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What is Project Management?

Equipped with both the definition of projects and the definition of management, it may be the time to dive into the definition of combining the two words together, project management.

Project Management Institute (PMI) defines project management as “the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to a broad range of activities in order to meet the requirements of a particular project.”

Another quick definition is “Project management is a methodical approach to planning and guiding project processes from start to finish.” This one is more procedural but does not include all the requirements of project management.

Recalling the definitions of project and management they will appear like that, respectively:

Project is a temporary one operation to create a unique product or service. Two terms are very important in this definition, temporary and unique.

Management comprises directing and controlling a group of one or more people or entities for the purpose of coordinating and harmonizing that group towards accomplishing a goal.

From these two definitions, we can safely define project management as: “directing and controlling a group of one or more people and entities for the purpose of coordinating and harmonizing that group towards accomplishing a temporary operation to create a unique product/service.”

Some effort has been spent to put the above definition for project management because it will act as a contract or a mission statement that we will stick and refer to it throughout the rest of articles to be posted here. Other articles will talk about the project manager and will introduce some help to her/him in directing and communicating with the group who are compromising the project team.

Communication comes through preparing for meeting and documentations and the line of authority between different team members. Directing comes through putting the plan, the schedule, the budget, and the resource allocation. Controlling comes from updating the budget and the schedule and comparing the actual to the original schedule and trying to correct any variances. Of course that will happen through a clever communication plan to harmonize the interactions among all resources or resource providers. The objective is to optimize the whole procedure by minimizing both time and cost and maximizing the quality of the final outcome (product or service).
 

The author welcomes any comments at melmehalawi@yahoo.com

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