Our Approach

The Project Management Life Cycle (PMLC) is a standard project management methodology used for project planning and implementation. It offers a clear and common approach to taking an initiative through the various project stages using project management principles that clarify expectations, streamline communications and ensure thorough planning and execution.

This approach enables clear ownership and empowerment of project leadership. PMLC can be applied to complex cross-functional initiatives that require the use of trained project management professionals as well as within your own department to help organize and manage a smaller scale initiative. Benefits include:

  • Clearly defines roles, requirements and responsibilities to allow for greater ownership, buy-in, coordination and efficiency of processes
  • Establishes clear communication with project sponsors, owners and team members
  • A standardized methodology that allows for clear expectations and streamlined training

Project Management Life Cycle



  • Detailed business case, solution description and comparison of alternatives
  • Charter approval
image of clipboard with checkmarks and time to symbolize planning


  • Project kickoff
  • Project planning
  • Development of schedule and communications plan


  • Design/develop
  • Testing and readiness
  • Cutover and post go-live


  • Lessons learned
  • Formally transition to the permanent owner
  • Release project team

Key Components

  • Roles are clearly identified and communicated at the beginning of a project
  • Defined executive sponsors, project owner and a single empowered project manager are assigned prior to initiation of a project

  • Standard, required documentation which may otherwise be delayed or disregarded is developed with input from all appropriate parties
  • Tasks are assigned to appropriate project team members with clear due dates, as documented in the Action Item Register
  • Change management is carefully thought through as part of the Communications, Testing and Deployment planning

  • Gate structure is used to achieve buy-in/approval from senior management and key leaders at designated points in the process
  • Gate reviews are often held at the end of a PMLC phase and require clear documentation of what is to occur in the next phase

  • Standardized status reporting is developed for senior management review
  • Criteria for when and how to escalate issues are defined and owned by all members of the project team

Roles & Responsibilities

  • An executive leader who has sanctioned the project
  • Monitors the overall progress of the project at a very high level
  • Assists the project owner in escalations when necessary

  • Accountable to the executive sponsor for delivery of the solution
  • Often a director-level leader
  • Provides regular decision-making and direction for the project
  • Manages the overall timeline at a milestone level
  • Ensures that the necessary resources are included in the project team, including the project manager

  • Manages the overall project team; PMLC documentation from Planning, Delivery, and Closing phases; and the detailed schedule and timeline for the entire project
  • Accountable for project execution from planning through closing
  • Directs appropriate Gate Review Board reviews
  • Regularly reports status and escalates issues as appropriate to the project owner(s)

  • Includes resources from functional groups, and a vendor, when required
  • Owns related pieces of a project from their respective areas
  • Coordinates functional and technical resources to complete tasks and support the project manager in developing and maintaining applicable documentation
  • Provides necessary updates to project manager regarding the status of tasks, risks and schedule

Tools & Templates

Come back soon to review training, tools and templates as they become available. For questions about the PMLC contact us at bdogroup@georgetown.edu to schedule a training session for your team.