The Allen Wrench Blog

The latest in project management

Dec 10, 2018

What is Project Management?

What is project management you say? Well, it's a little different than normal day to day tasks.

The Project Management Institute says that: 

It's a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.

Honestly that about sums it up. Project management is managing tasks that are interim and uncommon.

The Managing Part

We know that a project is something unique and temporary, but what is project management? We know what a manager is and project managers are very much like those managers that oversee daily processes.

But, project managers also have skills and tools specific to these unique projects. They have the skills to think on their feet dealing with situations they've never dealt with before and to see an endeavor from start to finish.

Project managers also know they need tools tailored to projects specifically to be successful. This might be spreadsheets and documents to help organize, calendars to keep track of due dates, rosters to assign tasks to people on the team, email to stay in touch and up to date, and even project management software.

The managing part of, "What is project management?" is probably the most difficult, but with the right tools, one can be a successful project manager.

Knowing What is Project Management

What is project management? Well to identify a project, first think about its lifespan. Does the project have a specific time you want it to start? And does a project have a projected due date?

These are clear signs that a project is indeed a project and not just a daily task. Part of project management is seeing a project through from start to finish. These dates may vary as you plan for a start date and perhaps complete a project earlier or later than expected. Project managers have to be prepared for these changes, have the tools necessary to see the big picture, and complete a project from the day it is created to the day it is completed.

The temporary nature of the project's lifespan is what makes project management about projects and not a daily activity.

What is Project Management and how to Identify a Project

Well, hopefully, the question of, "What is project management?" is clearly answered now. And hopefully, you've got a feeling about how to identify a project from routine work. But let's review what is project management.

First of all, managing is controlling the project and helping the people on the teams that are tasked to complete the project. Secondly, projects must be unique. They are goals set by organizations that will repair or expand an institution or even impress another client or organization. Lastly, project management is about seeing a temporary process from start to finish. A project must have a solid start and end date.

Hopefully with these three simple characteristics, you'll better be able to identify a project and manage it.

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