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Part 9: Appendixes > The Art of Project Management

The Art of Project Management

Project management is typically defined as the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project-related activities (see the PMBOK Guide, p. 6). To do so, it usually means fulfilling the requirements while balancing competing demands among scope, time, cost, and quality. The obvious expectations are usually ascertained right from the beginning of the project and provide the basis for proceeding with the project. However, equally important to the project manager are the unspoken or nondefined expectations . In fact, many customers (the users of the final product of the project) sometimes don't know what they want until well into project planning. Attempting to identify these customer wants from the beginning, and incorporating their fulfillment as part of the project plan, is part of the art of managing projects.

Regardless of how proficient you become with project management software, the reality is that a tool like Microsoft Project will not make you a better project manager any more than Microsoft Word will make you a better writer. Project management is a skill as well as an art form, fast becoming recognized as a necessary element of any company wanting to move forward in business. In fact, it's an area of study with many secondary schools now offering a master's degree or certificate with a project management emphasis. Also, the PMP certificate, a rigorous certification program offered through the Project Management Institute (PMI), now offers application standards and testing requirements to demonstrate competency within the discipline.


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