1. Identify project attributes that can be used for project profiling.
2. Define project profiling.
Even though all projects are by definition unique, there are attributes (characteristic of an entity
or object) that are common among projects that allow the characterization or profiling of a
project. We can look at just two project attributes and develop some understanding of the
project. A large project that will be executed in at least three locations will have a very different
profile from a small project that will be executed in one location. These two attributes – size and
location provide information about the project that will enable a manager in the parent
organization to assign a project manager with the appropriate knowledge and skills. We can
then develop an execution approach to increase the likelihood of success.
Project managers have not always been assigned to projects based on their skills and the
skills required by the project. Research by the Construction Industry indicated that the number
one criterion for assignment of a project manager to a project was availability. Even if available,
the ideal project manager for a large construction project may not be a good fit for a software
development project. The technical knowledge needed to manage these projects is not the
same and having the wrong technical knowledge may make the difference between a
successful project and project failure.
Even within the same industry, like the construction industry, different skills are needed by the
project manager for different projects. For example, the construction of an office building in
downtown Philadelphia is a very different project from the construction of a chemical plant in
Mexico. The differences in these projects require different skills and different execution
approaches. Organizations have not had good tools for understanding and matching the needs
of a project with the project manager who has the right skills and experience. Developing a
project profile is one method for developing an understanding of the project that will allow a
systematic approach to developing an execution plan based on the profile of the project and
selecting a project manager who has the right kind of experience and skills.
Project profiling (process of extracting a characterization from the known attributes of a project)
is the process of extracting a characterization from the known attributes of a project. The
characterization will provide a more comprehensive understanding of the project that should
result in developing an appropriate execution approach and the assignment of organizational
resources. In different terms, project profiling is a process that summarizes what is known about
the attributes of a project and places the project into a category with other projects that have
similar characteristics. For example, you can characterize a project as a large project or a small
project. The size of the project becomes the profiling attribute. You can characterize a project as
domestic or global, and the location of the project becomes the profiling characteristic.
A company that has twenty projects may determine that four of these projects are estimated to
cost more than $1 million dollars and the remaining sixteen projects are estimated to cost much
less. The company then communicates that all projects over $1 million be considered a large
project. The company now establishes a rule that large projects will require a project manager
with at least five years’ experience, it will have a vice president as executive sponsor, and it will
require formal quarterly reports. In this example, one characteristic is used to develop the
organization’s project management approach to their twenty projects.
• Project profiles can be created based on attributes such as budget and size to determine a
systematic approach to developing an execution plan and selecting a project manager.
• Project profiling is the process of extracting a characterization from the known attributes of a
1. Several types of project profiles use budget size, location, and __________ knowledge.
2. Project profiling is the process of extracting a characterization from the known
_____________ of a project.
3. Describe how location can make a difference in the difficulty of a project.
4. Why is it valuable to create a project profile? Base your answer on the text of this chapter but
use your own words.
Propose another attribute that might be used for project profiling besides budget size, location,
and technical knowledge. Include the following in your answer:
• Describe the categories into which you would divide your attribute.
• Describe the skills or knowledge a project manager would need to work on a project in each of