All About Project Management
Project management is a carefully planned and organized effort to accomplish a successful project. A project is a one-time effort that produces a specific result, for example, a building or a major new computer system. This is in contrast to a program, which is 1) an ongoing process, such as a quality control program, or 2) an activity to manage a series of multiple projects together. In some countries, the term "program" refers to a software tool and the term "programme" can mean a TV or radio show.
Project management includes developing a project plan, which includes defining and confirming the project goals and objectives, identifying tasks and how goals will be achieved, quantifying the resources needed, and determining budgets and timelines for completion. It also includes managing the implementation of the project plan, along with operating regular 'controls' to ensure that there is accurate and objective information on 'performance' relative to the plan, and the mechanisms to implement recovery actions where necessary.
Projects usually follow major phases or stages (with various titles for these), including feasibility, definition, project planning, implementation, evaluation and support/maintenance.
NOTE: There are many software tools that make project management much more effective and efficient. Software Tools to Do Project Management Process lists software resources. The reader might best be served to read about the overall project management process in the section, "Foundations of Project Management" below, and then review some of the software tools. Another approach is to review the tools as the reader progresses through each phase of the project management process. (Thanks for Kevin Lonergan for contributing to this description.)