Project Management rests on three distinct pillars: planning, control and communication. These are the building blocks of the profession, and every single project, regardless of type of industry or specialization, depends on them.
If we use the process of baking bread as a metaphor for project management, then project planning is the ‘flour’, the base; its function is to create the path to the goal. Project control is the ‘yeast’; its function is to influence all the other ingredients and ensure that the project progresses according to plan as it moves towards its goals. Communication in the project is the ‘water’; its role is to unite the efforts of all those who are working on the project. It is a key factor in the success or failure of the project as a whole and in attaining project goals.
All projects pose ongoing challenges. This is the case not only in our professional lives, but in our private lives, too. We are often required to manage all sorts of projects—small ones as well as large ones. Most of these projects tend to deviate—sometimes significantly so—from the planned budget, schedule, content and even goals. Some are canceled before bearing fruit; others simply fail outright.
The project manager should be, first and foremost, a capable manager, a leader and a good communicator. In addition, ideally the project manager should be an expert in the project’s field and have plenty of practical experience in it, too. Finally, the project manager’s unique characteristics should suit the particular project he or she is called upon to manage.