2 Exploring the environment of a project

Every project or development activity operates within a context of internal and external influences.

Most interactions with a project or development activity take place within the internal environment. Internal factors are generally within your control, and can be altered to suit the needs/influences coming from the external environment.

Factors in the external environment around a project are generally outside of your direct control.

Activity 2

Timing: Allow around 10 minutes for this activity

Below is a list of factors that could affect a project. Imagine this is your own project and, for each factor, indicate whether you think it is internal (something you can control or manage), or if it is more likely to be external (something outside of your influence).

a. Society, culture and politics

a. 

Internal


b. 

External


The correct answer is b.

b. Pricing

a. 

Internal


b. 

External


The correct answer is a.

c. Knowledge (of team members)

a. 

Internal


b. 

External


The correct answer is a.

d. Competitor activity

a. 

Internal


b. 

External


The correct answer is b.

e. Value for money

a. 

Internal


b. 

External


The correct answer is a.

f. Economic climate

a. 

Internal


b. 

External


The correct answer is b.

g. Legislation

a. 

Internal


b. 

External


The correct answer is b.

h. Product quality

a. 

Internal


b. 

External


The correct answer is a.

i. Technology

a. 

Internal


b. 

External


The correct answer is b.

j. People and skills (team members)

a. 

Internal


b. 

External


The correct answer is a.

k. Reputation

a. 

Internal


b. 

External


The correct answer is a.

Discussion

If you got more than three or four wrong, you might want to come back to this activity and try it again later. It might be helpful to think of the words ‘Change in …’ before each term, so that you can ask yourself if this is something you could have direct influence over.

1 When to use a SWOT analysis

3 The four components of SWOT analysis