Define Project

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Topic 1: Define project

What is a project?

A project is the defined set of planned and managed activities carried out for a period of time — with a defined start and end date. A project is designed to yield a set of products or services as agreed with the project clients and stakeholders. It has a lifecycle which is the process by which the project is undertaken.

Five features that differentiate projects from ordinary work are that they:

• have defined beginning and end dates

• have a unique purpose with specific objectives that meet the client goals and requirements within specified quality and performance criteria

• use resources, such as money, time, people and equipment that have been allocated to the project

• usually follow a planned and structured approach to meet their objectives

• have a primary sponsor or stakeholder who provides direction and funding.

Projects can be simple and easily handled by one person or large and complex projects requiring many resources and the specialised skills of a dedicated project manager and team.

What is project management?

Project management is about striving to meet specific time, cost, quality and resource objectives. At the same time it must facilitate the entire process so as to meet the needs and expectations of all people affected by project activities.

Project management is about making change through the use of techniques, tools and resources that manage change throughout the life of the project.

Project management involves the project manager and team applying knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to achieve the requirements of the project. It is a continuous process utilising planning, organising, monitoring and controlling in all aspects of the project to achieve external and internal objectives. It also encompasses the closure and evaluation of the project. Managing a project includes: ▪ identifying the requirements of the project

▪ establishing clear and achievable objectives
▪ balancing demands for quality, scope, time and cost
▪ adapting the specifications, plans and approach to meet the different concerns and expectations of the stakeholders ▪ closing and evaluating the project
Below is an overview of the aspects of a project that need to be determined and developed. |What to determine |What this involves | |Project scope |Identify and plan the objectives, desired outcomes, limitations and budget. | |Timeline |Determine the time within which the project is to be completed—involves | | |planning, estimating, scheduling and controlling. A schedule for the life of | | |the project is developed. | |Costs |Determine the costs associated with successful projection completion. This | | |involves cost estimation and forecasting, cost budgeting, cost control and cost| | |applications. A budget is developed. | |Quality processes, systems and outcomes |Construct a quality management plan. | |Human resources |Human resources are required for project tasks, eg for organising resources, | | |managing staff performance and leading the project team, etc. A human resource | | |management plan is developed. | |Communications processes |Ensure all parties with an...
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