Project management is a methodical approach to planning and guiding project processes from start to finish. According to the Project Management Institute, the processes are guided through five stages: initiation, planning, executing, controlling, and closing. Project management can be applied to almost any type of project and is widely used to control the complex processes of software development projects.
The systems development life cycle (SDLC) is one example of a methodology for guiding the project management process from an initial feasibility study through maintenance of the completed application. Various SDLC approaches include the waterfall model, which was the original SDLC method; rapid application development (RAD); joint application development (JAD); the fountain model; the spiral model; build and fix; and synchronize-and-stabilize. A number of charting methods, such as the Gantt chart and PERT chart have been developed as tools to create a graphic representation of a project plan and its current status.