Project definition

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The project definition is the first project phase and forms the basis of a project ; this is where the binding specifications for the subsequent project planning are made. The extent to which the project definition is formalized depends on the respective project culture. A careful project definition is a crucial requirement for the successful implementation of a project. Deficiencies in this phase will usually persist throughout the entire course of the project and can lead to project failure.

The project definition includes the following work steps:

  • Foundation of the project
  • Definition of the project goal
  • Organization of the project
  • Organization of the process

At the beginning of a project there is the project application , which includes all relevant information, such as task description, cost and deadline goals and responsibilities. When it is passed, the application becomes an official project contract .

The first task in a project is to clearly and completely define the project objective . For this must be a sequential building together with the client specifications and requirement specifications are developed for the project.

Furthermore, the organizational prerequisites for the project must be created. The project manager and the project controller must be named and a suitable project organization must be defined. The procedure for subsequent changes must also be specified.

Finally, the entire process organization of the development process must be determined. This includes the definition of development phases, milestones (project management) , development lines (baselines) and types of activity.


  • Burghardt, Manfred: Projektmanagement, 6th edition, Munich, Publicis Corporate Publishing, 2002