What Is Project Management

What is project management?

If you are wondering what is project management then there is a good chance that you are not alone in your pondering. The dictionary defines project management as:

“The application of processes, methods, knowledge, skills and experience to achieve the project objectives.”

So, essentially, what is project management? Well, it is all about using the skills and experience you have to make sure that your project meets its goals, that is that it completes on time, produces the results that are set out to achieve, be these a particular level of output or a certain level of income,  and brings everything together for a predefined budget. If your project achieves all of these then it has been a success and the project manager has fulfilled their role. Sounds simple enough, it’s really just about being organised, isn’t it?

When Did Project Management Originate?

To better understand project management, it is perhaps a good idea to take a brief look at its history. Whilst many people think of project management as a relatively new concept it has in one form or another been around for quite a considerable length of time. The concept of project management can be traced back to the late 19th century. However, project management in its current form is a more recent concept from the 1950’s.

Project management as we now know it was a concept originally thought up by, amongst others, Henry Gantt. He created the Gantt chart, a popular diagram in the project management world. Alongside Gantt’s name, you may also see Henri, Fayol who is responsible for the five management functions, which has evolved into the modern day five project management phase.


As productivity increased in industry, and the marketplace opened up with the improvement of transport links, these ideas came in to play in order for companies to remain competitive in the marketplace. And so, the project manager role suddenly came into demand because coordination and communication are essential to the overall success of any project. This has led to a great demand for people who want to become a project manager.

The Phases Of Project Management

Project management can be broken down into 5 basic phases that are used to define the direction and control of any project from start to finish:

Conception and initiation

The initial idea for any project is carefully examined in detail before any decision to go ahead with it is made. It is important to determine whether or not a project will have actual, and realistic, benefits for an organization. It is during this phase of project management that the team making the decisions will look to identify if a project can, in fact, be completed realistically.

Planning and definition of the project
This is the stage of managing any project during which the plan of the project, the charter or the scope are put into writing. This gives a clear outline of the work that is going to be performed during the project. During this phase of the project management, a team will work to prioritise the work on a project, calculate a schedule for the work and a budget and make a list of all the resources that are likely to be required to complete the project.

Launch of project
This phase of the project sees the various teams that will be involved being told of their responsibilities during the project, and the resources tasks being distributed. This is possibly the best time to bring up any important project-related information that members of the project team need to be aware of.

Performance and control of the project
It is vital for the project manager to compare the current status of the project to the expected progress on the actual plan. They need to know where everyone is up to in relation to any mini-deadlines contained within the project. During this phase of managing the project, it might become necessary for a project manager to adjust some of the schedules or rearrange things in order to make sure that the project remains on track.

End of project
After all of the tasks in the project have been completed and the outcome has received a positive approval, either from management or the client, then it is necessary to perform an evaluation. This will help to highlight the successes of the project and also indicate any areas of the project where things might have been improved; in other word’s those things that could make the running of the next project a smoother process.

Obviously, both projects and project management processes can vary significantly from one industry to the next. However, these phases detail the more traditional elements of any project. The key goal of any project is to offer an end result, whether this is a product, a change to a process or to solve a problem so that an organisation can benefit from this.

What Is A Project Manager

If you are unsure of what is project management then you may be unsure of what is a project manager! A project manager is someone whose key role it is to lead a project team towards the end result of accomplishing their final project goal. Usually, the term manager refers to someone who has an ongoing role for the length of their employment within a company.

A project manager, on the other hand, has a distinct purpose to their role and that is the leadership of a team to complete a project. Whilst some project managers may lead several projects, different projects may demand different skills and therefore different project managers.

A knowledge of specific areas of a business may be useful in addition to the ability to multi-task and work well, leading other people. For smaller companies, it is not common to have a full-time project manager, so there is often a chance that someone who will be working on a project will be picked to be the project manager. Working towards improving the necessary skills, adding basic project management skills to your CV and even attending training courses and gaining the appropriate apmp qualification can help you to become a project manager.

Do You Now Understand What Is Project Management?

If you feel you now understand ‘what is project management’ and want to learn more then please do check out our range of courses or contact our friendly team on 01270 626330 or by emailing us at learning@trainingbytesize.com


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