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Project Management: What Is It?

Project management is the "ensemble of activities concerned with successfully achieving a set of goals".

This includes planning, scheduling and maintaining the progress of the activities that comprise the project itself.

Reduced to its simplest form, project management is the discipline of maintaining the risk of failure at as low a value as necessary, over the lifetime of the project. Risk of failure arises primarily from the presence of uncertainty at all stages of a project.

An alternate viewpoint is that project management is the discipline of defining and achieving targets, whilst optimizing the use of resources (money, people, time, and so on).

Project management is quite often the responsibility of an individual Project Manager. This person seldom participates directly in the activities that produce the end result, but strives to maintain the progress and effective interaction of the various parties such that the overall risk of failure is minimized.


A project could actually be as simple as making a cup of tea, but in normal context it is best defined as an undertaking with a discrete start, a discrete finish, and some complexity.

Compare this to, for example, a production line, which is intended to be a continuous process without a planned end.

Typical projects might include the construction of a building, or the creation of a software program. The duration of a project is the time from its start to its ultimate completion.

Ref: Wikipedia

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