Introduction to a Project

What is a Project?

“A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.”- A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition.

Construction Project Management

What are the 3 main characteristics of a Project

1. Temporary nature

Due to its temporary nature, the project has a stated start and finish date. The project is concluded when its objectives are satisfied, or when it is terminated due to unmet objectives, or when the project’s demand is met. A project can be cancelled if the client (customer, sponsor, or champion) requests it. While the term “temporary” indicates a speedy turnaround, this is not necessarily the case. It really discusses project engagement and long-term viability. Most initiatives are done with the purpose of delivering long-term results, hence the project itself is ephemeral. For example, a national monument will last for hundreds of years. The social, economic, and environmental impacts of a project might last for years or decades.

2. Creates a unique product (service/result)

The result of each project is unique and measurable. Project outcomes can be material or immaterial. While some project deliverables and activities may have repeated aspects, this does not change the essential, unique characteristics of the project activity. For example, office buildings can be built by the same or various teams. However, each building project is unique due to its location, design, conditions, stakeholders, and other factors.

What is a project?
Creates a unique product or a service

3. Progressively elaborated

Continuous projects are typically defined as processes that repeat themselves and adhere to the established rules of the company. When you start a project, you have goals and a plan in place. However, as the project progresses, new information will emerge, and you will be required to make decisions in order to keep it on schedule. While you make every effort to anticipate and plan for anything that may occur, you are well aware that you will continue to learn more about your project as time progresses. 

What are the project’s outcomes?

The project outcome or the end result of a project can be either of the following;

• A product that can be a component of another item, an enhancement to another item, or an end item in its own right.

• A service or the ability to perform a service (for example, construction services, training, or consulting).

• An enhancement to existing product or service lines (deliberate improvement, frequency improvement, adoption improvement, etc.)

• A result, such as an outcome or a document (for example, a research project that generates knowledge that can be used to determine whether a trend exists or whether a new process will benefit society).

What is the relationship between Project, Program and Portfolio?


A portfolio is a combination of projects, programs, sub-portfolios, and operations that are managed together to meet strategic goals. example; New construction.


Within a portfolio, programs are composed of subprograms, projects, or other tasks that are managed in sequence in order to support the portfolio’s goals and objectives. Despite the fact that the projects or programs contained within the portfolio are not always interdependent or directly related, they are nevertheless linked to the organization‘s strategic goal through the use of the portfolio. example; Residential homes construction under new construction portfolio.


A project is any endeavor that delivers a specific output and is intended to be completed in a short period of time. Every project consists of a beginning and an end. Projects can be included in programs or portfolios, but portfolios and programs cannot be included in a project. For example, the construction of a residential home unit.

What is Project Management?

When it comes to project activities, project management is the use of information, skills, tools, and procedures in order to achieve the relevant project requirements. Here, it is expected to utilize and combine the 47 project management processes that have been organized in a logical way. They are broken down into five groups, as shown below.

•  Initiating

•  Planning

•  Executing

•  Monitoring and Controlling, and

•  Closing


This group of processes assists you in creating and defining a very preliminary draft of the project’s scope. The Initiating Process Group encompasses all activities necessary to define a new project or a new phase of an existing project, including getting authority to initiate the project or the phase. The initiation steps specify the initial scope and commit the initial financial resources. Internal and external stakeholders are identified who will interact with and impact the project’s overall outcome. If the project manager has not been designated already, he or she will be chosen. The project charter and stakeholder registration provide this information.

The project becomes legally mandated upon approval of the project charter. While the project management team would support the development of the project charter, this standard implies that business case examination, approval, and funding occur outside the project boundaries. The project boundary can be defined as the time period from the start of a project or phase of a project until its completion.

This process group’s primary mission is to adjust stakeholders’ expectations with the project’s purpose, to educate them about the project’s scope and objectives, and to demonstrate how their involvement in the project and the related phases may help ensure that their expectations are met. These procedures help in achieving the project’s vision. 


It’s where we plan how we can manage the project’s various components, including scope, risk, time, money, and quality, and all 9 knowledge areas. The Planning Process Group is made up of the processes that are used to figure out the total scope of the project, define and refine the goals, and figure out how to achieve those goals. They make the project management plan as well as other supporting documents that are useful for executing the project. People who manage projects may need to use a lot of feedback loops to do more research. When proceeding with the project with more information or characteristics that are learned about the project, more planning will likely be needed.

Significant changes happen during the project’s life cycle, which makes it necessary to revisit some of the planning processes and even some of the processes that started the project. Progressive elaboration is the term for how the project management plan gets more detailed over time. This shows that planning and documentation are ongoing and iterative.

The greatest advantage of this process group is how it sets up the tactics and strategies as well as the ideal method to finish the project or part of the project. In order to get stakeholders to be involved and buy into a project, the planning process group must be well run. These processes demonstrate the relevant procedure, laying the path to the goal. The project management plan and other relevant project documents developed in the planning process group include every part of scope, time, cost, quality, communications, human resources, risks, procurement, and stakeholder engagement, etc.

Project Management
Three main constraints of project management


This is the area where almost all the work is done. The Executing Process Group is made up of the processes that are helpful in completing the tasks mentioned in the project management plan to meet the project’s requirements. This process group helps to coordinate the human resources as well as other resources of the project. This also helps in managing the expectations of the stakeholders as well as coordinating project tasks with respect to the project management plan.

During the project, the results may require changes to the plan and a reset of the baseline. This could include changes in the length of tasks, changes in the productivity and availability of resources, and unforeseen risks. Such deviations could impact the project management plan and relevant documentation. Hence, it may require a lot of work to figure out how to deal with them. Adjustments may be made based on the results of the analysis. If the adjustments are endorsed, the project management plan and other project documentation may need to be changed, and new baselines may need to be set. A large part of the project’s expenditure is allocated to the Executing Process Group processes.

Monitoring and Controlling

The processes required to record, asses, and facilitate the project’s performance and progress are included in the Monitoring and Controlling Process Group. It also talks about how to figure out if there are any parts of the plan that need to be changed and how to implement those changes. The main advantage in this case is that project performance is evaluated and assessed at regular intervals, when a need arises, or on special occasions, in order to identify deviations from the project management plan.

In addition, this process group is in charge of change management and proposing preventive actions before there is an issue. They also check the project activities in progress against the project management plan and the project performance baseline, and they make sure only authorized changes are made. This constant monitoring gives the project team an idea of how well the project is going and where it needs more work. In addition to monitoring and controlling the work in a process group, it also monitors and controls the work that is being done on the whole project, as well.

When a project has more than one phase, the Monitoring and Controlling Process Group coordinates the project stages so that corrective or preventive actions can be taken to make the project meet the project management plan. This could lead to changes to the project management plan that are both endorsed and authorized. For example, if an activity doesn’t finish on time, the budget and schedule goals might have to be changed and compromises made. Management-by-exception procedures and some other strategies can be used to cut down on or control overhead. 

Related: An Overview of Project Scope Management


The Closing Process Group is made up of all of the processes that are done at the end of all of the other Project Management Process Groups to officially execute the project, the phase, or the contract. When this process group is done, it makes sure that all of the process groups and their processes are done in order to finish off the project or project phase.

This group also formally declares that the project will be shut down early. Prematurely closed projects often consist of, for example, projects that have been postponed, projects that have been terminated, and projects that are in a very bad situation. For example, if there are claims, termination clauses, or other issues that can’t be closed, or if some activities are to be moved to other parts of the company, specific hand-over procedures may be set up and finished. 

Construction Project Management
The closing phase of project management

Prior to project completion, the following should be carried out.

  • Make sure the customer or sponsor agrees to close the project or phase.
  • Do a post-project or phase-end review.
  • Keep a record of how tailoring to any process works.
  • Keep a record of what you’ve learned.
  • As needed, update organizational process assets.
  • Maintain a Project Management Information System (PMIS) containing all pertinent project documents.
  • Finish all documents work necessary to properly terminate the agreements.
  • Finish the team evaluation and delegate project resources.

I am Kaumadi Ganiarachchi, a dedicated civil engineer with expertise in construction, structural analysis, project management, and structural design. With hands-on experience and a deep understanding of the engineering domain, I bring practical insights to my writings, aiming to inform, inspire, and guide readers in the ever-evolving world of civil engineering. Here is my LinkedIn Profile and About Us Page

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