Project Management Basics: What is a project?

It has been a long while since I last wrote on this blog.

Project management is one of the most critical elements in running a business. I have decided to put effort into mastering this subject. As I go along, I will be sharing tidbits here for all to benefit from.

I decided to write this down in a blog simply because writing helps me firm up understanding of the subject. If I cant summarise Project Management in writing, then probably the subject hasnt been mastered yet.

What is a project, really?

In my own definition, a project is simply tasks that need to be completed within a certain duration of time. Thus by definition, a project has

  • Beginning
  • Middle
  • End

Examples of projects can be development of a new application, new sales/marketing campaign, integration with new vendors, to building a new house (or demolishing it), or construction of highways.

What is not a project?

The opposite of A Project (set of tasks with a start and end date) would be A Process (set of tasks without a start and end date).

A process is a series of actions/tasks that need to be done, typically in chronology to achieve a desired outcome. This series often repeats to result into a consistent outcome. It is instilled into on-going activities in a company to ensure smooth operation, no deviation of standards, management and reduction of risks, keep costs under control, brand strategies are adhered to, and many more.

Depending on the type of companies, some would be Project-heavy, while some others would be Process-heavy.

Example of Process-heavy companies are:

  • Financial institutions (transactions, opening new credit records, profiling of customers, security restrictions etc)
  • Healthcare institutions (surgeries, medical checkups, ward rounds etc)
  • Government offices (paperworks, bureaucracy, management approvals etc)

Phases in a Project

A project can be divided into four phases, which are:

  • Planning
  • Build-up
  • Execution/Deployment/Implementation
  • Closure

Thats quite simple, isnt it?

I would be happy if a project is that simple and straightforward. Realistically, it wont. There will be hurdles that you’ll face which will affect the timeline, costs, and/or the outcome itself.

For that, Ill write more in later articles.

2 thoughts on “Project Management Basics: What is a project?

  1. Really appreciate your effort to share this here. Really do.

    It so hard to find info or article on project management especially the one that practically applied in real project. It take me some time to google around and ask experienced dev to get some tips.

    I hope to see more article like this that may guide or at least give idea to new comers how to manage their project successfully.

    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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