Successful project managers lead teams to victory, helping them produce results that increase revenues and ensure satisfaction from clients. They can break a project’s primary objective into small, measurable milestones and delegate the right jobs to the right people while helping them overcome hurdles along the way.

To do all that, good project managers start with proven steps. In this piece, we’ll cover common steps for project management. Then we’ll move on to some monday.com tools and templates that help project managers and teams achieve efficiency and success.

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What are project management steps?

Every project obviously requires a series of steps for completion. When we say project management steps in the context of this article, though, we’re referring to best practices and a specific method that help project managers ensure efficiency and efficacy for every project they lead.

Why use project management steps?

According to the Project Management Institute, companies that follow matured project management processes are 21% more likely to meet project goals, 21% more likely to stay on budget throughout projects, and 24% more likely to complete projects on time.

Implementing project planning steps helps you take a standardized approach to project management, ensuring your projects are more likely to end successfully and within expected parameters.

Following templated steps can also help you personally become more successful and efficient in your role as project manager. For example, as project management steps become part of your typical routine, you may find it easier to complete all parts of a project, from the initiation phase and kickoff meeting to project closing.

Project management steps to increase positive outcomes

Most project managers work with five project management phases. When you complete each of these steps effectively, you increase your chances of positive outcomes with project objectives.

1. Initiation

During the first phase of a project, the team handles the initiation, usually with input from a client, internal customers, or other stakeholders. Important parts of this phase include defining the problem statement or purpose of the project and setting a scope for the project. The initiation phase sets the stage for ongoing project performance.

2. Planning

In the planning phase, project managers work to create a reasonable project schedule and budget milestones. Teams may use tools such as Gantt charts to create visual roadmaps that help them understand project timelines and dependencies. Project managers might also publish a communication plan detailing how teams should document project work, hand work off, and measure success.

3. Execution

During the project execution phase, the project team carries out the work required to complete the project. In this phase, project managers delegate specific tasks to team members, oversee contracts and billing, and ensure work gets completed according to project plans.

4. Monitoring/controlling

In many cases, this phase begins during the execution phase. Project managers, leadership, and other stakeholders work together to monitor and compare project milestones and goals while making necessary adjustments to the schedule or budget. If the project team is working to improve a process or output, the control phase may include measurements of those outputs to help teams know when they’ve reached success.

5. Closing

Once a project ends, the project manager completes delivery to the client or stakeholder to close the project. At this point, project managers typically conduct a review of the project’s success, analyzing points such as client satisfaction and adherence to the budget and schedule.

These steps for project management guide teams through the necessary efforts to successfully launch, execute, and close a project. But with so much going on in the project lifecycle, project management software tools can be invaluable in managing steps, teams, and details.

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Complete project management steps with monday.com

On monday.com, you can access customizable project management solutions that fit your needs, regardless of your project scope, industry, or sector. Our Work OS helps you plan and prioritize tasks throughout every step of a project by:

  • Creating your project plan in a centralized location: On monday.com, you can share your project plan, including milestones and goals, with the rest of your team. Everyone can see updates to the plan in real-time, and you can use tools like Gantt charts to create visuals for at-a-glance understanding of project schedules.
  • Monitor and control project goals: Build custom dashboards that let you view project timelines, budgets, and schedules for a quick snapshot of your project’s performance.
  • Delegate and follow up on tasks: Our Work OS lets you assign project tasks, share deadlines and priorities, and follow up on work you’re expecting. Use monday.com Automations to streamline workflows and remove tedious tasks from project management processes.
  • Drive collaboration among team members: Teams can create and share documents, engage in discussions, and assign tasks to each other. Our templates make a lot of this work even easier, because you can start with basics and add customizations that work best for you.

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Related templates to project management steps

We love project management and know that consistent use of project management steps helps teams achieve more success. That’s why we’ve created numerous templates designed to address tasks specific to certain project management steps.

Project management plan template

Stay on top of project management steps and never miss a beat when you use our project management plan template. This template helps you make sense of project planning by logically organizing steps and breaking them down into manageable tasks. Use it to create concise goals, determine milestone dates, and ensure your team focuses on the right scope.

Project charter template

A strong project charter is vital to getting project approval and starting planning on the right foot. It includes initial project details like project name, purpose and objective, budget, deliverables, risks, and timeframe. It also helps you plan out who is in charge of each phase of your project. Use monday.com’s project charter template to streamline the process of project charter creation without missing important information.

Project tracker template

Adhering to your project plan throughout the timeline of your project is crucial. Use our project tracker template to control and monitor your project budget and schedule to ensure your team is meeting milestones outlined in the initiation and planning phases. Determine where you might be lacking and address challenges head-on before they lead to higher costs or longer project delays.

Phases, stages, and lifecycle are all important terms in project management. Before you go, make sure you have the definitions for these terms straight.

FAQs about project management steps

What are the five stages of project management?

The five stages of project management are initiation, planning, execution, monitoring/controlling, and closing. In each of these five project management steps, teams follow a structured project outline to ensure projects close according to schedule, budget, and scope.

What is the project cycle?

The project cycle describes the phases every project moves through, from initiation to completion. Managing a project cycle requires a project manager to determine the who, what, when, where, and how of a project. The project cycle also addresses the unexpected, such as risks and challenges like project delays and cost increases.

An easier approach to project management steps with monday.com

Approaching project management steps with a comprehensive understanding of what each project phase entails and how to complete it is vital. While planning and executing major projects can feel overwhelming, the right tools help keep you on track — even in the face of unexpected hurdles or challenges.

Regardless of your industry or the scope of your project, having access to templates and a cloud-based Work OS that stores your project details in a single, accessible place is vital. Trust monday.com to provide you with project management templates and the tools you need to collaborate with your team through every step of the project management process.