Project management is a specialized approach to managing business. The traditional view of management is that we plan, organize, lead, and control the business process. Project management includes these functions but also includes project initiation and termination. Both traditional and project management processes are shown graphically in Exhibits 2-1 and 2-2, respectively. We can define project management as the art and science of managing projects to a specific schedule, at or below a predetermined budget, to the customer's performance requirements and within the resources available.
Exhibit 2-1: Traditional management functions.
Exhibit 2-2: Project management functions.
Project management is both an art and a science. It is an art because it involves strong interrelationships with diverse groups. This part of project management is actually what makes it so challenging. Generally, the bigger project problems are those associated with the human element: conflict resolution, team building, and negotiating. Technical problems are far easier to solve than human problems. These technical tools make project management partly a science.
There are many project management tools. Some are simple one-page forms. Others involve relatively complex calculations. Many of these tools are presented in this book, but the four most important ones are the WBS, the Gantt chart, network analysis, and earned value.