Project Management

Cite this article as:"Project Management," in The Business Professor, updated October 11, 2019, last accessed August 4, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/project-management-definition/.

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Project Management Definition

Project management is a concept that is applicable in many fields, regardless of the industry because all projects require project management. Project management refers to a process of initiating a project, planning, executing, and managing the project until it is fully completed. When there is a task or project to be completed, project management is essential.

Project management entails applying specific methods, skills, procedures, and knowledge to the execution of a task. Project management cuts across planning resources to ensure that the task is completed. Every project has its goals and objectives which project managers need to find out before an effective initiation, planning, execution, control, and closing of the project can occur.

In its simplest form, here are the essential things to know about project management;

  • Project management refers to the application of certain skills, methods, procedures, knowledge, and expertise to achieve a particular task.
  • Project management has five processes which are the initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closing.
  • Depending on the type and nature of the project at hand, there are many project management techniques at the disposal of project managers.
  • Project management can be used for all kinds of projects but it is mostly used in building/construction, engineering, manufacturing, and IT firms.

A Little More on What is Project Management

There are diverse project management techniques, frameworks, or methodologies that have been developed across different industries in order to cater to their peculiar needs. Regardless of the differences in the methodologies, there are five key processes that are central to project management, these are; planning, initiation, execution, monitoring, and closing.

However, it is important to know that planning is not limited to when the project is being incubated, planning is required in all of the stages of the project, up to completion. In addition, planning does not occur only when it is time to budget or allocate resources for the project, it is a process that must occur throughout the lifecycle of the project.

Let’s assume a project manager has the responsibility of managing a building project;

This means that project management will occur at different levels of the project such as the architectural or design level, quantity surveying stage, building stage, engineering stage, wiring, and plumbing stage, among others. In this type of situation, the project manager might need sub-managers to oversee different states of the project but he retains his responsibility as the manager of the entire project.

In such a scenario, the project manager needs a chart to visualize all the workflows involved in the project. This will enable the manager to know the tasks that are to be completed by each of the departments. During the lifecycle of the project, there is continuous planning, execution, and monitoring until the project is closed.

Types of Project Management

There are four major project management techniques or methodologies, they are;

  • Traditional Project Management

This is the project management technique that has been universally practiced, it entails following the established processes and procedures of project management which are; initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closing. Traditional project management follows these in the established sequence, giving no room for any addition or expansion.

  • Waterfall Project Management

This methodology is a little different from the traditional technique because it emphasizes the completion of a task before the commencement of the other. Hence, the sequence adopted in this methodology is a linear sequence like that of a waterfall.

  • Lean Project Management

This methodology advocates for frugal planning and spending in relation to the time and resources needed to complete a task or project. The lean project management technique aims to achieve more results with little resources. It avoids wastage of time and resources.

  • Agile Project Management

This project management methodology focuses on how deliverables will be made better through continuous monitoring and improvements. The agile technique does not use the stage by stage approach of project management, rather, different stages of a project are executed by different members of the team and pitched in parallel positions to one another.

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