Project Management

The Formal and Informal Aspects of Project Management

In project management, there are two ways of doing things: formally and informally. Formal project management is the nuts and bolts of the project, while informal project management deals with the people aspect of the project. In this article by Andrei Dinu, we take a further look into the two types of project management.

Formal project management

Formal project management seeks to address questions such as:

  • What are the main tasks of the business?
  • Which are the priority tasks that must be completed?
  • Are there any specific skills required in order to complete the tasks?
  •  Who is responsible for the tasks and how much time should be taken?
  • How long is the project supposed to take considering the people available for it? Is that in line with the company target? What can be done to achieve the project within the required time frame?

As you can see, formal project management is all about the practical details of the project. It deals with things such as the budget, cost, allocation of resources, and risk management.

Informal project management

On the other hand, informal project management deals with the emotional side of the project. It is involved with “building intuitive relationships among the organization’s employees.” The following issues are addressed:

  • Evaluating the reliability of the employee’s estimates
  • Motivating employees to work harder and achieve results faster
  • Routine evaluation of the overall morale of the team

A few last words from Andrei Dinu:

“While both formal and informal project management are powerful tools in managing projects, individuals who are proficient with formal project management may lack good interpersonal skills. Similarly, those proficient in informal project management could be impatient with efforts involved in developing business plans and constantly revising them as the project unfolds. While formal project management can be learned, informal management cannot. Someone is either good at it or not.”

To read the full article, click here:


Information systems architect / technical design authority with over 20 years experience delivering small-scale through enterprise systems to commercial, finance and government customers.

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