Types of projects

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Types of projects
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Methods and techniques

There are three basic types of projects:

  • projects for identification - their aim is to present the current status of any process or object,
  • diagnostic projects - including all types of analyses, expert research to determine the causes of problem and assess the current state of system,
  • predictive projects - relate to future events, involve planning and are often the basis for the preliminary decision about action.

Generic division of projects

  • Research projects - for development of breakthrough products or methods, experimental. In large organizations, there are special units dealing with these types of projects: laboratories, design offices. This type of projects include also problems related to human resources management and quality management,
  • Technical projects - are often an extension of the research projects, usually concern the modernization, equipment of industrial automation, computerization of various processes and all kinds of investment projects,
  • Industrial projects - involve integrated solutions in technical and organizational areas; mainly relate to the production, procurement, logistics, controlling of production, etc.,
  • Projects of management systems - can be divided into economic (strategic and directed mainly to the development, they relate to systems involved in production management, personnel, marketing, costs) and the organizational (which mainly relate to the organizational structure of the company, economic cooperation, moreover, included in this group of projects also quality management and information management)
  • Legislative projects - proposals concerning all kinds of laws, bills, resolutions, regulations, new ones and changes in existing ones,
  • Public projects - are aimed at improvement of the functioning of the public sector, modernization of infrastructure, organization of all kinds of cultural events, etc.,
  • Military projects - relate to activities of state defence, and units such as the Army, Police, etc.,
  • Other,

Features differentiating projects

Due to the origin of the order to develop the project

  • Projects ordered by outside entity - come from the company's clients and are unique products that require the implementation of complex operating procedure, eg:
    • construction works - residential, public, industrial, infrastructure,
    • complex technical objects – ships, large machines and devices,
    • film production, large promotional campaigns, complex research.
  • Projects for internal orders - come from the company management and are based on the needs of their own. They are used for improvement of activity of the enterprise, examples:
    • introduction of new products, market research projects - development for the internal development of the distribution network,
    • design and implementation of major IT systems and restructuring projects, the installation of complex equipment.

Due to the orientation

  • Projects oriented on object (static) - create or change material objects, examples: construction objects, products, technical systems,
  • Process-oriented projects (dynamic) - create or change processes and operational systems, examples: technological processes, information and decision-making processes, product sales, organization of systems.
  • Soft projects - difficult to understand, intangible, examples: introduction of new legislation, execution of post-control reports, and others.

According to the degree of novelty and originality

  • Projects with a high degree of novelty (originality), examples:
    • Research projects - development on new original technical solutions like electric cars,
    • Structures built using new technologies.
  • Projects with a low degree of novelty (originality), examples:
    • Modernization projects of vehicles with conventional drive
    • Buildings designed using standard technology,

Due to the size

Differentiated due to number of steps: implementation time, the number of contractors and project costs. H.D. Lidke classifies project sizes according to: the count of the project team, effort, and cost of the project:

  • Small projects: team size <6, work effort needed < 0,4, cost < 0,1
  • Average projects: team size 6-50, work effort 0,4-50, cost 0,1-10
  • Large projects: team size > 50, work effort > 50, cost >50


  • Hellgren, B., & Stjernberg, T. (1995). Design and implementation in major investments—a project network approach. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 11(4), 377-394.
  • Kerzner, H. R. (2013). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Meredith, J. R., & Mantel Jr, S. J. (2011). Project management: a managerial approach. John Wiley & Sons.
  • PMI (2001). Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® GUIDE). In Project Management Institute.
  • Raftery, J. (2003). Risk analysis in project management. Routledge.