Project Management is a relatively new branch of management, being only a few decades old. It may be distinguished from line management, which is essentially the management on ongoing activities, where tomorrow’s activities will be much like today’s. Examples of line management include the accounts dept. in any large company, most of manufacturing industry (traditionally, at least), or delivering the mail.
In contrast a project is a singular task, and Project Management is simply the management of that task. Examples of a singular task include: constructing a bridge, putting a man on the moon, building a submarine, organising a wedding, developing a piece of CBL courseware, etc.
The past decade has seen substantial growth in interest in Project Management techniques, primarily as a result of increased uncertainty within the business environment. Major upheavals such as the recent changes in Eastern Europe, the growth in information technology, economic relationships with the rest of Europe, etc. have made the business of business much more uncertain. Many industries can no long expect tomorrow to be like today, and they are turning to Project Management techniques as a way to cope with such changes.