Project Management – 1: What is a project?

This is a first post in a series where I will write down what I learned about project management.

It will contain general advices inspired by the PMI Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) but tailored to software projects as well with practical examples from waterfall, iterative and agile methodologies.

First of all What’s a project?

A project is defined as a temporary effort aimed to create a unique deliverable.

Temporary means that every project has a definite beginning and a definit end; i.e. the duration is finite.
Projects are not ongoing efforts, as operational word could be or some normal software maintenance work (e.g. routinely fixing bugs on a web sites) which are ongoing and repetitive and their objective is to sustain the business.
The objective of  a project is to attain its deliverable and then terminate.

A deliverable could be a quantifiable product (as a new mobile phone but also intended as a software feature or an update), a capability to perform a service (as a new business function, for example a customer service) or a result (as a document showing if a current trend is present or not).
Uniqueness is an importan attribute, even if some features in a web application have repetitive elements, the project work remain unique.

Finally, projects – because of the above characteristics – cannot be addressed within the organization’s normal operational work but need a strategic consideration.

Table of Contents

  1. What is a project? (this post)
  2. What is project management?
  3. Program Management and the PMO
  4. Project Life Cycles

5 thoughts on “Project Management – 1: What is a project?

  1. Pingback: PMI 6 – Projects in an organization « Look back in respect

  2. Pingback: PMI 5 – Project Stakeholders « Look back in respect

  3. Pingback: PM – 4: Project Life Cycles « Look back in respect

  4. Pingback: PM – 2: What is then project management? « Look back in respect

  5. Pingback: PM 3 – Program Management and the PMO « Look back in respect

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