The Project Life Cycle: Four Basic Phases
Figure 1 shows a typical project life cycle separated
into its generally accepted four fundamental phases.
The figure also lists the activities to be expected in each phase. The phase
separations correspond to key decision points for purposes of executive level
Figure 1: Typical Project Life Cycle
Not all projects, of course, conform rigorously to the stages shown and the
activities within each may vary somewhat. However, less than satisfactory project
performance and lack of control can frequently be traced to significant departures
from the division of activities as shown. The so-called "fast-track" approach
to project implementation, i.e. the sequential procurement of separate design
packages may be viewed as a departure. Nevertheless, for effective control each
design package must still follow the phases shown.
1. Adams, J. R. and Barndt, S. E.
"Organizational Life Cycle Implications for Major Projects." Project Management
Quarterly, Vol. IX, No. 4, Dec. 1978, p. 32-39.