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What is a Project Phase?

Smartpedia: A project phase is a section of a project. Project phases help to structure projects and are usually released or completed by milestones.

Project Phase – structuring of projects into stages

Projects are often extensive and complex in content. Project phases are therefore often defined for structuring purposes. Project phases offer the possibility of an initial rough planning of a project as well as the definition of a sequence plan. Ideally, a concrete goal is pursued in each individual project phase. For example, project preparation involves determining initial aspects of a project such as a business case, project goals, agreed deadlines and contents, procedures, required skills, success criteria, etc. At the end of the project preparation there is the question about the execution of the project, the goal of the project preparation is to bring about a well-founded execution decision. Thus every milestone at the end of a project phase becomes a decision point, which leads to the continuation or termination of the project.

Examples of Project Phases

Typical project phases are e.g.

  • Project preparation
  • Kick-off to explain the initial situation, definition of goals, team building, etc.
  • Project planning for the development of the project structure and the flow chart
  • Project implementation to control and monitor the project in terms of tasks, deadlines, costs, etc.
  • Project completion with delivery and, if necessary, commissioning of the solution
  • Operation of the solution including rework, support, maintenance etc.


Project Phases

The Transition between Project Phases

The structuring of undertakings in project phases is, by the way, not synonymous with strict project implementation as a sequence. Only the milestones have to be passed one after the other in a sequence, but working in individual stage can make sense even without official phase release by means of milestones. A project phase is usually unique in a concrete project. Of course there can be repetitions in individual parts, e.g. if the delivery of a solution does not fulfil the desired purpose and the demand for reworking is in the foreground. As a result, a revised solution would have to be delivered. Only with the acceptance of the delivery by the customer would the project end and thus the milestone of the project phase be passed successfully.

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Here you will find additional information from our Smartpedia section:

Smartpedia: How is a Business Case created?

How is a Business Case created?

Smartpedia: When are Milestones set?

When are Milestones set?