Introduction – What is Project Management?

Project Management has been around for some time but only recently (within the last 10-15 years) really been recognised as a profession in it’s own right.  Prior to that, it would usually be an activity carried out as part of someone’s day-job rather than being a full-time occupation in it’s own right.

So what is Project Management?

Well, the following extract from Wikipedia sums it up very well:

“Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives.

A project is a temporary endeavor, having a defined beginning and end (usually constrained by date, but can be by funding or deliverables),[1] undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives,[2] usually to bring about beneficial change or added value. The temporary nature of projects stands in contrast to business as usual (or operations),[3] which are repetitive, permanent or semi-permanent functional work to produce products or services. In practice, the management of these two systems is often found to be quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills and the adoption of separate management.”

I’ve left all of the links in there so you can get into as much intricate detail in Wikipedia as you like looking up all of the details of the various bits of syntax.  The above paragraph captures the essence of it though with the key points for me being that:

  1. a project is created in order to achieve some goals
  2. a project is a temporary structure

In my experience whilst the first point is usually pretty obvious, the second point is often forgotten, or difficult to realise because of things like moving goalposts, scope creep or resourcing issues (i.e. it’s not always easy to disband a project and find people other work to do even if it was understood at the start that the work had a finite duration).

Another key word in the statement above is discipline.  It requires a lot of discipline, knowledge and ability to effectively use that knowledge and discipline to keep a project on track.  Projects that do drag on inevitably cost money.

This section of the website is all about Project Management, particularly looking in more detail at the various tools and techniques that a project manager can use to be successful.

Why a section on Project Management?

Within the spirit of this website which is all about how to get more out of life for less, the wealth of project management experience that we have in the lifestoogood team will be shared.  For each subject we will also create blank templates with guidelines which you can download and put your own branding/company logo on saving you lots of time and effort (and therefore cost).  We will charge a very small fee for each download to cover our costs but you will get a great deal of value for that small fee and after that the templates are yours to use as you see fit.

As this section is all about sharing our knowledge but also about doing so to save you time and effort (having often been in a situation ourselves where we’ve had to work very long hours and some very late nights to create similar templates and presentations), if you do need a particular template or document in a hurry, then please let us know via our contact form and we will do our best to create that for you as soon as we can.

Disclaimer: For a lot of these documents there is no one right answer and we don’t pretend that any given template is the definitive version or format which that document must be.  What these tools and templates do contain is a wealth of knowledge and options which will give you a huge head start and ideas of what such a document should contain.  All of this is in line with the major Project Management methodologies (Prince2, PMI, 6 Sigma, Agile, PMP) for which we hold relevant qualifications.  In cases where there are many possibilities of different formats or document structures we will often provide a number of templates for you to choose from.

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