In one word, projects are change. Projects change an existing situation into a
new situation. In the technical world this is called State-Action-State and
this concept is widely applied. The concept of State-Action-State is also
useful to understand the categories of projects in a company.
In a company, there are only 5 categories of projects and each project falls
into one or more categories dependent on what it changes. These categories are
Change in Organization: Projects in this category intend to introduce
structural changes in the organization. These can be re-organization, change
of responsibilities, mergers of areas, or new the introduction of new forms of
organization, e.g. a change from hierarchical to an agile organization.
Change in Process: These are projects that aim to change existing processes.
The objective is to make the process more efficient, less error prone, more
comfortable, faster or generating a higher quality output. Projects in this
category deal for instance with improved data processes, the introduction of
new software or hardware, AI, machines or better organizational procedures or
Change in Products: Every product has a life cycle and at some point it will
reach the end of its life. Projects in this category deal with the renewal,
improvement and replacement of existing products or with a new product
development. A product can be a product for an (external) end customer, but
also a product for an (internal) customer such as another department.
Change in Resources: Every company needs resources to generate products.
Resources are scarce and valuable for a company. For that reason a company
should make best use of its resources. Therefore, there exist projects that
aim to better maintain, effectively improve, or more efficiently use the
Change in Assets: If a company operates successfully it not only generates
products but also assets. The easiest to understand asset is cash, but there
are many more assets, such as buildings or factories, patents, a brand value
or the customer base. Assets are valuable and, thus, there are projects that
help to maintain, improve, or develop such assets. Some of the assets are then
also becoming resources that are fed back into more successful operations.