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What is project management?

There you are in a horizontal position, checking out your world from a different vantage point. You want to organize your life and get more out of what you do instead of running after every lame duck idea, or starting any number of things; realizing half way into it that you bit off more than you can chew and you do not have a clue what comes next.

Until now, you may have never known that two words project and management could come together and even if they did, you probably do not really know what the union could possibly accomplish. Figuring out the meaning of what a project really is not a half bad place to start to lets begin here.

Simply put, a project is anything that has a clear start, a clear finish, produces something unique, and you figure out more about the details of it the deeper you delve into it. Sounds like a simple enough definition. I bet there is any number of examples of things that you are doing right now that fall into this definition of a project. So this project management thing is for anyone who wants to accomplish anything in life from passing exams, getting into college, loosing weight, getting married the list goes on.

Now that you have a project idea in mind, let’s break it down and drive it as if you would a three-gear vehicle. The first gear is your take off gear. If your idea has enough gas, accelerate to second gear, which is your planning gear. Even though you gear up into third gear, where you execute your plan, you still need to go back to second gear throughout the process to check in with your plan, update your plan and make sure that what you’re executing is according to plan. Always have a system in place to monitor and control progress in your plan; let’s call this neutral. Neutral is the system that you have in place to make sure that you could confirm that you are doing what you intend to do. Finally there is project close out, where you shut down the process. This is where you cut the gas and turn the whole thing off, and halt.

That is it in a nutshell. To do all of this you have to have some basic knowledge and skill. You should be able to coordinate things, have a good idea of how to size up how big an undertaking is, and what it will take out of you, and some other people to really pull it off. No doubt about it, your project will cost you something and at the very least, you should have some understanding of how to calculate how much money, time, and people you need to have available.

Dorcas M.T.Cox, MBA, PMP is an instructor of project management certification classes at The Bahamas Institute of Financial Services(BIFS), an author, and is also president and CEO of Project Management Solutions Ltd. Contacts: www.projectmanagementsolutionsltd.com; e-mail: Dorcas at [email protected] or on Facebook at Bahamas Project Solutions.

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