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Categories of Projects in a Company



Prof. Dr. Ulrich Anders

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 information flows.

  • 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 resources available.

  • 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.

© Prof. Dr. Ulrich Anders

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