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Project Management Principles eBook  
Principles of Project Management

Book Description - ISBN 978-1-62620-958-9 (42 Pages)
Organizations are increasingly using project management techniques within their operations and the specialist language of project management has become more and more commonplace in managerial and executive meetings. This trend is here to stay and it means that managers need to be familiar with project management roles, terms and processes.

Chapter 1 - Project Management Principles
Managers now find that they are frequently involved in projects that are being managed using a formalized project management methodology. Communications forms a key part of such projects and if you are going to be successful in your role as a manager it is essential that you have a thorough understanding of project management terminology, processes, and procedures.

Chapter 2 - Project Management Definition
Everything that an organization does can be categorized either as a project or process. A process is something that happens continually and has a low risk associated with it, whereas a project happens once and has a relatively high level of risk.

Chapter 3 - Project Management Perspectives
Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling resources to achieve specific goals. A project is a temporary endeavor designed to produce a unique product, service or result. It has a defined beginning and end (usually time-constrained, and often constrained by funding or deliverables), undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives. The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals and objectives while honoring the constraints on scope, time, quality and budget.

Chapter 4 - Project Organization and Structure
The way in which an organization is structured is largely a result of whether its day-to-day work is process driven or project driven. Every organization is unique and these classifications are only useful in that they illustrate the fact that project management is likely to present more of a challenge in process-focused organizations than in those that are project focused.

Chapter 5 - Projects in a Matrix-Management Environment
In a matrix environment, an individual may 'belong to' a particular department but they will be assigned to different projects and report to a project manager while working on that project. An advantage of the matrix structure is that it can lead to a more efficient exchange of skills and information as people from different areas work closely together. A disadvantage of the matrix structure is that it is a recipe for disagreement between the line manager and the project managers.

Chapter 6 - Project Stakeholders Definition
Project stakeholders are individuals, groups, bodies and organizations that are actively involved in the project, or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected by execution of the project or project completion.

Chapter 7 - Project Sponsor and Project Manager Definitions
The sponsor is responsible for securing the financing and overall resource budget approval and owns the opportunities and risks related to the financial outcome of the project. They may be referred to as the 'business sponsor,' 'project sponsor,' or 'executive' and are usually a senior manager with a direct interest in the business case behind the project. The project manager has the authority to use cash and other resources up to the limit set in the project charter. If they believe at any stage that the project cannot be delivered within the assigned budget and timescale then they must notify the project sponsor so that remedial action can be taken.

Chapter 8 - Project Life Cycle Definition
There is very little agreement about the life cycle phases of a project and many organizations have their own internal definitions and templates. This is understandable because of the complicated nature and diversity of projects, which can vary enormously in size and complexity. Despite this, all projects can be mapped to the following simple life cycle structure, which involves starting the project, organizing and preparing, carrying out the work, and closing the project.

Chapter 9 - Functional Areas of Project Management
Project management can be organized into functional areas, for example: managing the scope, managing the budget, managing the schedule, managing risk, etc. The reason for doing this is that it allows complex high-level tasks to be broken down into smaller tasks, a common practice when learning something new. For example, when learning to drive you concentrate on specific tasks, such as gear changing, hill starts etc., before you drive on an interstate road or motorway.

You will learn:
  • How projects are defined and why they differ from business processes
  • How the structure of an organization impacts project management
  • How project management roles and responsibilities are defined
  • How all projects can be mapped to the same basic life cycle structure
  • How project management can be organized into functional areas

Today's Top Picks for Our Readers:
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I learned a lot from this eBook
I have never been a project manager by job title, so the topic always interested me. The name 'project manager' is pretty self-explanatory on its own, but I wanted to know more about what specifically is asked of a project manager on a daily basis. This book is able to offer answers to that question and I now feel that I better understand what it is that a project manager does, and what one can be used for. If you are in a similar position to myself, I would recommend this book as a great start toward acquiring more knowledge relating to the field of project management.

One thing I never quite understood was how a project was defined as opposed to just regular business. After all, it seems to me that business is nothing but a never ending stream of projects. However, this book provides some definitions of what a project is and when a project manager could be called for. While the term can be different for different organizations, it has helped me to at least have a frame of reference for what would be considered a project and what kinds of tasks lend themselves to the use of a project manager.

I was also interested to learn of the different roles that can be involved in a project. This book identifies three of them - Stakeholders, Sponsor, and Manager. By understanding the roles that each of these three entities can play in the overall scope of a project, I think I gained a better understanding of the process as a whole.

As the book got into the section about a Project Life Cycle, I felt like I already understood many of the concepts even if I hadn't thought about them in this way specifically. The idea of mapping out a project and seeing it from start to finish is something that is probably familiar to everyone that has worked in business - whether they would call themselves a project manager or not.

One of the most interesting points I remember from the book concerns the planning of a given project. Instead of thinking of planning as something that happens only at the beginning, the book pointed out that planning needs to be a constant throughout the life cycle of the project - all the way toward the end. Whenever I am involved in any kind of a project, no matter what role I may take on, I will always be thinking about how the planning phase needs to remain a constant so the project can evolve and stay on track to a successful conclusion.

I am not a project manager by trade, but I feel that I've learned a lot from this book that I will remember and take with me. In a sense, project management is a field that everyone can learn from because it touches all parts of an organization at one time or another. I suggest that you take a few moments to read through this short book and see if you don't take something away that will benefit you down the line.
Susan Brewer

Informative, easily understood, and well worth the time it takes to read
Many of us believe that we could manage a large project if given the chance, myself included. Unless you have been educated in project management or at least have a lot of hands on experience, you may not be a capable as you thought, something I learned through experience. A good friend of mine learned of my plight and suggested that I read "Project Management Principles" on free-management-eBook Since it is a free site, I said why not and gave it a read. First let me say that project management is not my specialty and your knowledge of the subject may be superior to mine. Regardless of how much you know, I am certain this book with give you some food for thought.

As an introduction, the books gives and overview of some of the key terms and methods used in project management. The project management methods defined include the Agile, Critical Chain, Prince2, and PMBOK.

In my opinion the most important takeaway was to ensure that you are using a strategic and planned approach to project management. Taking a step back, the book first defines how to determine what qualifies as a project and although elementary in nature, it certainly is an important step. Advancing slightly, a nicely laid out image will help you easily determine if your project is managerial in nature or is engineering focused. In another useful graphic you will see that the scope of a project will include time, quality, and cost. Careful consideration of these cannot be emphasized enough but the book does a good job of driving the point home. As a caveat to the last point, the next section does an excellent job of describing three very important considerations which are how does the project fit into our organization, how will it evolve over time, and what knowledge is required.

I really enjoy this approach as I feel like it prevents oversights and omissions effectively. Even though all the information I mentioned before was helpful, I really found the section covering the project life cycle phase useful. The phases are the initiation, planning, execution, and closure phase for those of you who are not familiar. I guess the point I am trying to make is that this book is informative, easily understood, and well worth the time it takes to read.
Jason Greaves

Project Management

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