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The Purposes and Methods of Practical Project Categorization – Part VI – Multi-dimensional Classification of Projects (#6 in the series The Purposes and Methods of Practical Project Categorization)
By Dr.Russell Archibald

Within each agreed category and sub-category, the system must allow practitioners to classify their projects according to the attributes that are most useful to the purpose at hand. This further classification could be a sort of multi-dimensional screen that identifies all of the projects that fit a particular set of attributes within a specific category. (Source: Archibald 2004, p 4 – A Global System for Categorizing Projects)

An example of the application of a categorization method based primarily on the project end results is shown in Figure 9.

Project Categories:
Each having similar life span phases and a unique project management process
Examples
1. Aerospace/Defense Projects
1.1  Defense systems New weapon system; major system upgrade.
1.2 Space Satellite development/launch; space station mod.
1.3 Military operations Task force invasion
2. Business & Organization Change Projects
2.1 Acquisition/Merger Acquire and integrate competing company.
2.2 Management process improvement Major improvement in project management.
2.3 New business venture Form and launch new company.
2.4 Organization re-structuring Consolidate divisions and downsize company.
2.5 Legal proceeding Major litigation case.
3. Communication Systems Projects
3.1 Network communications systems Microwave communications network.
3.2 Switching communications systems. 3rd generation wireless communication system
4. Event Projects
4.1 International events 2004 Summer Olympics; 2006 World Cup Match.
4.2 National events 2005 U. S. Super Bowl; 2004 Political Conventions.
5. Facilities Projects
5.1 Facility decommissioning Closure of nuclear power station.
5.2 Facility demolition Demolition of high-rise building.
5.3 Facility maintenance and modification Process plant maintenance turnaround.
5.4 Facility design/procurement/construction Conversion of plant for new products/markets
  Civil Flood control dam; highway interchange.
  Energy New gas-fired power generation plant; pipeline.
  Environmental Chemical waste cleanup.
  High rise 40 story office building.
  Industrial New manufacturing plant.
  Commercial New shopping center; office building.
  Residential New housing sub-division.
  Ships New tanker, container, or passenger ship
6. Information Systems (Software) Projects
    New project management information system. (Information system
hardware is considered to be in the product development category.)
7. International Development
Projects
7.1 Agriculture/rural development People and process intensive projects in developing
countries funded by The World Bank, regional development banks, US AID, UNIDO,
other UN, and government agencies; and
7.2 Education
7.3 Health
7.4 Nutrition
7.5 Population
7.6 Small-scale enterprise Capital/civil works intensive projects-often somewhat
different from 5. Facility Projects as they may include, as part of the project,
creating an organizational entity to operate and maintain the facility, and lending
agencies impose their project life span and reporting requirements.
7.7 Infrastructure: energy (oil, gas, coal, power generation and
distribution), industrial, telecommunications, transportation, urbanization, water
supply and sewage, irrigation)
8. Media & Entertainment Projects
8.1 Motion picture New motion picture (film or digital).
8.2 TV segment New TV episode.
8.3 Live play or music event New opera premiere.
9. Product and Service Development
Projects
9.1 Information technology hardware New desktop computer.
9.2 Industrial product/process New earth-moving machine.
9.3 Consumer product/process New automobile, new food product.
9.4 Pharmaceutical product/process New cholesterol-lowering drug.
9.5 Service (financial, other) New life insurance/annuity offering.
10. Research and Development Projects
10.1 Environmental Measure changes in the ozone layer.
10.2  Industrial How to reduce pollutant emission.
10.3 Economic development Determine best crop for sub-Sahara Africa.
10.4 Medical Test new treatment for breast cancer.
10.5 Scientific Determine the possibility of life on Mars.
11. Other Categories?

Figure 9: Recommended project categories/sub-categories, with each category (or subcategory) having similar project life span phases and one unique process management process [Archibald 2003, Fig. 2.3, p35].

Dr. Russell D. Archibald, PhD (Hon), MSc, Fellow PMI and APM/IPMA, PMP, is one of the six founding members of the Project Management Institute. Now semi-retired, he has many years of management experience in engineering and operations with a variety of major US corporations in Europe and South America as well as the US. He has made major contributions to the understanding of project management, is author of the best selling 2003 book “Managing High-Technology Programs and Projects” (published also in Russian, Chinese, and Italian), has trained more than a thousand program and project managers and project specialists around the world, and has consulted in project management to clients in 14 countries on 4 continents. E-mail: russell_archibald@yahoo.com. Website: www.russarchibald.com.

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