Process Stage is the division of a process into interrelated tasks and activities that are performed consistently to achieve specific intermediate outcomes within a scheduled period. One process stage consumes a pool of resources (time, labor, funds, machines, etc.) to convert inputs (data, material, components, etc.) into outputs. These outputs then serve as inputs for the next process stage until a preset process objective or end result is achieved.
Process stages determine key levels or time periods within process lifecycle. For example, the lifecycle of a typical business process consists of such time-scaled stages as Growth, Peak, Recession and Recovery. The lifecycle of a project management process includes the stages Conceptualization, Planning, Execution, Control, and Termination.
Any process is unique, so it may have some stages that are not particular to other processes. For example, the mentioned stages in project management may vary depending on the type and nature of project. Meanwhile, any process stage involves:
- A series of consistent actions that perform the stage
- A fixed time period
- Available inputs
- Desired outputs
- Linkage to other interdependent stages.