18 May 2011

Projects are not Programs

[Start at the beginning]
In the previous post you saw the natural flow of requirements definition to project scope definition.  The natural flow on from this idea is that the work required is naturally defined by requirements definition.  And that logically budgets and schedules should be able to be derived from requirements definitions.

I believe that this is true.  However there are some caveats.

THe first caveat is that many projects are actually multiple projects in disguise.  Remember that a project is an endeavor to create a unique product or service.  If you have multiple products being constructed within the one project framework then you are really running a program.  We'll deal with that another day.  Today I just want to share with you that despite what your local project management framework says, more than one product or service = program.

And that goes for the combined projects of building a software product and rolling out a business process change.  These are two distinct and discreet projects.  There may be dependencies, but they are two separate bodies of work with two different sets of measurable outcomes.

More caveats tomorrow.

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