Development Cooperation Handbook/Designing and Executing Projects/Introduction To Project Management

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Introduction To Project Management

Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities so as to meet project requirements. It requires the knowledge of the various components of the project life cycle and it requires a good understanding of the human elements that keep the project team motivated and focused.
A project manager is required to lead a team that delivers all project expected outputs within the agreed timelines and budgets. There are many constrains that limit the choices of the project manager and therefore her/his ability is to make the best choices that enable best possible results within the given constrains.
There is a technical side of project management that is expressed in optimized allocation and integration of resources needed to achieve the project objectives. There is a human element in project management that is expressed in enabling all actors to feel the project as their own and facilitate a healthy communication and cooperation climate amongst the various project stakeholders. As in all arts involving human interaction the knowledge of the technical elements of project management is a huge asset, but finally what makes the difference in project management is the human authenticity of the project actors and the capacity of the project manager to create an environment where the different actors empower each other to best express their potentialities.

Project Management Knowledge Areas

The Project Management Institute has identified 9 topic areas to define the scope of project management knowledge as follows:

  1. Integration
  2. Scope
  3. Time
  4. Cost
  5. Quality
  6. Human Resources
  7. Communication
  8. Risk
  9. Procurement

Within each of these topic areas, there is a set of principles, practices, and techniques to help managing project risks and capture opportunities for success.

In this section of the handbook we will briefly outline the knowledge areas and relate them to the project phases and link them to the collected tools for project management and to the testimonials of project managers.


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Interpersonal skill assessment
Performance appraisal forms

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Checklist for Identifying Performance Problems
Why do organisations need to plan and manage their communication?
How team members can improve overall project communication
Measures to make teams more performing
Required characteristics of the project manager
The 10 Project Management Guiding Principles
Ethical Leadership Principles

See also

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How to design and manage successful cooperation programmes?

In other sections of this handbook
Leading and Managing
What is a programme
Project Managers and programme Managers
Determining the project manager
Manage the Team performance
Leading and Managing

The boss is never happy (especially if it is a project manager)

On Wikipedia Project management

On other Wikibooks Wikibooks Project Management