Describe five key attributes of a project and describe how they differ from Business as usual:
- Finite time –Projects have a time restriction on them and are dictated by a programme which outlines a clear start and end date in which the project is aligned to. Time is a major success factor which is taking into consideration when executing a project. In respect to business as usual, this involves a very repetitive process which will continue indefinitely with no time constraints in place. An example of a project would be the construction of a new warehouse establish with a definite end date. Business as usual would be the continuous production process held within the warehouse.
- Specified deliverables – Projects will include a detailed brief from a client which will clearly outline the deliverables that need to be met in respect to that lone project as a whole. This will include factors such as time, cost, quality and benefits that will have a set measurable. With regards to business as usual, the deliverables remain the same and repetitive in the approach. The warehouse project would have specific deliverables set out by client whereas the production process deliverable would remain the same.
- Project Lifecycle – All projects are executed through a complex lifecycle. An example of this is a construction project like the warehouse described which is carried out from Inception to Completion where each stage involves various actions to be completed in order for the next stage to commence. Business as usual goes through a very simple product life cycle which involves production, use and disposal.
- Business Case – All projects require a strong and approved business case to allow them to proceed. These business cases will outline the benefits of the project which will be funded by capital funds within an organisation. Business as usual activities do not require a business case, as it is procedural work and will not provide any significant benefits to the organisation, and this is usually funded from operational budgets.
- Change –One of the key characteristics of a project is the aspiration to introduce significant change and transformation and particularly in a quick process. In respect to the construction of the new warehouse, this will significantly implement new changes into the way the organisation has to run with regards to its resourcing etc. Businesses as usual activities do not seek radical change. This wants to have a consistent approach to ensure continuity and the need for incremental improvement.
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Following Project handover and closure the Sponsor will be seeking the ‘Business Case sought-benefits’; through the newly improved business-as-usual operation, and this prompted me to suppose that, at some point, a business case was necessary to determine what the business as usual operation would ‘look like’, ‘deliver’ etc?
I would say projects are about change whereas BAU is about running the business day-to-day
So is it best to remove the statement ” and will not provide any significant benefits to the organisation”?
A very good answer. Except that for many organisation BAU is the profitable part, think about a supermarket. BAU is what earns the profits.
Business as usual activities do not require a business case, as it is procedural work and will not provide any significant benefits to the organisation, and this is usually funded from operational budgets.