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Project Life Cycle

Project Formulation and Project Life Cycle

What is a Project?

“A temporary endevour leading to a product / service or result ”

 A project is any series of activities and tasks that:

• Have a specific objective to be completed within certain specifications
• Have defined start and end dates;
• Have funding limits (if applicable); and
• Consume resources (i.e. money, time, equipment).
Stages of a Project



Characteristic Features of a Project:

• Has a mission or a set of objectives. Once the mission is achieved the project is treated as completed.
• Has to terminate at some time or the other (temporary in nature) 
• The project is one single entity and its responsibility is assigned to one single agency.
• Calls for team-work, the members of the team may come from different organizational units, different disciplines, and   geographic regions.
• Has a life cycle represented by growth, maturity and decay.
• Is unique and no two projects are similar, even though the plants set up are identical. The organizations, the infrastructure, the location and the people make the project unique.
• Change is a natural phenomenon with every project throughout its life span. Some changes may not have any major impact, but some  may change the very nature of the project.
• The happenings during the life cycle of a project are not fully known at any stage. As time passes, the details are finalized successively.
• Is always customer-specific. The requirements and constraints within which a project must be executed are stipulated by the customer.
• Is a complex set of things. Projects vary in terms of technology, equipment and materials, machinery and people, work ethics and organizational culture.
• A substantial portion of the work in a project is done by sub-contracting. The greater the complexity of a project, the greater will be the extent of work performed by subcontractors.
• Is exposed to risk and uncertainty and the extent of these depend upon how the project moves through the various stages in its life span.
• A well defined project has lesser risk and uncertainty, whereas an ill-defined project faces greater degree of risk and uncertainty.

Project Life Cycle:

The Project Life Cycle refers to a series of activities which are necessary to fulfill project goals or objectives. The different phases are as follows:
initiation, planning and implementation of a project

project life cycle of startup


a) Concept or initialization phase

In this phase, the project idea emerges and the decides on the need for a project.

A project which is well conceived can be later implemented successfully.

b) Project Definition Phase

•The techno-economic viability of the project is checked
•The technical configuration of the project is identified
•The performance requirements, sub-systems, key equipments etc.- purchased
•The cost estimates with limits are identified
•Schedule of implementation is identified
c) Growth or Organisation Phase

Organizations, during this phase, undertake the following actions:

a)    Establishing the infrastructure and enabling services for the project

b)    Project engineering and design

c)    Setting up Project Organization and staffing

d)    Appointing a project manager

e)    Preparing schedules and budgets

f)    Obtaining necessary licenses and clearances from the Government

g)    Raising finance

h)   Developing systems and procedures for monitoring and reviewing project progress

i)    Procedures for inviting tenders and awarding contracts

j)    Site preparation and development

k)   Procuring equipment and materials

l)    Work packaging

This phase covers both paper work connected with project planning and also implementation activities.  Planning is necessary to avoid crisis management; it makes the implementation phase to run smoothly.
d) Implementation Phase

The activities include:

1)  The preparation of specifications for major equipment and machineries,

2)  Placing orders with vendors for the supply of equipment and machineries,

3)  Inviting contractors to submit bids,

4)  Evaluating contractors bids and selecting contractors,

5)  Preparing and issuing drawings,

6)  Civil constructions and construction of equipment foundations,

7)  Erection of equipment and machinery,

8)  Installation of electrical fittings,

9)  Piping,

10)  Instrumentation,

11)  Testing and trail runs, and

12)  Commissioning of the plant

Approximately 75% to 85% of the project work is done in this phase. Hence, people are interested in starting this phase as early as possible, and complete this phase within a short time  need for a high degree of co-ordination and control in this phase. Once the decision is taken and the project begins, everybody is anxious to avoid any loss of time.

e) Project Shut-down and Clean-up Phase

• The plant and machinery built and erected with the active involvement of several agencies, project personnel catalogue, all drawings, documents, specifications, operation and maintenance manuals are  handed over to operating personnel. They have to be satisfied with guaranteed-test runs.
• Any change required at the last minute for fulfillment of contractual obligations with regard to performance has to be completed satisfactorily in this phase.
Project accounts are finalized, materials settlement carried out, all outstanding dues are paid during the phase.