What types of projects are there?

There are different ways of classifying projects. We will briefly discuss the following:
  1. 2x2 Project Classification
  2. By environment and intent
  3. UPC attributes (Scaled)
  4. Other atributes (Non-Scaled)

2x2 Project Classification

An often used way of classifying projects is by looking at the the type of work that needs to be done and the type of product that needs to be produced by the project.
  • Type of work
    • Craft
    • Intellect
  • Type of Product
    • Tangible
    • Intangible
Each combination of these identifies a specific type of project. An example of each can be seen below:
2x2 Project classification
Diagram created with TheBrain

Project Intent

We can distinguish 5 project intents1:
  • Business implementation projects produce working processes
    • New Nursing Care Model
    • eCommerce business line
  • Construction projects produce artefacts
    • House
    • Software
  • Procurement project produce business relationships
    • Request for Proposal and subsequent contracts
    • New Vendor relationship
  • Reengineering projects produce change
    • Restructured billing department
    • Cruiseship refit
  • Research projects produce knowledge
    • Clinical Study for drug approval
    • Real project bodies of knowledge

It may not always easy to classify each project as project products may overlap.

UPC Attributes

An other often used way of classifying projects is by looking at certain attributes and scoring them on a scale. The following attributes are most often used:

  • Uncertainty
  • Pace
  • Complexity

Other Attributes

The following are attributes that can be used to classify projects as well.
  • Culture
  • Life Cylce
  • Strategic Importance
In one of the following articles we will ask, and answer, the question what the importance is of classifying projects.

1 Typology by Richard Veryard.