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What is project management and why is it important?

What is project management and why is it important?A systems approach to achieving strategic goals

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Objectives of workshop To clarify the differences between operations and projects

To introduce participants to project management concepts and tools

To explain why projects should be managed in a systematic and disciplined way

To demonstrate how taking a systems approach to project management: Doesn't need to create overhead costs, orRequire time that not-for-profit staff don't have, andCan help not-for-profits achieve their strategic goals

To present a number of practical project management tools & techniques

To provide participants with a networking opportunity

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Organizations and work Organizations perform work to achieve objectives

Work is:Performed by peopleConstrained by limited resourcesPlanned, executed and controlled

Work generally involves either:Operations, which are ongoing and repetitive, orProjects, which are temporary and unique

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What are operations? Ongoing work performed to sustain the organization

An organizational function performing the ongoing execution of activities that produce the same product or provide a repetitive service.1

Examples of operations include:Production operationsManufacturing operationsAccounting operations

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What is a project? Work undertaken to achieve an objective not met through operations

A temporary endeavour undertaken in order to produce a unique product, service or result.2

TemporaryEvery project has a definite beginning and a definite end

Work producing a unique resultSomething that has not been done before

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What is a project? (contd) Work involving a certain degree of uncertainty

Work that must be progressively elaborated

Examples of projects are:Developing a new product or serviceConstructing a building or facilityDeveloping and running an environmental campaign

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What is project management?The application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements.3

Work performed by the project team, typically involving:Competing demands for scope, time, cost, risk and qualityStakeholders with differing needs and expectationsIdentified requirements

Accomplished through an iterative process

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Why do projects need to be managed? They are performed by people

They are constrained by limited resources

They are temporary

They produce unique results

They involve uncertainty

They are critical to the realization of strategic goals4

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What is a process? A series of actions bringing about a result

A way to: Increase the quality of results producedIncrease the consistency of results produced

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What is the project management process? A set of five process groups:

Initiating processesPlanning processesExecuting processesMonitoring and controlling processesClosing processes

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The project management process

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What is a project life cycle? The phases that define the beginning and end of the project

The points at which sign-off is (generally) required

Defined to provide better management control

Useful to operations

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A project life cycle

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What are project phases? Part of a generally sequential process

Designed to ensure proper control of the project

And to attain the desired product or service (the objective of the project)

They generally end when deliverables have been completed

They can end without the decision to initiate any other phases

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Endnotes1 Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge: Third Edition (PMBOK Guide). (Pennsylvania: Project Management Institute, 2004) 380.2 Project Management Institute 20.3 Project Management Institute 23.4 Project Management Institute 12.

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Thank you!For a copy of this presentation, please visit

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