Post 253 ⇒ by Gautam Shah →
A project is a unique endeavour undertaken to form a concept, create a product or render a service. Projects take diverse shapes, ethereal ideation or conceptualization, forming a strategy to actualize an idea, recollection of a happening, reproduction of an experience, a search for a match or fit, scaling an effort and detailing for an outward expression. A project is something distinctive from traditional, routine and ‘bureaucratic means’. A project must emerge out of circumstances, but aided by all kinds of debate and analysis and policy formulations. It always deals with fairly complex environment to address social, business and organizational issues.
Projects have finite amounts of Time, Money, People, and Resources, and conditioned by technology, legal, social and such obligations. A project is perceived as an exclusive entity, but with a fair chance of it being re-enacted.
Projects usually have a dual personality, technical, and procedural, but not exclusively one or the other. While managing a project situation what is unfamiliar and non routine, invariably necessitates all kinds of learning, adaptation, problem solving.
Projects have four interdependent parameters, Scope, Time, Cost and Quality. Projects are so Scope or extent dependent that an increase in size may delay a project, increase its cost, or compromise the quality. A Time dependent project when delayed impacts the benefits or losses out of it. With early or accelerated execution, extensive benefits could be derived. Cost generally determines the extent of a project in the early stage, but costs are extremely variable and can change the perception of extent. Quality parameters are likely to be the prime casualty, when conditions are abnormal and survival of an individual or the society is threatened, such as during war, natural calamities, catastrophes etc. Though best or most challenging projects planning methods have emerged in such acute conditions.
These interdependent parameters can make a project critical. As a planning and forecasting tool, projects are hypothetically made critical by ‘tweaking’ one or few parameters. A project in critical mode reveals its weak points or inferior sections. A project is considered as weak as its most inferior section, but the project achieves a strength equivalent to the average strengths of all its sections. Project management systems entail recognition of such dependencies as risks, and provide means for dealing with them.