What is a Project? A Simple Question with a Very Difficult Answer
- Mass production of, say, canned soup is not a project, since while it has a defined start it does not have a defined end. Also, thousands of cans can’t be considered a unique product since all of them are identical.
These examples unfortunately do not reflect the complexities that are usually encountered when deploying project management at various organizations. I remember a consulting engagement when we were working together with a focus group of the employees at a large government organization. One of the tasks on our agenda was to determine what would be considered a project by the company standards and thus require the application of the project management methodology. The following conversation took place between one of the employees and me:
Another issue that is very frequently brought up is the size of the threshold. Put it too high and the company will end up with too few projects that will require project management methodology. Put it too low and you will discover that you need to hire between 30 and 50 professional project managers!
The way to address these questions is to involve the executives into the discussion and to work closely with the employees of the organization in order to find the optimal solution.
About the Author:
Jamal Moustafaev, MBA, PMP – president and founder of Thinktank Consulting is an internationally acclaimed expert and speaker in the areas of project/portfolio management, scope definition, process improvement and corporate training. Jamal Moustafaev has done work for private-sector companies and government organizations in Canada, US, Asia, Europe and Middle East. Read Jamal’s Blog @ www.thinktankconsulting.ca If you have a Twitter account, please follow Jamal there: https://twitter.com/ThinktankConsul
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