Types of Projects

My previous article ‘What is a Project?’ attempted to give a response to this question using my experience and mainly PRINCE2 background. This article will expand further with details on the ‘Types of Projects’ using PRINCE2 as the main methodology of practice.

Scale of Project

Every project will go through the same basic project management lifecycle, but the degree of control, documentation and organisation required depends on the size and complexity of the project. Also, different scales of project require different levels of project management competence. A Project Management Framework Approach could classify projects into three types: small, medium and large.

This type of approach is summarised in the following table:

Scale Approach
Small project Focus on essential elements of project management
Medium project Consider all elements of project management and use those that are relevant to the project
Large project Comprehensive application of the PRINCE2 project management method


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Project Organisation

All projects require an organisational structure that clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved.

Small Projects

The minimum roles required for any project are:

  • Project Owner (also known as Executive): a single person responsible and accountable for ensuring the project remains focused on achieving its objectives in order to meet the needs of the users, and that the anticipated benefits can be achieved.
  • Project Manager: responsible for delivering the project on behalf of the Owner. The Project Manager leads and manages the project team and has the authority and responsibility to run the project on a day-to-day basis. They may be a specialist Project Manager or may come from the business area.
  • Project Team: those people who are working on the delivery of the project’s products. On small projects, this would probably include the Project Manager.
  • Stakeholders: individuals or groups who have an interest in the project. As the project progresses and the focus of work changes then the stakeholders may also change.


Medium Projects

A Project Board should be established for all medium projects. The Project Board is the decision-making authority for the project.

The Project Board should represent three areas of interest:

  • Executive: taking ultimate responsibility and accountability for the successful completion of the project.
  • Senior User: representing the end users of the products from the project.
  • Senior Supplier: representing those designing, facilitating, building, procuring and implementing the project’s products.

The Project Manager should consider the need for project support resources to administer the project. Tasks would include: managing the project documentation, as well as production and maintenance of project plans.


Large Projects

On large projects, further roles may need to be identified and the project team may be broken down into separate teams, each being responsible for the delivery of specific products or work packages.

Quality Assurance needs to be an integral part of the project; the more complex the project, the greater the importance that a specific person or group is given the role of checking that the project is being carried out effectively.





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