Hard and Soft Projects
Although as engineers we are principally concerned with "capital"
or "hard" projects, it is worth noting that the principals
I want to describe are equally applicable to both "hard"
and "soft" projects, and in fact whether they are large
Hard Projects - those in which the final result is a relatively
unique tangible product, such as a building, production plant or
Soft Projects - those in which the final result is not in
itself a tangible asset. These may include an office relocation,
establishing a new administrative system or even launching a new
television program. The point is a project is not an on-going activity.
Rather, it is an understanding that ends with a specific accomplishment
and the product or end result is a distinguishing characteristic.
Thus project management should be applied whenever there is a single,
identifiable, overall task which is:
- Complex (that is, requiring reciprocal organizational and technological
- Interdisciplinary (requiring coordination of two or more functional
units or departments); and
- Finite (in terms of completion date as well as performance and