Practical Project Management

Project Management Basics

Apr 30

4/30/2011 12:41 PM  RssIcon

There are three basic elements involved in any project:

  1. Task – Scope, Work, Effort, Deliverables
  2. Resources – Tools to Complete the Task (People and Financial)
  3. Time – Duration and Completion

These elements must be kept in balance to have a successful project. They are dependent and interdependent. When one element changes, the others must change, as well, to maintain the balance.

A common example involves the project scope. If the original scope changes – task increases – the other elements must change to accommodate the increase – more resources, or more time.

Another dynamic of these elements is the management effort required to keep them in balance – which is the basic definition of project management. When the elements are out of balance – i.e. if resources are reduced and time extended – The management effort is increased. It requires more management effort to manage out-of-balance components.

The graphic depicts a tool that shows the interaction of these basic components: As Task increases, time and resources are affected – they must increase proportionately. If they get out of balance, management effort increases, etc..

Task – The middle scale is a slider bar that is adjusted to reflect the size of the project with effort and number of components in the single indicator.

Duration – An indicator of the time required to complete the task.

Resources – The personnel and financial tools available to accomplish the task.

As Task size changes, time and resources are affected – they must increase or decrease proportionately. If they get out of balance, the management bar lengthens to represent the increased effort required.


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