Project management is an age old practice. Project management as a practice can be found in the making of the Pyramids or the Taj Mahal or even in more modern projects of developing the highways, roads, bridges, new cities, new railroads, and new products to name a few.
Project Management is a discipline consisting of a set of proven practices, tools and techniques which are applied in managing a project. As per PMBOK guide, project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result. The end result of a project is always something unique, something new.
Some of the products developed in a project all requirements can be well defined upfront while for some other products developed in a project, it may be difficult to define the product requirements upfront. Based on this project management practices are defined in different flavours. We have the traditional project management and some of the other modern project management practices such as Agile.
Traditional project management approach works for most of the domains except may be for new software product development. In traditional project management, the entire project life cycle is divided into a number of phases and the work is completed phase by phase. Tools such as Work Breakdown Structure, Gantt Charts are extensively used in traditional project management.
For most of the products such as traditional infrastructure construction, it is possible for the team to define and establish the entire requirement of the final product upfront. Hence the entire project can also planned in detail upfront. In such projects, they do not anticipate many changes. The entire project development can become predictable. In these kinds of projects the traditional project management is applied. In such projects, a series of activities can be defined for the project such as initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closing etc. All the activities happen in a sequence. Traditional project management uses a waterfall model of development, where one phase is completed before the next phase can start.
While in some other kind of products such as new software application or even a futuristic new product development, it may be difficult to define all the requirements upfront. Requirements are finalized in a continuous basis keeping the market needs in mind and the project planning is also done in an adaptive manner. In such cases the traditional project management cannot be applied. Such projects require a more flexible and adaptive project management such as Agile and Scrum methods of development.
For most of the projects in most of the industry, where requirements are defined upfront, traditional project management can be successfully applied. Only where the requirements are changing frequently and where amount changes anticipated are huge, traditional project management may not be useful and new modern project management approaches such as Agile and Scrum are used. You can take KnowledgeHut's PMP certification course to further boost your knowledge.
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