Civil Service College, Dhaka
Course: MPA- IER and GPP
Module PDM: Introduction to Project Management
Introduction: This text is intended to provide you with a quick reference guide to the fundamentals and
concepts on managing projects. It addresses the roles and responsibilities of the project manager across the
project life cycle. It defines and develops the foundations of a project plan, including the project
requirements document. It explains the basics of managing and controlling a project as actually performed
against the project baseline, and concludes with an explanation of how to close out a project effectively.
Unit Overview: This unit introduces the fundamentals of project management: the basic terms and concepts
that underlie all the more detailed methods applied and activities that project managers and project team
1. Introduction to Project Management 1
2. The Project 2
3. The Project Life Cycle 3
4. Project Management 4
5. Influence on a project 5
6. People Involved in Projects 8
7. Project Managers Role 9
8. Unit Summary 10
1.0 Introduction to Project Management:
Overview: Any study of project management should begin with some of the fundamentals – those basic
terms and concepts that underlie all the more detailed methods applied and activities that project managers
and project team members undertake. Some of these terms and concepts are related to the project itself. They
include the actual idea of a project, as well as the concept of project life cycle. Others relate to the discipline
of project management. These concepts include the triple constraint that silently governs every project, the
organizational influences on a project, the external influences on a project, and the key processes that occur
in every project. Still others relate to the people who are involved in projects. These terms include the
stakeholders, the project manager and team members, and the roles, responsibilities, and key competencies of
Even though you may be encountering these terms and concepts for the first time, you probably have been
involved in projects to some degree or another before. If you have, then you will most likely find that you
have already experienced the realities that they describe.
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2.0 The Project
Overview: The most fundamental concept in the field of project management is the idea of the project itself.
What is a project? What is not a project?
The Project Management Institute, Inc., known as PMI, publishes A Guide to the Project Management Body
of Knowledge or PMBOK Guide. In it, PMI defines a project as “a temporary endeavor undertaken to
create a unique product or service”.
PMI is a professional organization dedicated to advancing the understanding and use of project management
principles; it is a leading organization in the field, and its PMBOK Guide is widely accepted. Because the
PMBOK Guide’s approach constitutes a widely accepted means of breaking down project management
concepts and terms, its definition of the term “project” is a good place to start.
A close look at the definition shows that projects have two key characteristics that distinguish them from
Projects are temporary
Projects have unique end results
What does it mean to say that a project is temporary? It means that a project has a definite beginning and
end. This is true in both the planned and actual sense, which distinguishes a project from other endeavors.
For example, running a business or even a process within a business will have a definite beginning, but
generally the hope is that it will never end, or that it will at least continue to operate successfully for as long
as possible. It is therefore not a project. However, the endeavor of getting a new business or new business
process up and running is a project, because it has not only a start point, but is also concluded when the new
business or process has been launched and is underway.
What is the significance of a unique end result? The key point is that projects are not the same as processes
designed to produce the same result over and over again. If a company decided to build a microchip
production plant for several hundred million dollars, then that’s a construction project. The characteristics of
the facility and the site combine to make the plant one-of-a-kind. After the microchips start rolling off the
assembly line, you have mass production of chips that do not differ from one to another. Similarly, if a
business undertakes a process improvement initiative for a customer service process, the development and
implementation of the new or improved process constitutes a project, whereas subsequent repeated
performance of the process does not.
Projects may be combined into more comprehensive programs or broken down into smaller subprojects. For
example, the Department of Transportation may have a highway improvement program that combines all
new highway construction projects. One of the projects may be a complicated expansion of a major highway
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interchange. That project may be divided into several subprojects requiring the building of new ramps and
the removal of old ones, which must proceed in sequential phases in order to maintain traffic flow and safety.
3.0 The Project Life Cycle:
Projects are usually divided into phases. Collectively, these phases make up the project life cycle. Although
industries define the phases of a project differently, all the definitions boil down to the same thing: a
beginning, middle, and end that together constitute the project life cycle. Each phase is marked by the
completion of one or more deliverables – that is, a tangible, verifiable work product.
Chances are you will be familiar with differently named or organized phases within a project life cycle from
your own experience. Many industries, government agencies, and business enterprises have their own
terminologies for explaining the project life cycle. In the construction industry, developers may refer to
feasibility, planning and design, construction, and turnover and start-up. Defense acquisition projects will go
through the steps of determination of mission need, concept exploration and definition, demonstration and
validation, engineering and manufacturing development, and production and deployment. Drug
manufacturers will follow a cycle defined by discovery and screening, pre-clinical development, registration
workup, and post submission activity. Software development firms will go through the steps of feasibility,
requirements, product design, detailed design, coding, integration, and implementation.
In this text, we use a very generic, four-phase life cycle.
Initiation Planning Implementation Closeout
4.0 Project Management:
Overview: Project management can be defined as “the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and
techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.”
Now that you know what a project is, should you just let a project run its course on its own? Of course not! If
you let it run on its own or with minimum management, a project may or may not work. Instead of taking
that risk, you should employ the techniques and concepts of project management. Project management helps
ensure that time and resources are used most effectively to meet the project requirements or scope. As you’ll
see in more detail later, there are basically two roads to project management success: good planning or blind
luck. It’s your choice.
The Triple Constraint: The triple constraint, scope-cost-time, is depicted below. This is a key aspect of
project management and is depicted as triangle because each facet is critical and related to the other two. In
fact, changing one almost inevitably changes one or both of the others.
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What is meant by each facet or factor of the triple constraint?
Scope – Scope is the “sum of the products and services to be provided as a project.” In other words, project
scope is the work, or the requirements, as some may refer to it.
Cost – “means the money, labor, equipment, and other resources needed to complete the project.”
Time – refers to the schedule, or, in other words, how long it takes to complete the project or how long it
takes to reach intermediate points or milestones within the overall project.
Having explained the “triple”, what then is “constraint”? The constraint is how each factor affects the other
For example, if a decision is made to speed up the schedule and complete a project earlier than originally
planned, this will have repercussions. It may require the assignment of more resources or a reduction in the
scope of the project. If project managers can make their managers and clients understand the triple constraint,
they will avert or sole many potential problems!
The concept of the triple constraint can be used early in the planning stages to understand the need to
consider each factor and how it relates to the particular project. It can also be used during the course of the
project to deal with changes, contingencies, and other unforeseeable issues that may arise.
The important thing to remember – whether you are thinking about processes, phases, or something else
related to project management – is that they all take place against the backdrop of the triple constraint.
From the first day of the project, these three factors that make up the triple constraint are competing with
each other. Good project management is, as the definition said, “the application of knowledge..........to meet
project requirements.” As the project manager, you must understand the limitations that each aspect of the
triple constraint imposes and then work to find the balance.
There are no magic formulas here, just hard work, common sense, and persistence to find the artful way to
accomplish what you need to. This is a constantly changing balance. Early in the project, extra emphasis may
need to be placed on scope matters. Later, cost trade-offs may be necessary to finish key portions of project
scope by a particular date, such as a stockholders’ meeting or the key season for a cyclical business.
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5.0 Influences on a project:
Various influences have a bearing on the performance and outcome of most projects. These influences may
be internal in the form of the organization’s systems, structures, and culture. They also may be external
social, environmental, and economic factors. In any event, a project never takes place in a vacuum. The more
savvy you are about analyzing and proactively dealing with the influences on your projects, the more
successful your projects will be.
Because projects are carried out within larger organizations (whether for profit, nonprofit, or government),
characteristics of the organization influence the project. Being aware of these characteristics is essential. The
systems of an organization will determine how things historically have been done. How has research been
carried out, for example, and how have costs been tracked and allocated?
Organization structure is a key internal influence.
Is the organization set up by function (engineering, marketing, and so on), by project teams, or by
some other method?
How does your project fit within the existing structure?
Where does the power and control of funding primarily rest, with functional mangers or project
The answers to such questions can have a dramatic effect on how a project is accomplished.
The culture and style of an organization will affect its projects. Is the organization hierarchical? For example,
must project managers go through functional managers to request assistance from another department? Or is
it a more laid-back culture in which you can stroll down the hall or send off an e-mail to anyone at any level?
The fact that something has “always been done this way” shouldn’t dictate the future, but the wise project
manager will be mindful of prevailing practices.
External factors of a social, economic, or environmental nature are almost always outside the control of the
project manager and the project team, yet they can make or break a project. Building a factory in another
country will require adjustment to social customs and practices and the local legal system. Completing a
complex software development project where developers are in high demand and short supply will have a
significant effect on project costs. Constructing a nuclear power plant in the United States will be subject to
environmental concerns. A good project manager must always be able to adjust project planning and
execution to account for external factors such as these.
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5.1 The Subject matter and Processes of Project Management:
The PMBOK Guide presents the discipline of project management in a matrix format based on nine
“knowledge areas” and five “process group.”
The nine project management knowledge areas are-
Project Integration Management
Project Scope Management
Project Time Management
Project Cost Management
Project Quality Management
Project Human Resources Management
Project Communications Management
Project Risk Management
Project Procurement Management
5.2 The five types of processes that occur in a project are –
Initiation: Authorizing the project
Planning: Defining and redefining objectives and selecting the best of the alternative courses of
action. This is the heart of project manager’s job and it covers a lot of territory
Executing: Coordinating the people and other resources to carry out the plan. You, as the project
manager, are not doing the work (except, maybe, on very small teams), but you are working to allow
others to implement or execute it.
Controlling: Ensuring that project objectives are met by monitoring and measuring progress to
identify variances from the plan so that corrective action can be taken. Do things always follow the
plan? Of course not. Executing and controlling together make up implementation of the project after
Closing: Formalizing acceptance of the project and bringing it to an orderly end. Everyone is usually
in such a hurry at the end of the project to move on, but as we’ll see in Unit 5, proper closeout is
critical for real project success.
Although these types of processes are active in each task, each phase, and the entire project life cycle, not all
process types are involved with all knowledge areas.
For example, all nine-project management knowledge areas involve planning processes to some extent, but
project scope management is the only knowledge area involved with initiating as a process. Although
different industries and organizations may label project management processes by different names because of
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the wide use of PMBOK Guide, this reference material will use its five-process group in explaining project
The PMBOK recognizes two important aspects of the various processes involved in project management.
First, they often interact in complex ways and are not completed in a consistent or simple step-by step
fashion. Within each process and between processes, interactions and much interaction take place. Second,
projects have core and facilitating processes.
Besides the interactions among processes (such as between project control and execution), a project may go
through this series of processes more than once. For example, a large building project may first go through
design and then construction, with each major construction phase having its own initiation, planning,
execution, control, and closeout.
The PMBOK Guide describes core processes as “those that depend on each other and that are usually
performed in a specific sequence on most projects.”
In other words, sometimes processes are sequential and take place in almost every project. For example, you
need to define the work or scope before you can cost it out or estimate the time involved. The guide describes
facilitating processes as “those that take place at different times, depending on project requirements.”
The need for these processes depends on the nature of the project. For example, you may identify and
analyze risk at different points in project planning, or you may not analyze risk at all, based on the size, cost,
and complexity of the project. In the case of a simple project being performed with internal resources,
engaging in risk analysis may not be worth the time and effort, and you also may have no procurement
processes to consider.
6.0 People Involved in Projects:
There are two categories of people who are essential to the practice of good project management. They are
the project stakeholders and the project personnel. The project manager is, of course, the most important of
the project personnel.
6.1 Project stakeholders:
What is meant by the term “stakeholders”? Stakeholders are “individuals and organizations that are actively
involved in the project, or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected as a result of project
execution or project completion.” They may also exert influence over the project and its results.
Common examples of stakeholders:
The organization’s leadership (for example, the head of a department that is expected to benefit from an
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The client (for example, the bank that has hired a software development firm to design and build an on-
line banking system)
The client’s end users (for example, the customers with accounts who will use that on-line banking
system after it is built)
Partners in accomplishing the project (vendors and subcontractors who are working for a prime
contractor or any kind of project)
Special interest groups (environmentalists with concerns about how a new building may affect land use,
or minorities interested in allocation of contracts)
Government regulators (the Food and Drug Administration in relation to a pharmaceutical project)
As the list above suggests, stakeholders include some fairly obvious categories, as well as many other people
within and outside the organization that perform on the project. The project manager should cast a large and
broad net to consider a project’s stakeholders and their interests because it is better to ‘over identify’
stakeholders than to leave some out.
6.2 Criteria to determine stakeholders:
Several criteria can be used to determine who the project stakeholders are. Consider the following:
Who gets the output from the project?
Who provides the input to the project team?
Who has the oversight responsibility?
Who has other related responsibilities?
Who reaps the rewards?
Who suffers the penalties?
After you identify who the stakeholders are, ask the WIIFM (“what’s in it for me?”) question on their behalf.
Then figure out the answer and share it with them because, to get people’s busy-in, you need to show them
how they will benefit from helping you. If you fail to take this fundamental step, you risk subjecting your
project to a “unit veto.” In other words, any stakeholder-no matter how powerful or seemingly insignificant-
may be able to veto your project, some completely and some only temporarily.
For example, a functional manager can most likely get your project cancelled if you do not have his or her
buy-in, whereas a procurement clerk can delay your project for a week or so by not ordering what you need
in a timely manner.
6.3 Project Personnel:
The PMBOK Guide defines the project manager as “The individual responsible for managing a project.” It
defines the project team members as “The people who report either directly or indirectly to the project
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In addition, most project managers will need to designate a core project team that will comprise the key
players in the project and will participate heavily in planning and managing the work. On small projects,
however, this may be all of the project team members. The point is that the larger the project, the more likely
its staff arrangements will take on a hierarchical management structure and include members who do not
participate in planning and managing the endeavor.
7.0 Project Manager Roles and Responsibilities:
So far, this text has taken you from project to project management to project manager. What is expected of
you as project manager? Besides the explicit role of managing the project to meet or exceed stakeholder
expectations, you will have to perform related roles by leading, negotiation, communicating, running
interference, prioritizing, and so on. In doing so, you will need to have other people do what your project
needs, often with limited authority.
In addition to exercising the “hard skills” that are covered throughout the rest of this text, as a project
manager, you will need to use “people skill” that permit you to relate effectively to the sponsoring
organization, your project team, the client, and other stakeholders.
Within the organization, this entails –
Supplying information to the boss or others,
Getting resources from other divisions,
Coordinating with other projects doing work for the same client,
And so forth.
With the project team, it means –
Providing resources, and
Protecting the team members so they can accomplish the project
With the client, it means –
Communicating project status,
Managing expectations, and
Otherwise ensuring that the client is and remains satisfied.
In addition to general management responsibilities, the project manager also has other professional
responsibilities of an ethical nature. These include the following:
Responsibility for actions of the team and the organization
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In brief, the project manager is expected to be a professional and to act accordingly. The position of project
manager is currently considered to be a professional position, not just a title.
8.0 Unit Summary:
A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service
Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to
meet project requirements.
The triple constraint of time, cost, and scope underlies every project.
The phases of a project (which often vary by type of project) make up the project’s life cycle.
Internal and external factors influence every project.
Five interacting processes make up a project: initiation, planning, executing, control, and closeout.
The project manager uses a variety of competencies to make sure the project is headed in the right
Books: Project Management Institute. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge. Newtown
Square, Pa.: Project Management Institute, 2004.
Worldwide Web Sites:
1. Project management Institute: http://www.pmi.org/
2. ESI International: www.esi-europe.com
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