Projects come in all shapes and sizes, right? Some are easier, and some are hard. Some you can actually see like a building, while others are intangible like installing software or a process. In either case, regardless of shape and size, there are a few considerations to ensure your project is successful.

This post introduces the four core phases of project management – Initiation, Planning, Execution, and Close-out. Each having its own processes but are equally important.

  • Initiation – What is my project about and what am I trying to accomplish?
  • Planning – What is the work that needs to be done and how long will it take?
  • Execution – Getting the work done. Monitoring progress. Resolving issues.
  • Close-Out – How did it go? Did we achieve what we set out to do? Did we learn anything for next time?

Let’s use these concepts in the context of construction projects. Again, big or small, these activities will both save you time and money. If you are a contractor, you’ll save your time, your customers money, and a whole lot of headache.


Initiation – the beginning of any project. This is a process group, which means there are activities to complete in this phase of your project. Here are some of the key steps for you to consider:


Talk to your customer at length about the project. Not just what they need, but what they want, and how they envision the project when it’s complete. What do their requirements mean to you from a building perspective? How is the design, layout, construction, etc. impacted. This is called “discovery.” Talk to your customer to discover all you need to know before you start the project. Write it down. Avoid headaches down the road


Not the mouthwash. The scope helps define the boundaries of the project. Based on what you learned in discovery, discuss with your customer what is included in the project and just as important, what is not included. Windows, yes, but of a certain type. Paint, no. Flooring, maybe…Defining the boundaries of the project with your customer will again, avoid headaches down the road.

Check in next time when we go over Planning and what you need to do to avoid pitfalls of your project.

Author: Paul Mead