19 May, 2020

Project Definition: Three Big Questions about Your Project | Video

There’s more to Project Definition than just Goals, Objectives, Scope, Dependencies, and Constraints.

There are things we rarely talk about. In fact, there are three vital questions we rarely even ask ourselves. Yet they are as important to defining your project properly as the more common components of a project definition.

[And, if you don’t know what they are, I’ve put links to relevant videos below…]

PMI Talent Triangle - Technical Project Management

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This is learning, so, sit back and enjoy

Where are you in your Project at the moment?

This isn’t one of my three questions. But you are likely to be in one of three places:

  1. Near the beginning, where it’s easy to make big changes that can affect the future of your project.
  2. Deep into your project, where big changes are hard and even small ones feel risky.
  3. Near the end, where only the biggest changes can make a material difference. But these will take resources you no longer have.

Navigating your project will always be difficult.

But I have found three questions that help you understand the course to set, the route to take, and how to stay on course. And if you include the answers in your understanding of your project definition, you’ll be in a far stronger position.

Whom does your Project Serve?

We spend a lot of time asking about goals and objectives, and even purpose. But for me, this is the big question. To understand this is to touch the core of your project. But don’t settle for an easy list of stakeholders. And recognize you may not like the true answer.

What is it you should Fear Most?

Likewise, this is not about a simplistic risk assessment. Answer this in the context of your first question. What would constitute the kind of disaster that cannot be made right?

Which one Lever will give you the greatest Control?

As a Project Manager, you have many project controls you can use. There are many project reports you can gather, and many processes you can follow. But my experience is that if you focus most of your time on the right one, everything else falls into place. But it is different for each project.

More about Project Definition

First, some basic videos that answer the question,
‘What is…

  • Project Definition?
  • Primary Project Hierarchy?
  • Strategic Project Definition?
  • Project Goal?
  • Project Objectives?
  • The Project Manager’s Iron Triangle?
  • Project Scope?
  • Project Outcomes?
  • Business Blueprint?
  • Functional Specification?
  • RAID, CAD, and DCARI?
  • Assumptions Log?
  • External Dependencies in your Project?
  • Project Constraints?

You’ll find these all in the Project Definition course in our Free Academy of Project Management.

And for a video about how to Define Your Project:

For the complete Project Management Fundamentals course

For more great Project Management videos, please subscribe to the OnlinePMCourses YouTube channel.

If you want basic Management Courses – free training hosted on YouTube, with 2 new management lessons a week, check out our sister channel, Management Courses.

For more of our Project Management videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management.

For more of our videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management

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Mike Clayton

About the Author...

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.
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