1- I N I T I A T I N G
2 - P L A N N I N G
3 - E X E C U T I N G
4 - C O N T R O L L I N G

1.1 Why a project?

Why a project? Need to Change – Problem, Opportunity, Regulation

To survive and succeed organizations need to balance two parallel, competing imperatives.

Imperative number one is to maintain its current business operations. After all, it is from here where the money comes from. It is selling the existing products and services to current customers that the organization obtains the money it needs to continue in business.

However, in a competitive environment, continue selling the same products to the same customers and producing those products always in the same way is not sustainable. Competitors will outcompete us if we do not improve.

So, the other imperative is to permanently transform business operations improving value creation capabilities to stay in business in the long term.

How do we do that? Well, projects are classical means by which we create the artifacts and conditions that produce the necessary changes.

  • Changes needed to solve existing or upcoming problems, such as improve production methods, reduce costs, improve the quality of a service,
  • Changes are also needed to exploit opportunities and grow, such as conquer a new territorial market, or a different market segment.
  • Finally, changes might also be needed simply because there are new regulations that we must comply with, whether we like them or not, for instance a new regulation for the workforce or an environmental regulation.

Whatever the trigger for the need to change is, to move an organisation from a current state to a future state we will need new processes, new capabilities, new services, new products or even things like new attitudes, believes and behaviors.

And so, to create those unique business items we set off temporary organizations called “projects”. Temporary because once the desired business item has been delivered, that particular project is over and project participants can move to other work.

The justification to undertake a project is normally put together in a Business Case, which is a document that gathers the information needed by management to judge if a project is desirable, viable and achievable, and therefore worthwhile to invest in.

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