The distinction between areas, programs, and projects

  • Projects are chartered to create a specified “deliverable” as efficiently as possible^1. They are are the ‘discrete’ unit of work. Of course, projects can still have Knightian Uncertainty, but they have a clear definition of what “done” looks like (is this true?)
  • Programs focus on the coordination of a number of related projects and other activities, over time, to deliver benefits to the organization.^2
  • Areas are broad groups of interest like “climate” or “space exploration.” Unlike programs, they are both not necessarily focused on delivering benefits and don’t require coordination.

Related

^1: From Understanding programs and projects—oh, there’s a difference!
^2: Also from Understanding programs and projects—oh, there’s a difference!

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