What Is Project Management?

Project management is the application of established processes, knowledge, skillsets, and experience to reach objectives. Project management includes an end goal that has deliverables that are to be completed by a certain time and within a certain budget.

The main components of project management are:

  • Defining and justifying why a project is needed
  • Specifying project details including schedule, budget, and deliverables
  • Leading a team to complete the desired objectives
  • Managing the risks and any issues that occur
  • Maintaining communications
  • Closing the project
The person who oversees all these things is the project manager.

Earning Project Management Certification

Project managers are often required to complete a project management certification that shows the knowledge and skills needed to effectively lead and manage projects. The most recognized certification is called Project Management Professional (PMP)®.

The PMP certification requirements are simple. Someone looking to get their certification can do it if they meet either of two sets of requirements. The first way is by having a 4-year degree, 36 months leading projects, and 35 hours of project management training. The other way is to have a high school diploma, 60 months (three years) of leading projects, and 35 hours of project management training. There is also a cost to take the exam.

The BizLibrary Collection contains training content specific to helping employees earn their PMP certification. It’s tied into our larger content library, which provides employees access to training on a wide variety of topics. Our PMP training provides convenience and cost savings over standalone training courses that have to be sought out, paid for, and tracked separately from all your other employee training.

Once someone has completed training, passed the exam, and has their certification, they are better able to walk a project through its lifecycle.

The Project Management Lifecycle

There are four phases of a project lifecycle.

The initiation phase is where the project begins. The project manager will research the overall project, determine its feasibility, and get the green light from higher-ups. Important skills needed to accomplish this phase include communication and decision-making.

The planning phase starts with laying out a project roadmap. The PM develops SMART goals, defines the budget, determines resources, and plans anything else that is needed.

The executing phase focuses on the deliverables. This is where managers can apply their skills, such as communication, conflict resolution, accountability, and time management.

Finally, there is the closing phase. This is when the project manager puts on the finishing touches, ties up any loose ends, and leads a discussion about the overall project.

However, during any of these phases, projects can begin to fall apart.

Why Projects Break Down

The reasons why projects fail are complex and often attributed to multiple factors. Each industry is likely to have its own reasons and patterns it follows that cause breakdowns. Some common factors are:

  • Projects having unclear goals and objectives. Without these, there is no way to know if everyone is meeting the requirements or if the project is a success.
  • Lack of resource planning. Everyone always plans for schedules, budget, design, and meetings, but often managers overlook resource planning. It’s important to know what resources are available, including work hours, software, etc.
  • Communication problems. The tools used to communicate need to be shared at the onset of a project. Decide how files will be shared and stored so no one is left confused and lost.
  • Unrealistic expectations. It is essential that a project manager has a clear picture of what a team can do and how quickly they can reasonably do it.

Preview Videos from The BizLibrary Collection

Project Planning Considerations