How Does Defining a Project Relate to Project Planning

Many people think of "defining a project" as part of the project planning process, and they are correct. It is the first step. However, it is important to make the distinction for several reasons:

• Logistically, before you develop a detailed and complete project plan, you need to know the parameters and boundaries for the project.

• Politically, you need to know the key stakeholders are all in agreement with the project mission (project purpose, goals, objectives, and success criteria) before proceeding forward.

• Practically, the work to properly define a project is often not trivial. In fact, many process-focused and disciplined organizations handle "project definitions" as separate projects. Common examples include business case development projects, cost-benefit analysis projects, selection projects, and assessment projects.

As with all project management processes, the time and rigor invested should be consistent with the size and risk level of the project.

j As a general guideline, 20% of the total project duration should be invested in definition and planning activities.

• Historically, people have learned that detailed project planning and general project management are inefficient, and difficult at best, if project definition is not performed.

• Financially, effective execution of the project definition process enables the organization to leverage portfolio project management processes. This should allow the organization to better invest their limited resources into initiatives that offer the greatest return.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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