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Managing projects is something most managers will find themselves doing at some point in their career. This free course, Preparing a project, aims to provide an overview of the features of a project and the issues that arise in managing a project.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- identify the main features of a project
- explain the importance of the key dimensions of budget, time and quality
- identify the links between a project's scope and definition and a sponsor's strategic and operational objectives
- agree the objectives of the project in sufficient detail to enable it to be planned effectively
- assess the feasibility of a project and to negotiate any necessary amendments with the sponsor to ensure that the goals can be achieved within the constraints of the project.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 What is a project?
- 2 Why projects fail – the dimensions of failure
- 3 Where do projects come from?
- 4 Project inputs and outputs
- 5 Setting aims and objectives
- 6 The stakeholders and their interests
- 7 Will it work?
- 8 A basis for action and the project brief
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Preparing a project
Many managers find that they are required to manage projects. In this unit we aim to help you to take an overview of the features of a project and the issues that arise in managing a project. Once you have identified a piece of work as a project, you are able to use a number of management approaches that have proven effective in managing projects. A project is a one-off, non-repeated activity or set of tasks that achieves clearly stated objectives within a time limit. Most projects are goal-oriented with clear beginnings, middles and ends, have constraints that limit and define the process, and outcomes that can be measured in terms of performance against agreed indicators. Other features of a project include the purpose, goals, resources, constraints and quality requirements.
All of the matters listed in the Learning outcomes below need to be considered before the detailed project brief or definition document can be drawn up. The project brief is an important document because it details the agreement that guides all the subsequent stages of a project.
Having completed your study of this unit, you should be able to prepare a project brief or definition document so that agreeement can be obtained with the project sponsor. This document will provide a blueprint for the planning phase of the project which you can study in OpenLearn unit Planning a Project.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of postgraduate study in
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Business Studies courses or view the range of currently available OU Business Studies courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 21st July 2011
Last updated on: Wednesday, 10th August 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
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