“The more important and the more difficult work is, the more pre-work it requires.”
Henri de Saint-Simon, 18th-century author
What is a Project?
The following definitions are among the most important ones in the PMBOK® Guide:
“A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.”
“The end is reached when the project’s objectives have been achieved or when the project is terminated because its objectives will not or cannot be met, or when the need for the project no longer exists.”
“[…] because of the unique nature of the project there may be uncertainties about the product, services or results that the project creates.”
“Project tasks can be new to a project team, which necessitates more dedicated planning than other routine work.”
“Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.”
“Because of the potential for change, the project management plan is iterative and goes through progressive elaboration throughout the project’s life cycle.”
A project may include many iterative items and efforts, but it is characterized by something that is special and unique.
Project Management in Organizations
Traditionally, project management was regarded as something exceptional and special, far away from ongoing and repetitive operations, which provided income for most organizations.
Originally, project management was regarded an engineer’s task.
Die heutige Sicht auf Projekte ist anders.
Today’s view on projects is different. Project management is now accepted as a business discipline, and projects are not something performed far away from a functional or operational environment, but in the middle of the performing organization.
“Making project management indispensible for business results®” (PMI’s claim).
Projects are now far more seen just as the other part of an organization’s activities:
Many methods for project management assume that from a certain point in the project on, a level of knowledge can be assumed as developed and ascertained, from which you can execute your project simply by doing what has been planned.
“I cannot expect from my project managers that they update their project plans every other day.” (Statement made by a manager of project managers).
The PMBOK® Guide’s process model is based on the Deming cycle instead. For project management, the following model was derived from his Plan-Do-Check/Study-Act Cycle:
The PMBOK® Guide processes have been developed from the Deming Cycle process steps and adjusted to the specific needs of project management:
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