The idea of project development led to the recognition of phases within the project process and from there to the concept of the project cycle. The project Life cycle is the period from the starting point (1st stage) to the ending point (last stage) of the project. The project cycle has much value to project managers and serves as a useful basis for understanding.
Many version of PC has been developed, while all having the common idea that projects go through several clearly defined stages in the process of their establishment. A modified version of PC by Baum(1978) and UNIDO(1979) is given below.
The Project Life Cycle
This is the stage in which a project is defined as an idea or possibility worthy of further investigation and study. This may come as the result of the discovery of a resource, need or demand to be satisfied. For example, (A valuable mineral deposit in a remote region) needs to be extracted in a project.
The formulation or preparation stage involves the definition of alternatives for the project along with the selection and planning of optimum alternatives covering aspects like size, location, technical details, markets, and institutional arrangements. For mining project preparation involves defining and costing techniques, assessing the potential market and revenue, and environmental and institutional arrangements.
2.1 Outline design
This is a design process carried out to a sufficient level of detail and accuracy. It allows the estimation of technical, social, and institutional parameters. It also aids feasibility study with cost and benefit assessment.
It is the process in which all the aspects of the project are reviewed, to decide whether to proceed with the project or not. It is accompanied by major negotiations between the leading agency and the host government.
2.3 Detailed design
After the project appraisal, a detailed design is prepared with sufficient accuracy to go the implementation ahead. This design includes specific organizational forms and procedures, and construction documents with the cost estimate.
Through the re-appraisal and negotiation of design to finalize details of the plan Implementation can be commenced. It is the stage that involves the disbursement of the largest portion of the project fund and time. The activities of mining excavation are carried out in the field.
It is the process executed between Implementation and Operation. It leads to the successful operation of the assets.
This is the phase when the assets created by the project implementation are put into work and yield a flow of benefits. The project phase is by the time operations are commenced. The mine is producing minerals that can be processed further.
Evaluation is the investigating and reviewing of the effects of the completed project, to see whether the benefits which were planned to flow from it have been achieved or these benefits have had their intended consequences. Is the mine excavation project completed in allocated time and budget, and fulfilled its envisioned objectives i.e livelihood enhancement of locals, economic gain, etc.