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11 Stages of Project Development

Project development is the end-to-end process of conceptualizing and delivering a project given a set of resources and constraints. This typically involves the following project stages. It should be noted that these stages may be run concurrently at all times or sequentially as a one time activity.


The process of developing a project concept and an initial set of goals. Initiation may include a business case that maps out the benefits of a proposed project together with assumptions, constraints and estimates of required resources. At this stage much is unknown and the project may be nothing more than a high level goal.


A project typically begins with many unknowns and progresses to a state where the problem space and solution space are well understood. This often involves a research stage whereby data is collected, experiments are performed and feasibility is confirmed.


Gathering requirements from stakeholders and refining them to resolve inconsistencies and break them down to a useful level of detail. It is common to accept any functional and non-functional requirements stakeholders submit as these can be prioritized as part of planning.


The process of mapping requirements to tasks and then estimating the effort required for each task.


Project planning is the process of prioritizing work, identifying dependencies and creating a work breakdown structure and schedule. Alternatively, requirements may be maintained in a backlog and planning may consist primarily of prioritizing enough work for a sprint of a few weeks in duration.


The process of procuring materials, parts, components, services, facilities, infrastructure and development partners for a project.

Architecture & Design

The design of solutions such as the architecture and interior design of a building. Likewise, software often includes a structural design known as architecture and a more detailed design that can be used to implement a solution.


Working to create deliverables that make the project happen such as the foundation of a building or a component of code. Implementation may done as a series of short sprints that regularly deliver deployable work products. Alternatively, implementation may be viewed as a project stage that spans months or years.


Testing is the process of controlling quality and confirming that what you have implemented accurately reflects requirements.


Operationalizing the project. For software projects, this is often a process of releasing code to production. Deployment can also involve marketing launches, training and deployment of services involving multiple locations and teams.


The process of releasing resources, finalizing processes and communicating the close of a project. This often includes a lessons learned session that captures any useful knowledge related to the project.

Project Development vs Project Management

Project development is the end-to-end process of developing a project from the perspective of all stakeholders. Project management is the process of delivering a project from the perspective of those controlling the project. In many cases, the project management team isn't involved in early stages of a project such as concept, feasibility studies and business case development.
Overview: Project Development
The end-to-end process of conceptualizing and delivering a project given a set of resources and constraints.
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