A Straightforward Breakdown of the Phases of a Project

Adriana Girdler

Not sure what the phases of a project are? Here’s all you need to know Are you new to project management and are unsure about …

Not sure what the phases of a project are? Here’s all you need to know

Are you new to project management and are unsure about the phases of a project? There are five fundamental project phases that all project managers need to understand so that they can be adequately prepared to successfully run any project. If you’re not sure what these are, or maybe just need a simple refresher, I’m about to share with you all you need to know to understand the phases of a project.

The five project phases include: Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitor & Control, and Closing the Project.

Now, what do all these mean exactly? Keep reading to find out!


In the initiation phase, you’ll want to get all the details about the project before you even start it. The first thing you’ll want to do is to sit down with the sponsor (usually a senior executive) and find out the scope of the project, what expectations there are regarding timelines, and any specific details you’ll need to know.


Now that you have all the key information collected in the initiation stage, you need to go on to plan your project. The first step to this is to put all the information into a document to summarize everything. This is what we, as Project Managers, call the CHARTER. The charter will contain more detailed information regarding the scope statement, business justification as to why you’re doing this project, high-level timelines, responsibilities, and more.

Once you’ve laid out all this information in a package, you’re going to call a kickoff meeting with your team members and give them this package of information. Think of this stage as setting your team up for success. You want to ensure everything is prepped and ready to go so that your team can hit the ground running!


Like I mentioned earlier, there are still three more project phases after planning; there’s Execution, Monitor & Control, and Closing the Project. I want to lay all this information out for you so that YOU can be properly prepared to run your project! I’ve already put together the rest of this information in a YouTube video for you to learn all you need to know in just a few minutes. So please, don’t stop here – join me so you can learn how to successfully navigate your way through the rest of the project phases!

I really hope that you found this helpful – and if you did, it would mean so much to me if you would share it on your social media.

Meanwhile, if you really are committed to mastering your next project, do consider taking my SLAY Project Management online course where I show you step-by-step how to successfully manage a project, plus you get access to every template you will need, along with detailed video instructions on how to fill them out.


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Adriana Girdler is a project manager, productivity specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker, facilitator, visioning wizard, and author. As President of CornerStone Dynamics, Adriana is one of Canada’s prominent business productivity and project management specialists—helping both individuals and businesses do what they do, only better. She is a certified master black belt lean six sigma with over 20 years’ experience improving how companies work.

She also holds both PMP (project management professional) and CET (certified engineering technologist) designations. She’s a Tedx speaker, as well as a HuffPost and Thrive Global contributor. She has been interviewed on Global, CBC, CTV, CHCH, 680News Radio, Newstalk 1010, Sirius XM and published in the Globe and Mail and numerous industry magazines. WANT ADRIANA'S FREE ONLINE TRAINING? In 45 min, learn Adriana's 5 project management secrets she use on EVERY project. Sign up for the Free Webinar here: THE FAB FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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