"A problem is a difference between things as desired and things as perceived."
Gerald Weinberg

Project Definition sets the foundation for the effective management of a successful project. A project definition is an informal contract among the project stakeholders which defines the purpose and boundaries of a given effort, determines what constitutes a meaningful and effective solution, improves communication and coordination of all stakeholders and minimizes risk.

When properly constructed and used, a project definition minimizes project failures from the following causes:

  • Resistant users
  • Lost Sponsorship
  • Ill defined scope
  • Project Managers not understanding users’ needs
  • Not enough solid business support

Course Outcomes:
In this course each element of a project definition is defined and analyzed. Students will learn to recognize stakeholders, use focus statements to remove irrelevant activities from a project, and state project intentions as expected business results. They will discover the values that govern decisions and learn how to prioritize them when trade-offs need to be made. The identification and documentation of issues, assumptions, risks, constraints and other critical project considerations is also discussed.

Students of Advanced Strategies' Project Definition course will return to work understanding:

  1. How to construct a project definition that garners stakeholder commitment.
  2. How to use a project definition to drive towards success.
  3. How to evaluate a project’s level of success

Course Outline:
Overview of Project Definition
  • Why Projects Fail
  • The Role of Project Definition
  • Characteristics of a Project
  • What is an Objective?
  • Aspects of the Project Vehicle
  • Process of Establishing a Project
Project Definition - A Minimal Version
  • What is a Project Definition?
  • Overview of the Elements of a Project Definition
  • Change
  • Alternatives to Change
Project Definition - A Basic Version
  • Aspects of A Project Definition
  • Five Premises of How You Wish to Work
  • Project Definition Elements
  • A Path to a Solution
Implications of Project Definition
  • Benefits of Having a Project Definition
  • Costs of Having a Project Definition
  • Obstacles in Obtaining a Project Definition
Project Definition - A Detailed Version
  • Intentions
  • Values
  • Focus
  • Context
  • Stakeholders
Stakeholders and Intentions
  • Categories of Stakeholders
  • Identifying Stakeholders
  • Expressing Intentions in Business Terms
  • Who are Your Customers?
  • Measurements of Success
Focus Statement SM
  • Breadth
  • Perspectives
  • Depth
  • Scope of Integration
  • Issues
  • Latitudes
  • Uncertainties
  • Understandings
Project Definition Uses
  • Securing the Go-ahead
  • Differences Between a Statement of Work and a Project Definition
  • Ensuring Success

Who Should Attend:
This course is targeted for anyone leading, sponsoring or working on a project team.

Course Duration:
Two Days

Class Availability: Request It Now!

Materials Provided:
Student Workbook including Sample Project Definitions and Refresher Card

The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.


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