Defining project management

Project management can take on a whole host of meanings and Portfolio Project management even more. A simple definition of project management is helped by a handful of key premises they acknowledge that: project management is no small task, project management has a definite beginning and end, project management uses various tools to measure accomplishments and track project tasks and projects frequently need ad-hoc resources including human resources.

What is without a doubt is that good project management reduces risk and increases the chance of success. To archive, these project managers have historically used what is commonly called the “triple constraint” to define project management. This implies that there are three key factors at play; projects must be within cost, projects must be delivered on time, projects must be within scope.

Any project management must, of course, meet customer quality requirements so more recently; the project management triangle has given way to a project management diamond. In the project management diamond cost, time, scope and quality are the four key elements of customer expectations central. Project managers must know what those expectations are. Needless to say, no two customers have the same expectations. Asking explicitly about customer’s expectations is vital.

For a fuller definition of Project management, there are the phases it goes through. Typically any project goes through six phases during its lifecycle. Initially, there has to be a Project Definition with defined goals, objectives and critical success factors. Then there is the Project Initiation where everything needed to set up the project before work starts are got ready. Followed by Project Planning outlining how work will be carried out, including time cost and resource estimates.

Then there is Project Execution, actually doing the work to deliver the product, service or desired outcome. Project Monitoring & Control has to be included throughout. Finally, there is Project Closure when the formal acceptance of the deliverables and disbanding of all the elements required to run the project occurs. HPS can help you define what you need for your project management.

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