Uploaded by Susan Sharp

What is PM

A project is defined by the Project Management Institute as “a temporary endeavor
undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result” (Dinsmore & Cabanis-Brewin, 2014, p.
2). Project management is then the integration of general, operational and technical management
that make the project a successful reality (p.5). When attempting to define project management
an important starting point for clarification is to identify the operations of the organization whose
project or projects requirement management. Operational activities are separate from project
management. Once the operations are determined, and the desired product of the operations is
quantified, the organization can turn its attention and energy toward project management.
Operations represent the “steady state” (p. 5) of the organization that will occur repetitively until
there is recognition of a need for a new project to redesign operations in order to increase the
productivity of the organization’s operations. A misguided view of what the operational
functions truly are or should be can lead to failure in that area, but also to poorly conceived
For me the temporary nature of projects is a key characteristic, and a key limiting factor.
When approaching project management it is natural to define it in terms of failure avoidance.
Defining an end and a deliverable product is necessary, and it seems to be a critical function to
indeed avoid failure. Many organizations seem to struggle with never ending or resolved
projects. Deciphering how a project can serve and improve operations, and end with those
positive results is the essence of project design. Naturally, the project management process and
the ongoing operations of an organization should identify the need for new projects. The
separate yet supportive relationship of project management and operations is delicate, but very
The term intrapreneur applied to project managers seems to sum up what it is that they do
and are. They must be visionaries who see new methodologies for the organization while being
intently interested and involved in the functionings of the organization. Without project
management, operations would be an ongoing, dismal existence that one day fizzled out from
lack of energy or depth. The project manager harnesses strategic planning and new
competencies to allow organizations to continue and to thrive.
Dinsmore, P.C. & Cabanis-Brewin, J. (Eds.). (2014). The AMA handbook of project
management. (4th ed.). New York, NY: Amacom Books.