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Chapter 1. The Power of Microsoft Project 2002 > Exploring Project Management

Exploring Project Management

You might have been anxious to try out the new Microsoft Project software—to get your hands on the keyboard and mouse and to see how it all works. So, you dove right in… and now you’re looking for additional help. That’s perfectly understandable, because becoming a confident user of Microsoft Project is not easy, especially if you don’t have a project management background. There are many special terms to learn (such as critical path, task dependencies, and leveling resources), and most of the screens in Project are unlike any you’ve seen in Word or Excel. You will learn faster if you start with some understanding of the special requirements of project management. So, unless you’re an old hand at project management, take the time to browse through this chapter.

Project management differs from conventional management in that managing a project is more limited and narrowly focused than managing an enterprise or even managing a small department within an organization. Traditional management functions are concerned with managing the ongoing operations of an organization, to ensure its long-term success and survival. In contrast, project management is concerned with goals that can be said to be temporary. They have a definite end point and do not continue for the life of the organization.


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