Project Management Cartoon
Project management involves the active leadership of people and resources to achieve a particular stated end. This project ‘effort’ is likely to be temporarily collaborative but can apply to a project involving only two or three people, over what may be only a few hours, to a project engaging the efforts of several hundred or even thousands of people in several places at once over many months or years.
All projects have a beginning, middle and end, with the job of the project leader or manager being to ensure that each of these phases follow one another smoothly and to deliver the expected result. However, project management is not the domain of one project manager alone.
Project management generally involves the coordinated efforts of several people on a particular project to ensure that their specific parts of it are successfully performed such that the overall project can deliver its expected outcome. This makes project management quite distinct from ‘operational’ management which tends to be characterized by activities that are generally on-going and repetitive in their nature.
In many organizations, there may be tens or even hundreds of projects being tackled at once and many employees may consequently become involved in project work at some point (and even leading project activities). In such a situation, project management skills are likely to become even more critical for a wider and wider population of people, with individuals who can lead projects being an extremely valuable resource to any enterprise.