Project Management. Conceptual Basics, Processes, and Procedures


27 Pages



1 Introduction

2 What is a Project?

3 What is Project Management?

4 The Basic Elements of Project Management

5 Roles and Responsibilities of a Project Manager

6 Processes and Phases of Project Management
6.1 Phase 1: Project Management Initiation
6.2 Phase 2: Project Management Planning
6.3 Phase 3: Project Management Execution
6.4 Phase 4: Project Monitoring and Control
6.5 Phase 5: Project Management Closure

7 Project Management Methodologies
7.1 Waterfall Methodology
7.2 Agile Methodology
7.3 Scrum Methodology

8 Advantages and Disadvantages of Project Management

9 Conclusion

11 Bibliography

1 Introduction

Project management, what is that, exactly? Is it just a bunch of cumbersome formalities and bureaucracy? Is that also the case in agile projects? Everything in scrum supposedly runs itself, or doesn't it? Here are questions and questions that substantively need to be answered. The present essay deals with the basic aspects and central questions of project management. The aim of this study is to explain the project management processes in modern organizations from a business perspective and to discuss the internal problems and possible solutions.

In today's ever-changing business environment, successful companies must continually align their processes to the requirements of customers and products. Therefore, more and more companies are establishing project work and thus also project management. The more project management is anchored in organizations, the more critical to success are well-organized processes and smooth procedures. Hardly any other profession is as diverse and cross-industry as that of the project manager. This makes the project management profession one of the best-known interdisciplinary professions. Project management skills are required today in a wide variety of industries and fields of activity.

Whether it is in research, logistics, marketing or IT, project management plays an important role in a wide variety of professional fields in the age of globalization. The tasks of a project manager are as numerous and diverse as his projects. The project manager accompanies a project from start to finish and is responsible for the operative planning, implementation, control, and realization of the project. At the same time, he keeps an overview of the process, the working methods of the project staff, the budget, and the time frame. The project manager is the link in a project and works with both the superiors and the project employees who report to him in the company. In addition, there is contact with external project employees. The team that reports to the project manager must work efficiently and goal-oriented for the project to be a success. Schedules should also be kept in mind so that relevant tasks can be completed on time and the project can punctually start. The budget also plays a key role here. The project manager must create controlling reports and present them to the superiors. After all, the project manager needs extensive know-how for the various areas of responsibility. Against this background, this paper concretely addresses the following key questions:

- Why it is important to manage projects and how project management arises and works,
- what project management is, what its most important principles, tasks, and goals are,
- what the central roles and responsibilities of an effective project manager are,
- what the phases of the project management process are and how to do them step by step in a company,
- what the common project management methods are, and how they work,
- what the pros and cons of project management are in a business organization.

2 What is a Project?

Project management, purely in conceptual terms, it sounds simple at first glance. We have a project, and it will be organized and managed somehow. Is that all and are we already done with the project work? No, on closer observation it is unfortunately not that easy. But let's look at the components of the term one after the other so that we can speak of project management. Yes, of course, the managed thing really must be a project. In short, project management is the management of projects, but the real question is, what is a project anyway?

A project is defined as a sequence of tasks that must be completed to achieve a specific result.1 According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), the term “project” refers “to any temporary endeavor with a definite beginning and end.”2 Depending on the complexity, it can be managed by a single person or by several groups of people. In other words, “a project is a unique, temporary, multidisciplinary and organized endeavor to realize agreed deliverables within predefined requirements and constraints.”3 Projects are a set of interdependent tasks that share a common goal4 and have the following main characteristics:

- Firstly, a project has a clear start and end date. There are projects that take several years, but a project cannot go on forever. It should have a clear beginning, a definite ending, and an overview of what happens in between.
- Secondly, a project creates something new. Every project must be unique and bring out something that didn't exist before. A project is a one-time, once-off activity that will never be repeated the same way again.
- Thirdly, a project has limits. A project works within certain time, financial as well as functional, qualitative, and quantitative constraints. Routine tasks that always run the same way are not projects.
- Fourthly, a project is not business as usual. Projects are often confused with processes of management. A process is a series of routine, predefined steps to perform a specific function, e.g., Approval of expense reimbursements. A process is not a one-off activity such as a project. It determines how a particular function will be performed each time.5

In addition to these characteristics, there are several other properties that a project has, such as scope, i.e., a project must be of a certain size to be called as a project.6 If you can do it all by yourself in a week, then it's not a project. In such cases, one would rather speak of an initiative. Generally, it can be said, everything that only one Person done is not a project because teamwork is also a property of a project.7 The whole thing must also have a certain complexity and a project-specific form of organization, i.e., temporary structures for the duration of the project.

3 What is Project Management?

Many terms and procedures in project management are established and standardized. As a distinction, it can be said that the complementary counterpart to project management is process management. Generally, project management refers to the initiation, planning, management, controlling, and completion of projects.8

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), the term “project management is the use of specific knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to deliver something of value to people. The development of software for an improved business process, the construction of a building, the relief effort after a natural disaster, the expansion of sales into a new geographic market—these are all examples of projects.”9 It can be said that project management is an essential leadership skillset.10

Project management systems describe how these activities are to be carried out in concrete terms. A project management system typically consists of: Process descriptions (e.g., for handing over work packages), fields of knowledge (e.g., cost management), role descriptions (e.g., for the project manager), Methods (e.g., earned value analysis), templates (e.g., project status report). This is followed by further management systems or references to applicable management systems (e.g., quality management system).11

The next central discussion point is agile project management, which is a fundamental part of project management.12 Agile project management is often used as a generic term for various process models in software development, such as scrum or extreme programming.13 Increasingly, it is also understood as a term for new thinking in project management compared to planning-oriented, traditional project management.14 The adjective “agile” expresses the fact that management and control of projects and processes should be very dynamic and flexible to be able to quickly implement change requests, especially about the scope of services.15

Project management has the task of successfully leading the project to its goal, namely, in the classic image of the magic triangle. This means that a result should be achieved, and a service provided, while complying with limitations in the given time and costs. To do this, you must organize, plan, and control the project. It can thus be stated that project management encompasses the entirety of managerial tasks, organization, techniques and means for the execution of a project.

Well, what exactly do you have to imagine by that? Such a norm can sound quite abstract at first. This includes the organization, its structures, and roles, especially the role of the project manager. However, there are many other factors, flows, and processes that do the real work. This will be discussed in more detail in the following sections.

4 The Basic Elements of Project Management

Why is project management important? It must be emphasized that projects are crucial for business success.16 They are the ways through which revenue growth take place, and new business opportunities are found.17 Depending on the type of projects you undertake, they can have a direct impact on profit margins, customer satisfaction and retention, as well as opening the door to new markets.18

In this context, the relevant terms are briefly discussed below, which are the elementary components of project management and which every project manager should know:

- Stakeholders : They are important for a project manager. Stakeholders are people, groups of people or companies who can influence, can be influenced by, or believe that they will be influenced by a decision, an activity, or a result of a project. In other words, stakeholders are all those who have an interest in the outcome of the project.19
- Resources : Resources are essential for project management. They are required to complete the tasks within a project. They can be intangible (people and time) or tangible (equipment, materials, and funds). In a broader sense, the resources include a store of money, materials, human resources, technology, and other assets that project management can draw on for the project in an organization to function effectively. The resources are usually defined in the planning phase of a project.20
- Project Deliverables : This also relates to delivery management and is the next important point for successful project management. Deliverables are tangible or intangible goods or services that arise because of a project. Defining, tracking, and managing delivery items, are critical to the success of the project. Deliverables are usually tangible products or project results that are both clearly identifiable and verifiable and are necessary for the completion of the project (or parts of it).21
- Dependencies : Many managers consider identifying and handling dependencies in project management as one of the most significant and consequential tasks. “Dependencies in project management deal with managing and scheduling project tasks while keeping their sequences and requirements in mind. If task B requires the completion of task A, then we’ll say that task B is dependent on task A.”22 So, these are the relationships between the individual tasks. Dependencies determine the order in which tasks must be performed. There are four types of dependencies: finish-to-start relationship, start-to-start relationship, finish-to-finish relationship, and start-to-finish relationship.
- Schedules : A project scheduling is an important skill for any project manager. Scheduling in project management is the listing of activities, deliverables, and milestones within a project. A schedule also usually includes a planned start and finish date, duration, and resources assigned to each activity. Effective project scheduling is a critical component of successful time management.23 The project schedule outlines the time needed for the required tasks, establishes milestones to be met to complete the project on time, allocates resources across tasks. It can be presented in various forms to suit different stakeholders.24 Time tracking is an effective way to record and monitor the time spent on a specific task or activity within a project. Schedules can then be used for payroll, invoicing, or process optimization.
- The magic triangle : The magic triangle – also called the iron triangle or the triple constraint model – “is a tool that enables project managers to visualize the three competing variables existing within every project: time, cost, and scope.”25 Traditionally, a project has been perceived as a success, when being able to deliver within time, cost, and quality. The iron triangle describes the interaction between these three most important factors within a project. The three constraints are interdependent. Changing one affects one (or both) of the others. The magic triangle model can prove to be a very useful tool as it allows project managers to show these interdependencies to customers in a very visual way.26


1 [08.04.2022].

2 [08.04.2022].

3 Hermarij (2016), p. XX.

4 Schwalbe (2021), 4.

5 [08.04.2022].

6 Verzuh (2021), p. 30.

7 [08.04.2022].

8 Roberts (2020), p. 9 f.

9 [08.04.2022].

10 Verzuh (2021), p. 5.

11 [09.04.2022].

12 Lead (2020), p. 324 ff.

13 Wright (2020), 19.

14 Erretkamps /Oswald (2014), p.137 ff.

15 [09.04.2022].

16 Pinto (2020), p. 25.

17 Kerzner (2017), p. 2, 6.

18 [10.04.2022].

19 [10.04.2022].

20 What is Resource Management and why is it important?, in: Planview, ibid., (online) [10.04.2022].

21 [10.04.2022].

22 [10.04.2022].

23 [10.04.2022].

24 [10.04.2022].

25 [10.04.2022].

26 [10.04.2022].

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Project Management. Conceptual Basics, Processes, and Procedures
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Autor: Ibrahim Bekmezci, geb. in Ankara, ist Politologe und Jurist in Hamburg. Er studierte Politikwissenschaft, Jura und BWL an den Universitäten in Bamberg und Hamburg. Er promovierte an der Fakultät für Rechtswissenschaft der Universität Hamburg.
essay business administration, essay business management, essay project management, project, project management methods, project managemet phases, project management processes, project management procedures, benefits of project management, importance of project management, disavandages of project management
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Ibrahim Bekmezci (Author), Project Management. Conceptual Basics, Processes, and Procedures, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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