Projects and Project Management

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Projects and Project ManagementOrganizational leaders are facing complex challenges through a rapid rate of change in both the technology and government which has then created pressure in new and existing organizations. As a result, the traditional structure for managing is giving way to a new form of management (Kerzner, 2003). This form is project management. How can this be? Projects have been around since the building of the pyramids (Dobson, 2003).

In 2650 B.C., the step pyramid was built by Imhotep for the pharaoh Zoser in Egypt. The building of Stonehenge occurred about 150 years later. In another 2,500 years, the Mayans began building pyramids throughout Central America. These were the very first projects in history. The builders of these structures used simple tools and did not have paper or software programs (Lewis, 1995).

The beginning of project management as a discipline began in the 1950’s and 1960’s in the United States but was not generally accepted until today. The purpose of this initial lecture is to help you in:1.Recognizing projects.

2.Developing an understanding of project management.

3.Recognizing the project management process.

This lecture will support these objectives by providing you with definitions, examples and descriptions of projects and project management. Additionally, the lecture will conclude with a brief description of the project management process.

ProjectsIn business today, there are many types of projects with endless possibilities. A project can be:Developing a new product or service.

Implementing a new business process.

Developing a marketing plan.

Completing an assignment.

According to Lewis (1995:2) a project is: “a one-time job that has definite starting and ending points, clearly defined objectives, scope and (usually) a budget.” The key words in this definition are underlined to aid you in differentiating between a project and a repetitive process or operation such as order processing or

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