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Project management: the start of the project journey
Project management: the start of the project journey

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1 Conception: ‘The journey begins’

To write about projects, we have to define what they are and describe how they arise. This course will concentrate on describing what a project is, and how it can arise as a part of a planning process, as a response to a changing environment, as a business opportunity, as a problem or as a newly identified requirement.

Projects often appear to be mysterious: it can be difficult to define exactly what a project is, and to the man or woman in the average organisation they seem to appear rather in the same way that mushrooms sprout – overnight. They are very diverse, and may range from one or two people making an effort over a few days or weeks to dozens or even hundreds of people working over a period of years.

Learning outcomes

At the end of Section 1, you should be able to:

  • define what a project is
  • use a variety of knowledge-gathering and idea-generating techniques to develop objectives for action
  • use Pareto analysis and cause and effect diagrams to explore problem areas
  • generate simple matrix diagrams to relate objectives to strategies
  • name and describe the chief roles various people can assume relating to proposals and projects
  • relate all these roles to the process of organisational planning
  • explain different views of quality and show that a structured approach to planning improves quality.