Businesses initiate projects to create new products, make changes or implement process enhancements. The people who are in charge of managing these projects are called project managers. Project managers must carry a vast skill set along with excellent communication skills to ensure that all tasks in a project are completed effectively and efficiently. A project manager is responsible for overseeing the progress of a project throughout all of its phases.


In the initiating phase of a project, a project manager works with project stakeholders to determine the criteria for project selection, draft a project charter to assess how the work will be done and identify the requirements that when met will indicate it is time to close the project. Part of this phase is to properly identify the project’s stakeholders and understand if there is a hierarchy of project approval among them. During this phase, the project manager will also clarify how management will be involved during the project if at all. He will also make a point to understand the tools that the project team will need and use for the management of the project itself.


During the planning phase, the project manager works with project stakeholders to specifically determine the deliverables that are required, draft a scope document to state the time, resources and budget dedicated to the project, and schedule the necessary tasks. The project scope statement explains the project and its goals, lists any requirements and deliverables, identifies constraints such as time and budget, and lists the criteria for acceptance. Identifying both known and unknown risks that could arise throughout a project can be a large part of the planning phase, but risk management is an ongoing activity that should be considered during each phase of a project.


During the executing phase, the project team is formed with specific resources and people who are assigned to specific tasks. This team reviews the status of each project task, manages the progress of each task, communicates any updates and assures the level of quality in each task. During the execution phase, a project manager is responsible for keeping team members motivated and managing conflict. During this time, stakeholder requests can lead to changes in personnel, budget and schedule. The project manager is also responsible for connecting with the work teams to assess all change requests.

Monitoring and Controlling

The monitoring and controlling phase is intended to measure the performance of each team member, measure the results of the deliverables, assess any project changes and appraise the schedule to completion. During this phase, the results of each task are compared against a quality assurance system that is determined during the planning stages of a project. These quality controls will help determine if the level of quality required for sign-off has been met on each deliverable and phase.



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The closing phase is when the project stakeholders accept and approve the project’s deliverables. After a project has been signed-off on by the appropriate people, the project manager identifies any lessons learned during the project rollout. An archive is established for all records of events and transactions during the project. The project is officially closed and the resources assigned to the project can be released for other work.