Project management is the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria. Project management involves planning and organization of a company's resources to move a specific task, event or duty toward completion. It typically involves a one-time project rather than an ongoing activity, and resources managed include human capital and financial capital. A project manager helps to define the goals and objectives of the project and determines when the various project components are to be completed.
Basic Phases of Project Management
The phased (or staged) approach breaks down and manages the work through a series of distinct steps to be completed, and is often referred to as "traditional"or "waterfall". Although it can vary, it typically consists of five process areas, four phases plus control:
1. Initiation. An idea for a project will be carefully examined to determine whether or not it benefits the organization. During this phase, a decision making team will identify if the project can realistically be completed.
2. Planning and design. A project plan, project charter and/or project scope may be put in writing, outlining the work to be performed. During this phase, a team should prioritize the project, calculate a budget and schedule, and determine what resources are needed.
3. Construction. Resources' tasks are distributed and teams are informed of responsibilities. This is a good time to bring up important project related information.
4. Monitoring and controlling. Project managers will compare project status and progress to the actual plan, as resources perform the scheduled work. During this phase, project managers may need to adjust schedules or do what is necessary to keep the project on track.
5. Completion or closing. After project tasks are completed and the client has approved the outcome, an evaluation is necessary to highlight project success and/or learn from project history.
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