Project management is the process of planning, organizing, and controlling resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals in strategic or daily problems.
A project is a process designed to produce a unique product, service or result with a defined beginning and end (usually time & budget constrained), in order to meet unique goals and objectives.
The temporary nature of projects stands in contrast with business as usual (or operations), which are repetitive, permanent, or semi-permanent functional activities to produce products or services.
In practice, the management of these two systems is always quite different, and as such requires distinct technical skills and management strategies for standalone projects, and day to day management for repetitive operations.
The primary challenge of project management is to achieve successful completion in all of the project goals and objectives while following the path of the preconceived constraints.
The primary constraints are scope, time, quality and budget.
The secondary, and more ambitious, challenge is to optimize the allocation of resources such as we achieve to meet pre-defined objectives either in shorter time or using fewer resources (smaller cost) or succeeding a combination of both.
If scope and quality are negotiable according to budget and time flexibilities then the Project management process becomes more complicated as qualitative factors are part of the formula and the final decision making.
The correct process in gathering the necessary data to manage a project with a Project management application or at least methodology is:
List all tasks required for the completion of the project
Assign resources to all tasks
List all necessary resources (human, material, equipment) and define cost
List sequence and time constraints for all tasks. (milestones)
List (draw) total project. Decide on time plan according to resource availability.
Record different scenarios exchanging completion time with cost and vise versa.
Decide on final route, list milestones, monitor progress.