Each project lives its own life. The very definition of a project is a temporary endeavor that has a definitive start and finish. Many project managers use the phrase “from cradle to grave” to describe the project life cycle; this book won't take such a morbid approach. The project life cycle contains all of the steps necessary for a project, from beginning to end. Although many companies may have their own variation, a project life cycle usually means initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing.