These are a set of questions that people have asked, mainly about applying the project management approach to their normal work situation. We have tried to give what we feel are "best practice" answers but cannot pretend that the answers are definitive.
- When should something be called a project?
- What is a Project Manager?
- Do all projects need single project manager?
- Have you any tips for a project manager?
- What should I do if I become project manager of a project that someone else has already started and left?
- What about computer software for project management?
- What is a Project Sponsor?
- Do all projects need a project sponsor?
- Have you any tips for a Project Sponsor?
- What is PRINCE2?
- What is the Gateway Process?
When should something be called a project?
The standard definition of a project is a discrete piece of work producing desired benefits at specified costs. In other words a clear task to deliver specified outputs within specified resources/costs.
However that could cover a number of tasks that really don't warrant the term project.
We prefer to be more flexible about the use of the term. The real question for us is does the task warrant the term project? If it fits the above definition and also if some of the following apply then it probably does:
- An event which is critical to the organisation.
- Where it is a unique (or occasionally recurring) event
- Where a number of people are involved and their work will need to be coordinated
- Where there is a complex set of activities which need sequencing.
Must I call all tasks a project?
No! In fact that may be counter productive. In our experience, if an organisation calls all tasks a project then that devalues the term project and introduces unnecessary bureaucracy to simple tasks.
Having said that, the techniques and approaches we have described are useful in carrying out all types of work and tasks. If the techniques help then use them - if they don't help then ignore them.