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Projects as Groups of Processes

When we look at specific aspects of what makes a project efficient, it is typically the organization of activities into processes and the alignment of processes that form a project. When an organization at a tactical level has a directive to accomplish a specific objective, organizing work activities in the form of a project can sometimes produce various project structures. It is the specific organization of various processes that determines what type of project structure might be used to accomplish a particular objective. Some objectives might be straightforward, such as the development of a particular product that can be broken down into several smaller pieces, and might be well-defined as to the development of what activities are required to complete the objective. In other cases, an objective might be more elusive and cannot be well defined as to the specific steps required to accomplish the objective, requiring a different type of project structure.

This text introduces six models of project structure that can accommodate various types of project objectives. If the breakdown of work activities for a specific project can be well defined, this can be one type of project structure. Other objectives might have a well-defined final output objective, but these objectives cannot be broken down into subcomponents that can be well defined and therefore require a different project structure that can accommodate incremental or repetitive cycles of development. This text goes into the details of how various project structures can be developed to accommodate many types of project objectives.

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