What Is A Project

Submitted By CKMD1952
Words: 6156
Pages: 25

PROJECT MANAGEMENT What is a Project? A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. The temporary nature of projects indicates a definite beginning and end. The end is reached when the project’s objectives have been achieved or when the project is terminated because its objectives will not or cannot be met, or when the need for the project no longer exists. Temporary does not necessarily mean short in duration. Temporary does not generally apply to the product, service, or result created by the project; most projects are undertaken to create a lasting outcome. For example, a project to build a national monument will create a result expected to last centuries. Projects can also have social, economic, and environmental impacts that far outlast the projects themselves. Every project creates a unique product, service, or result. Although repetitive elements may be present in some project deliverables, this repetition does not change the fundamental uniqueness of the project work. For example, office buildings are constructed with the same or similar materials or by the same team, but each location is unique—with a different design, different circumstances, different contractors, and so on. An ongoing work effort is generally a repetitive process because it follows an organization’s existing procedures. In contrast, because of the unique nature of projects, there may be uncertainties about the products, services, or results that the project creates. Project tasks can be new to a project team, which necessitates more dedicated planning than other routine work. In addition, projects are undertaken at all organizational levels. A project can involve a single person, a single organizational unit, or multiple organizational units. A project can create: • A product that can be either a component of another item or an end item in itself, • A capability to perform a service (e.g., a business function that supports production or distribution), or • A result such as an outcome or document (e.g., a research project that develops knowledge that canbe used to determine whether a trend is present or a new process will benefit society). Chapter 2 Projects and project management take place in an environment that is broader than that of the project itself. Understanding this broader context helps ensure that work is carried out in alignment with the goals of the enterprise and managed in accordance with the established practice methodologies of the organization. This chapter describes the basic structure of a project as well as other important high-level considerations including how projects impact ongoing operational work, the influence of stakeholders

beyond the immediate project team, and how organizational structure affects the way the project is staffed, managed, and executed. The following major sections are discussed: 2.1 The Project Life Cycle—Overview 2.2 Projects vs. Operational Work 2.3 Stakeholders 2.4 Organizational Influences on Project Management 2.1 The Project Life Cycle—Overview A project life cycle is a collection of generally sequential and sometimes overlapping project phases whose name and number are determined by the management and control needs of the organization or organizations involved in the project, the nature of the project itself, and its area of application. A life cycle can be documented with a methodology. The project life cycle can be determined or shaped by the unique aspects of the organization, industry or technology employed. While every project has a definite start and a definite end, the specific deliverables and activities that take place in between will vary widely with the project. The life cycle provides the basic framework for managing the project, regardless of the specific work involved. Projects vs. Operational Work Organizations perform work to achieve a set of objectives. In many organizations the work performed can be categorized as either