The Importance of Classifying Projects

There are many ways to classify a project such as:

  • By size (cost, duration, team, business value, number of departments affected, and so on)
  • By type (new, maintenance, upgrade, strategic, tactical, operational)
  • By application (software development, new product development, equipment installation, and so on)
  • By complexity and uncertainty (see Chapter 2)

Projects are unique and to some extent so is the best-fit model to manage them. Part II of the book is devoted to exploring five best-fit models and when to use them. For now it is sufficient to understand that a one-size-fits-all approach to project management doesn't work and has never worked. It is far more effective to group projects based on their similarities and to use a project management approach designed specifically for each project type. That is the topic of this section.

Establishing a Rule for Classifying Projects

For the purposes of this chapter, two different rules are defined here. The first is based on the characteristics of the project, and the second is based on the type of project. Chapter 2 defines a third rule, which is based on the clarity and completeness of the goal and the solution.

Classification by Project Characteristics

Many organizations choose to define a classification of projects based on such project characteristics as the following:

  • Risk — Establish levels of risk (high, medium, and low).
  • Business value — Establish levels (high, medium, and low).
  • Length ...

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