I agree with everything scope in your article; however, please, please, please, help the world overcoming the bis mistakes most people make in projects by thinking that the processes groups are the project phases. You certainly know this is an error and this error is the cause of many costly mistakes in projects. Thank you.

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Hi Mauricio. Thanks for the comment.

Technically speaking, you’re correct. Per the PMBOK, process groups are not project phases. But in practice (and my experience), most projects go through four basic stages (or as I refer to them: phases): a) an early/initial definition and authorization stage (which corresponds very closely to the Initiation process group per the PMI) in which stakeholders are identified, high-level objectives and approaches are established, and a charter or contract is created; b) a detailed Planning stage (which again corresponds with the Planning process group as defined by the PMI) in which all the details of the baseline and PEP are created; c) an implementation or Execution stage (which corresponds to the combination of Execution and Monitoring & Controlling process groups) in which the plans from the previous stage are implemented and the deliverables created; and d) a completion or Closeout stage (which corresponds to the Closing process group) in which the deliverable is delivered and the project shutdown and/or transitioned into something like Operations.

In reality, each “stage” or phase as I’ve been using the term, get further devolved into substages or subphrases, such as conceptual design, preliminary design, fab, test, etc…

But from a big picture point of view, it’s helpful in both theory and practice to think of a project moving from Initiation to Planning to Execution to Closeout for high-level planning.


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