Project (according to the Oxford Dictionary): “An individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned and designed to achieve a particular aim.” Hold on a sec, did you read that definition carefully? We’re not sure about you, but experience has not led us to believe projects are, by definition, carefully planned. Maybe defining words in the dictionary is a “carefully planned” project, but certainly not all projects.
Here is our definition of a Project: “An individual or collaborative undertaking usually temporary in nature, and as such can be quickly banded and disbanded. Projects exist to accomplish limited goals, sometimes combining Roles from across an organization.”
And, of course, in the Future of Work, a Project is a form of a Team, a Project Team if you will, consisting of Roles. In service-oriented businesses, Project Teams may work for a client then disband. In many orgs, a Project Team exists with a major goal to accomplish, but then disband. Your core Team might be ‘Marketing’ but your project team might be ‘XYZ Conference Participation.’
Of note, businesses in the Future of Work are allowed to organize as they see fit (It’s a free country!). Some groups might prefer that all initiatives form Project Teams. Others might group the collective goals of a Project onto the Core Team. Either way, we mention Project Teams because many organizations stumble on how to assign roles across “Special Projects” or working with individual clients.
By defining Project Teams, members of an organization are able to properly understand where all there accountabilities lie. Ideally, this information is transparent and accessible for all members of the organization. If one is dedicating time to a Project Team then that person is filling a Role on that project. That Role has an associated accountability.
Roles make up a Team. A unique type of Team is a Project Team. Project Teams also consist of Roles. Those are the legs that support the Foundation of an Organization.