17 Types of Projects: Classification in Project Management

Updated Aug 3, 2022.
types-of-projects

Projects are not limited to project managers alone. Everyone during their daily endeavor has embarked on a series of projects, irrespective of how minute it may seem. What distinguishes one project from another one is its nature. 

The goal of every well-planned project is to create a product that would be satisfying to potential customers, be it in actual products or services. Your success as a project manager depends on how you use available resources to complete your project on time. 

Knowing the type of project you are embarking on helps you to effectively pick out the best project management tools and techniques to use. 

If you are handling a real estate project, you are best served using project management software for real estate than simple project management software.

In this article, you will learn about the different types of projects based on product and the level of complexity. 

Let’s get started.

Types of Projects Based on Product of Project

1. Communication Projects

Every project type requires effective communication as it serves as the backbone of every successful project. However, communication and its methods vary among different types of projects and are key to its overall success. 

Members or stakeholders involved in various project types need to utilize various means of communication, which include verbal, non-verbal, writing, and visual.

There must be a well-detailed communication plan which documents all communication activities, methods, and intended audience. A detailed communication plan on the redevelopment of a website to support a client’s new brand is an example of a communication project. 

Example of a project management communications plan
Source: Bitrix24

2. Stakeholder Management Projects

The variety experienced with projects can be largely attributed to the number of stakeholders involved in the project process. More often than not, the project stakeholders consist of only the project manager and the project team. 

The more stakeholders involved in the project, the more complex the project will become. There is a need for better stakeholder management. The re-strategizing of an urban construction firm to meet new arising project needs is an example of a stakeholder management project.

3. Task Assignation Projects

Each type of project embarked on in project management comes with a variety of tasks and activities to be completed. Usually, these projects vary depending on the way and manner in which these tasks are assigned. It also depends on the appropriate responsibility sharing formula chosen. 

Assigning project tasks is the sole responsibility of the project manager and the success of the project depends on the effective and proper distribution of such tasks. 

The effective delegation of project stakeholders to perform various tasks as regards the construction of a new garden is a typical example of this project.

Project Assignment Plan
Source: Inpaspages

4. Construction Projects

These projects comprise engineering projects which bother around basic construction, be it civil or architectural. Construction projects involve rigorous planning and are draining both physically and mentally. 

Paying keen attention to details during construction projects execution is crucial as errors are very costly and more often than not, impossible to manipulate. 

Building constructions involving the construction of residential and commercial infrastructures is a typical example of a construction project. 

Construction Project Timeline Template
Source: Smartsheet

5. IT Projects

Any project which falls under software development, web development, network configuration, database management, and IT recovery are categorized as an IT project. 

In today’s world, information systems across project management are becoming seemingly common and fast searched for across critical sectors. 

Most organizations have sewn into their structure specific IT goals in a bid to move with evolving times. Acquiring a modified data system is an example of an IT project. 

Example of an IT project
Source: Projectmanager

6. Business Projects

Business projects have a commercial outlook as they involve the development of a business plan from the project initiation phase to the project closure phase. It is aimed at achieving a specific business objective pre-determined during the business planning and strategic phase. 

An example of a business project is the design of a portfolio management office.

7. Production Projects

Production projects aim to deliver goods and services as a response to customers’ needs. The purpose of any production project embarked on is to create a unique product or service through innovative means. 

Project Management vs Product Management
Source: Productschool

This product or service production process involves conceiving the idea and then carefully developing the idea till it reaches a marketable form. 

Only when it reaches a marketable form is a service or product production project showcased to intending customers for which the product or service was uniquely designed. 

The unique process of customizing your home construction is an example of a service or product production process. 

8. Social Projects

Social projects are also called public service projects and they usually come at little or no cost. These projects are aimed at providing innovative solutions to societal ills and vices. 

The idea behind social projects is to ensure the people at the receiving end up with a much greater standard of living. Under corporate social responsibility (CSR), many companies and organizations embark on this type of project.

Social projects include social security, social housing, and social services such as road repairs, building infrastructures, and others.

9. Educational Projects

Educational projects aim at improving the learning process for students by utilizing harnessed and gathered knowledge over time. These projects involve the real-life application of the gained knowledge to solve practical real-life challenges. Working on a biography about a notable individual is an example of an educational project.

10. Community Projects

These projects are quite similar to social projects with the sole exception that the direct beneficiaries are involved in the project process. The goal of community projects is to meet the welfare needs of community dwellers and may also include charities. 

Economic community projects also exist in a bid to curtail the economic hardship faced by community members due to a variety of factors. These projects help to alleviate the overall welfare of community members by the organization of small but impacting projects. Local funding of orphanages is an example of a community project.

11. Research Projects

Research projects are specially designed to make use of innovative means and knowledge harnessed over time to improve the overall operation of an organization. This involves the extensive use of scientific means to find solutions to questions that arise as a result of extensive research work conducted. 

These projects aim to improve and advance the development of knowledge. Research projects can either be scientific, social, economic, technological, or humanities. Extensive research work conducted on the prevention and treatment of chronic brain injury is an example of a research project. 

Research Project Proposal Template
Source: Smartsheet

12. Manufacturing Projects

Manufacturing is the heartbeat of many organizations. Projects that need to undergo manufacturing of various forms need to be conducted with the highest level of concentration and oversight. 

These manufacturing projects usually come with a high level of risk to the organization at large. The use of the appropriate and most efficient project management strategies helps to reduce the likely occurrence of such project risks. 

Manufacturing projects can relate to the food, chemical, automobile, metal fabrication, and aerospace manufacturing industries. The processes involved in the production of candles are an example of a manufacturing project.

13. Management Projects

The use of special and specific knowledge or skill sets is essential for every successful management project. Every project requires unique management skills to meet its goals and objectives. 

The process of successfully managing a project process is an entirely different project of its own and needs the best professionals on hand. 

A large chunk of the project resources is utilized by management projects. The design and testing of new computer software for a much-improved business operation is a typical example of a management project.

14. Maintenance Projects

Maintenance projects are the projects involved in keeping organization facilities or structures in good and sound working conditions. The sole aim of these projects is to ensure facilities are kept in perfect operating condition even after usage for a long period. 

Efficient and routine maintenance projects are essential for the success of ongoing and future projects. Maintenance plays a vital role in project management. This type of project falls under service products. The conduct of root-cause failure analysis is an example of a maintenance project.

15. Infrastructure Projects

These projects are plain structures and services put in place to enhance efficient operation. Infrastructure projects are the foundation building block on which most successful projects are built. 

Major infrastructure projects include the building and development of roads, sewers, railways, and power lines. These projects are also called essential projects and focus primarily on the development of services and efficient working systems. 

16. Integration Projects

Integration projects combine and coordinate all essential elements of a project process together. These processes include the coordination of tasks, resources, and key stakeholders. Integration projects can either be batch-oriented, event-oriented, or service-oriented. 

They usually require the exchange of data and relevant information between two or more project management systems with the sole aim of improving the overall project quality.

Project Types by Level of Complexity

You can classify projects by their level of complexity. A project can either be easy or complicated. Project managers and project teams aim to make complex projects look as simple as possible even with a large number of dependencies.

1. Simple Projects

Simple projects involve only a handful of people working on the project. They comprise tasks and interdependencies that are clear and easy to execute. 

A simple project uses the smallest of resources and needs little or no planning at all to implement. An example of a simple project is the coordination of the delivery of equipment to a workshop site.

2. Cross-Functional Projects

Cross-functional projects involve the entirety of processes and procedures needed to be put in place before the project is completed. They are workflow systems and are methodical in meeting up the project’s goals and objectives.

These projects usually require constituting cross-functional teams that comprise different functional sections of the organization such as sales, marketing, manufacturing, and finance aimed at ensuring the projects reach the set target. 

Cross-functional projects involve a vast depth of expertise from various stakeholders involved as their ideas are hybrid and cut across various sectors.

3. Inter-Company Projects

Inter-company projects involve the merging of two separate and entirely distinct organizations with the sole aim of combining their resources to achieve a set-out goal. 

The project is usually the sole responsibility of one of the organizations but the resources needed to pull the desired result are at the beck and call of the other organization to be merged. 

Inter-company projects are organizations' teamwork and the profits of the arrangements are shared based on the pre-signed working agreement.

Martin Luenendonk

Editor at FounderJar

Martin loves entrepreneurship and has helped dozens of entrepreneurs by validating the business idea, finding scalable customer acquisition channels, and building a data-driven organization. During his time working in investment banking, tech startups, and industry-leading companies he gained extensive knowledge in using different software tools to optimize business processes.

This insights and his love for researching SaaS products enables him to provide in-depth, fact-based software reviews to enable software buyers make better decisions.