Understanding the Phases of Project DPro and Program DPro

In this article, we will explore the phases of Project DPro and Program DPro, two project management methodologies that offer distinct approaches to managing projects and programs. Understanding these phases is essential for anyone looking to place projects within the context of programs and grasp the connections and differences between the two. Project DPro consists of five management phases, including Identification and Definition, Set Up, Planning, Implementation, and Closure. Program DPro, on the other hand, combines Planning and Implementation into a single phase, with Identification and Closure occurring on either side of iterations of Design and Planning & Implementation. We will also discuss the key principles and decision gates that guide both methodologies, as well as the critical disciplines for successful project and program management.

Project DPro Phases

In the world of project management, understanding the various phases of a project is essential for successful delivery. Project DPro, also known as PMD Pro, is a widely recognized project management methodology that offers a structured approach to managing projects. It consists of five main phases: Identification and Definition, Set Up, Planning, Implementation, and Closure. Each phase plays a crucial role in ensuring the project’s success.

Understanding the Phases of Project DPro and Program DPro

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Identification and Definition

The first phase of Project DPro is Identification and Definition. During this phase, the project team identifies the project’s objectives, stakeholders, and requirements. This phase sets the foundation for the entire project and helps align the team’s understanding of the goals and expectations. The project’s scope and boundaries are defined, and the project team conducts a preliminary assessment of the project’s feasibility.

Set Up

Once the project has been identified and defined, the next phase is Set Up. In this phase, the project team is established, and the necessary resources, such as funding and equipment, are secured. The project team also sets up the project management infrastructure, including communication channels, tools, and documentation. This phase ensures that the project is adequately supported and ready to move forward.

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The Planning phase is a critical phase in Project DPro. During this phase, the project team develops a detailed project plan that outlines the project’s objectives, milestones, deliverables, and timeline. The project plan includes a comprehensive breakdown of tasks and activities, as well as the allocation of resources and responsibilities. This phase sets the course for the project and serves as a roadmap for the team to follow.


After the planning phase, the project moves into the Implementation phase. This is where the project team puts the plan into action and executes the project activities. The team works together to complete the project tasks, monitor progress, and address any issues or risks that arise. Effective communication and coordination are crucial during this phase to ensure that the project stays on track and meets its objectives.

Understanding the Phases of Project DPro and Program DPro

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The final phase of Project DPro is Closure. In this phase, the project team completes all remaining project activities, including finalizing documentation, conducting a final review, and obtaining stakeholder sign-off. The project’s outcomes and deliverables are evaluated, and lessons learned are captured for future reference. This phase marks the end of the project and ensures a smooth transition to the next phase or project.

Program DPro Phases

While Project DPro focuses on managing individual projects, Program DPro takes a broader perspective and deals with managing multiple projects as part of a larger program. Program DPro consists of four phases: Identification, Design, Planning & Implementation, and Closure. These phases work together to ensure the successful delivery of the program’s objectives.


The first phase of Program DPro is Identification. During this phase, the program’s objectives and desired outcomes are defined. The program team identifies the projects that will be part of the program and assesses their alignment with the program’s goals. This phase sets the stage for the program and provides a clear understanding of what needs to be achieved.

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Understanding the Phases of Project DPro and Program DPro

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In the Design phase, the program team develops a strategic roadmap for the program. This roadmap outlines how the individual projects within the program will be coordinated and integrated to achieve the desired outcomes. The Design phase considers the program’s overall goals and provides guidance on how the projects should be structured and managed. It also ensures that the program’s activities are aligned with the broader strategic objectives.

Planning & Implementation

The Planning & Implementation phase of Program DPro combines two phases from Project DPro into one. During this phase, the program team develops a detailed plan for each project within the program. The project plans are then integrated into the program’s overall plan, taking into account dependencies, resource allocation, and timeline. The team coordinates the implementation of the projects, closely monitoring progress and addressing any challenges that arise.

Understanding the Phases of Project DPro and Program DPro

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Similar to Project DPro, the Closure phase in Program DPro marks the end of the program. During this phase, the program team evaluates the program’s outcomes and assesses whether the objectives have been met. Lessons learned are captured, and final documentation is completed. The Closure phase ensures that the program is properly closed out and that all loose ends are tied up.

Principles and Decision Gates

In both Project DPro and Program DPro, certain principles guide the management approach. These principles are crucial for ensuring effective and efficient project and program delivery. The principles include:

  • Well Governed: Projects and programs should be governed by clear policies and processes that promote accountability and transparency.
  • Participatory: Stakeholder engagement and participation should be encouraged throughout the project and program lifecycle.
  • Comprehensive: All relevant aspects and requirements should be considered to ensure a holistic approach to project and program management.
  • Integrated: Different project and program components should be integrated to enable seamless coordination and collaboration.
  • Adaptive: Flexibility and adaptability should be embraced to respond to changing circumstances and requirements.
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In addition to the principles, decision gates are critical elements of both Project DPro and Program DPro. Decision gates provide opportunities for project and program management to pause and reflect before proceeding. These gates allow for a thorough evaluation of progress, risks, and alignment with objectives. Decision gates contribute to informed decision-making and help ensure that resources are effectively utilized.


For both project and program managers, several disciplines play a crucial role in successful delivery. These disciplines provide a framework for effective planning, execution, and management. In Project DPro, the five key disciplines include:

  • Justification: Ensuring that the project aligns with organizational goals and objectives and provides value.
  • Time: Managing the project schedule and ensuring timely completion of project activities.
  • Scope: Defining and managing the project’s scope to ensure the project remains focused on its objectives.
  • Risk: Identifying, assessing, and managing risks to minimize their impact on the project.
  • Stakeholder: Engaging and managing stakeholders throughout the project lifecycle to ensure their needs are met.

Program DPro shares these five disciplines with Project DPro. However, Program DPro adds a sixth discipline focused on Resource Management. This reflects the strategic nature of program management, where effective management of financial resources is crucial for achieving program objectives.

Learn more

To learn more about Project DPro and Program DPro, you can download the Project DPro Second Edition and Program DPro from the PM4NGOs website. These resources provide comprehensive guidance on the methodologies and can help you enhance your project and program management skills.

In conclusion, understanding the phases of Project DPro and Program DPro is essential for effective project and program management. By following these structured approaches, project and program managers can ensure successful delivery and achieve their objectives. The principles, decision gates, and disciplines provide a solid foundation for managing projects and programs in a comprehensive and strategic manner.

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