Project management is the intentional use of systems, methods, knowledge and skills to achieve a project objective. When managing a project, tools are used to plan, estimate and calculate the progress and outcome of the project.
There is a lot of terminology associated with project management. Here is a short selection of terms that you might come across [source]
Critical Path: The critical path is the sequence of activities that must be completed on time for the entire project to be completed on schedule, it is the longest path through the work plan. Project Managers will incorporate slacktime into their plan to safeguard against any delays on the critical path due issues such as illness.
Dependencies: One task that has to be completed before another can be started. For example: The window has to be measured before the order for curtains can be placed. One action is dependent on the other.
Milestone: A key event during the life of a project. For example: A design has to be approved before the car can be built.
Resources: Everything that is needed to complete a project, such as people and money.
Risk: Risk refers to the combined likelihood of an event happening, and the impact on the project timeline if the event does occur. A good Project Manager plans for all the things that can go wrong (such as: illness, faulty equipment) so that the project can be completed on time despite any upsets.
Scope: The overall definition of what the project should achieve and a specific description of what the result should be. A major ingredient of scope is the quality of the final product. A stakeholder is anyone, internal or external to an organisation that has an interest in a project or will be affected by its deliverables.
Slacktime: Identified breathing spaces within the project timeline that can be used to safeguard against any risk that might occur. For example: Leaving enough time when travelling on public transport incase there is a delay when traveling to a job interview.
Is a visual representation of every task that is completed during the project duration. It can clearly show which tasks are dependent on others and milestones that might impact on the success of the project. Often businesses will have the Project Gantt Chart on display so that everyone knows
A Pert Chart is a mathematical technique used to calculate the maximum time needed for any project based on the minimum project requirements. The Project Manager can then estimate the amount of time needed for the project to be completed on time.
It is important to keep documentation when working on a project so that all actionable tasks are completed in time. Meeting Minutes are an excellent tool to ensure that you stay on top of tasks.