What is Project Management

There are a host of answers to the question, What is Project Management? A very simple definition is how a person or group of people organize and manage various resources to complete a task or a group of tasks. A more detailed definition is as follows: –

A project is a temporary venture that exists to produce a defined outcome.
Each project will have agreed and unique objectives as well as,
its own plan, budget, timescale, deliverables, and tasks.

A project involves people from different teams within an organization who come together to accomplish a specific goal.

What distinguishes management and project management?

Project Management has a finite timespan and defined outcome, which, unlike general management is an ongoing process.

A project professional needs a wide range of skills; including technical, people management skills, and a well-developed level of business awareness.

Key components of project management are:

Time – the intended duration of the work

Cost – How do you get and manage the project finances?

Scope – what innovations or changes will be delivered by the project

Quality – How do you assure the quality of the deliverables and management processes?

Reducing the time allocated to complete a project may also reduce the amount of work that can be done (scope).

Project Management Stages

There are different methodologies and approaches used, most projects will follow these stages:

Initiating the project

This phase includes naming and defining the project. The project manager defines what the project will achieve and realize, working with the project sponsor and stakeholders to agree on deliverables.

Planning

A project management plan is developed and will include cost, scope, duration, risk, and resources.

Execution

The project manager builds the project team, collects, and allocates the resources and budget available to specific tasks.

Monitoring

The project manager oversees the progress of project work and updates the project plans to reflect actual performance.

Closing

The project manager ensures the outputs delivered by the project are accepted by the business and closes down the project team.

Some of the core components of project management are:

  1. Why Defining the reason why a project is necessary?
  2. Requirements Capturing project requirements, specifying the quality of the deliverables, estimating resources and timescales;
  3. Business Case Preparing a business case to justify the investment;
  4. Funding Securing corporate agreement and funding;
  5. Planning Developing and implementing a management plan for the project;
  6. Procurement Obtaining the materials and services that are required for the project.
  7. Team Leading and motivating the project delivery team;
  8. Risks Managing the risks, issues, and changes on the project;
  9. Progress Monitoring progress against plan;
  10. Budget Managing the project budget;
  11. Communicate Maintaining communications with stakeholders and the project

As projects and the art of project management become more complex and continue to evolve, it is likely that these elements will continue to change.

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