A project phase is a collection of logically related project activities, that when completed produces a major project deliverable.
Remember, a project deliverable is a tangible, verifiable work product such as a feasibility study, a detail design, or a working prototype.
Usually, the project deliverables, and therefore the project phases, are worked on sequentially to make the whole project easier to manage and control.
Now lets look at what is NOT a project phase
Sub-projects are not project phases
Sub-projects are created to complete specific deliverables and will usually be a sub-set of one of the project phases. In fact each sub-project will have its own beginning, middle and end.
Remember, Sub-projects are not project phases
Project Management Process Groups are not Project Phases
Developed over the years by the academics in an attempt to complicate matters, project management processes organize and describe the WORK of the project.
The usual process groups that you for sure will have heard about are:
- Monitoring and Controlling
Each process group consists of several individual processes that collectively make up the process group.
And Collectively, these process groups, including all their individual processes, make up the overall project management process.
But, remember, the Process groups are not the project phases
The Work Breakdown Structure is not a project phase
Its a good idea to use the project life cycle phases as the first level of the Work Breakdown Structure.
And if you do, its generally called a phase-oriented WBS
and you can be pretty sure that all the scope of the work is included at this first level.
Then the phase deliverables can be described at the second and lower levels of the WBS
But Remember, The Work Breakdown Structure is not a project phase