An incredibly diverse range of projects are taking place around the world at any point in time. From intergalactic expeditions and urban regenerations, to sporting competitions and domestic DIY, the range in purpose and specific content is amazing.
And yet within all this astounding diversity, I think that all projects are fundamentally the same. And I think that we can all become better project managers if we recognise this.
All projects are unique human endeavours consisting of:
• a set of co-ordinated and controlled activities
• with start and finish dates
• undertaken to achieve an objective conforming to specific requirements
• and executed within specific constraints - economic, physical, regulatory, human resources, materials, equipment…
A universal truth about projects is that success, such as winning a major sporting event, does not happen by accident. The German national football team is not lucky – their national football authority is good at project delivery.
The German 2014 World Cup winning team
If you want to increase your chance of project success...
I propose that you should use this definition of project as a simple 4-point checklist for every project that you undertake:
1. What the specific requirements of the project are
2. When the project begins and ends
3. The constraints that will affect your ability to successfully deliver the project
4. The set of co-ordinated and controlled activities that will be used to undertake the project