Let's call the project scenario we'll use throughout this series "Project Tweet". Our company is Hummingbird Deliveries. Hummingbird is a local package delivery service, located in Manhattan. The company is run by McKenzie Rogers. Ms. Rodgers employees 9 couriers, a full-time dispatcher, and one other employee who does pretty much everything else.
Ms. Rogers would like to include Twitter as part of Hummingbird's marketing efforts. The courier service currently has several hundred followers on Facebook, and has run successful marketing campaigns on the social network . Despite many of her couriers being active on Twitter, Rogers has not managed to evaluate the business utility of Twitter. Ms. Rogers thinks marketing on Twitter could be of great value to her business, but she is busy, and hasn't gotten around to planning in greater detail.
The first question is: Is this even a project? Couldn't you just tweet as part of business operations? That's a good question. Recall the definition of a project:
A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.
Most new business endeavors include both a project component, and an ongoing operations component. The project component exists in the early stages of the endeavor. Rodgers doesn't really know what she wants to do with Project Tweet. She doesn't know how much effort will be involved; she's not sure what to expect as a result of her Twitter campaign.
The early stages of an endeavor, when these questions are not known, should be considered a project. This phase will only exist until these questions are answered, and the program is added to the operation of the business. In this case, a new service will be created, and the desired result will be achieved. Hummingbird hopes to get some new customers from Project Tweet. They also hope to improve their customer service.
Another way to determine whether an effort is a project or not is to determine whether it will be necessary to fulfill each of the five major activities that are part of any project. Project Tweet will indeed need all of these project activities:
- A Project Scope
- Well-defined Success Criteria
- An assigned Project Team
- A Project Plan
- A way to monitor the project to determine if it is meeting the plan and will ultimately be successful
Now that we have identified our project scenario, we will turn attention to each of the project activities. In our next blog post, we will discuss the scope of Project Tweet.