A rose by any other name…

Project identification is today’s topic – organizations (especially in IT departments) struggle with the subjectivity around what constitutes “project work”.  One person’s “simple service request” is another person’s stealth project.

From a purist perspective, one could apply PMI’s (or any of your favorite PM association’s) definition and focus on such criteria as a start & end date, uniqueness, consumption of resources and delivery of value.  However, based on that high-level definition, many minute activities could be considered projects and we obviously don’t want to go down that road…

Use of multiple criteria is a must – we’ve all worked in organizations where they purely identified projects based on cost or effort – it’s amazing how many non-project activities emerge that are JUST below the threshold (a slight segue – this is similar to the 99 cent phenomenon).

Here’s a few popular choices:

– Effort/Cost

– Duration

– Cross-functional involvement

– Degree of integration with other projects

– Degree of external (or internal) dependencies

– Risk profile

– Utilization of a specific critically bottlenecked resource

Whichever combination of criteria you choose to go with, make sure that EVERYONE that works on projects in your organization has a copy of the criteria and their thresholds printed out and stuck to their cubicle walls like those old HIPAA/PIPEDA (depending on what side of the border you are on) privacy posters…

Categories: Project Portfolio Management | Leave a comment

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