Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Basics of a Project


A project is usually a one-time activity with a well-defined set of desired end results…complex enough that the subtasks required careful coordination and control in terms of timing, precedence, cost and performance.” [Project Management: A Managerial Approach, Jack R. Meredith and Samuel J. Mantel, Jr. 1995]

In 1999, Accenture defined a project as: “The assignment of resources to accomplish specific results (deliverables) with a well-defined schedule and budget.”

A project is usually defined as a cycle comprising of activities that are unique and in connection with each other and all leading to one goal having constraints to be fulfilled. The constraints are that the activities should be accomplished in specific time, within budget and according to the defined terms.

When we say that a project has unique activities, it depicts that these activities have never happened before in the project and will not happen again under the same specifications. These activities are complex and follow an order in which they should be completed. Connections form a sequence in a way that output from one activity serves as input to another activity.

Every project has a single goal to which all activities are heading to along with a defined completion time. In order to have a successful project, it has to be within the resource limits i-e within budget.

What is expected from a project is specified by the client and a certain level is setup for the functionality to be provided which forms the project requirements. Multiple projects make up a program which is larger in scope than a project.

Project Characteristics:

A project has a specific start and end date with specific objectives. It has a budget and produces specific deliverables. It has an owner or sponsor. A project can vary in complexity, duration and size and may only be a phase within a larger project.

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