What is a Project?

A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to accomplish a unique product or service with a defined start and end dates and specific measurable objectives that, when attained, through the constraints of time, resources, and costs, signifies completion.

A project typically performs one or more of these functions:

  • Develop/implement a new system or service

  • Make significant improvements to a system or service

  • Build or significantly enhance infrastructure

  • Research new technology for a specific purpose

  • Improve existing or introduce new internal processes

  • Scope and plan extremely large efforts

  • Application of major patches and upgrades to software & hardware

Some examples of work that are not projects:

  • Daily Production Support Activities - System/Application administration & operations, Break/fix activities, End User Support & Training

  • Other operational activities that follow a defined process

  • Small system/Application change request and/or enhancements


Within UI Health Care, a project can be further defined where the work effort meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • The budget is over $10,000 (exclude salary)

  • The work effort is over 200 hours (not duration)

  • The team size is greater than 5 staff members

  • The duration is more than 3 months

  • Spans over multiple Divisions and/or multiple UI Health Care Departments

Work effort meeting any of the above definition and criteria may require the need to assign a UI Health Care PMO resource.

When the work effort is less than 200 hours, we generally do not create a formal project. However, we should not break work into small pieces to avoid making it into a project.

If you are unsure whether a work effort should be a project or should not be a project, contact the UI Health Care PMO at hcis-pmo@uiowa.edu and/or (319) 384-7043 for a project assessment. Next Steps:

To determine the project class use the Project Classification & Sizing Tool. Once the project class is identified, refer to the Framework Matrix to determine the recommended templates to use.