At UMass Medical School’s Enterprise Project Management Office, we use our proprietary Project Management Guide as the foundation of our project management best practices. The guide is based on the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).

The Project Management Guide defines all phases of the project management life-cycle and provides a critical reference guide to both project managers and clients in how to effectively launch, manage, implement, and close out complex projects.


Pre-initiation allows the project team to conceptualize the project. During this phase, we prepare for the project kickoff by:

  • conducting a feasibility study/cost benefit analysis; 
  • identifying project sponsors;
  • identifying and securing funding; and 
  • identifying processes to track, monitor, and manage the project.


The initiation phase guides the project startup process. During the initiation phase, we work with the stakeholders to:

  • create a project statement/project scope of work; develop a project charter; 
  • define standards for file storage, naming conventions, data management, and version control; 
  • identify key stakeholders and resources; staff the project team; and 
  • conduct the project kick-off meeting.


During the planning phase of the project management lifecycle the project manager defines the actual work to be done to successfully produce desired project outcomes. This includes:

  • creating a project plan and work breakdown structure; 
  • assigning resources to tasks; and 
  • developing a communications plan, a change management plan, a quality plan, and a risk management plan.


The implementation/execution phase is where the work is done and key deliverables are produced. The project management team executes all assigned tasks. The project manager:

  • prepares meeting agendas and minutes; 
  • engages an institutional review board (if applicable); 
  • monitors project progress; 
  • submits project status/progress reports; and 
  • manages client relationship.

Project Closure

The project closure phase allows the project team to complete all final closeout tasks, ensure that all project objectives have been met, and record key project team experiences. Project closure activities include:

  • defining all project closure tasks; 
  • procuring final approvals and sign-offs; 
  • invoking the archiving process; 
  • documenting and publishing lessons-learned; 
  • verifying all project closure tasks are complete; and 
  • celebrating success.