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Glossary

Project Definition

Project Definition (Summary)

The project definition is a central component of project management, which sets the framework and objectives of a project. It serves as the basis for planning, controlling, and managing projects and helps to meet the expectations and requirements of stakeholders. An effective project definition includes setting goals, defining work packages, identifying risks, and involving resources. A good project definition is essential to ensure successful project management and ultimately the success of the project.

Project Definition (Detail)

The project definition is a crucial part of project management and forms the basis for a successful project. It is a detailed description of the project, covering all relevant aspects such as objectives, scope, milestones, risks, and resources. The project definition helps to ensure project success by providing clear guidance for all participants.

Objectives

  • A central element of the project definition is the establishment of project objectives. These are the desired results or changes to be achieved through the project. The objectives should be defined using the SMART principle, meaning: specific, measurable, accepted, realistic, and time-bound. It is important to consider both qualitative and quantitative goals.

Scope

  • The project scope describes the boundaries of the project, i.e., what exactly is included in the project and what is not. This includes the definition of work packages, which are represented in the project schedule. The scope should be clearly and understandably formulated to avoid misunderstandings and later changes, known as scope creeps.

Stakeholders

  • The identification and analysis of stakeholders is another important part of the project definition. Stakeholders are all individuals and organizations that are directly or indirectly affected by the project or have influence over it. These include, for example, clients, customers, employees, suppliers, or legal institutions. The expectations and requirements of the stakeholders should be considered in the project definition to ensure their acceptance and support.

Milestones

  • Milestones are significant events or interim results in the course of the project, which serve as control points. The milestones and their respective dates should be defined in the project definition. They enable better planning and monitoring of the project and can be helpful in communication with stakeholders.

Risks

  • Possible risks should be identified and analyzed as part of the project definition. Risks are potential events or conditions that can negatively impact project success. The analysis of risks helps to develop countermeasures and better manage the project.

Resources

  • The inclusion of resources is also an important aspect of the project definition. This includes both human and material resources needed for the execution of the project. The availability and demand for resources should be clarified and planned in advance to avoid bottlenecks and delays.

Organizational Structure

  • The organizational structure of the project should be defined in the project definition. This includes the definition of roles and responsibilities of the project participants, communication and decision-making pathways, and reporting. A clear organizational structure contributes to efficient project management and facilitates collaboration among project members.

Completion Criteria

  • Another component of the project definition are the completion criteria, which determine when the project is considered successfully completed. These criteria can refer to the achievement of project objectives, compliance with budget and time specifications, or the satisfaction of stakeholders. The completion criteria should be objective and verifiable to enable a clear assessment of project success.

Conclusion

The project definition is a central element in project management and forms the basis for a successful project. A well-thought-out and structured project definition contributes to effectively planning, managing, and controlling the project. It creates clarity and orientation for all participants and helps to meet the expectations and requirements of stakeholders. A good project definition is thus crucial for the success of the project and should be appropriately considered in every project management process.