Project management is quite often the province and responsibility of
an individual project manager. This individual seldom participates directly in the activities
that produce the end result, but rather strives to maintain the progress and productive mutual interaction of various parties
in such a way that overall risk of failure is reduced.
Compare a project to say, a manufacturing line, which is intended to be a continuous process without a planned
Typical projects might include the engineering and construction of a building, or the design, coding, testing and documentation
of a computer software program, or development of the science and clinical testing of a new drug. The duration of a project
is the time from its start to its completion, which can take days, weeks, months or even years.
In contrast to on-going, functional work, a project is "a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product,
service, or result" (A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide, Third Edition, Project Management
Institute, 2004, p. 5). Projects are temporary because they have a definite beginning and a definite end. They are unique
because the product or service they create is different in some distinguishing way from similar products or services.
is the discipline
of defining and achieving targets while optimizing the use of resources (time, money, people, space, etc). Thus, it could
be classified into several models: time, cost, scope, and intangibles.
· is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to describe, organize,
oversee and control the various project processes.
· is the art of matching a project's goals, tasks, resources to accomplish a goal as
needed. We say "as needed" because one has limited time, money, and resources (human and machinery) with which to accomplish
a goal. One can think of a project as a process. Figure 1 shows this process as a simplified block diagram.
- is a carefully planned and organized
effort to accomplish a specific (and usually) one-time effort, for example, construct a building or implement a new computer
system. Project management includes developing a project plan, which includes defining project goals and objectives, specifying
tasks or how goals will be achieved, what resources are need, and associating budgets and timelines for completion. It also
includes implementing the project plan, along with careful controls to stay on the "critical path", that is, to ensure the
plan is being managed according to plan. Project management usually follows major phases (with various titles for these phases),
including feasibility study, project planning, implementation, evaluation and support/maintenance. (Program planning is usually
of a broader scope than project planning, but not always.)