This information is usually described in project documentation, created at the beginning of the development process. The primary constraints are scope, time, quality and budget. The secondary—and more ambitious—challenge is to optimize the allocation of necessary inputs and apply them to meet pre-defined objectives.
Project management is to produce a complete project which complies with the client's objectives. In many cases the objective of project management is also to shape or reform the client's brief to feasibly address the client's objectives. Once the client's objectives are clearly established they should influence all decisions made by other people involved in the project – for example project managers, designers, contractors and sub-contractors.Ill-defined or too tightly prescribed project management objectives are detrimental to decision making.
A project is a temporary endeavor designed to produce a unique product, service or result with a defined beginning and end (usually time-constrained, and often constrained by funding or staffing undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value. The temporary nature of projects stands in contrast with business as usual (or operations) which are repetitive, permanent, or semi-permanent functional activities to produce products or services. In practice, the management of such distinct production approaches requires the development of distinct technical skills and management strategies
The phased (or staged) approach breaks down and manages the work through a series of distinct steps to be completed, and is often referred to as "traditional" or "waterfall". Although it can vary, it typically consists of five process areas, four phases plus control:
Many industries use variations of these project stages and it is not uncommon for the stages to be renamed to better suit the organization. For example, when working on a brick-and-mortar design and construction, projects will typically progress through stages like pre-planning, conceptual design, schematic design, design development, construction drawings (or contract documents), and construction administration.
While the phased approach works well for small, well-defined projects, it often results in challenge or failure on larger projects, or those that are more complex or have more ambiguities, issues and risk.