Breaking a project into stages

Even before a project has been planned, it is not unusual for some people to wish to set the completion date or budget. This creates a challenge for project managers looking into the uncertain future; and the further into the future they look, the more uncertain it becomes. This is why professional project managers divide their projects into stages.

A project manager will develop two plans: one that covers the whole project, and a much more detailed one that focuses on the next stage only. The first, the project plan, will carry a greater level of risk because it looks further into the future. The stage plan will carry less risk as it covers a shorter, more predictable, planning horizon. Each stage is used as a vehicle to deliver some of the intended deliverables and to increase confidence in the project plan. At the end of each stage, the project manager is able to return to the project steering group with an increasingly reliable project plan.

As well as helping to refine early estimates as the project progresses, breaking the project into stages:

e enables progress to be tracked and measured, providing assurance to the project's stakeholders; and e allows the justification of the project to be reconsidered, making sure that it continues only if it remains viable.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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