Project Mgmt Series – Part 1 – What exactly is project management?

April 10, 2012 Alicia Gonzalez No comments exist

 What exactly is project management?

It’s a question I’ve been asked and one I’m sure other project managers have been asked when someone inquires about the profession. In seeking to provide an accurate answer to this complex question, the most literal definition – to manage a project – seems too easy, too unassuming.

Struggling with the definition

On past occasions, I’d find myself embarking on a long-winded explanation sprinkled with words like ‘constraints,’ ‘requirements’ and ‘scope’, trying hard to simultaneously convey the nuances, balancing act, qualities and factors that comprise project management. The conversation would usually end with the somewhat puzzled recipient of this monologue acknowledging that it sounded very complicated. I had succeeded in expressing the complexity but likely didn’t leave the person any more knowledgeable of project management than they were before we spoke.

 Simplifying the description

There’s something particularly clarifying in the process of recollection and self-reflection. Project Management, I now realize, is simply the art of keeping things moving and getting them done – ideally, successfully.

Often, if one has a string of successful projects, he/she may be referred to as a ‘good’ project manager. This blog will seek to explore the top qualities of a good project manager, as defined both by this project manager and experts across the industry.

Next blog: How to measure project success .

Alicia Gonzalez is a project manager at UNAPEN

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