I’ve been reading the latest guidance on PRINCE2 (2009) and was interested to see how they define a Project:
“A project is a temporary organization [sic] that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to an agreed Business Case“.
They contrast this with a Programme which is “a temporary organization structure created to coordinate, direct and oversee the implementation of a set of related projects and activities in order to deliver outcomes and benefits relating to an organization’s strategic objectives. A programme may have a life that spans several years“.
So, at first glance, a project delivers “products” whereas a programme delivers “outcomes and benefits”. When you explore further you discover that a PRINCE2 project has six performance targets:
So, projects do indeed have to achieve some benefits – that’s a relief!
I still prefer our definition of a project: “A Project is a temporary organisation that is created to deliver specific benefits, at a defined point in time, with agreed resources“.
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