieving project deliverables. It would not be an overstatement to say, “Project monitoring is essential throughout to mitigate any project management risks and ensure timely project closure.” 

Executing the project plan

It's crucial to consider that once the project beginning and project planning stages have wrapped up, the focus then shifts to project execution. This is where the predefined project management plan is put into action. Importantly, it is during the execution stage that the project deliverables are produced by following the project timeline closely. 

What’s important to highlight is successful project execution involves key project stakeholders. One fascinating thing is that communication through updates helps in maintaining transparency and mitigating project management risks. If disparities arise, the stunning thing about project plans is they are adjusted to ensure the successful end of the project.

Using project management tools like Bonsai, Trello or Asana

It's well known that project management tools such as Bonsai, Trello, or Asana are crucial for steering a project from initiation through to closure. Interestingly, they offer immense assistance in the planning of the project and project execution, and, thus, allowing project managers to define the project scope and create a workable project timeline. 

Link to Client Management

Bonsai is recognized as a top product management software tool, offering a suite of features that cater to the needs of agencies, consultancies, and professional services. It consolidates projects, clients, and teams into one integrated platform, streamlining business operations.




Here are the key functionalities of the best project management tool Bonsai:

  • Project management - Assign tasks, track time, and ensure deadlines are met.
  • Client management - Centralizes client information, proposals, contracts, and communication, fostering stronger relationships.
  • Financial management - Generate professional invoices with recurring payment options, track project profitability, and gain valuable insights into your business's financial health.
Link to Project Profitability Report

The stunning thing about Bonsai is it is a comprehensive tool that excels in task management and client reporting. Inarguably, this makes it an indispensable asset for agencies, professional service providers and small businesses. Manage your client relationships effectively with features like centralized client information, proposal generation, and contract creation. Plus, simplify finances with Bonsai's invoicing, expense tracking, and reporting tools.

It comes as no surprise that these tools facilitate task management and project scheduling, therefore maximizing resource management. 

With these tools, a detailed project management plan can be drawn up, and ensuring effective communication among project stakeholders. Essential in project monitoring, to be precise, these tools help in achieving successful project outcomes. 

Phase 4: Project monitoring and control

It's obvious that in the phase of project monitoring as well as control, key processes like task management, project scheduling, etc. become crucial. Clearly, this phase helps in tracking the progression towards project goals closely and managing unexpected changes or project management risks. 

One remarkable thing is it ensures alignment with the project timeline and project scope. What’s worth noticing is the project monitoring phase runs parallel to the project execution. This, in turn, makes it possible to spot any potential issues and address them promptly. 

Tracking project progress with KPIs

Notably Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are useful during project planning, execution, and monitoring stages. Don't forget that they provide quantifiable measures to gauge the project's progress against predefined goals and project scope. 

KPIs assist in task management, ensuring tasks are being completed on time as per the project timeline. The fascinating thing about them is they help identify project management risks and necessary interventions. Other areas KPIs touch are: 

  • Compliance with the project management plan
  • Quality of project deliverables

Managing changes and risks

In the process of project execution, it’s evident that managing changes and risks is a crucial aspect. What's cool is this involves several elements like being accustomed to project monitoring, project management risks, etc. 

Significantly, project monitoring involves tracking progress and dealing with potential risks while working towards the project goals. It's beyond dispute that project management risks entail predicting and mitigating potential problems that could hinder project deliverables. On the other hand, task management deals with the process of managing a task throughout its life cycle. 

By addressing these factors, one can effectively manage alterations as well as potential risks to ensure the successful completion of the project. 

Quality control and assurance

Mostly, quality control, as well as assurance, involves careful project monitoring and meticulous task management to ensure project deliverables align with the project scope. 

The quality control process starts right from the project's beginning stage, and it is important to mention that it permeates through project planning and project monitoring until the end of the project. Definitely this process is integral to meeting project goals and satisfying project stakeholders.

Phase 5: Project closure

Certainly, the final stage of the project lifecycle is the closure of the project. It a vital phase but sadly it is often overlooked. What’s remarkable is this stage involves wrapping up all elements linked to the project, such as finalizing project deliverables and reviewing the project management plan. Plus, it's essential to manage this phase well to ensure that the project goals are successfully achieved. 

Key activities during this stage include: 

  • The evaluation of project execution and task management 
  • Reviewing the project timeline 
  • The identification of any project management risks for future reference

Completing the project and delivering the final product

It's ironic that upon the project's initiation, a detailed project management plan is established to guide the process, and, usually, it outlines the project's scope, project timeline, etc. What’s important to highlight is task management is critical during the project planning phase as it sets individual assignments and responsibilities. 

Throughout the project execution, project monitoring keeps everything on track. The noticeable thing about resource management and project scheduling is they are key techniques to ensure that both requisite manpower and timeframes are working in tandem. What’s more, the end-of-project phase includes a thorough review of all tasks completed, reassessing the project's goals, and providing final deliverables to the respective stakeholders.

Conducting a post-project evaluation

There is no denying that conducting a post-project evaluation provides valuable insights into project management risks and overall project execution. It involves a thorough assessment of the project management plan, comprising project deliverables, timeline, scope, etc. The beneficial thing about this is this evaluation helps identify potential improvements in task and resource management strategies. Key areas to focus on include: 

  • Project starting
  • Project planning processes 
  • Monitoring methods and project closure mechanisms 

Documenting lessons learned

It's well-known that the process of project management unearths several opportunities for learning at each phase– from the initiation of the project to its closure. 

For instance, during the planning of the project phase, one might find novel ways to define the project scope in coherence with project stakeholders' expectations. Simultaneously, project execution might introduce various project management risks – anticipated or otherwise. Moreover accurate project scheduling and effective task and resource management can help to avoid any missteps during the project timeline. Lastly, it’s astonishing how documenting the project management plan at the project closure phase allows for the consolidation of project deliverables!

Conclusion: The importance of following the project management process

One thing is proven: The significance of adhering to the project-handling process cannot be overstated. Inevitably, this process includes key stages such as project starting, planning, execution, monitoring, and closure. 

By strictly following this method, the stunning thing is project managers can accurately define project scope, effectively manage the stakeholders, along with handling resource management. It is vital to note that this helps to mitigate management risks and ensures that project goals are met while ensuring deliverables are accomplished according to the management plan of the project. 

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