"Is project management more of a science or more of an art form?"
To be clear when referring to science in this paper; I mean following the strict structure of what has been prescribed to us in the past; sticking to the playbook, staying within the lines.
In my opinion project management should be more of an Art form strongly grounded in science.
There are too many variables when working a project and things can go wrong very quickly. As you become more experienced you will learn what works for you and you will learn to tailor it to your projects. You will develop contacts that you work well with, team members that share many of your working habits and know how you operate. Putting these all together requires finesse. You will need to know how to merge the hard skills with the soft skills.
Some hard skills are those of the following: (Morreale, 2009)
•Prepare a proper top-down, structured Project Plan comprising a Product Breakdown Structure, Work Breakdown Structure, Gantt chart and Dependency Network. Plans should identify not only all of the products that will be delivered during the project but also all of the activities that will be required to be accomplished to deliver the products. The activities should be broken down into various levels with the lowest level to be monitored comprising 5 - 10 day activities. The plan should also identify the project budget broken down into the level of detail required to be managed by the project manager. •Define the proper organization, resource requirements, hard and soft skills required of the resources, etc. to deliver the project to which he/she has been assigned. •Manage and monitor the project plan to ensure successful completion of the plan activities and delivery of the project on schedule. •Manage and monitor the budget to ensure that the project is delivered within budget. •Define the content/format of and prepare the various achievement reports to be distributed...