Why should projects be managed by stages?

We know that some projects are complex and huge in size. Managing such projects makes it complex for projects managers. The reason project managers follow a framework is to manage such complex projects and deliver successful results. PRINCE2 is widely followed framework which project managers rely on successful delivery of projects. The PRINCE2 methodology is a proven methodology and is approved and recommended by the government of UK and globally.

PRINCE2 methodology highly recommends the project managers to rigorously follow the themes and processes. One such process defined in the PRINCE2 methodology is Manage by Stages. What does manage by stages in project mean? As discussed earlier, for PRINCE2 projects of any size and complexity, the projects are planned, monitored and controlled on a stage-by-stage basis.

Managing the project by different stages or breaking the project into two or more stages provide senior management with control at major intervals. At the end of each stage, the projects are assessed against the objectives and targets. The Business case and plans are reviewed to ensure that the project is viable and it is worth proceeding. This helps the management to save resources and ensure that every project delivers value.

The projects are often divided into stages based upon the size and complexity. Few projects have longer stages which often reduce the senior management involvement or burden. Whereas, shorter stages offer more control over the project. Senior management may choose to have shorter stages when the projects are critical and are more important for business value.

Such projects have a high level project plan and a detailed stage plan. This ensures that all projects are managed stage wise and eventually a successful project. It is recommended that each project has minimum two management stages; one initiation stage and one or more further management stages.