A project is an activity, limited in time and resources, to create something. It is distinguished by its one-off nature of a program or process. A project is usually carried out in collaboration with different people and organizations. The project is usually laid down in a project plan and arranged by project management.
The term project can be defined in different ways:
- An enterprise in which the deployment of people, material and financial resources has been reorganized with the aim of completing a certain amount of work or a specific assignment, limited by time or money, and which leads to a change that is favorable in terms of quality or quantity.
- A project is a temporary management environment created with the aim of delivering one or more business products for a specific business case.
- A project is a unique assignment, limited in time and resources and concluded with a project result.
- A project is a temporary effort with the aim of creating a unique product or service.
- A project is a set of activities to achieve a predefined result in a temporary organization within set conditions.
A project is led by a project manager (also known as a project manager). People and materials are often made available by various organizational units.
There are several project management methods in use for project control. An example of this is the PRINCE2 mentioned above or, specifically for a construction project, the GOTIK method.
- Duration: A project is therefore temporary. The duration of a project can vary from a number of weeks to a number of years, but it will never run indefinitely. A project always has an end date. It is possible, however, that the end date cannot yet be determined during the initial planning of a project, due to uncertainties about the duration of a number of intermediate steps. Even if the end date of a project is not immediately fixed in time, the final phase is a very concrete fact in the project.
- Resources: Working out a project requires effort. Within a project one does not speak of efforts but of resources. Resources are all resources that are deployed within the project. These can be human efforts as well as materials. Both forms of resources involve a certain cost price and thus determine the total cost of the project. Within a project, the aim is to record and estimate the resources to be deployed at the start of the project.
- Product / result: On the end date, the project must result in a final product. This means that a project is set up to develop a new item or service. The serial and routine production of products is therefore not within the goals of a project.
- Management: A project also requires a specific management environment. Within that unique framework, the project can be written out completely and the budgets for the various resources and deadlines can be monitored during the course of the project.
In general, a project is divided into a preliminary investigation, a start-up, a realization and a final phase. After the project has been realized, the evaluation phase is also carried out.
Prince 2 has at least 2 project phases: an initiation phase and one or more implementation phases. Which process stages are used depends on the Industry, type and size of the project. Often, standardized process steps are used. This is discussed in detail in PRINCE2, a project management method for a project in a controlled project environment. Below is a summary of a possible number of project phases. This list is purely illustrative.
Starting up a project
The quality and its assessment are recorded in the Quality Plan. Sub-project plans indicate when, what and by whom business is done. The risks are considered. The feasibility and wishes are further elaborated in the Business case. Project management states how the project is managed. The Project File is created with a log and learning points. The entire project is recorded in a Project Initiation Document and submitted to the steering committee for approval.
When all this is ready and approved, the next phase can be started.
The quality and its assessment are recorded in the Quality Plan.
Sub-project plans indicate when, what and by whom business is done.
The risks are considered.
The feasibility and wishes are further elaborated in the Business case.
Project management states how the project is managed.
The Project File is created with a log and learning points.
The entire project is recorded in a Project Initiation Document and submitted to the steering committee for approval.
The realization / implementation
Phase by phase is completed with a planning per phase, the issue of work packages, the monitoring of the progress and the quality, the updating of the business case and the assessment of the risks. For each phase, it is also decided on the basis of the business case whether to continue or to stop.
Product description is being made. Project members sometimes brainstorm, sometimes a prototype of the product is made and a design is made.
The products must be delivered
The delivered products must be tested and accepted by the user organization.
Possibly train users
implementation, commissioning of the products by users.
conversion, transition from the old situation to the new situation.
In the context of the assurance, a management organization must be present or set up.
Project files are closed and transferred to the management organization.
Still outstanding project issues are transferred to the management organization.
A final evaluation is held.
Dates for a post project review are recorded.
A project end report is drawn up and handed over to the Project Board
The project organization is dissolved, and the project employees and the project leader are thanked.