Topic 1 Project Management: definition

With roots at the beginning of the 20th century, but developing since the 1950s initially at the engineering field, Project Management is a discipline, interrelated with but also distinct from Management.

Project Management involves the process of managing a team to carry out a project within given constraints of scope, time, quality, and budget. This means that a project team allots and works with specific inputs (budget, human, materials, infrastructure, software, etc.) on set objectives, to deliver results (tangible or intangible deliverables), which fulfill pre-defined quantitative and qualitative requirements within a given time-frame (deadlines).

Thus, a project is a temporary endeavor aiming to deliver a product, service, or result within given constraints. This is the distinguishing difference between Project Management and Management: the projects’ temporary nature contrasts with the semi-permanent, repetitive processes of an organisation’s routine, demanding the development of distinct managerial skills.


This does not mean that project management cannot take place within an organization. For example, in the cultural sector, we often find “temporary” projects, which are managed to observe specific constraints in addition to the cultural organisation’s usual routine: the production of a new play in cooperation with another organization, the management of school cultural-educational programmes funded by an external stakeholder, etc. Indeed:

  • “Temporary” does not necessarily mean the duration of the project is short; It refers to its longevity.
  • Also, “temporary” does not typically apply to the project’s deliverables since most projects aim to create lasting outcomes.
  • Project outcomes can be tangible or intangible, as projects may have social, economic, and environmental impacts that far outlive the projects. This is particularly true for the cultural sector.
  • A project can involve a single or multiple individuals, or a single or multiple organisational units from different organisations.


Accordingly, a project ends when :

  • the project’s objectives have been achieved
  • its objectives will not or cannot be met
  • the need for the project no longer exists
  • the client (customer, sponsor, or champion) terminates the project

Project management applies and integrates a series of processes, which are categorised into five Process Groups:

4.monitoring and controlling