Understanding project management and its success

By Priya Chetty on June 19, 2014

Project management can be defined as planning, organizing, scheduling, leading, communicating, and controlling of work activities to achieve a predefined outcome, on time and within budget’ (Josler & Burger 2005). Project Management is basically the process of keeping a track of the accomplishments of the project (Munns & Bjeimi 1996).

In the past 30 years it has been observed that Project Management is conducive to the tough business world (Munns & Bjeimi 1996). Any given project is time bound, and to get satisfying result of the project, it has to be well managed and this is where the role or Project Manager comes in. The kind of Project Management and its importance depends on the complexity of the project (Saylor n.d.). The work of the Project Management is to provide a systematic road map which the workers have to follow in order to complete the task on time and in accordance with the Project Management plan (Josler & Burger 2005).

Traditional approach

There is a series of steps that is followed in the traditional method of Project Management (Wysocki 2010). The series of steps in the traditional method are:

  1. Initiation – analyzing the project,  requirements of the project.
  2. Planning and design – blueprint of a plan for the project.
  3. Execution and construction – directing and implementing the blueprint of the plan.
  4. Monitoring and controlling systems – evaluating  the activities of the executed plan.
  5. Completion – finalizing the end of the project and winding up the project formally.

What factors add to the success of project management?

According to Leidecker & Bruno (1984) a project can turn out to be a great success if the manager can manage, maintain and stay consistent with the plan of execution.

For a productive Project Management the project manager or the team leader following the Project Management plan needs to have the following characteristics (Saylor n.d.):

  1. Reliability.
  2. Ability to find solutions of problems.
  3. Must have patience.
  4. Should have good communication skills.
  5. Should have the technical know how.
  6. Ability to manage the team very well.

The above mentioned characteristics, if possessed by a project manager then there will be a good chance that the project will be a success. There should not be a single worker who is not fit for the job (Munns & Bjeimi 1996). The worker must be whole heartedly dedicated towards the job, so that he can give his best and help the project to be a success. There must be a proper backing  by the top management too (Munns & Bjeimi 1996).

Project management in knowledge area

Project Management involves a lot of techniques for a successful project that the project manager must understand, he must also comprehend to all the knowledge areas (Saylor n.d.). The knowledge areas of Project Management are (Schwalbe 2008):

  1. Project Integration Management
  2. Project Scope Management
  3. Project Time Management
  4. Project Cost Management
  5. Project Quality Management
  6. Project Human Resource Management
  7. Project Communication Management
  8. Project Risk Management
  9. Project Procurement Management


Priya is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Project Guru, a research and analytics firm based in Gurgaon. She is responsible for the human resource planning and operations functions. Her expertise in analytics has been used in a number of service-based industries like education and financial services.

Her foundational educational is from St. Xaviers High School (Mumbai). She also holds MBA degree in Marketing and Finance from the Indian Institute of Planning and Management, Delhi (2008).

Some of the notable projects she has worked on include:

  • Using systems thinking to improve sustainability in operations: A study carried out in Malaysia in partnership with Universiti Kuala Lumpur.
  • Assessing customer satisfaction with in-house doctors of Jiva Ayurveda (a project executed for the company)
  • Predicting the potential impact of green hydrogen microgirds (A project executed for the Government of South Africa)

She is a key contributor to the in-house research platform Knowledge Tank.

She currently holds over 300 citations from her contributions to the platform.

She has also been a guest speaker at various institutes such as JIMS (Delhi), BPIT (Delhi), and SVU (Tirupati).