A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. These temporary and unique characteristics determine if a particular endeavor is a project.
Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements. This application of knowledge requires the effective management of appropriate processes.
A process is a set of interrelated actions and activities performed to achieve a pre-specified product, result, or service. Each process is characterized by its inputs, the tools and techniques that can be applied, and the resulting outputs
In order for a project to be successful, the project team must:
- Select appropriate processes required to meet the project objectives,
- Use a defined approach that can be adopted to meet requirements,
- Comply with requirements to meet stakeholder needs and expectations, and
- Balance the competing demands of scope, time, cost, quality, resources, and risk to produce the specified product.
The project processes are performed by the project team and generally fall into one of two major categories:
Project management processes, ensure the effective flow of the project throughout its existence. These processes encompass the tools and techniques involved in applying the skills and capabilities described in the knowledge areas
Product-oriented processes specify and create the project’s product. Product-oriented processes are typically defined by the product life cycle. The scope of the project cannot be defined without some basic understanding of how to create the specified product.
Project management processes apply globally and across industry groups. Good practice means there is general agreement that the application of those project management processes has been shown to enhance the chances of success over a wide range of projects.
Project managers and their teams should carefully address each process and its constituent inputs and outputs. This effort is known as tailoring.
Project management is an integrative undertaking requiring each project and product process to be appropriately aligned and connected with the other processes to facilitate coordination. Actions taken during one Process typically affect that process and other related processes. For example, a scope change typically affects project cost, but may not affect team morale or product quality. These process interactions often require tradeoffs among project requirements and objectives, and the specific performance tradeoffs will vary from project to project and organization to organization. Successful project management includes actively managing these interactions to meet sponsor, customer, and other stakeholder requirements. In some circumstances, a process or set of processes will need to be iterated several times in order to achieve the required outcome.