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What Is Project Management?

The PMBOK Guide definition of project


management is application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project
activities to meet the project requirements. Project management is accomplished
through the application and integration of the 42 logically grouped project
management processes comprising the 5 Process Groups: initiating, planning,
executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing (PMBOK Guide, Project
Management Institute, 2008, p. 6). Project requirements include the PCTS targets
mentioned previously. The various processes of initiating, planning, and so on are
addressed later in this chapter, and the bulk of this book is devoted to explaining
how these processes are accomplished. 4 Fundamentals of Project Management
American Management Association www.amanet.org Project management is
application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to
achieve project requirements. Project management is accomplished through the
application and integration of the project management processes of initiating,
planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. It would be better if
the PMBOK Guide specified that a project manager should facilitate planning.
One mistake made by inexperienced project managers is to plan the project for
the team. Not only do they get no buy-in to their plan, but that plan is usually full
of holes. Managers cant think of everything, their estimates of task durations
are wrong, and the entire thing falls apart after the project is started. The first
rule of project management is that the people who must do the work should help
plan it. The role of the project manager is that of an enabler. Her job is to help
the team get the work completed, to run interference for the team, to get
scarce resources that team members need, and to buffer them from outside
forces that would disrupt the work. She is not a project czar. She should be
above everythinga leader, in the true sense of the word. The best definition of
leadership that I have found is the one by Vance Packard, in his book The
Pyramid Climbers. He says, Leadership is the art of getting others to want to do
something that you believe should be done. The operative word here is want.
Dictators get others to do things that they want done. So do guards who
supervise prison work teams. But a leader gets people to want to do the work,
and that is a significant difference. The planning, scheduling, and control of work
represent the management or administrative part of the job. But, without
leadership, projects tend to just satisfy bare minimum requirements. With
leadership, they can exceed those bare minimums. I offer a comprehensive
application of project leadership techniques in Chapter 13.