What is a Project?

A project is:

  • A team of people, working on an assignment,
  • coming from different disciplines, companies and cultures,
  • having different interests and goals (personal, company)
  • working for a client who defined the project goals,?
  • but who often did not define the (whole) scope,
  • on a task, with limited resources, within a specific a time frame,?
  • always with a limited budget,
  • in a world that is becoming more and more complex,
  • for a client, being more and more critical, about quality and performance;?
  • and??.taking more and more, sustainability into account.

Maybe it sounds strange, this short description, a little cynical?
It is not based on scientific research, but if you read the literature of the Design and Construction Management course, you will notice that all ingredients of the above description are discussed.
Projects are becoming more and more complex and managing these projects can be extremely challenging. The news is full of projects that fail to deliver in time and on budget. You all have heard about the Berlin Brandenburg airport under construction, with a delay of more than two years and more than 1 billion cost overruns. Imagine you are the project manager!!
In Winch? Managing Construction Projects, a striking example is given: The Channel Fixed link, connecting France to Britain with high speed trains: ?Leading the project coalition was extremely difficult and overwhelmed more than one senior executive. Senior executives lost their jobs, marriages and nerves? (winch 2010, p. 17)
The Oxford Handbook of project management has an interesting chapter about project failure: ?Over time, over budget, over and over again?. This is nice reading if you like to know more about the reasons behind project difficulties and failure. (Morris et all. P. 321)
Projects not always fail. Thousands of buildings and infrastructural projects are successfully delivered every year, and it is great working in the building industry. Buildings are not paper! Buildings are extremely tangible. And, if you are involved, as manager, client, architect or consultant it is nice to see and experience your results and show it to friends, parents and later maybe to your children.
I hope you will enjoy the course!!
(The idea of the above description is from Bas de Baar!)
About: Berlin Airport

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