"A project is a finite endeavor - having specific start and completion dates - undertaken to create a unique product or service which brings about beneficial change or added value. This finite characteristic of projects stands in sharp contrast to processes, or operations, which are permanent or semi-permanent functional work to repetitively produce the same product or service." -- Wikipedia

Project management is becoming more and more of a priority with business. It is now recognized that the skills required to manage operations are quite different from the skills required to manage projects. Even excellent managers at the operational level will require some retraining when taking on a large project.

Specifically, the software used in project management, Microsoft Project in this case, does not compare in most ways with the day-to-day software applications which may have been around for decades.

For many corporations, training employees in project management techniques greatly enhances their versatility and their value to the organization.

What is Project Management?

It is the discipline of planning and organizing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific goals while managing constaints of scope, costs and time.

Cost is everything that has to do with money. It is composed of several variables: people, materials, equipment, profit, etc.

Time expended for the project is the sum of all the time units taken to accomplish the tasks that lead to the production of a deliverable.

Scope, also called specifications, is the definition of what the final results are suppposed to be. Quality is a major component of scope.

A well-managed project, one that delivered what it was supposed to, within the specified timeframe and without spending more money than it was allocated, can be summarized by the following common phrase:

"On time, on spec, on budget!"

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