Understanding the Project Cycle Management & Its Phases

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Jun 23, 2022

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Project cycle management is used to manage complicated initiatives covering several countries throughout the period efficiently. In these instances, the system organises individual activities and sub-actions at various locations and times. Therefore, project management approaches that reach beyond the scope of a single project are required to handle such large-scale initiatives.

As projects get bigger and more complicated, it's more important than ever that the people who work on them are well trained. It doesn't matter if you own a business, work in a nonprofit organisation, or are employed by the government acquiring professional knowledge and skills in project management is essential to your success.

One of the most important things a professional can do to advance in their career is to take the time to become intimately familiar with the project cycle management.

What is Project Cycle Management?

Project Cycle Management is a process project management concept established by professionals who needed an alternate solution to project management approaches taken from other businesses and unsuitable for their initiatives.

It was accepted by the European Commission in 1992 and is primarily a European approach, but any organisation worldwide may apply it.

The fundamental goal of project cycle management is to meet the objectives of the project's stakeholders while simultaneously overcoming the challenges and complications that are anticipated to arise at various stages of the project.

What is the Purpose of the Project Management Cycle?

Project cycle management lowers complications while meeting stakeholder interests. The stages a project undergoes from idea to implementation are frequently referred to as the project life cycle. A project's life cycle is often divided into numerous phases, the most common of which are planning, implementation, and closure. Each phase has a distinct purpose, follows certain methods, and uses specialised equipment.

Ultimately, the idea is to break down the workload into smaller, more manageable sections. This enables the management to adhere to its timeline, budgetary, and quality standards better.

One-size-fits-all project solutions never work. Therefore project team members use the best technique for each project. The project cycle management method is one example. Project cycle management reduces risk and creates a better solution. With Project Cycle Management, businesses can confidently prioritise tasks throughout the complete project lifecycle.

Project Cycle Management has Three Key Benefits:

  • Simplification
  • Increased efficiency
  • Transparency


The project's complexity is reduced by implementing a cycle management procedure. Simplicity is essential when multiple components are operating continuously, and the situation is complicated. When leaders can streamline a technique, the results are superior, leading to ultimate results. Therefore, breaking the process into stages is a key feature of Project Cycle Management.

Increased Efficiency 

Effective productivity saves money and time and improves quality. A project's success depends on the effectiveness of the Project Cycle Management phases in streamlining the work of the teams involved. When a project goes from being described as "overwhelming" to being described as "we can do this," team morale and performance go up. A more profitable project fosters a positive work atmosphere.


When working on any project, communication along the process might be challenging. The Project Cycle Management employs precise methodologies to describe each step and the team's position within the process. This helps leaders interact with involved parties, participants, and many others. All parties benefit from a well-managed project that is transparent and well-communicated.

Phases of Project Cycle Management

The Project Cycle contains five distinct phases:

  • Initiation
  • Planning and Design
  • Execution
  • Monitoring and Controlling
  • Closure

1) Initiation 

The initationphase is connected to the organisation's general plan and specific projects. Circumstances are evaluated in this "negotiation" phase to identify difficulties, limitations, and possibilities. A better understanding of objectives ensures that the project cycle management discovers appropriate project ideas and establishes a budget.

During this phase, the business may also build common tools or strategies for usage in the next years. These could be in the form of lists containing objectives and other resources, or they might include practical suggestions that can be applied to the various tasks.

2) Planning and Design

This phase examines previously identified challenges, objectives, and project proposals. It involves talking to relevant stakeholders and professionals in the field to understand the challenges better, figure out how to solve them and decide if more research is needed to bring together a task. After the planning phase is completed, a report referred to as project identification analysis is produced. It determines the most significant project options and describes the reasoning behind the suggestions.

As soon as the project's fundamental concept has been established and authorised, it's time to get to business. A thorough project design is often required. Within the framework of the Project Cycle Management, models serve the purpose of determining. At this level, the ideas become detailed operational plans, complete with detailed resource and execution schedules. Finally, this phase ends with stakeholders deciding whether or not to put together a funding request for the plan.

3) Execution 

Once planning and design is done nothing is preventing us from accomplishing the task. At this stage, we can begin the functional planning for our task hiring additional personnel; coordinating the project at various levels and locations; establishing logistical support and making purchases of new equipment; and bringing themselves and the initiative to the public, the media, local authorities, internationally recognised representatives, etc.

Implementation is the executing step of a task, typically the longest phase. There are three distinct phases inception, major implementation, and conclusion. The time it takes to accomplish a task might range from months to years.

4) Monitoring and Controlling 

While monitoring ensures that the task is completed according to plan, the assessment focuses on determining why the project was created in the first place. During this phase, which can occur after the task, during its timeframe, or even years after its conclusion, stakeholders prepare the planning to determine what has been accomplished and whether or not the project's outcomes have been met.

5) Closure 

After all the phases are over the manager goes back to teh drawing board to check if everything is done and announces a formal closure. It is the most important phase as this keeps a check on all phases are completed in sequence 

How does Project Cycle Management Work?

Consider the following characteristics of project cycle management to have a better sense of how it works. 

  • It is continuous or progressive, indicating that it is written like a book. Before moving on to the next phase, the team must fulfil each previous one.
  • After each phase, stakeholders determine whether to proceed to the next phase, terminate the task entirely, or conduct more work before moving on to the subsequent steps.
  • It aims to achieve long-lasting outcomes that outlive the duration of the project. Project Cycle Management demands important, relevant parties to participate in problem-definition and decision-making.
  • A project planning and design strategy is known as the logical framework approach (LFA), which focuses extensively on analytics to identify and solve problems and build a project management timetable and budget, which is incorporated into the process. LFA is commonly utilised in international development initiatives, donor organisations, and the commercial sector, such as healthcare.
  • Each phase needs quality documents to facilitate decision-making.
  • It relies on the results of previous projects — essentially, lessons gained — to guide forthcoming ones.
  • When one phase concludes, the next begins. As a project leader or expert guides his team through every phase, they might advance the project's starting point until completion.
  • Project cycle management is based on the fundamentals of project management. It prioritises project structure, defined phases, explicit goals, transparency, and risk recognition.
  • Using PCM for the project life cycle leads to a cost-effective, coordinated procedure with on-time quality outputs.

Who Should Consider Getting Their PMP Certification?

Organisations globally acknowledge PMP certification, and their clients are the most sought-after certificate for project managers, and it is one of the most vital certifications. A Project Management Professional (PMP) credential demonstrates a person's experience, education, and leadership ability.

Adaptation in businesses and technology is becoming increasingly necessary as the pace of change quickens. Not only organisations but also industries are changing. In addition, the worldwide physical and digital landscape is changing.

The PMP certification is for everyone else involved in project management. This certification will be very helpful for someone in charge of a project. This accreditation can assist everybody involved in a project.


The framework of the various stages of project management is defined by project cycle management. This structure includes the actions and tools to be carried out and executed within each phase of project management. Choosing a PMP Certification Training is a crucial step to passing the Certified Professional exam. This approach is globally applicable. It is linear, meaning each step must be completed before moving on to the next. Each phase focuses on articulating the appropriate processes and empowering decision-makers to make good decisions. This training is useful for professionals who want to discover practical skill management for their initiatives or businesses. It gives an overview of what to think about when managing projects.

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