What is Project Management?
The question can sometimes be confused with what is a project manager, so, we’ll get to that one later. What is Project Management could be foremost addressed by what is a Project?
There are so many definitions of what is a project, but in the spirit of PMO Planet (keeping it simple and pragmatic… where possible); a project could be the following:
- Always has a start and a finish date… although these dates can and do change
- Produces an output that is tangible (sometimes multiple outputs)… something you can touch, feel, and/or see
- Needs resource(s)… can be both materials and or people
- Can get measured against delivering to time, cost and quality
- Quality… agreed minimum standards or expectations
Projects deliver outputs that we can touch feel or see. They are also constrained to deliver by time, cost and quality.
What is Project Management?
Project Management could be seen as the practice of delivering a project. A project usually has a case, a reason why to deliver an output (a business case). The output can be a single or selection of final products (or sometimes called deliverables). These can be anything from an IT system, a building, and event, a new product or service….. anything where there is an output that serves a purpose.
It has been said that there is no such skill as project management, and Project Management broken down into its main parts, is a colection of a variety of management practices already carried out by various management roles in organisations. For example, to name a few (the list is not exhaustive):
- Finance Manager – collating and managing budgets and costs
- Planning Manager – planning what will get delivered and by when
- Operational Manager – managing people and resources
- Risk Manager – managing risks in an organisation
- Strategic Management – planning activity within an organisation
- Quality Assurance / Control – defining the standards of what an organisation delivers
- Procurement Management – managing the purchase and contracts of suppliers of goods and services
Project Managers will perform some of these skills and more
Project Management could be seen as various management practices used to facilitate and lead the delivery of a project or outputs, within a constrained budget (cost) and timescales.
What is a Project Manager?
Is a project manager all of the above? They are someone who applies all different management skills, to lead, support, facilitate and report the delivery of a project, which is a collection of outputs (something tangible that you can touch, feel or see) and these outputs are delivered as a result of solving a problem, satisfying a purpose or exploring an opportunity (or as some would call it…..a ‘business case’).
The Project Management page will be updated shortly to expand the area on topics such as:
There are also plenty of techniques, skills, and practices which cross over projects, programmes and portfolio’s. For example, Risk Management, Stakeholder Management etc. Although these practices may apply to all three levels of governance / change, they can be applied very differently. More to come…