I am working on an assessment plan for a project. The project is divided into three phases, and each is to be assessed separately.

The first two phases are called pilot and implementation. The third phase is called continuation, but I feel there is a better word for this.

I want to capture in a single word the essence of this phase - that we will reassess and refine the project periodically after implementation and that this phase is entirely in the future. I have not liked any of the thesaurus suggestions for continuous, continuation, or future.

  • How about "updates"? Or maybe "refinements."
    – Sven Yargs
    Mar 7, 2013 at 3:23
  • Single word is difficult. Maintenance. Operations. Two or three words as a phrase spring to mind: Business as ususal, often shortened to BAU, Continuous Improvement (CI), but there is a framework and mindset associated with that, Life Cycle, maybe.
    – teylyn
    Mar 7, 2013 at 8:16

3 Answers 3


I would recommend calling it the Sustaining phase. This is common parlance in project management for the phase that comes after launch, where you refine/maintain the project.

Some other terms that might fit include:

  • Refinement
  • Maintenance
  • Launch
  • Deployment
  • or even, as you said originally - Continuation
  • I like sustaining.
    – Ben Norris
    Mar 7, 2013 at 12:06

The project is up and running.

Or maybe pilot -> implementation -> operation.

The project is in the production phase.


Depending on your context there is an initialism "BAU", standing for "business as usual" which may apply.

Technically speaking a project is a temporary arrangement of resources convened to achieve some change of the current state of affairs. Once this change is achieved the project is finished. Whatever change the project sought to enact is now the state of affairs.

So for example if the change was to "create a new TV channel", on day x after the channel starts broadcasting, the "project" is closed and handed over to whoever is going to manage the ongoing running of the TV channel. That is BAU.

If this doesn't work, then there are alternatives from "agile" product/project management lexicons which might be more apt - "iteration" or "optimisation" for example.

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