A project is an endeavor to accomplish a specific objective through a unique set of interrelated tasks and the effective utilization of resources. The following attributes help define a project:
1.Goal and objective eg: a project to develop new product may have an expected outcome to sell a cert certain number of products within a time period of one year.
2. series of interdependent tasks – a number of non-repetitive tasks that need to be accomplished in a certain sequence inorder to achieve the project objective.
3. Project utilizes various resources to be done with the tasks. Resources like different people, equipment, organization. For example, a project to perform a complex series of surgical operations may involve doctors with special expertise, nurses, anesthesiologists, surgical instruments, monitoring equipment, prosthetic devices or transplant organs, and special operating facilities
4. The project involves a degree of uncertainty. Before a project is started, a plan is prepared based on certain assumptions and estimates. It is important to document these assumptions because they will influence the development of the project work scope, schedule, and budget
5. A project has a unique or one-time endeavor. For example, designing a space station are unique because they never been attempted before. Other projects like planning for a wedding are unique because of the customization they require.
6. A project has a sponsor or customer. The sponsor or the customer is the entity that provides funds necessary to accomplish the project. For example, when a contractor builds a house, the homeowner is the customer who is funding or paying for the project.
7. A project has a specific time frame. It has a start time and date by which the objective must be accomplished. For example, refurbishing of a high school might have to be completed between May 30 and July30
2. Identify/draw a project life cycle
Project life cycle has four phases initiating, planning, performing, and closing the project. Project life cycles vary in length from a few weeks to several years, depending on the content, complexity, and magnitude of the project. http://devry.vitalsource.com/books/9781133614487/content/image/I9781133614487_c01_0003.jpg
Initiating Phase: Projects are identified and selected. Projects are identified when a need is identified by the sponsor, people or organisation willing to provide funds to satisfy the needs.
Second step is planning: Planning is very important because it provides roadmap of a project, that shows how the project scope will be accomplished within budget and on schedule. The planning involves determining what needs to be done (scope, deliverables), how it will get done (activities, sequence), who will do it (resources, responsibility), how long it will take (durations, schedule), how much it will cost (budget), and what the risks are. The result of this effort is a baseline plan that is a roadmap for accomplishing the project within the requirements and constraints in the project charter or contract. This plan will also be used as a benchmark to which actual progress can be compared
Third pase is Performing: Once the plan has been developed work can proceed. The project mananger will execute the plan and perform the activities to produce all the deliverables and to accomplish the project objective. During the course of performing the project, different types of resources will be utilized. For example, if the project is to design and construct an office building, the project effort might first involve a few architects and engineers in developing the building plans. Then, as construction gets under way, the resources needed will substantially increase to include steelworkers, carpenters, electricians, painters, and the like. The level of effort will decrease after the building is finished, and a smaller number of different