What is Project Management?

What is project management?
“A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.” – PMI

A project has a finite duration; it has a clear beginning and a clear end. The length of the duration may be short, a few days, or long, several years.
Projects have specific attributes.

  • Has a well-defined objective
  • Composed of a series of interdependent tasks
  • Utilizes various resources
  • Has a specific time frame
  • Has a customer
  • Involves a degree of uncertainty

Some examples of projects may include implementing a new product for your company, doing a software upgrade, or even planning a wedding or going on a vacation.

Project life cycle
Most projects go through similar stages from beginning to end. There are some areas of commonality.

  • The level of effort starts slow, comes to a peak, and then drops off at the end of the project.
  • The project selection process varies greatly but typically includes needs identification and developing a proposed solution.
  • Most project managers and teams focus on the last three phases: Planning, Performing, and Closing the project

Every project must address

  • cost
  • time
  • scope

Triple Constraint
The primary goal of project management is the achievement of three key objectives, called the “Triple Constraint.”

Projects must be completed on schedule, at the planned cost, and with performance that meets functional and quality specifications.
Performance = Scope + Quality

These three interrelated parameters are at EQUILIBRIUM. If one of the parameters changes, one or both of the other two parameters will be changed to maintain equilibrium.
Example, if a customer wants to add functionality (performance) after your project has been baselined, the schedule and/or cost will be affected.

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