What is Project Management?

In this video, I want to answer the question, what is project management? To answer the question, what is project management? I think we first need to start with understanding what a project is. And for me, the definition of a project is this. A project is a coordinated set of tasks that together, create a defined new product, process or service within a constrained time and resource budget. And that definition throws up a number of challenges. Let’s take a look at them in sequence. And the first challenge is the coordination often a very many tasks so The first job of a project manager is therefore, to coordinate. Secondly, we’ve got a defined new product, process or service. And so project management has to be about defining what it is we want, and also delivering accurately to that definition. Third, let’s increase the difficulty of project management one step further. It’s a defined new product, process or service. And therefore we’re dealing with novelty, with innovation, sometimes with absolute uniqueness, and that adds a level more difficulty. And finally, the greatest level of difficulty for many project managers is the constrained time and resource budget. Yes, we often have to deliver our project to a deadline and with a limitation on our financial budget And our resource availability. those challenges therefore, give us the setup for the discipline of project management. Project Management is a set of tools, processes, systems, methods, and personal skills and attitudes that allow us to meet those challenges. I think of this as a triangle, the triangle of project management, at its first corner is getting things done, everything you need to do, to coordinate and make things happen. Here you’ll find your tools, your techniques, and your methodologies. At the second corner, project management helps us to be organized. So here you’ll find systems, processes and procedures. Many of our formal project management methodologies employed sighs one particular process or system or procedure to follow, to stay organized, and to deliver within our time, and budgetary constraints. At the third corner, our personal skills. These are the attitudes and the approaches we take to doing project management. These are things like leadership, and influence and resilience and curiosity, the personal characteristics, if you like, that enable us to be successful project managers. So project management is a combination of these three corners. It’s the set of skills, attitudes and approaches we take to getting the job done. But it’s worth also mentioning that there are now two broad types of project management. What is sometimes called predictive or planned project management approaches, the more traditional approaches that have been with us for many years. And then there are the adaptive or agile project management approaches, which are, in many ways newer, they started to emerge in the 1990s and have reached a certain amount of maturity now, however, my take on these two different approaches is that they add together to give us a wider toolset and a wider number of organizing principles with which to manage projects. because fundamentally, what is project management? project management is just the set of tools, processes, and skills that we bring to finding the best way to deliver what we’ve been charged to deliver within the constraints that we’ve been set and to the deadlines that are required of us