All About Project Management

Project management is a carefully planned and organized effort to accomplish a successful project. A project is a one-time effort that produces a specific result, for example, a building or a major new computer system. This is in contrast to a program, which is 1) an ongoing process, such as a quality control program, or 2) an activity to manage a series of multiple projects together. In some countries, the term "program" refers to a software tool and the term "programme" can mean a TV or radio show.

Project management includes developing a project plan, which includes defining and confirming the project goals and objectives, identifying tasks and how goals will be achieved, 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.

Projects usually follow major phases or stages (with various titles for these), including feasibility, definition, project planning, implementation, evaluation and support/maintenance.

NOTE: There are many software tools that make project management much more effective and efficient. Software Tools to Do Project Management Process lists software resources. The reader might best be served to read about the overall project management process in the section, "Foundations of Project Management" below, and then review some of the software tools. Another approach is to review the tools as the reader progresses through each phase of the project management process. (Thanks for Kevin Lonergan for contributing to this description.)

Sections of This Topic Include

NOTE: The following links are to major sections of this page, included later on below. Each sections includes additional links.

Foundations of Project Management

Basics of Project Planning
Overviews of Project Management

Roles in Project Management (including Project Manager)
Skills Required to Leading Teams and People in Project Management

Doing Project Management

Feasibility Studies -- Is the Project Worth Doing?
Project Planning -- How Do We Determine Project's Outcomes, Goals and Objectives?

Resource Allocation -- What Do We Need to Implement the Plan (People, Money and Scheduling)?
Risk Management Analysis -- What Could Go Wrong?
Ethical Analysis of Project -- Are We In Conformance, Morally and Legally?
Implementation of Project Plan -- How Do We Ensure Implementation While Managing Change?
Earned Value Management -- How Do We Measure Progress and Results?
Communicating Your Plans and Status -- What Do We Communicate to Whom and When?
Evaluating Projects and Results -- How Do We Evaluate Implementation and Project Results?
When Projects Are in Trouble -- How Do We Avoid Pitfalls and What Do We Do If They Occur?

General Resources and Topics

Glossaries of Project Management Terms
Resources With Many Resources About Project Management

Software Tools to Do Project Management Process
Organizations Focused on Project Management
Getting PMP Certification
Some Related Fields

Also see
Related Library Topics

Also See the Library's Blogs Related to this Topic

In addition to the articles on this current page, see the following blogs which have posts related to this topic. Scan down the blog's page to see various posts. Also see the section "Recent Blog Posts" in the sidebar of the blog or click on "next" near the bottom of a post in the blog.

Library's Business Planning Blog
Library's Building a Business Blog
Library's Leadership Blog
Library's Project Management Blog
Library's Strategic Planning Blog
Library's Supervision Blog


FOUNDATIONS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Basics of Project Planning

It will benefit the reader immensely to have an understanding of at least the basic planning processes before undertaking the more detailed process of project management. See
Basic Guidelines for Successful Planning Process.

Planning is all about making decisions and solving problems, so it also will be useful for the reader to have some guidelines for
Decision Making
Problem Solving

There are numerous other topics in the Library that could pertain to project management, but the reader might best be served to first review the resources linked from this topic on Project Management and afterwards see
Related Library Topics

Overviews of Project Management

The following links provide an overview of the project management process, starting with some definitions.
Project Planning A Step by Step Guide
Project Management
Solid Overview of Project Management
Project Management 101
Understanding Corporate Project Management
A Short Course in Project Management
Developing a Project Management Best Practice
Project Management Simply Explained
Finding Humor in Project Management
From Project Management to Program Management
Project Life Cycle
How to Teach Yourself About Project Management
The Virtual PMO
The Key to Successful Project Management
Top 10 Project Management Trends for 2011
Is PM Just Common Sense
Some Frameworks and Models of Project Management
Successful International Projects
Does It Have To Be So Hard?
Project Success for the Small Business

Also see
Glossaries of Project Management Terms
It Depends On What the Meaning of "Is" Is

Some Remarkable Approaches to Managing Projects

Now that you've gained an understanding of the overall project management process, it's useful to consider how the projects could be managed. One rather traditional approach is do the best you can to ensure that all major phases of project management are addressed. Here are two approaches that further enlighten how you might think about managing your projects.
Agile Management (an approach to management)
Agile Project Management Methods for IT Projects (a book chapter)
PRINCE2
Project Portfolio Management (a primer)
The PRINCE2® Training Manual
‘Fusion’ Project Management
PRINCE2: The Most Popular PM Exam In The World
Top 30 Agile Myths Busted

Roles in Project Management (including Project Manager)

Project Roles and Responsibilities
Role of the Project Manager
How to Be Perceived as an Effective Project Manager
Ten Rules for Project Managers
Stress and the Project Manager
Project Roles and Responsibilities
In-House Project Managers vs. External
The Role (and Challenge) of the Project Sponsor
What Project Managers Can Learn from Angry Birds
Top 10 Leadership Qualities of a Project Manager
Maximizing Project Managers
How Bad Project Managers are Killing the Profession
Career Path to Becoming a Project Manager
Making Junior Project Managers More Senior
Managing Projects on a Global Scale
12 Essential Soft Skills for Project Managers
Seven Deadly Project Manager Sins
On the importance of field knowledge in project management
Who’s The Boss?

Skills to Lead Teams and People in Project Management

There are certain skills to have when conducting project management. It's best to have a team of planners when doing project planning. Therefore, it's important to have skills in forming, leading and facilitating groups. The following information will help you develop these skills.
Yes, Project Managers Need Leadership Skills!
Kicking Off the Project Team
Team Building
Leadership (Introduction)
Meeting Management
Facilitating in Face-to-Face Groups
Group-Based Problem Solving and Decision Making
Conflict Management (this topic provides basics in managing conflict in groups)
Capturing Lessons Learning During Projects
Decomposition of Projects: How to Design Small Incremental Steps
Using Project Teams on Organizational Projects
Project Management, initiative, leadership: How to Avoid a Work Burnout
Project Management, Leadership and Making the Right Decision
A Strategic Management Model that Works
Course 19: Managing Projects
Become a Project Management Minimalist -- Video 1
10 Steps to Project Success
On the importance of field knowledge in project management
5 Leadership Skills for Project Managers
How Project Managers Can Manage Conflict


DOING PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Feasibility Studies -- Is Project Worth Doing?

A feasibility study determines if a project is really useful to do.
Project Management Feasibility Studies
Feasibility Study -- Can You Mange It?
Project Feasibility Study Samples
New Tools for Feasibility Studies
Feasibility Studies
How to Develop a Prototype
Have Your Project Demo Ready
So Are We Doing This?
Are We All Here?

Project Planning -- How Do We Determine Project Outcomes, Goals and Objectives?

Overview of Project Planning

Project planning includes specifying the overall goals to be achieved by the project, phases of the project, the objectives associated with each goal, responsibilities to achieve each objective. Planning might also include specifying milestones or deliverables to be produced, and timelines for achieving the objectives and milestones.
Steps in Project Planning
Five Steps to Initiating a Project
Project Management Planning
Assumptions When We Plan and Define Projects
Planning, Estimating and Managing Government Software Projects
Planning a Project -- Sample Project Plans
Planning a Project -- the Basics
Planning a Project
Project Planning and Life Cycle
Three Critical Project Management Terms to Know
Project Planning (an extensive chapter)
What is Success in Project Management?
How to Use Software to Plan and Prioritize Projects
Putting a people focus into project management
The Project Quality
The Project Scope
Intelligence Gathering: Determining End User Needs
How to Use the Requirements Creation Process to Improve Project Estimates
Project Management Definition and Solutions
We need an alternative to Project Management Templates
Avoid That Creep
How Many Trackers Do You Track?

When Working from Requirements

Some projects do planning by working from an initial set of project requirements. The requirements might have come from other stakeholders, or people who have a strong interest in the project and/or will be affected by the project.
Incose: International Council on Systems Engineering - defining customer needs and requirements in (project) systems
Overview on requirements management by UK's Office of Government & Commerce
Open Architecture Requirements Management

Some Tools for Project Planning

Project Proposal Writing
Generic Project Proposal Template
Project Proposal and Initiation Templates

Statement of Work
Writing a Statement of Work
How a Statement of Work Can Save Your Project

Project Charter
Project Charter Example
How to Create Your Project Charter

What is a Workforce Breakdown Structure? Workforce Breakdown Structure (Wikipedia)
Workforce Breakdown Structure
Dependency Structure Matrix

Resource Allocation -- What Do We Need to Implement Project Plan (People, Money, Scheduling)?

Resource allocation identifies the resources needed and schedules their involvement. It might also consider the efficient integration of those resources and do contingency planning in case certain resources are not sufficient or available. Some planners might include budgeting as part of the resource allocation process.
Resource Allocation
Effective Project Team and Resource Allocation
Splitting a Project Into Small Bits
Estimating Project Costs
Hierarchy of Project Objectives Keys to Resource Allocation
Project Management Resource Allocation
Resource Allocation: Do You Overwork Your Resources?
Resource Leveling
The Project Budget
The Project Schedule
Are Sub-Contractors Good Or Bad?
Five Techniques So You Don't Have To Be There
How to Manage Your Time as a Project Manager

Some Tools for Resource Allocation

Project Management Budgeting Tools
Project Budget and Reporting Tools

Gantt Charts
Gantt Chart links

Resource Leveling tools
Resource Leveling

Risk Management Analysis of Project -- What Could Go Wrong?

Risk management involves identifying real and potential risks in the project and how to respond to each. It's best if the risks are identified in a comprehensive and systematic approach.
Project Risk Management Principles
Overview of Project Risk Management
Improving Project Risk Management
10 Golden Rules of Project Risk Management
Project Management: Risk Management
Many Blog Posts About Project Risk Management
Risky Business

Some Tools for Risk Management

A Consistent Project Risk Assessment Tool
Risk Management Tools

Ethical Analysis of Project -- Are We In Conformance, Morally?

Ethics is clarifying what's morally right and wrong, and influencing that actions are morally right. Ethics can include codes of ethics, codes of conduct, guidelines to resolve ethical dilemmas and training about these ethics tools. Ethics applies in all aspects of project management.
The Role of Ethics in Project Management
Business Ethics
Ethics in Project Management
Ethics Problems in Project Management
Ethics in Project Management
Customers and Suppliers?

PMI's Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
Project Management Ethics and Rules of Conduct

Implementation of Project Plan -- How Do We Ensure Implementation, While Managing Change?

To Ensure Implementation of the Project Plan

The best practices to ensure implementation of the plan actually start early in the planning process. The practices are the same, whether for strategic, business or project planning.
How to Ensure Implementation of Your Plan
Course 19: Managing Projects

To Manage Change During Implementation of the Project Plan

Implementation of important plans, such as strategic, business and project plans, usually impact the strategy, structure and/or operations of the organization. Therefore, it's important that project managers understand at least some basics about managing change in organizations.
Organizational Change and Development

Earned Value Management -- How Do We Measure Progress and Value?

Earned value management measures the progress and value of a project, especially during implementation. When done comprehensively and systematically, it can reduce cost and provide early detection of problems.
What is Earned Value?
An Overview of Earned Value Management
Earned Value Management for Project Performance Measurement
Earned Value Management
Why Tracking Percent Complete for Project Tasks Doesn't Work
US DoD - EVM Website - substantial resource on EVM
Dr David Christensen - EVM Bibliography
Analyze the Variance - My Flexible Pencil

Some Tools for Earned Value Management

Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)
How to Use a PERT Chart for Project Management

Why Critical Path is Critical to Project Management
Critical Path Method

Earned Value Analysis in Project Cost Estimate
Track Earned Value

Communicating Your Project -- What Do We Communicate to Whom and When?

It's extremely important to communicate project plans, status and results to stakeholders. Many project managers would agree that this is one of the biggest problems in project management.
Project Communication is Critical!
Project Communication
Methods for Distributing Information on Projects
Real-World Project Communications
10 Tips for Creating Effective Project Reports
Communication is Key to Successful Project Management
If It’s Important, Less Is More
Building a Requirements Document
Inside Technical Specifications

Some Tools for Communicating Project Plans and Status

Communications Management Matrix
What Are Some Effective Communications Tools for Managers?

Evaluating Projects and Results - How Do We Evaluate Implementation and Project Results?

Project evaluation is done during project implementation and after completion in order to assess the quality of activities and achievement of results.

Project Management Evaluation
Project Evaluation and Review Technique
Methods for Evaluating Project Performance
An Objective Method for Evaluating Project Managers' Performance
Systematic Planning and Evaluating the Project Management Effort
Using Return on Investment to Evaluate Project Management Training
Performance management process
PROJECT AUDITS -- A necessary evil or a tool for achieving success?
About Project Quality

Some Tools for Evaluating Projects

Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)
How to Use a PERT Chart for Project Management
User-Friendly Handbook for Project Evaluation

When Projects Are in Trouble -- What Pitfalls Could Occur and What Do We Do If They Occur?

Why Does Project Management Fail?
Tips for Coping with Troubled Projects
Kitchen-Sink Syndrome (Project Creep)
Pragmatic Project Management Requires Focus to Avoid Creep
Prevent Project Cost Overruns With These Four Essential Processes
A New Approach of Project Cost Overrun and Contingency Management
How to Kill a Troubled Project
Project Pitfalls from Symptoms to Solution
One Project - Multiple Consulting and Freelance Clients
Top 10 Issues for Project Managers
Reasons Why Projects Fail
Project Management, initiative, leadership: How to Avoid a Work Burnout
5 Strategies for Dealing with Project Management Chaos



GENERAL RESOURCES AND TOPICS

Glossaries of Project Management Terms

Project Management Glossary
A Project Management Glossary
PM Forum's Glossary
Wideman Comparative Glossary of Project Management Terms)

Resources With Many Resources About Project Management

Free Project Management Articles published weekly
Webinars on Chartering a Project and Developing and Using a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
Free Project Templates
Open Source book on Project Management
PM Forum Library
Project Management Tools
Using a Retreat to Move Your Project Forward
The Key Elements to Managing Projects the Virtual Way
Department for Business Innovation and Skills (has numerous templates)
Tutorials Point
The Manager.org
5 Project Myths That Won't Die

Software Tools to Do Project Management Process

How To Find The Right Project Management Software For Your Needs
Dave Farthing's Software Project Management Links Page
Brad Appleton's Software Project Management Links
10 Free Tools for Effective Project Management
Microsoft Project
Process Templates and Tools
Project Management and Tools Directory
How to Use Software to Plan and Prioritize Projects
20 Essential Tools for Project Management
The Five Best Tools For Quick And Effective Project Management
We need an alternative to Project Management Templates
Exotic Project Management Software

Organizations Focused on Project Management

International Project Management Association
Project Management Institute(PMI)
UK Association of Project Management (APM)
Project Management Organizations and Resources

Getting PMP Certification

Getting the PMP Certification
Project Management Certification and Training
PMP Certification Portal
PMP Exam in a Nutshell
PMP Certification Guide - Online PMP Certification Training

Some Related Fields

Enterprise Resource Planning
Agile Management (an approach to management)
Management by Objectives
Program Management


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For the Category of Planning and Project Management:

To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.

Related Library Topics

Recommended Books

There are many kinds of planning, e.g., strategic planning, business planning, project planning, financial planning, staffing planning, market planning, etc. These kinds of planning often have a common set of terms and activities among them. One of the best approaches to learning about this common planning process, as opposed to studying all of the kinds of planning, is to understand project management. At the end of this section are links to other types of planning that are explained in the Free Management Library.



Also See

Business Planning -- Recommended Books

Strategic Planning -- Recommended Books




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