The classic view of Project Management is the discipline of planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling resources to achieve specific goals.
However a project is a temporary endeavor with a defined beginning and end undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value.
The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals and objectives while honoring the preconceived constraints. These primary constraints are scope, time, quality and budget.
In practice the PM is faced with handling many startling, surprising and real-world situations to get and keep a project into a controlled state, right from the start of the project. The all-encompassing crucial and recurring question is: Is this project (still) worth doing?
This means that in reality effective PM cannot and will not only consist of the straightforward use of textbook PM best practices, which tells us mainly “what to do” and a bit of “when to do it”.
Real world management of a project toward a success, or effective kill, depends heavily on having a PM on board who knows “how to do it” and lives by the motto “a PM´s gotta do, what a PM´s gotta do”.