Project Mechanics

The Mechanics of Project Management

Management is getting work done through others. It is often not characterized as "real work". However, anyone who has experienced bad management will tell you, this could not be further from the truth. This website is dedicated to providing someone who finds themselves in the role of Project Manager with the primary tools and techniques necessary for achieving well-managed projects.

Successful project management is part "art" and part "mechanics". Project Mechanics are objective and relatively easy to describe, whereas the art of project management is left to each individual's interpretation. However, Project Mechanics are tasks that simply must be carried out to ensure project success. The level of detail associated with each task is determined on a project-by-project basis, but the fundamental steps must be followed. It is important to note, however, that simply mechanically performing tasks will not ensure project success. The tasks and procedure framework described are only a foundation for project success - not a guarantee.

True project success relies less on project mechanics and more about the art that is the subjective side of Project Management. At the core of this subjective area is the art of effective communications. 

More than any other soft skill, a Project Manager must learn to effectively communicate with the three Project consistencies:

  • Client - who is receiving the output of the project, 
  • Staff - who is performing the steps necessary to complete the project object, and 
  • Management - the folks paying for the project.  

On these pages you will find guidelines, tools, and reference materials, but it is ultimately up to each project manager to create an effective communication and management style.

In that project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives. The Project Manager has the responsibility of leading the team to success. Both client and Company personnel will look to the project managers for leadership throughout the project life cycle. Mastering project mechanics, determining their appropriate application, and effective communications with all parties involved is the challenge facing every project manager.

Project work is about managing and participating in projects from concept to operational use. Topics include techniques of project scope, work breakdown analysis, task estimating and scheduling, and resource, risk and cost management. The human aspects of project work, teams and communication are addressed as are quality assurance and quality standards.

Project Management Professional - PMP

Once you know that you have a project, you need to find someone to make it happen.  A project manager is the person who is uniquely responsible for the execution and success of the project. PMI says it best in the 2000 edition of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide):

Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to a broad range of activities in order to meet the requirements of a particular project. Project management is comprised of five processes - Initiating, Planning, Executing, Controlling, and Closing - as well as nine knowledge areas. These nine areas center on management expertise in Project Integration, Project Scope, Project Time, Project Cost, Project Quality, Project Human Resources, Project Communications, Project Risk Management and Project Procurement.{1}

{1} Source Project Management Institute Website
Project Management Institute