Every Project has a Beginning, Middle, and End
Like any good story, every well-managed Engineering Project has a Beginning, Middle and End.
- At the Beginning of a project, there are two sub-phases. These sub-phases are sequential in nature; i.e., you typically complete 1a before you materially start work in 1b:
- 1a Project Initiation. This is when the project is defined, formally established, and kicked-off. This is also when the Project Manager receives his or her formal authorization to make decisions and perform work (e.g., hire team, prioritize work, develop a schedule and budget, authorize spending, etc.)
- 1b Project Planning. This is when the big-picture planning, organizing, and initial work is started.
- In the Middle of a project, there are also two key sub-phases. Unlike the two beginning sub-phases of a project (initiation and planning), however, that are performed in series, the middle sub-phases are always performed in parallel with each other.
- 2a Project Execution. In this sub-phase, you perform the meat of the project work. In engineering projects, this typically means you define, develop, design, analyze, build, inspect, assemble, test, re-work, verify and validate, pack, ship, and ultimately, handover the deliverable to a customer or end-user.
- 2b Project Monitoring & Controlling. In this sub-phase, you continually measure and review progress of the project—and where necessary, make controlled corrections and/or changes to the project baseline and means/methods of work.
- At the End of a project, we perform the final phase of work, which is where we formally Close the project. This includes everything from obtaining formal customer acceptance, closing out the project programmatics, organizing and archiving all relevant Project information and knowledge; and releasing the project team.
Beginning, Middle and End. Sounds simple, doesn't it? It is in theory, but depending on the nature of your project, these three phases, and corresponding five sub-phases of Initiation, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing, can range from very simple and straightforward, to highly complex and involved.
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