Chapter 1. Introduction to Project Management

Project management is as old as we are. Africans used project management to build the great pyramids. Mayans used project management to build their temples and pyramids. Romans used project management to build aqueducts to carry water from the mountains to their cities. Chinese used project management to build the Great Wall. In fact, almost all important human achievements have required the use of project management.

Project management allows us to control the process and progress of invention. It allows us to apply and keep track of resources needed to produce that new product or service. Project management allows us to gather and harness resources toward a specific end or outcome.

Businesses and organizations have ongoing needs for new products and services to sell or use. These items or services may never have been created before, or they may represent new versions of existing entities. Either way, their creation requires the establishment of a project, and all projects need project management.

To start, we need to define a few of the terms we use throughout the book:

  • Project: A unique, one-time work effort with a defined start and a defined end, the objectives of which are defined in advance by those who are paying the bill (and those who have vested interests) and are to be achieved by the use of finite and limited resources. Projects are temporary work, bounded by time, resources, and requirements.

  • Project management: The processes ...

Get Painless Project Management: A Step-by-Step Guide for Planning, Executing, and Managing Projects now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.