Project Management is the Management of a temporary Business activity that has been formally allocated finite resources and concludes on a pre-determined date. Projects are staffed on a temporary basis. Another form of Business activity is a Business Process. Business Processes are on-going and resourced annually (Business-As-Usual).
The concept of Business Projects was first formalised in the 1950s, with Engineering, Manufacturing, and the Military providing the basis of the first Project methodologies. The formalisation of the Business Project is commonly associated with US Business activity. As such, Project Management owes much to what President Eisenhower called the “Military-Industrial Complex”. Perhaps the most famous American Business Project involved the establishment of NASA in the 1960’s, with the avowed Project aim of ‘putting a man on the moon’.
Most Business Projects are established for one of three reasons:
- To re-engineer an existing Business Process.
- To introduce a new Business Process.
- To remove or close a deprecated Business Process.
In some cases, it is possible to read “Product” or “Service” in the place of “Process”, but without the correct Process neither a Product or Service will enter use.
The overall purpose of a Project is to achieve predetermined Aims (General) and Objectives (Specific) levereging predetermined resource constraints and within a predetermined time constraint.