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Project Management in 311 words

If a graduate is highly effective in his/her current operational role, will he/she be promoted to a managerial position? Occasionally it does happen, but it is important to note that a managerial position requires a completely different set of skills, most important of which is project management.

Project Management as a science is an attempt to break down the process of “making ideas come to life” into manageable sub processes. Project Management as an art is a challenge in unraveling interconnected issues in reality and taking appropriate actions in an environment of limited information. The Science of Project management is described in PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge), while the Art part comes with experience.

There are two key concepts in project management that I find to be fundamental in many other areas of the business. One of them is the “Plan-Execute-Control-Improve” cycle, which is helpful in reminding us to think our action through before we act, compare our performance to our plan, and to learn from deviations that occur. If any part of this cycle is dropped, then the quality of your product will suffer, whether the product is an actual project or another intellectual endeavor.

The second concept, which is more directly applicable to project management, is an interconnection between the project scope, project cost, and project time. If you plan to cover more ground on your project, you must expect the cost and/or time to increase. Likewise, if you wish to reduce the cost, then you must expect the amount of pace of work to decrease, and so on. However, the relationship is frequently exponential rather than linear, so if you want the project to be done twice as fast, then you are likely to pay more than twice the cost.

What are you experiences in running or being a part of a project?

~Alex

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