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Project Management Overview

Projects are critical to the success of any organization. They are the activities that result in new or changed products, services, environments, processes and organizations. Projects increase sales, improve customer satisfaction, reduce costs, improve the work environment, and result in other benefits.

Project management is a discipline. It applies principles, concepts, tools and techniques to improve project performance and organizational effectiveness. Project management adds value by improving the probability of consistently successful projects.

Project managers and their managers and clients must be flexible and adaptable to be effective. Effective PM recognizes that projects in different environments and of different types require variations on the basic PM principles. Effective PM requires ad hoc adjustments, based on moment to moment assessments of current conditions, within the context of a comprehensive plan created using sound and consistent methods and relevant past experience. Effective PM requires collaborative efforts among project stakeholders (participants, clients and other interested parties).

As organizations have recognized the criticality of projects to their success, project management has become a focal point of improvement efforts. Project management centers of excellence (e.g., project management offices), training programs and organization change programs to improve project management practices are increasingly common parts of strategic plans to improve organizational effectiveness.

Project management addresses the full range of activities from the beginning to the end of a project and addresses the management of multiple projects within programs and across organizations. PM addresses "technical" skills like scheduling, cost estimating, and statistical risk management and encompasses complex disciplines such as scope (product) definition, procurement management, human resource management and communications.

IIL is the leading provider of training products and consulting services in project management. IIL's PM Curriculum provides a systematic, process-oriented approach that covers every aspect of project management.

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