Phase Overview

Idea Initiation Phase Phase Zero Preliminary Requirements Phase Market Review Phase
Solution Evaluation Solution Decision Configuration and Customisation Implementation Phase Handover Phase
        Business Process Phase       Project Closure Phase

Idea Initiation

An idea is taken from a verbal request to a Concept document. A decision is made as to whether it should be taken forward, and when this should happen.

Phase Zero

In the proposed ISO standard for Project Management (ISO 21500) a project is not defined as started until a budget is approved. The phase to investigate the feasibility is referred to as 'Phase Zero'. The concept is expanded to examine the clarity and consistency of understanding, the implications and commitment to the idea.

Project Planning

This phase is carried out after Phase Zero. It is essentially to put in place a project infrastructure to ensure the project can be managed. The level of detail of the work involved will vary depending on the complexity of the project. In some cases for smaller projects, the activity may be carried out in a very abbreviated manner.

Preliminary Requirements

Information is gathered at a high level. For example, for data, what are the major entities? For functionality, what are the level 1 and 2? What are the high level business processes? Typically spend a few days to a week to identify.

Market Review

This is an exercise in bringing

  • The requirements and
  • What is available on the market

closer together. It may be done through an (RFI) Request for Information or it may be an informal review of available solutions. It will typically end with a number of proposals from Vendors. After the initial review, the requirements and scope are finalised.

Solution Evaluation

A small group of vendors is asked to arrange demos. One or two may be asked to provide technical details. The vendor company is investigated and contracts/pricing are obtained.

Solution Decision

A trial is carried out and further examination is undertaken on the impacts of using this solution. The vendor is the subject of further investigation and the final purchase details negotiated. Some planning takes place regarding implementation.

Configuration and Customisation

Hardware and software is installed and configured. Any customisation required for the software is undertaken. Data is prepared for the conversion and converted to allow testing. Further planning is done for implementation.

Business Process

Almost every system change will require changes to business processes. In this phase, changes are identified and some may be implemented. Others will have to await go live to implement.


All activities required to implement the software are undertaken including acceptance criteria, training, readiness and handover planning.


After the implementation has reached an agreed state of stability, it is handed over to production.

Project Closure

Activities required to wind up the project are undertaken. This includes a PIR (Project Implementation Review)

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