The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) from the Project Management Institute (PMI) divides projects into five phases. They are as follows:

Initiating. The project is authorized, funded, and defined. This phase occurs on the organizational level, above the project. The organization defines a business need the project is meant to satisfy.

Planning. The project manager (PM) develops a project management plan, which defines how the project will be carried out, who will do the work, how long it will take, and how much it will cost. The project management plan must be approved by the project sponsor to become official, and changes must be re-approved based on the change management processes and protocol established.

Execution. The project team works on producing the project’s deliverables.

Monitoring and Controlling. The PM makes sure the work is performed according to the plan, and tracks deviations. The PM also monitors the scope, communications, vendor relations, and other matters necessary to ensure the project is performed according to plan.

Closing. The project must be officially closed, final details determined, and vendors released.