Project management is the art and science of getting results by following a roadmap laid down to turn customers desires into concrete products and services by following established procedures in a defined sequence.

The Project Management Institute brought active practitioners together to produce the Project Management Body of Knowledge, PMBOK, which is used around the world on all sorts of projects of varying sizes, with or without software support tools.

PMBOK definition: A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service. It is temporary because every project has a definite beginning and a definite end. It is Unique because the product or service delivered is different from others. Organizations use projects to achieve their strategic needs, which cannot be attained through normal operational means.

Dr. Joseph Juran, a founder of the quality movement, provides another definition:

A project is a problem scheduled for solution. The key to a successful project is beginning with a clear definition of the business problem: What is the gap between what we have and what we want?

In today's world, many operations once performed by specialists are assigned to non-specialists as 'projects.' However, most professionals have not received training or tools to help them manage projects efficiently and effectively. The 'project' is added to an already full schedule, major decisions have been made elsewhere, and you have no 'team' to carry out the work. Many projects fail because they have no focusing definition, which leads to scope creep, missed deadlines, and blown budgets. More time is consumed in solving these problems and firefighting.

Risks and contingency plans are often ignored.

Without the basic tools of project management, people focus on a series of tasks and a To-Do list. Priorities get missed in favor of someone else's urgent agenda. More time is lost chasing down information and reinventing the wheel. Without the formal discipline of project management, it's hard to accomplish what is necessary and keep all your stakeholders satisfied.

Avoid these predictable pitfalls, use project management basics and bring your projects in successfully, efficiently, and effectively with results the stakeholders want.

As a result of this educational program, Non-Project Managers will be able to:

Plan, execute, and manage projects more effectively and efficiently
Solve business problems
Minimize risk
Continuously improve project results
Use PM tools optimally

Author's Bio: 

Rebecca Staton-Reinstein, PhD, and president of Advantage Leadership, Inc. works with leaders around the world who want engaged employees to increase bottom-line results and delight customers through strategic planning, culture change, and team development. Rebecca has contributed to organizational success as a manager and executive.

As a consultant she uses her proven ability to mentor leaders through major change, working with them to craft customized, successful solutions to complex business issues in all economic sectors. She is the author of several books on strategic planning and strategic leadership, holds a PhD in organizational development, and is a Legacy Professional Member of the National Speakers Association.

She has served as president of many civic, business, and nonprofit boards of directors, and has been honored for her work on 4 continents.