Defining Projects and Programs

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Location:  PMKI > Organizations & Governance > Defining Projects and Programs. 
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This subject focuses on defining the different types of project and program, and developing a definition of precisely what projects and programs are.

Topics included in Defining Projects and Programs:

- Project Definition and Typology
- Program Definition and Typology
- Useful External Web-links & Resources.


Other related sections of the PMKI:

- Vocabulary & Lexicons
 

 


Project Definition and Typology

Project Definition

Project TypologyDefining the nature of a project and its parameters.The definition of a project used by almost every authority is an inclusive definition ie; 'a project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result' PMBOK(R) Guide. This definition can apply equally well to genuine projects, other endeavours (Paul C. Dinsmore 'Everything in business is a project or project-related') and to processes that are definitely not projects. Before the true value of projects to an enterprise can be properly assessed and the responsibilities of a Project Manager identified, the definition of "projects" must be tightened so that endeavours that are not projects are excluded as effectively as endeavours that are projects are included.

Under the enhanced definition proposed in this section, a project can only exist if its stakeholder community agrees. The outcome to be expected from bringing the stakeholder community directly into the project management processes, is to ensure more projects deliver to their full potential to the benefit of their host organizations and the community.

PP: Project Fact or Fiction. Constructing an unambiguous definition the definition of the terms 'project', 'project manager', and 'project management': Project: A temporary organisation established to accomplish an objective, under the leadership of a person (or people) nominated to fulfil the role of project manager. And the reasons why this is important.

Art: De-Projectising IT Maintenance. Not everything needs to be a project – by de-projectizing maintenance work major improvements in delivery are possible.

 

Project Typology

Defining the different characteristics, types, and sizes of project and their effect on the skills needed to manage them effectively.

WP: Project Size and Categorization. There are four basic dimensions to every project that affect its management: size, difficulty, uncertainty and complexity.

Blg: Differentiating normal, complex and megaprojects. A look at the additional layers of competency needed to manage complex projects and megaprojects and a suggested framework for classifying these different types of project.

 

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Program Definition and Typology

Program Definition

Defining the nature of a program and its parameters. A program is defined as a group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits and control not available when managing them individually.
Note: The English and ISO spelling of programme and the more common spelling program refer to the same type of entity.

WP: Program Management. Program management focuses on the coordination of a number of related projects over time to deliver benefits that would not be available if the projects were managed separately.

 

Program Typology

Defining the different characteristics and types of program and their effect on the skills needed to manage them effectively.

WP: Defining Program Types. This White Paper defines the different types of programs based on the GAPPS Program Types.
Download the GAPPS Program Typology.

Blg: Differentiating normal, complex and megaprojects. A look at the additional layers of competency needed to manage complex projects and megaprojects and a suggested framework for classifying these different types of project.

   

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Useful External Web-links & Resources

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