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Project Management is the discipline of planning, organising, and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives. A project is a finite endeavour--having specific start and completion dates--undertaken to create a unique product or service which brings about beneficial change or added value. This finite characteristic of projects stands in sharp contrast to processes, or operations, which are permanent or semi-permanent functional work to repetitively produce the same product or service. In practice, the management of these two systems is often found to be quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills and the adoption of separate management philosophy, which is the subject of this article.
The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals and objectives while adhering to classic project constraints--usually scope, quality, time and budget. The secondary--and more ambitious--challenge is to optimise the allocation and integration of inputs necessary to meet pre-defined objectives. A project is a carefully defined set of activities that use resources (money, people, materials, energy, space, provisions, communication, motivation, etc.) to achieve the project goals and objectives.
- PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge as defined by the Project Management Institute - PMI):"Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements."
- PRINCE2 project management methodology: "The planning, monitoring and control of all aspects of the project and the motivation of all those involved in it to achieve the project objectives on time and to the specified cost, quality and performance."
- PROJECT: A temporary endeavor with a finite completion date undertaken to create a unique product or service. Projects bring form or function to ideas or needs.
- DIN 69901 (Deutsches Institut für Normung - German Organisation for Standardisation): "Project management is the complete set of tasks, techniques, tools applied during project execution"
Project Management Institute (PMI)
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