The Four Phases of Project Management Implementation

The Four Phases of Project Management Implementation

Most organizations utilize four phases for the best project management software implementation process: Initiation, Project-Level Installation, Enterprise-Level Installation, and Maintenance. A description of each step follows.

Initiation Phase of Project Management

The Initiation phase in project management implementation aims to mobilize the organization, remediate any current at-risk projects, and set the stage for the Installation phase in project management implementation. Time is of the essence in the Initiation phase of project management implementation. Management "cracks the door open" with the organization by endorsing the process at kick-off and requesting the support and participation of all employees in project management implementation. 

However, from the moment of project management software implementation kick-off, employee patience and willingness to participate are in jeopardy until success stories have been created and communicated. This is perhaps the riskiest of all of the phases of project management implementation because even small failures at this stage can fuel the arguments of naysayers, substantiate the fears of those employees "sitting on the fence" concerning project management implementation, and dissipate any momentum created by management during the project management implementation kick-off process. 

Here are some key ways to remedy a potential failure of project management implementation in the initiation phase:

Constraints Within the Project

What are the constraints associated with this project management implementation? It could be financial, monetary, or related to the stages of resource planning and availability. Assessing these factors can help determine if the project management implementation is viable after all. Depending on if one or two of these factors get in the way, the project manager may have to allocate resources differently and be more flexible with the project management implementation timeline. 

Understanding constraints prior to project management implementation can help organizations be realistic with their expectations and possibly forgo any features that may not be necessary. 

A Comprehensive Core Team 

A company must take the time to consider all the aspects of a project and the relevant personnel before the initiation phase of project management implementation. For example, your company may use a legacy system before a new project management implementation. It would be imperative that the key users of the legacy project management system are consulted before a new project management implementation. 

Management should also keep in mind that these team members will assist with the new project management implementation while performing their current roles. Hence, these key players’ time should not be wasted. The project manager should assess how much time each team member would dedicate to project management implementation and plan accordingly.

Team Chemistry

Nothing can bring down the elements of project management implementation efforts more than a team that does not see eye to eye on critical matters. Suppose the project manager assigned to this task has the liberty to select the key players for the team. In that case, they should be allowed to pick team members with the right objectives and competencies to not unnecessarily delay project management implementation in the initial phase itself. Suppose a problematic team member’s involvement is unavoidable. In that case, the project manager may want to let that team member perform their tasks in a silo and limit interactions with the rest of the project management implementation team.

For these reasons, the Initiation phase includes selecting pilot projects with the potential for near-term success. Great emphasis is placed on creating and communicating those success stories of project management implementation to the organization.

Project-Level Installation Phase

During the Project-Level Installation phase in project management implementation, structured project planning and control project management processes are implemented on all targeted projects, and the project management infrastructure necessary to support the consistent, successful application of project management implementation techniques by the Project Office on future projects is created. The project Office staff are trained and mentored. 

Testing Out the Product

The selected project management solution provider may want to be present while the client tests out their product. This can help troubleshoot any issues with the project management implementation in real-time and also ensure that the key users of the project management solution are comfortable with features such as reporting, data extracts and data imports to ensure that the system will be used to its full potential. 

Enterprise-Level Installation Phase

The Enterprise-Level Installation phase in project management implementation creates the infrastructure necessary to support business decision-making based on schedule, resource, and cost information "rolled up" from the entire portfolio of projects and transitions the day-to-day responsibility for developing and maintaining individual project plans to the Project Office staff.

Decide What Needs to be Changed

If your organization is in the process of a new project management implementation, it is essential to maintain the existing processes and their functionalities without causing unnecessary delays. It is better to conduct a project management implementation as delivered without adding or removing any enhancements or functionalities after execution. Deferring additional implementation items can be considered only if time is of the essence and there is a time crunch to get the new system up and running. 

Maintenance Phase

The purpose of the Maintenance phase in project management implementation is to transition the responsibility for supporting all of the project management requirements of the organization to the Project Office staff and to ensure long-term continuity of the project management implementation by establishing project management as a core competency and an essential function within the organization.

The Vendor’s Job Post-implementation

After project management implementation, the project management solution vendor may have to bow out after the previous stage. Since employing the project management implementation vendor may be more expensive and more experienced with the product, it may be wise to consult with them for any maintenance instead of hiring in-house staff and attempting it yourself. 

The vendor would want the project management implementation to be successful just as much as you want it to be. Their reputation and reviews from your organization can help them in the long run. Hence, they are likely to be accommodating of any project change requests or maintenance requirements to maintain their reputation. 

A new project management implementation may be what your organization needs. Compare the best project management software to learn more about the leading vendors in this arena.