Introduction to Project Management

Project management is the application of processes, methods, skills, knowledge and experience to achieve specific project objectives according to the project acceptance criteria within agreed parameters. Project management has final deliverables that are constrained to a finite timescale and budget.

A key factor that distinguishes project management from just ‘management’ is that it has this final deliverable and a finite timespan, unlike management which is an ongoing process. Because of this, a project professional needs a wide range of skills, often technical skills, and certainly people management skills and good business awareness.

A project is a unique, transient endeavour undertaken to achieve planned objectives, which could be defined in terms of outputs, outcomes or benefits. A project is usually deemed to be a success if it achieves the objectives according to its acceptance criteria, within an agreed timescale and budget. Time, cost and quality are the building blocks of every project. 

Time: scheduling is a collection of techniques used to develop and present schedules that show when work will be performed.

Cost: how are necessary funds acquired and finances managed?

Quality: how will fitness for the purpose of the deliverables and management processes be assured?

The core components of project management are:

•defining the reason why a project is necessary;

•capturing project requirements, specifying quality of the deliverables, estimating resources and timescales;

•preparing a business case to justify the investment;

•securing corporate agreement and funding;

•developing and implementing a management plan for the project;

•leading and motivating the project delivery team;

•managing the risks, issues and changes on the project;

•monitoring progress against plan;

•managing the project budget;

•maintaining communications with stakeholders and the project organisation;

•provider management;

•closing the project in a controlled fashion when appropriate.

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