Projects are how we do new things. This makes them different than operational work - which is the day-to-day running of the business. Other characteristics of a project include:
- Projects are temporary endeavors.
- All projects are unique. They may be similar to prior projects but they are unique in terms of timeframes, resources, business environment, etc.
- Projects result in the creation of one or more deliverables.
- Projects have assigned resources - either full-time, part-time or both. This is reflected in a true budget or an implicit budget based on allocated resources.
- Projects have a defined scope of work.
Projects can be one hour, 100 hours or 10,000 hours (or more). However, the level of project management varies according to the size of the project. For a ten-hour project, you 'just do it'. Any planning, analysis and design is all done in your head. A 100 hour project probably has too much work to plan and manage all in your head. For instance, you need to start defining the work and building a simple schedule. A 10,000 hour project needs full project management discipline.
We categorize projects into sizes of small, medium and large. We use effort hours as the key criteria for sizing projects. This seems to be a true factor that differentiates the level of complexity. The basic scale we use is as follows.
- Small project - less than 250 effort hours
- Medium project - between 251 and 2500 effort hours
- Large project - over 2500 effort hours
In your company, the effort hours for categorizing projects may be different. However, in general, smaller projects need less rigor and structure. Larger projects need more structure., by Thomas Mochal