What are Phases of Project Management in Infrastructure Projects?

End-to-end phases in infrastructure project

The entire process may be broken down into four primary segments (sometimes known as Steps, Phases, or Process Groups):


  • Planning (Conceptualization etc.), 
  • Development, 
  • Implementation, 
  • Close-out


Let’s look at how each of these factors affects the project life cycle.


  1. Planning

This is the first phase in the process of delivering an idea Product, Service, or Result. A specific Product, Service, or Result is conceptualized during the planning process, and subsequent steps are taken to detail the business need for the product, service, or result, as well as the requisite Scope of the product, service, or result.


  • Determine the root of the issue

First and foremost, we must identify the real problem for which we must design a solution. This problem will serve as the basis for the whole project, with all thoughts, ideas, plans, and other Project Management-related activities circling its resolution. Typically, project managers come across some ideas from internal or external customers with a problem statement and are requested to submit their solutions for further consideration. We may also be given several solutions to a certain problem and asked to choose the best one to execute to address the problem. It may, however, differ depending on the circumstances.


  • Defining the Project’s Goals

After you’ve identified the problem, you’ll need to sketch out what the results or deliverables will look like, as well as what qualities the outcomes must have. Before going on to the following phases of planning and execution, it’s critical to define all expected characteristics. Failure to articulate the exact objectives of the results will lead to a departure from the project’s real expectations.


  • Determine the project’s scope, resources, and primary tasks and activities.

Establishing the project scope entails defining the project boundary, or erecting a barrier around it. Everything inside the border is required and expected to be completed to achieve the project’s Product, Service, or Outcomes. It is the only scope that needs to be fulfilled, and it has been finished. A lot of tools and approaches are used at this stage to plan properly and maintain the project under control, such as WBS, WBS Dictionary, and so on. These tools and strategies are provided to assist in the methodical definition of Scope and the subsequent planning process.


  • Managing Constraints

The project constraints include scope, schedule, cost, resources, risk, and quality; the project’s outcomes are the consequence of a mishmash of these limitations. Any change in any of these limitations will have an impact on the project’s results. For example, if the schedule is squeezed by the client or management in the middle of the project, we have two options: either make a financial trade-off (pour more money and resources into the project to finish it on time) or deliver something that does not meet the project’s expected/planned outcomes, which will not be acceptable to any of the stakeholders.

2. Development

This is the project’s build-up phase, during which we will undertake specific tasks that will lead to the project’s future implementation. At this point, we assemble the team, translate time estimates into a schedule, and convert cost estimates into budgets. We’ve gathered the resources, and we’ve made pledges.


  • Assemble Team

The first step is to put together a team that can handle the project from start to finish. Of course, we already have a small staff to assist with project planning, but we now want more specialists to handle the actual project planning and implementation. The technical parts of the project now demand a large number of subject matter experts (SMEs).


  • Responsibility Assignment Planning

The crew has arrived, but what will each member of the team do? It is necessary to plan in-depth, with a clear description of roles and duties, so that things can proceed methodically throughout the Project Life Cycle. We need to include the team members in this planning so that they may offer their assent based on their competence, which will later result in a smooth project flow.


  • Kick-off Meeting

Because a project is all about working together, we need to declare the formal start of the project, which is done during the kick-off meeting, when all key stakeholders are invited and significant project milestones are explained, as well as a review of the time frame as a broad picture. Any recommendations are also gathered and further reviewed for study and, if necessary, integration into the plans.


  • Create Schedule

The time estimates for each activity and work package are created and then turned into a formal schedule, which serves as a baseline for measuring project performance throughout the project life cycle. To build a realistic Project Schedule, team participation is required, which formally results in internal buy-in and paves the road for the project’s effective execution.


  • Budget Development

Cost is another important aspect of the project. The cost of each activity is assessed separately and then added together as a Project Budget; this budget is then used as a benchmark against which the project’s success is measured. The engagement of the entire team is critical here to secure buy-ins and seamless implementation. One thing to keep in mind is that a budget, no matter how well-crafted, is always an estimate that may need to be adjusted later. Variations between real spending and budget are always to be expected, so the key is to continuously monitor and regulate.

3. Implementation

It’s time to put your plans into action. The implementation stage is where the majority of the project effort takes place, as well as where the majority of the project resources are required. This stage is the most thrilling since there is so much going on. It’s also the most difficult period since there’s so much pressure to accomplish goals and complete tasks according to schedule.


  • Monitor & Control Budget, Scope, & Schedule

The fundamental aim here will be to retain control over the three major limitations of the Project Scope, Schedule, and Cost, regardless of which technique is being used. We will have no trouble managing the project if we can keep things under control. Another key issue is method adaptation; there are a few fantastic ways to project management, but not all of them are a perfect fit for a specific context. Due to the enormous documentation and paperwork needed, a technique that is suitable for large projects may prove ineffective and wash away the project. As a result, we must examine the following factors while choosing a method for your project.


  • Progress Reporting

Project performance may be properly monitored through adequate reporting; there are many different sorts of reports to choose from; only those that are essential and can accurately reflect what’s going on behind the scenes in the project should be modified. These include Progress Reports, Status Reports, and Performance Reports, to name a few. The reports are created using work performance data obtained from the project site, which is then turned into information and then loaded into reports to provide the whole picture of the projects. The majority of this work is now done automatically using various tools.


  • Issues & Problem Management

The governing body’s main role is to keep a watch on the project, detect possible problem areas, discover disputes, and handle and manage these issues to solve and protect the project from them. It’s critical to pay attention to the minor indications and triggers of developing difficulties, such as a team member’s rising irritation, loss of interest and passion, or difficulty to make decisions. Avoiding difficulties is not an effective strategy; instead, we must confront and resolve them, as well as identify and remove probable fundamental causes.

4. Close-out

The project must be formalized once the project deliverables have been acknowledged and handed over to the customer. Staff may be let go, project procurements must be legally concluded, and any unused materials, resources, and equipment must be returned. The project’s performance must be assessed, and all project records and papers must be archived.


  • Project Performance Evaluation

The project is finished, but it has to be assessed to see if it meets the objectives set forth at the start. The project’s performance, as well as the product’s performance, must be checked to see if they accomplished their goals and performed as predicted. The project’s performance in terms of the agreed-upon scope is also assessed. The project scope is used as a meter to judge the performance of the deliverables at this stage.


  • Project Closure

All necessary papers are stored and project resources are distributed after project deliverables are acknowledged and handed over. The project is now officially closed. It’s time to rejoice if everything went according to plan and the project provided exactly what was promised.

The project may have seen several ups and downs along the process, resulting in overbudgeting, overscheduling, or a failure to produce the desired results. Nonetheless, we are expected to acknowledge the team’s efforts and successes.


  • Post-Evaluation Debriefing

Irrespective of the project’s outcomes, a post-evaluation debriefing session with the Project Management team is a critical event after the project’s lifecycle. It helps to inform them about the project’s performance and main events. This has to be noted in the lessons learned as well. Instead of blaming or condemning, it’s an opportunity to positively explore the entire Project Life Cycle. This event might be used to figure out the best method to do particular tasks in a project that went wrong. Critical team members must be involved to ensure that their contributions at this stage contribute to the project’s future success.


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