Every individual on the planet will take part in one project in their lifetime. Whether personal or corporate. Generally, every disciplined enterprise participates in projects in one way or the other. Starting from portfolio level, with strategic vision driving their initial investments. Furthermore, a typical project delivers value at every step. Additionally, more businesses are benefiting from investing time, money and resources in building organizational project expertise. These benefits are not limited to lower costs and greater efficiencies. Likewise, improved customer, stakeholder satisfaction, and greater competitive advantage. So, what is project management?

What is a project?

When answering a question such as “what is project management”, sounding ambiguous is tempting. Simply put, a project is a planned undertaking of related activities, unique processes, consisting of coordinated and controlled activities. All with the goal of reaching an objective that has a beginning and an end. In retrospect, allowing collaboration with others to achieve a common goal. A project consists of stakeholders, a project sponsor, project manager, project team members and organization employees. Employees are usually directly or indirectly affected. Additionally, we have a community of competitors and business partners affected by project outcomes.

What is Project Management?

Project management is generally the application of knowledge, skills, strategies, tools, and techniques onto project activities. All for the purpose of meeting project requirements. Remember, deliverables are the end products making up a project. Project management includes a generic project life cycle. This project life cycle helps us best explain ‘what is project management’. Initially, it begins with ‘Initiation’ where potential projects are identified and evaluated in terms of importance. Secondly, ‘Planning’ which involves scope, time, cost and risk management planning. Then onto ‘Execution’ which is followed by ‘Control’ where performance of the project is measured against the project plan.

Finally, we have ‘Close’ whereby the project is officially closed, completed and signed off by all stakeholders. This project cycle is centered around resources like people, technology, space ,and tools. these are non-negotiable when desiring to complete project tasks and deliverables.

Project Characteristics

When answering ‘what is project management’, its noteworthy to mention that most projects share common characteristics. Such characteristics consist of uniqueness in nature, definite objectives and goals. Furthermore, they require resources, have a specific time frame for completion, involve risk and uncertainty. Additionally, they normally require cross-functional teams and interdisciplinary approach. Consequently, the three major dimensions which define the project performance are scope, time, and resources. Similarly, four aspects make up the balance quadrant in project management. These are time, budget, scope, and quality.

Why Project Management

Generally, project management plays a role in the delivery of most business outcomes and its strategies drive organizational success. Subsequently, project management strategies reduce risks, cut costs and improved success rates of organizations. Project management enables the measuring of quantitative and qualitative project outcomes, assessment of risks, milestones and overall project value. Additionally, they reduce the room for error when resources are few. Furthermore, project management helps businesses streamline their delivery process especially from prototype to product.

Precious Resources

In our daily lives, resources are precious, and we’re are always seeking efficiency when dealing with them. For companies, resource management helps them maintain competitiveness and profitability. Furthermore, project management strategy ensures the business value derived from resources increases. Specifically, delivering projects on time and within budget often has consequences. This can be whether a firm gets the next job or whether a new product hits the market. Thus, it requires strict management of metrics and project goals across the teams, suppliers, contractors, and the stakeholders.

Measurable Results

Generally, without a consistency, clear milestones, decision points and metrics for measurable results, you’re simply flying blind. Generally, defining project value aligns business units with the project goals ensuring everyone impacted by the project. Furthermore, it allows the outcomes a buy-in into the process and allows commitment of the necessary financial and human resources. Thus, focusing on metrics, data and standardization of processes enable delivery of good results in project management. Additionally, during project management, ensure project data is collected and made available to all stakeholders for return on investment.

Project Management Software

Generally, iGet would be unfair for us not to mention facilitating software and tools when discussing ‘What is project management?’ Firstly, most project planning software and tools serve very well as project tracking software. They enable flawless movement from the planning phase into execution and control. Additionally, adding ownership and status data to your existing schedules, charts or graphs. Furthermore, they should have great issue tracking, reporting and budget tracking for different tasks. Whether a simple spreadsheet or issue list template, they are designed for ease of project management.

Project Management Rationale

In conclusion, project management is simply a unique area that helps in handling projects. Furthermore, it has three key features distinguishing it from other forms of management. These are a project manager, the project team and the system. Secondly, it helps in handling complex, costly and risky projects with an interdisciplinary approach. Additionally, enables project handling within specified time frame with definite start and completion points. Lastly, it also provides easier task orientation for employees in a business when handling assignments. In a quick snippet that should answer ‘what is project management’.