Project Management Basics

Project teams are a mix of experienced project managers and team members. This section provides basic project management guidelines and definitions for new PM users. Click the following links for more information on each subject.
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Project Management Institute, Inc. (PMI)
The Project Management Institute, Inc. (PMI) is the project management industry's non-profit standards body. With over 250 project chapters and 200,000 members worldwide, PMI is the largest project management membership group.
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5 basic phases of project management
Project Management Institute, Inc. (PMI) defines project management as "the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to a broad range of activities in order to meet the requirements of a particular project." The process of directing and controlling a project from start to finish may be further divided into 5 basic phases.
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What is the difference between projects and operations?
In any organization, only two aspects of work exist—on-going operations and projects. Projects are defined as unique, temporary endeavors with a specific beginning and end. Operations constitute an organization's on-going, repetitive activities, such as accounting or production.
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Project schedules and the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
The project schedule is the tool that communicates what work needs to be performed, which resources of the organization will perform the work and the timeframes in which that work needs to be performed. The project schedule should reflect all of the work associated with delivering the project on time.
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Dependencies and task relationships
Dependencies are the relationships among tasks which determine the order in which activities need to be performed. There are four (4) types of dependency relationships.
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Project resource allocation and resource management
The resources of an organization consist of people, materials, equipment, knowledge and time. Organizations typically have limited resources; therefore, tradeoffs on what project resources are expended and when are made every day within organizations. A resource allocation plan is an important tool in effective management of scarce resources.
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Project management and resource planning
A good resource plan consists of a schedule that is as detailed as possible for the information known, and the types of resources needed for each task. A good resource plan will have a single task owner on each task.
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Project management and the comprehensive project budget
Project budgets, similar to resource plans, are a reflection of project work and the timing of that work. A comprehensive budget provides management with an understanding of how funds will be utilized and expended over time for projects or operations.
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Developing a baseline budget for a project
A cost baseline is an approved time phased plan. Once a detailed budget is developed and approved, the project manager should publish this baseline and set it as a point of comparison for actual performance progress.
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Managing project changes and change control boards
Change requests are inevitable in any project. Successful project managers effectively manage changes through the use of change control boards.
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Creating a culture for time tracking
Accurate project cost capturing provides an organization with an invaluable amount of data for decision making. Without the knowledge of actual costs on projects, companies may sell products that do not make any money or attempt to provide services where the cost is not equal to the value.
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