Understanding the Fundamentals of Project Management

The Project Management Institute (PMI) formally defines project management as follows: “The application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.”1

Even though that definition is open to broad interpretation I have no problem with it because I prefer to keep things simple and intuitive and that is what PMI has done. For our purposes here I'm going to add a little more content than the PMI definition offers. The definition that I offer shortly in this chapter is designed to be a working definition.

image Project management is a set of tools, templates, and processes designed to answer the following six questions:

  • What business situation is being addressed by this project?
  • What do you need to do?
  • What will you do?
  • How will you do it?
  • How will you know you did it?
  • How well did you do?

Let's quickly look at the answers to these questions.

What Business Situation Is Being Addressed by This Project?

The business situation is either a problem that needs a solution or an untapped opportunity. If it is a problem, the solution may be clearly defined and the delivery of that solution will be rather straightforward. If the solution is not completely known, then the project-management approach must iteratively embrace the learning and discovery of that solution. Obviously, these will ...

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