There are several very similar definitions that could answer this question. Basically, we just need to remember that every time we make a plan to achieve a goal and this plan helps us get organized, control our resources, manage our time, deal with people related to our goal and secure the achievement of that goal, well, we are project managing something right there and then.
Sometimes we carry out certain steps to achieve something without even noticing; sometimes this is a major even in our lives. Whatever it may be, it is always best, when planning to achieve a goal, to have a strategy to hold our backs to prevent us from going off the rails when shoves come to push.
So what is a project, anyway? Well, we’ve been discussing this in the previous paragraphs. We can say it is the act of setting up to achieve a goal at some point, during a period of time. A more formal definition would be “a temporary endeavor with time constrains, a begging and an end, undertaken to meat unique goals and objectives”.
There are several variables we need to take into account and have under control so that are project runs smoothly and ends successfully. Different project management theories include different elements, but traditionally, the elements we need to mind are include in the triangle below:
If any of this variables change, well, please excuse the pun, but it will invariably affect the others 😉
At this point, you may we wondering, but what is so cool about project management, anyway? Fair enough. What you need to consider is that every time you set out to achieve a goal, be it in life or business, you are actually managing a project. So the more idea you have on how to do it, the better results you will get, hence, the happier you will be. Did I get your attention yet?
If so, and if you are interested in learning more (or even if you are already experience, but you would like to take a fresher, cooler take on what you already do), there are several things you could do already.
First – Review your experience
Experienced? Prepare some answers along the lines of the following: What was the strategy you implemented? What when right and what would you like to improve?
New to project management? Try to understand why learning this would be good for you and where are you heading.
Then – Plan your moves
At this point you should already know what you want. If you are experienced, might be to give a new, cooler look to a practice you’ve been doing for some time and doesn’t seem fun and exciting anymore. If you are a newbie, you might want to learn more or get some training or prepare for a career change. Once you have this clear in your mind, it will become easier to figure out how to do it. If you don’t know in which direction to steer, how do you expect to get anywhere, right? Keep in mind the proverbial words of Mr. Churchill “he who fails to plan is planning to fail”.
Finally – Learn!
Yes, do your research. In fact, I’m going to be publishing periodically in order to help you out with this one, so keep your eyes peeled for more. But don’t stop there! Remember that you can learn from experience and not only your own, but others experience. Model successful behaviors in other people, stay away from proven fails. Ask questions and go out to the world to find out more.
More on this coming up soon… Stay tuned!