- A cycle is a sequence of events that a project follows
- These events/stages or phases can be divided into several equally valid ways depending on the executing agencies or parties involved.
Theory of project management cycle
- Stakeholders can define project management as the realization of concepts and goals through efficient, effective, transparent, accountable and responsible administration of any given activity.
- All stakeholders should be regularly consulted in matters affecting a project to ensure coordination of project activities.
- Project management cycle implies a process oriented to project management system covering the whole project cycle from project conception to project conclusion.
- It involves a combination of the various project cycle phases with corresponding management tasks. It is an effective decision making process to ensure certain action occurs at the right time within the life of a project.
- At this stage an idea regarding a required intervention in a specific area to address unidentified problem is formed or developed through discussions by local leaders in a community and specialists as needs bases issues and crystallized into a proposal.
- The projects can therefore be conceived based on market demand, resource availability and opportunity to make profitable used of available resources, technology, natural calamity and political consideration
- This stage refers to the process where all potential projects arising from ideas crystallized in the 1st stage above are determined.
- An individual or communication representative to an agency capable of identifying an institution to provide the necessary support to realize the expectation may submit the information in the proposal for project conception.
- The type of information provided at this stage is usually general and descriptive
- This stage involves a more thorough exercise of collecting data and information on the proposed project.
- At this stage of the cycle, the objective of the project is defined and alternative solutions described.
- The project preparation contains the design of a set of operational proposal i.e. technically, financially and economically feasible. The decision is made on the scope of the project on location, size, site etc
- This involves a further analysis of the proposed project. At this stage a critical review of the proposal is undertaken. The systematic and comprehensive review is usually undertaken by an independent team of experts in consultation with the stakeholders of the project.
- This provides an opportunity to re-examine every aspect of the project plan to assess whether the proposal is justified before large sums of money are committed.
- They appraisal may also change the project plan and develop a new plan.
- After appraisal, a viable or a suitable project proposal is chosen for implementation based on the priorities of the stakeholders and the available resources. For instance treasury may impose ceiling on ministries with a big portfolio of investment calling for prioritization of core and lower priority project.
Negotiation and financing
- Once the project to be implemented is agreed upon for donor funded projects, discussions are held on funding and associated aspect of funding i.e. conditionality for grants, repayment period and interest rates if loans are borrowed.
- They must also discuss the flow of funds, contributions from stakeholders and beneficiaries and if there is any co-financing or not. These results in an agreement document of the project that binds all the parties involved during the implementation of a project.
Planning for implementation
- This is the stage either before actual implementation or before the start of a new implementation phase of the project. The exercise is conducted at the level of a project and involves implementers, the funding agency or all stakeholders.
- The exercise involves enabling the project management to address the important implementation issues i.e. project objectives, financial arrangement, the scope of the project, the implementation schedule etc given the overall resource structure and the working evaluation.
- The likelihood of further changes occurring either in design or in physical and policy evaluation to affect the project is also discussed during the exercise, the team should clearly define the objectives and the hierarchy of objectives.
- This is a crucial stage of any project since the objective of the earlier effort in the stage above was to have project to be undertaken. At this stage activities of the project are actually carried out and funds are disbursed to facilitate the activities. The management should ensure that the project is carried out according to design.
- However, depending on the physical and policy evaluation, this may be needed for responsibility in response to ground.
- Monitoring of progress and reporting therefore becomes crucial.
- Implementation is a process of refinement or learning from experience and can actually be considered as a “min cycle” within the larger project. The implementation forms the life of a project. The investment period refers to when major project investments are undertaken and it could take 1-3 years depending on the nature of the project from the time it is terminated.
Monitoring and reporting
- This should be an ongoing activity during implementation. The beneficiaries, through implementing staff, the supervising staff and the project management staff can carry out the monitoring.
- The aim should be to ensure that the activities of the project are being undertaken on schedule to facilitate implementation as specified in project design.
- Any constraints in operationalizing the design can quickly be detected and corrective action taken. This would enable the management to be proactive rather than being re-active in correcting mistakes during implementation.
- This state involves a systematic review or examination of success and failure in the project experience during the project life in order to learn how to plan better.
- This implies that evaluation is a continuous exercise during the project life and is much related to project monitoring.
- Evaluation can also be undertaken when the project is at the first step in a re-planning effort.
- Careful evaluation is also undertaken before any follow up project. Evaluation can be done internally or by external reviewers.
- Some organizations have a monitoring and evaluation unit. The main aim of evaluation is to determine the extent to that the objectives are being realized.
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