People use the term "project" loosely. Someone may say, "I need to finish my filing project today." But what is a project and what's the difference between creating products, services, and results?
A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a product, service, or result. —PMBOK
Projects are temporary. Projects have a beginning and an end. In contrast, teams perform operational tasks on a daily basis. Team members scan documents, handle customer calls, and pay invoices.
Another important attribute of projects is they produce something that is unique. The output may be a unique:
Now, let's define these terms.
"Project. A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. —PMBOK
The PMBOK defines a product as, "an artifact that is produced, is quantifiable, and can be either an end item in itself or a component item." Here are some examples:
Some projects involve modifying something that already exists. For example, a project team may modify an existing accounts receivable software package. Or a project team may modify or add to an existing building.
A service is intangible. Services include items such as customer service, claims service, utility service, audits, and employee assistance programs, to name a few. How can project management be used to develop and implement a service?
Imagine a company that wants to develop and implement a centralized customer service center (CSC). The tasks for this project might include:
A result may be an outcome or document. A manager may be concerned with employee turnover and wish to document all the business processes. Trainers could use the business process document for training new employees, resulting in a more uniform experience for customers.
If your company does not use project management, develop an implementation plan. Here are some beginner tips:
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