What is

Project - Explanation and definition of project

What is a project

A project is a temporary combination of a limited number of human and material resources coordinated and conducted under an organization, company or person who perform a series of activities interrelated and sequenced in time in order to achieve an objective that meets a specific need.

A project for example is the design and construction of all civil works like a bridge, a highway, a building or an airport, a project is the set of activities that includes the manufacture of any product or as the design and manufacture of a particular model of car, appliance, electronic device... likewise also it consider a project the conception and development of a service such as transport and logistics supply of a set of products and foods sold in a supermarket. In each of these examples we can see how a group of people and material resources gather in order to construct, manufacture or provide a service.

Throughout history have gathered efforts and resources of hundreds of people to develop different projects that have promoted technological change or a scientific breakthrough in a specific field, examples such as the Apollo 11 project whereby human walked on the moon for the first time, ARPANET project that allowed the development of the first computer communication networks being the origin of the current Internet, Human Genome project which researchers worldwide have deciphered the internal code that makes up our DNA which will allow us to diagnose, prevent and cure many diseases even before they develop in our body.

The project development is influenced by multiple factors that may impact the timing and achievement, factors such as human, technical, economic, environmental and legislative resources, each of these factors must be considered when starting a project to develop verify its viability and planning the correct development. For example the project of developing a transport to provide our planet Earth to other habitable worlds is a project unfeasible given the lack of technical knowledge to the development of this type of transport.

Stages of a project

Any project has a beginning and an end, the latter may be having reached the initial objective or similar and may be due for the cancellation of the project as a cause of a lack of financial, human, technical or other resources that do not feasible original project.

We can divide any project in 3 phases or stages:

  • Creative - at this stage the initial idea develops, so does the scope is defined and the technical and economic studies that prove the viability of the project is done after checking the viability the draft and its design is done by specifying the technical requirements of the project, the gifted budget, human and technical, material resources, scope... on the other side at this stage of project planning that encompasses all activities or tasks required to be performed are defined for transform the initial idea into physical goods and equipment or services.

  • Construction - at this stage develops, manufactures or physically build the project as defined in the previous creative stage, at this stage it is vital to make a comprehensive monitoring project planning in order to ensure the cost, time, viability and specified requirements.

  • Exploitation - Once the construction phase is end and depending on the type of project the good or service created may need a distribution that allows consume or use the product or service as well as a correct management and product recall, for example once It completed the construction of an office building usually a specific department or company is responsible for renting or selling offices created, also during the life of the building will be a maintenance that would ensure the correct operation of the facilities available in the building.

In each of these stages the figure of Project Manager is key to the successful development of the project.

Project Manager

As we have previously mentioned the development of a project is affected by many factors that may impact the viability, cost, time and quality of the project, likewise any project is comprised of a series of sequential activities which require manage, plan and monitor them.

Project Manager is the person who is responsible for ensuring the proper functioning and development of the project, in order to ensure it viability, cost, time and quality, for which the Project Manager must be a person possessing leadership qualities, communication, motivation, negotiation, problem solving, persuasiveness, organization, technical direction and correct decision making in situations and difficulties that may arise throughout all phases of the development, construction and operation of the project.

We can summarize that the figure of Project Manager directs and manages the project with the main aim to secure and / or improve the budget, time, quality and viability.

Managing a project is to set strategies and goals, make decisions, instruct, coordinate people, leading groups and make commitments and responsibilities.

Managing a project is to define tasks, provide human and material needs, organize the available means, schedule jobs, allocate resources, implement and transmit orders received, monitor compliance and take corrective action.

Project Planning

Any project consists of a series of activities carried out or performed in parallel or sequentially, for the proper development of it is necessary to analyze and manage each of these activities in order to schedule them so that to ensure the time, cost, quality and viability.

Project planning is the tool by which the Project Manager can lead and manage, planning is the cornerstone of the project, without planning would not know the resources we need and the activities that we have to develop at any time, without planning We could not take the necessary actions that redirect the proper development of the project, without planning would have a high rate of probability of project failure.

For proper analysis and optimal sequencing of all activities comprising a project has developed various techniques and tools that enable the generation of solid planning being the basis for project management.

Currently there are various techniques and tools that enable a proper analysis, optimization and planning projects, such as generating Gantt charts or bar charts, PERT and CPM charts or method of Critical Chain.

The development and implementation of these techniques in planning and project management has allowed greatly reduce the costs associated with the development of any project and improve its timeliness and quality.

With the development of computer systems today we have specific software project management which perform calculations algorithms specified in each of the above mentioned techniques within milliseconds, allowing available at all times the information necessary to do a correct management of any project.

Microsoft Project, Concerto, PRINCE2 or Planner are examples of software used for project management.

Now that you know what is a project, did you know that the development of the ITER project will have an associated cost of 16,000 million of euros?, the success of ITER will be the key for generating energy through nuclear fusion make this energy unlimited, cheap, clean and safe.

what is a project