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An Accurate Definition of a Project in Project Management
By The Office of Government Commerce – OGC, UK

A project is a unique set of co-ordinated activities, with definite starting and finishing points, undertaken by an individual or team to meet specific objectives within defined time, cost and performance parameters as specified in the business case. It should have the following characteristics:

  • a finite and defined lifespan
  • defined and measurable business products (that is, deliverables and/or outcomes to meet specific business objectives)
  • a corresponding set of activities to achieve the business products
  • a defined amount of resources
  • an organisation structure, with defined responsibilities, to manage the project.

Projects should contribute to business objectives; typically their funding is identified as part of business planning. They may be part of an overall programme of business change.

Successful delivery toolkit, the Office of Government Commerce – © Crown Copyright 2009

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