What is a project?
It's a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.
A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources. And a project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal. So a project team often includes people who don’t usually work together – sometimes from different organizations and across multiple geographies.
Project management, then, is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements
Projects often follow major phases or stages (with various titles for these), for example: feasibility, definition, planning, implementation, evaluation and realisation. (Thanks for Kevin Lonergan for contributing to this description.)
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Project management includes developing a project plan, which involves defining and confirming the project goals and objectives, how they will be achieved, identifying tasks and quantifying the resources needed, and determining budgets and timelines for completion. It also includes managing the implementation of the project plan, along with operating regular 'controls' to ensure that there is accurate and objective information on 'performance' relative to the plan, and the mechanisms to implement recovery actions where necessary.
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The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals within the given constraints.
One of the most common sets of activities in the management is planning. Very simply put, planning is setting the direction for something -- some system -- and then guiding the system to follow the direction. There are many kinds of planning in organizations. Common to these many kinds of planning are various phases of planning and guidelines for carrying them out as effectively as possible. Information in this document can be referenced as a basis from which to carry out various kinds of planning, ranging from highly complex to simple and basic. (The library topic Planning describes a wide variety of plans.) To help make the following information applicable to as many situations as possible, the scope of the following planning information is to the "system", which is fully explained below. The following process should be customized by planners to the meet the needs and nature of the planners and their organizations