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Project Management: Planning and Control

Definition: “A set of principles, methods, and techniques for effective planning of objective-oriented work thereby establishing a sound basis for effective scheduling, controlling and replanning in the management of programs and projects.”

Purpose: Since it is not possible to control things which have not been planned for, project management methods provide planning tools. These tools can be used for replanning as variances in the plan occur during the project. If the initial tools are well selected, the same tools become control tools during the life of the project.

Characteristics of project management: There are certain basic criteria for a project to lend itself to project management.These criteria are:

  • a well defined collection of jobs which culminate in an end product.
    • activities which are started and stopped independently
    • activities that are ordered

In other words, a production plan would not lend itself to project management.

If a project were simple and straight forward and needed little if any effort to accomplish; or if a project were being done by a staff of one, there would be no need for formal project management and project control. However, many projects do not meet these criteria. Rather they require the use of many different resources over the life of the project and the project objectives and products are often complex.

These complex projects require different approaches, both management and methodology, than the different approaches to management.

The project management approach can be summarized as a commitment on the part of management for the project manager to think through all facets of the project relative to: time, money, human resources and quality. Or in other words; “communications and controls.”

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