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Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme, 7th Edition by Robert K. Wysocki

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Chapter 1

What Is a Project?

Things are not always what they seem.

—Phaedrus, Roman writer and fabulist

CHAPTER LEARNING OBJECTIVES
After reading this chapter, you will be able to:
  • Express a business need in terms of a problem or opportunity
  • Understand how goals and solutions can be used to define project types
  • Define a project, program, and portfolio
  • Define a complex project
  • Understand the scope triangle
  • Envision the scope triangle as a system in balance
  • Prioritize the scope triangle for improved change management
  • Apply the scope triangle
  • Know the importance of classifying projects
  • Understand the project landscape and how it is applied

To put projects into perspective, you need a definition—a common starting point. All too often, people call any work they have to do a “project.” Projects actually have a very specific definition. If a set of tasks or work to be done does not meet the strict definition, then it cannot be called a project. To use the project management techniques presented in this book, you must first have a project.

Defining a Project

Projects arise out of unmet needs. Those needs might be to find a solution to a critical business problem that has evaded any prior attempts at finding a solution. Or those needs might be to take advantage of an untapped business opportunity. In either case, a sponsor or customer prepares a business case to advocate approval to pursue the appropriate project. The formal definition of that effort follows.

DEFINITION: PROJECT ...

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