Understanding the function and importance of project management

What is Project Management?

project consists of a unique set of processes consisting of coordinated and controlled activities with start and end dates, performed to achieve project objectives and have a purpose. Achievement of the project objectives requires the provision of deliverables conforming to specific requirements. It is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.  A Project:

  • Has a purpose or goal. The reason why a project is undertaken is that the project has deliverables (a unique product, service or result) that provide a beneficial outcome.
  • Is unique. While some projects are similar to others, there will always be uniqueness which could include timings, budget constraints or design.
  • Has defined start and end dates. While these dates can change, they form the basis of most project planning, so we believe it is imperative that they are stated.

What actually is project management?

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) states; ‘Project management is the application of methods, tools, techniques and competencies to a project. Project management includes the integration of the various phases of the project life cycle. Project management is accomplished through processes.’

Another way of looking at project management is the Input – Output – Outcome – Benefits relationship.

Why is project management important?

Project management is the approach we take to delivering a project that meets the requirements of a client and other stakeholders. This approach utilises the skills of people from various disciplines, the use organisational systems and practises, and will involve the management of time, cost, quality, risk, information and contracts.

Whatever approach we take, we do this to:

  • Ensure the customer requirements are met
  • Eliminate ‘reinventing the wheel’ by standardising routine work
  • Reduce the number of tasks that could be overlooked during the project
  • Eliminate duplication of effort
  • Ensure that projects are in control
  • Optimise the use of resources
  • Facilitate efficient and timely decision making.

Each project has a set of key players who are either part of a project team, or can influence the project. 

  • Project Customer: This is the person who owns the project and receives the benefits from it.
  • Project Sponsor: This is the person who represents the organisation undertaking the project and is generally a senior manager who becomes the project champion, and will commit the necessary resources (people, time, money, equipment and machinery) to the project.
  • Program Manager: They will take a strong interest in the project and interacts with each project manager to provide support and guidance.
  • Project manager: The project manager is responsible for delivery of the project and achievement of the project objective.
  • Team leaders will lead a team to deliver part of a project’s scope of works.

Every project has a 4 phase lifecycle. The phase structure allows the project to be broken into logical steps for ease of management, planning and control.

  1. This includes; management delegation, quotes for the job, proposals, budget allocation and staff briefings on the move and future plan.
  2. This includes; preparing a timeline, detailed plans, and selecting furniture options.
  3. This involves; the construction and fit out, managing contractors, reviewing the original plan and timescales and making quality inspections of the completed construction.
  4. This includes the completion of works, building inspection, awarding quality certificates, implementing warranty and guarantee periods, approval of project invoices and creating a summary report for management.

There are two types of project management, traditional and agile. Traditional project management is based on thorough upfront planning, execution of the plan and corrective action along the way.  Traditional project management requires a high degree of predictability.  Agile project management is more familiar to Calibro and allows the team to address new requirements by making quick changes. Agile project management relies on constant interaction between the project team and the customer.


Upfront design
Fixed scope
Freeze design as early as possible
Low uncertainty
Avoid change
Low customer interaction
Conventional project teams


Continuous design
Flexible scope
Freeze design as late as possible
High uncertainty
Embrace change
High customer interaction
Self-organised project teams

Get in touch with our expert Project Management team to take your project further:

+44 (0) 28 9442 5200 |


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