The 5 Stages of The Construction Life Cycle

By Microsol Resources | BIM

Stakeholders involved in any construction project have to do their project planning carefully. The project life cycle of any construction undertaking needs to focus on the right things in the right order. That often means emphasizing feasibility before deciding on the final deliverables.

A proper project team will go through a specific sequence of stages. Doing a feasibility study is crucial first to make sure that the goals are even attainable. A planning phase typically follows that to lay out a road map for the rest of the construction project life cycle.

Procurement of necessary resources, permits, and personnel lead into the execution phase. Knowing the various construction project phases helps you know what needs to happen. Actually executing them increases your chances of organizational success and the likelihood of your desired outcome.

What Is a Project Life Cycle in Construction?

Construction project management utilizes a proper sequence of finishing tasks in the right order. From the initiation phase to the finalization of the project’s goals, every phase of the project serves as a distinct time frame that most players in the construction industry follow. From a general business case to specific subcontractors, following the right project life cycle in construction keep the project organized.

An advantage of using a construction project life cycle is getting things done in a timely manner. When everything is organized in the right sequence or flowchart, steps are taken in the proper order. Nothing happens until preparations have been made and prior requirements are taken care of.

Efficiency is also something you get to enjoy. Starting with an initial concept makes sure everyone only takes the steps necessary to achieve a specific goal. The final details that complete a project happens because of multiple steps that happened before them.

Why Is Project Life Cycle Needed in the Construction Industry?

Whether you’re determining current project objectives or considering future projects, anything you try is more likely to be a successful project if you go through a planning stage, handle cost estimates in a project budget, and close out the right project execution. One of the biggest needs for a project life cycle anywhere in the industry is due to risk management in construction. Any construction project can entail risk to personnel, property, equipment, supplies, and money invested.

Every job is unique. Project sizes vary, and how intricate they are can cover a wide spectrum of possibilities. Still, nearly any project needs to go through five general building stages.

If you don’t do it, you run the risk of poor communication and coordination among your many specialists. You might not even line up the professionals you need when you need them. The consequences can be delays, waste, and spending too much money.

What Are the 5 Phases of a Project’s Lifecycle?

You can’t wait to have a planning stage in the process to determine your entire project schedule, nor can a simple punch list constitute your whole design phase. While there are potential variations for specific projects, your typical construction project life cycle will include five essential phases. They are initiation, planning, execution, performance and monitoring, and closure.


Project stakeholders and other team members might want to assemble a project initiation document. Using something such as Autodesk Build might help with that. The project needs an identified objective, be it a problem or business opportunity, that needs to be recorded.

Solutions should be proposed by all those involved. Each option should also be studied for feasibility. When one particular solution is approved, a project manager needs to be assigned to oversee the entire process before. That project manager will then start assembling specific workgroups.

Individual workgroups focus on specific deliverables. While the entire project might have a particular need or goal in mind, there are likely to be a multitude of steps that happen along the way. These are the specifics that individual professionals or teams involve themselves with.


While the entire project has life cycle phases that lead to project completion, the planning stage is one of the most important phases of a construction project. Before work can happen on-site at a construction site, you might need to come up with a schematic or blueprint about how everything will work. You’ll further identify the specific tasks that need to happen and start looking to allocate resources to achieve each of them.

This might also be when you start developing KPIs you can track to measure progress. Activities and tasks will be assigned time frames, and you’ll need to note the dependencies each workgroup has as they relate to each other. Detailing the entire project happens in this phase of the construction cycle.

Project leadership must identify quality targets that align with customer criteria. An acceptance plan needs to be fleshed out to make sure that the final deliverables will satisfy the stakeholders involved and meet the overall goal. Control and assurance measures need to be stipulated early so that everything is on track from the start to manifest a quality outcome.


The initiation phase is when things start, but the execution phase is when things really happen in any building project or project management life cycle. Using construction industry software can help construction project management best use the project resources at this point in the project life cycle. Management software helps leaders oversee the actual implementation of the project.

Most of the work will happen on the actual project site, but the project manager might control communication and everything else from off-site. Anyone who has assigned tasks needs to finish them and share their progress with others in relevant team meetings. Project managers monitor everyone’s progress and compare it to the comprehensive project plans in order to ascertain performance levels.

It’s natural to try and follow the project planning to the letter, but adjustments and variations are inevitable. Whether it’s supply chain issues or weather delays, things will happen. Corrective measures can accommodate a lot of this with proper planning so that the project can keep moving forward.

Performance and Monitoring

Performance and monitoring is a distinct phase, but it’s also one that overlaps the execution phase. This is when stakeholders need to measure the progress of the overall project. Doing so ensures every task adheres to the project manager’s schedule and planning.

Keeping relevant parties informed is crucial to performance and monitoring. Regular status reports need to follow established communication protocols. These status reports should emphasize probable final targets as they relate to key deliverables.

Three specific elements to include are schedule, quality, and cost. Project managers will review these specific deliverables and measure them against customer acceptance criteria so they can approve them. When a customer is in agreement with a final solution, the overall project is ready for the closure phase.


This is the phase when the project manager is able to provide all final deliverables to their client. This might also involve closure communication and project documentation being provided to every stakeholder. Project resources get released, and supplier contracts are ended.


A project manager and their team might take time to analyze how successful the project was. That can involve identifying what went right and what didn’t. Feedback such as this is crucial to improving future team projects.

What Are the Implications of the Construction Project Life Cycle?

The construction project life cycle has many implications. When you’re in a preconstruction set of affairs, you have a means of determining project scope, methodology, and potential project closure. With the right sequence, you always know what the next phase of the entire cycle will be.

The planning and execution of any project can be truly overwhelming, especially early on. However, the minute you divide a project into five different phases, you instill some structure in your efforts. From there, it’s easier to simplify what was once overwhelming into a series of much more manageable steps.

Professionals who handle project management have been using these five phases for many decades. However, you can treat them more like a beginning roadmap than a rigid plan you must always adhere to. Know when and how to pivot to suit your own distinct objectives, needs, and goals.

INDUSTRIES: Construction

Published on January 13, 2023 in , , , .

About the Author

Microsol Resources delivers integrated solutions that help customers design, simulate and analyze their ideas, increase operational efficiencies, and maximize their return on investment in their technology solutions. As a team, we are passionate about helping customers improve their productivity and overall business processes. How can we help? Just reach out.