The project cycle represents a logical sequence of all activities to be carried out to achieve the objectives and intentions. Knowledge of this sequence is important in principle – this way you will be able to successfully plan all the resources you need to engage in the implementation of each project: time, money, personnel, subcontractors, etc. When working with grant projects, knowledge of the project cycle is important because the same principles apply for applications mechanism (when you prepare, import and run your project) and grants (strategic planning, management, allocation and reporting of resources from the relevant government authorities).
Despite the complexity, each project is conducted through the following steps:
- Initial phase – here you choose the only idea of several possible alternatives, determine intended results and critical factors that will be important for successful project implementation
- Preparation – the selected idea is developed in detail, so that it can be estimated
- Rating – each element of the project idea is subjected to systematic and thorough assessment and a plan is developed
- Presentation – detailed plan is presented for approval and funding from relevant organisations
- Implementation phase – when there are approval and funding, proceedings are being made to implement the project plan
- Monitoring – every step of the project implementation is assessed against the approved project plan
- Final phase – marks the completion of the project and includes a re-evaluation, this time on the basis of efficiency and performance
When you divide the activities in the project phases, managers and contractors can plan in full, organise staff, properly allocate resources, as well as objectively measure results. You will be able to consider whether their actions are justified, and it will be easier to manage and control overall performance of the project.
It is important that phases in each project to be broken down by regions, because each area has different requirements, legislation and procedures. Furthermore, for each area different implementations and methodologies must be applied in the development of the project cycle. The demarcation of the project cycle thus guarantees not just good execution of tasks, but success in project management.