What Are the Principles of Project Management? - PM 360 Consulting
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What Are the Principles of Project Management?

What Are the Principles of Project Management?

Introduction to the Principles of Project Management

Smart management is the cornerstone of successful project execution across diverse industries and sectors. By adhering to a set of well-established principles, project managers can effectively navigate the complexities of planning, organizing, and executing projects, just as an experienced sailor navigates a choppy sea.

In this article, we delve into the essential principles that guide project management practices, shedding light on their significance and offering valuable insights to both seasoned professionals and those new to the field.

What are the principles of project management?

The principles of project management are the fundamental rules that should be followed for the successful management of projects. The Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) does not currently contain an official list of principles for successful projects. However, PMI’s annual pulse survey highlights the principles that successful project managers and companies are following. Here are the nine principles of project management:

  • Formal project management structure
  • Invested and engaged project sponsor
  • Clear and objective goals and outcomes
  • Documented roles and responsibilities
  • Strong change management
  • Risk management
  • Mature value delivery capabilities
  • Performance management baseline
  • Communication plan


1. Formal Structure

Projects need to have a formalized structure, including processes, procedures, and tools. If you’ve ever tried to complete a project without a formalized structure (“off the books”), you know how hard it can be to control it and provide the attention it deserves. A project should have a project charter, project plan, and a designated project team to successfully prioritize and manage the project.

2. Project Sponsor

An effective project sponsor is critical to the success of a project. Sponsors champion your project and act as a spokesperson to other executives. Having an engaged sponsor makes it easier to communicate progress, escalate issues to overcome roadblocks, and guide stakeholders through decision-making processes.

3. Goals and Outcomes

Without precise requirements and approval criteria, it will be difficult to measure a project’s success. You may think that your final product does everything requested, only to have the customer or user complain that you left out a critical component. The most common factor behind failed projects is a lack of clear goals. Project requirements and approval criteria should be determined and documented at the beginning of the project. These must be reviewed and approved by all key stakeholders, including the sponsor and customer.

4. Roles and Responsibilities

Two forms should be used to document and define the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved with a project. For project team members, RACI or RASCI is used to determine duties and expectations. RASCI stands for:

  • R: Responsible
  • A: Accountable
  • S: Sign-off authority (not always used)
  • C: Consulted
  • I: Involved

In a RACI chart, team members are listed along the top, with tasks along the sides. Each member is assigned a letter (R, A, C, and I) according to their role for each job. A stakeholder register documents stakeholders outside the primary team, as well as important information such as the following:

  • Communication preferences (type and frequency)
  • Contact information
  • Level of influence on the project
  • Engagement level with the project
  • Their role within the company
  • Other relevant details or notes


5. Management of Project Changes

A project needs a well-defined scope to ensure the outcome meets customer expectations. Without strong change management, a project could suffer from scope creep and gradually grow beyond the initial project guidelines. To give an example, team members or stakeholders may want to add additional features to a product. However, if you don’t carefully control changes, you could end up with a great product that costs twice what you expected and is delivered six months late.

6. Risk Management

Since we cannot execute projects in a bubble, they all face some risks. Risk can affect your resources, technology, or processes. It’s important to manage risk to minimize or eliminate its impact on your projects. This involves identifying, evaluating, and monitoring risks and deciding upon action plans to implement if they occur.

7. Value Delivery Capabilities 

Your value delivery capabilities are the project tools, processes, and procedures that help you deliver value to your customers. This can include your project systems, like your scheduling software. It may also include your processes, such as using an Agile project methodology. If you have established and tested approaches for delivering successful projects, you’ll be better equipped than if you’re starting from scratch. The more mature your processes and procedures are, the more likely your project will be a success.

8. Performance Management Baseline

Projects typically have three basic components: cost, schedule, and scope. Each of these components should have a baseline or plan against which performance can be measured. When these baselines are integrated, it’s called a performance management baseline — then, if you have a change in any one of these components, its impact will be reflected in the others.

Say you have a scope change. With your performance management baseline, you can see how this will impact your project schedule and cost, allowing you to better monitor the overall effect of changes on a project. A performance management baseline improves decision-making, as you can view the whole picture and identify all impacts of potential decisions.

9. Communication

If you’ve worked in project management for a while, you may have heard the saying that project management is 90% communication. A project’s success requires communication of project activities, risks, issues, and status, both within the project team and with other stakeholders. Communication is essential for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Keeping stakeholders engaged
  • Coordinating tasks and schedules
  • Decision-making and problem-solving
  • Identifying and resolving conflicts
  • Escalating risks and issues




Basic Concepts of Project Management


Project Management is a problem-based, interdisciplinary course in project management skills and techniques that are needed to successfully manage projects in a modern business environment. In this course, you will work through the challenges of solving problems, tracking projects, and practicing leadership. You will learn how to effectively use computer-based scheduling and tracking software to keep timetables and schedules. You will also see why it is important for project managers to be able to respond to a wide variety of demands and to understand people and behavioural skills.

In addition, we will discuss the definition of project, give some examples of projects of different types and discuss the place of project management in overall corporate strategy in this topic. We will cover project life cycles and different models of project success. Finally, we will discuss project management in the context of organizational structure.


Think about the following topic objectives. After completing this topic, you should be able to:

  • Understand why project management is becoming such a powerful and popular practice in business today.
  • Recognize the basic properties of projects, including their definition.
  • Understand why effective project management is such a challenge; that is, the reasons why project management is becoming increasingly popular and the constraints that make it such an important but difficult undertaking.
  • Differentiate between project management practices and more traditional, process-oriented business functions.
  • Recognize the key motivators that are pushing companies to adopt project management practices.
  • Understand and explain the project life cycle, its stages, and the activities that typically occur at each stage in the project.
  • Understand the concept of project success, including various definitions of success (e.g., the triple constraint), as well as the alternative models of success.
  • Understand the various forms of organization structure and their potential impact on project success.





Experience a fresh way to  manage projects. Reach your business goals with bespoke project management  insights and solutions.

At PM360 Consulting, we understand that every client’s business set of challenges and opportunities are unique. That are no two project environments the same but that in the end, what we all aim to accomplish is very simple: better and faster projects, delivered more effectively. We deliver a variety of bespoke consulting services tailored to your project business needs.


PM360 Consulting project management solutions  succeed because we follow a proven process – our proprietary Ten Steps® methodology, which is central to all of the services we provide.



1.Establish the Project Goal

2.Make a list of All Jobs

3.There must be One Leader

4.Resources – Assign People to Jobs

5. (a) Have a Safety Margin – Risk Management & Contingency 

5. (b) Set the Stakeholders Expectations



6.Use Appropriate Leadership Style

7.Know What’s Going On – Tracking the Project

8.Tell People What’s Going On – Reporting

9.Repeat Steps 1 to 8

10.Do A Post Mortem – Lessons Learnt

2-day Workshop Benefits

  • Run any project successfully.
  • Run multiple concurrent projects successfully.
  • Get any project done in the shortest possible time.


Padraig Friel www.pm360cobsulting.ie


Article at https://www.wrike.com/project-management-guide/faq/what-are-the-principles-of-project-management/


Citation: Harelimana JB. Basic Concepts of Project Management. Austin J Bus Adm Manage. 2017; 1(1): 1005.

Article written by Padraig Friel PM360 Consulting www.pm360consulting.ie