Project Management Simply Explained - A Logical Framework to Help Your Understanding


Introduction | PMBoK | Sequence | LifeCycle | Hierarchy
 | Tetrad Trade-off | Success

Why do we need a body of project management knowledge?

A defined, published, and generally accepted project management body of knowledge reflecting good practice is essential if we are to improve the practice of this discipline. Then and only then can we develop recognized education, certification, and accreditation programs. It is therefore understandable that a project management body of knowledge ("PMBoK") is becoming the cornerstone of emerging professional organizations.

However, the world of project management is still developing and will continue to do so. Its range of applications is changing and spreading and consequently its practice continues to evolve. Therefore, any attempts to codify and document what is currently considered to be good practice must also be permitted to evolve, and yet changes to a PMBoK must be developed with some care since the impact will be felt on the entire professional program of these organizations.

To give some idea of the nature of a PMBoK, Figure 1 shows a dynamic illustration of the project management process and helps to provide a simplistic understanding of the complex nature of project management itself. This particular representation was developed as a result of considerable thought over an extended period by a number of experienced members of the Project Management Institute (US).

Figure 1: The Project Management Process
Figure 1: The Project Management Process

Shown across the top of the figure are scope, quality, time and cost which constitute the four core target functions of project management (as viewed by a project sponsor) or constraints (as viewed by the project manager). However, the project is enabled by the four facilitating management functions of information/communications, contract/procurement, human resources, and risk.

Project management integrates these functions progressively through the project life cycle, with the aim of satisfying the stakeholders and constituents according to the project's established requirements. Stakeholders are those who have a direct stake in the project while the project's constituents are those who may be impacted by the consequences of the project. Project success is typically generated when the stakeholders and constituents express their collective satisfaction according to the degree of their involvement.

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