How does Project Cycle Management work?

Project Cycle Management is used to effectively manage projects. Long term and complex projects are divided into smaller phases te keep the overview. A planning tool is essential for the successful planning of a project cycle. Plandisc is a good tool for this purpose. In this article we will explain how a good project cycle planning is made and how it works. It will also become clear how a Plandisc (See full example here) can help you with this. Both the tool as the free templates are helpful.
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What is project cycle management used for?

The first reason why companies use PCM is to reduce the complexity of the projects.Projects are often long term and extensive. In this way a lot of employees and managers forget the big picture. To make a project succesful it is essential that everyone keeps track of the strategy and goals of the project. Only in that way it can succeed. That is why people use project cycle management to devide the project into smaller chunks called phases. With Plandisc you can make a clear overview of the entire project in one single page (in contrary to a lot of the traditional planning tools where multiple pages are needed).

The second reason is to increase the productivity. Over a long term, the productivity of the team during the complete project is very hard to track. Furthermore it is hard for the team member to know if they are on time with their schedule. Thats why the project is devided into five phases, that are then devided into specific tasks. In this way the productivity can be tracked for each seperate phase or even task. As a result the productivity of the team and the project will go up. With Plandisc tasks that are completed can simply be dragged into another ring or can be labeled as done. By doing this it will always be clear how much work is left. Every team member can have access to the embedded plandisc on the intranet for the highest possible efficiency. View an example here.

The last reason why people use Project Cycle Management is to offer a crystal clear overview to the stakeholders. They need to be able to visualise te complete project cycle with all relevant information and details for the right decisionmaking. When you make a planning in Plandisc you get an overview in one page where all details remain visible. The dynamic Plandisc can immediatly be embedded on a websit or intranet and is shareable through URL. In this way the updated project cycle is consultable to all stakeholders and can be edited by all people you grant access to do so.
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The five phases of project cycle management

The phases are progressive. This means that the next phase can only be started once all of the tasks within an earlier phases are completed. In Plandisc, every completed tasks can be dragged to another ring when completed or be labeled.

1. Programming
In this phase an indicative programme is composed for the project cycle management. Within this programme the goals of the project are made clear and it is made clear where the focus should be. This way the team members know what tasks to prioritize. This is a very strategic document that might be used over multiple years. In a Plandisc, you are able to adjust the term to the exact term of the project so you get an overview from the highest level that is possible.

2. Identification
In this phase the relevance of the different tasks within the project will be analysed based on the stakeholders and target group. All possible obstacles will be identified and described.

3. Formulation
The formulation of the final project proposal is supported by a financial proposal. Once the proposals are approved, the preparation for the implementation starts. All technical and administrative provisions have to be on point.

4. Implementation
Here the project starts officially. This phase contains three big periods. The start-up period, main implementation and the closing period. Often there are a lot of adjustments are made right after implementation. During this phase it is extra important to keep an eye on the term.

5. Evaluation
The final outcome of the project is being evaluated. It is important that you check if every predefined goal was fulfilled and every expectation was matched. The evaluations can be done throughout the project or only at the end of the project. Within a plandisc every activity can be evaluated directly inside of the tool.
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