What is Project Management, definitions and practices

Project management consists of applying the knowledge, capabilities, tools and techniques specific to the activities of a project, which have defined objectives, goals and requirements, regarding time, costs, quality and performance parameters, activities considered important and appropriate for financing. Time, cost, quality and performance are constraints for the project.

Definitions of project management

Different definitions have been formulated for the phrase project management (project management – English; project management – French.). In the “Project Management Manual”, elaborated in 1998 by the Romanian Government, it is mentioned that “project management consists in the planning, organization and management (control) of tasks and resources, which aims to achieve a certain objective, under the conditions of constraints, on time, resources and costs “.

The Romanian standard SR ISO 10006: 2005 [2] contains the following definition (point 4.1.4): “Project management includes planning, organizing, monitoring, controlling, reporting and undertaking the necessary corrective actions for all the project processes, which are needed to achieve the project objectives. , continuously.” The management of any project includes a set of principles, practices and techniques used to lead the project work team and to control the deadlines, costs and risks in order to produce the desired result.

Project management is a discipline dedicated to planning, organizing and managing resources to successfully complete the specific goals and objectives of the project. Project Management (MP) is a methodical approach to planning and guiding project processes from start to finish. MP is widely used to control the complex processes of software development projects.

Webster’s Online dictionary offers the following definition: “Project management is the set of activities related to the successful achievement of a group of objectives. It includes planning, programming and supporting the development of the activities included in the project”. Read more about What is project management in Wikipedia-Lab website.

Project Management Basics Glossary

In the dictionary of Project Management Basics Glossary is formulated a broad definition that includes the essential content of project management: “The process of leading a project that requires the application of planning, team building, communication, control, decision making and finalizing competences. of the project, principles, tools and techniques “.

The norms DIN 69901 standardize a concise definition: “Project management is the complete set of tasks, techniques, tools applied during the execution of projects”. Romanian standard SR 13465: 2007 contains a comprehensive definition of project management:

“Project management represents the planning, organization, monitoring and control of all aspects of the project, as well as the management and leadership of all those involved to safely achieve the project objectives within the agreed criteria. time, costs, scope and performance/quality. “

A project is characterized by a temporary effort to create a product or service with a uniqueness. This characteristic of being temporary contrasts with the processes or operations of production that are permanent or semi-permanent, and they continue to exist for the creation of the same. product or service repeatedly.

The uniqueness of the product, service or result implies that something unique is done, in the sense that the end result is different from other products or services in the category to which it belongs, the products/services do not represent a “repetition”. Project management definitions and practices are more deeply explained in the “Brighton BOT” and on Phron project: What is project management definitions, practices and tools.

Phases of project management

The description of the project management is possible by analyzing the life cycle of the projects, which refers to the logical set of phases of the project, whose names and number are determined by the needs of achieving the goals or objectives of the project. Regardless of purpose or complexity, each project goes through a series of phases. The project management must include a risk analysis and a definition of the criteria for the successful completion of each deliverable result.

Examples of deliverables can be: a feasibility study, a detailed project or a functional prototype. The life cycle of the project is a collection of phases, generally sequential, that offers the structure and approach of the project, from the design of the project to its completion.

In the traditional approach, in phases, the succession of the phases of project management is as follows:

project initiation;

project planning or development;

project execution or production phase;

monitoring and control;

the completion (closing) of the project (completion – in English, translated and “closing”).

In projects with significant R&D elements, these phases can be supplemented with decision points (continuation/abandonment decisions) in which the continuation of the project is debated and decided. An example is a phase-gate process.

There are other names of the component phases, for example in the Wideman Comparative Glossary of Project Management terms (2002): 1.Conception; 2.Definiţie; 3.Execuţie; 4. Finishing (or closing). The exact names differ for different industries and organizations.

General management framework and technical procedures for project management

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a general management framework and technical procedures for project management, which contains the following major phases of the project life cycle:

٭ formulating, planning and proposing the project;

٭ project initiation and execution;

٭ closing, transitioning and / or finishing the project.

Not all projects go through all the phases, because some projects can be completed before they reach “closure”. Some projects do not go through structured planning and / or monitoring phases.

It should be noted that the phases do not simply represent a sequential chain of steps, but constitute iterative processes. For example, problems or changes occurring during the control phase may require re-planning or even changes to the objectives and goals set in the project initiation phase.

Phases of an international project management

International development projects are by definition projects executed in developing countries, are intended for economic and social development and are financed from outside, at least in part. The major phases of a generic life cycle for an international development project are presented in the following scheme:

Identification / design – → Feasibility / definition – → Development / design – → Approval / evaluation / financing → Implementation – → Operations / post-project evaluation.

ID projects are funded by various international institutions (eg, the World Bank, etc.) or international funding agencies (eg, United Nations Development Program-UNDP), through loans or full grants.

Initiation of the project. In the initiation phase the project is authorized, the project manager (or director) is appointed and his / her competences and tasks are nominated, the objectives and goals of the project are formulated. At the same time, resources (material and human) are committed and the project database is created. In the initiation phase, a project management plan is developed, which should include or refer to the project quality management plan. In the science of project management, the initiation phase is also called project definition.

During this phase, the preferred solution is evaluated and optimized. Once the project is defined, the results required by the different stakeholders can be defined. The results of a project (project outcome) are tangible or intangible assets created by the project and can be represented by drawings, schemes, descriptions, models, prototypes, systems and products of different types. They can also be represented by operational processes, organizational changes, changes in human resources necessary for the successful functioning of the organization (cf. SR 13465: 2007, point 5.1.10).

The objectives of the project represent the final state or the purpose that the project management aims to achieve, they define the desired final result of the project; achieving the set of objectives allows the complete execution of the project.

2 thoughts on “What is Project Management, definitions and practices”

  1. Hello guys. This is really impressive article. I would like to ask you about details about the Feasibility phase. It seems I am not aware of it and I tought I know some project management. Can you share some more information? Thanks a bunch!

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