Section B Project Management Characteristics

At one stage during my time at Cranfield, I thought that it would be a good idea to research the definition of project management. I decided it would not be a difficult task since books on the subject would either provide a definition in their introduction or in chapter 1. Consequently, I looked up all the project management books in the Cranfield library and, to my amazement, they were all different!

For a brief time, as chairman of the Association of Project Management (APM) education and training group, I was involved in the development of the original APM body of knowledge, an excellent document that defines what the various subjects are that a project manager needs to know. 5 Theirs was another definition. On a quick glance at the U.S. Project Management Institute, I discovered that they define how project management subjects should be performed, with yet another definition. Too many definitions are complex (trying to cover every aspect of project management) and mix up projects and project management. This was when I decided that I needed to provide a definitive definition and, consequently, modified something that I came across in the paperwork in my office. 6

Project Management is the multidisciplinary process of achieving a satisfactory end result.

The ‘multidisciplinary’ part (people working together as a team), creates complex relationships and a matrix organizational structure. It is what distinguishes project ...

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