What is a Project in Project Management?
A project is a temporary endeavor that is progressively planned, controlled, and executed by people, working within some constraints on resources, that results in a unique product, service, or result that isn't possible for the organization to achieve through its normal operations.
First, a project is temporary. It does not go on indefinitely, and so it must have starting and ending points.
Its temporary nature doesn't imply that the project is short-lived, some projects may last for many years, but rather the temporary characteristic of a project only means that its timeline is finite.
Defining characteristics of a project:
- A Project has starting and ending points.
- A Project is performed by one or any number of people.
- A Project has constraints on time, money, or other resources.
- A Project is progressively planned, controlled, and executed.
- A Project results in a unique product, service, or result for the enterprise.
What is Project Management?
Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.
Project management is accomplished through the appropriate application and integration of the 42 logically grouped project management processes comprising the 5 Process Groups.
These 5 Process Groups are:
- Monitoring and Controlling
Subprojects, Programs, and Portfolios
A project exists within a larger collection of objectives in an enterprise Due to its size or complexity a project may need to be broken down into smaller, manageable elements.
Subprojects are useful when the project is too large, involves many component deliverables, or has outsourcing elements.
A subproject can be thought of as a “mini-project” within a larger project.
By managing it separately but still linking it to the larger project, planning, monitoring, and controlling are easier.
Just as a project may need to be broken down into subprojects because of its size or scope, strategic objectives are often too complex to be achieved through only one or two projects.
Programs are collections of individual projects that support a central objective.
The projects are still managed individually, but the project manager will work with a program manager who oversees the collection of projects.
Portfolios are a collection of projects whose objectives are not related to each other.
They are usually categorized in some method for overall management and prioritization, for instance by department or business unit.
How projects get initiated into the portfolio, approved, or prioritized differ from company to company, and in some organizations, this may be done through operational planning sessions, a committee, or a project management office.