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Best practices for creating phases and stages

Phases and stages are an important part of using workflow in Project Web App. This article presents some best practices for creating phases and stages. If you're just starting out with Project Web App workflow, chick out Using workflow for demand management in Project Online first.

You can name your demand management phases and stages any way you’d like, but using the following guidelines can save you time as an administrator and make things easier to find.

For each phase or stage that you create in Project Web App, we recommend using specific naming conventions. We also recommend that you create unique phases and stages for each enterprise project type. These conventions can provide easier maintenance as you expand your usage of demand management features.

For phases:

  • Create unique phases for each workflow and prefix the phase with an acronym that categorizes the workflow (for example, IT).

  • Add a number after the acronym so that phases appear in chronological order.

The following table shows an example of how you might name the phases of IT projects.

Phase name


IT-1 Create

Create phase for IT projects.

IT-2 Select

Select phase for IT projects.

IT-3 Plan

Plan phase for IT projects.

IT-4 Manage

Manage phase for IT projects.

IT-5 Finish

Finish phase for IT projects.

For stages:

  • Add the appropriate acronym and a number before the title of the stage to cause the stages to appear chronologically.

  • Create unique stages for each workflow. This allows you to make changes to a stage in one workflow without affecting other workflows.

The following table shows an example of how you might name the stages of IT projects.

Stage name


IT-1 Propose idea

Propose idea stage for IT projects.

IT-2 Initial review

Initial review stage for IT projects.

IT-3 Complete request

Complete request stage for IT projects.

IT-4 Request review

Request review stage for IT projects.

IT-5 Portfolio selection

Portfolio selection stage for IT projects.

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