Project Definition

A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create, modify, or retire a unique product, service, or result. A project has a definite start and end date and concludes when its objectives have been achieved.

Project Management Methodology

OIT has created a project management methodology (PDF) document detailing the procedures and approach to be used when managing an IT (information technology) project. This document can help guide new and experienced project managers through the project management lifecycle.

Project Management Lifecycle

There are four main phases in the project management lifecycle:

  • Initiate
  • Plan
  • Execute
  • Close

Throughout all of the project management phases, the Project Manager is monitoring and controlling the project and its resources. The diagram below depicts the project management lifecycle.

Project Classifications

The amount of rigor that needs to be applied to a project throughout the project management lifecycle depends on the project's size and complexity. OIT classifies projects into three size categories:

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large

The Project Toolkit and Requirements page details what classifies a project as small, medium, or large and what elements of the project management methodology to apply to each.

Project Management Templates & Examples

Depending on the size and complexity of the project, there are a variety of project management documents that need to be completed throughout the life of the project. The Project Toolkit and Requirements page lists which documents are required for each project classification. The Project Documentation Examples page contains examples of project management documents from actual projects in progress or completed at the University of Minnesota (you must sign in with your University of Minnesota Internet ID and password to view the page).