Project, Schmoject. Or is it?

Project Management is frequently mentioned, many companies insist on hiring certified project managers. What's behind the hype? A useful definition of Project Management is:
Project management is a methodical approach to planning and guiding project processes from start to finish. According to the Project Management Institute, the processes are guided through five stages: initiation, planning, executing, controlling, and closing. Project management can be applied to almost any type of project […]

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What this definition doesn't illustrate is the management process introduced through project management. That, in my opinion, is the biggest advantage of project management over most other management methods. In a well-established project management environment, people get invited into a project — and they participate and contribute because they want to as opposed to a typical, hierarchical line organisation where they have to. With Project Management, dotted line reporting and inter-departmental communications become highly important. Only if the project team, that typically doesn't report directly to the project manager, is committed and focused, will the project be successful.

The magic triangle of Project Management
The magic triangle of Project Management:
Without good project management, it is often a major challenge to achieve all three targets. Example: It can be done on time and within the cost frame, but only part of the scope is implemented (feature-drop).
Quality is achieved when all three constraints, i. e. time, cost and the scope have been met.

Two excellent sources for information on Project Management are
  • PMI — The Project Management Institute
  • IPMA — The International Project Management Association