Project Needs Pyramid or ProjectING

On the example of a pyramid for the development of a commercial organization.

First of all, the proposed pyramid is a tool for a project development manager. This tool allows you to put everything on the shelves, plan and control the implementation of development tasks and / or the life cycle of the project. The pyramid of needs of the project allows you to evaluate the main points of development of the project and relate with them the tasks and time for their implementation.

The project needs pyramid is a tool for highlighting the basic needs for a project. Satisfying each need allows the project to function within the framework specified by that need. Also, each satisfied need opens up a new growth point for the project and makes it possible to identify the next need. The pyramid of needs covers the project from the outside, allows you to divide the project into groups of tasks according to the level of complexity and the value obtained from their implementation.

The pyramid of needs of the project (or company) is visually similar to the pyramid of human needs according to Maslow, but only visually. Unlike the pyramid of human needs, the pyramid of project needs is developed for each project separately (it is individual) and can be changed based on short-term and long-term development forecasts, external and internal factors. Just the transition from one need to another does not mean that the previous need was fully satisfied, as in the project activities, as you know, there is no limit to improvement.

I propose to consider the company as an organism, with a clear structure, needs and an action plan to meet them, which arise in the course of development, growth and subsequent fading or a new round of growth.

The arrangement of needs in a pyramidal shape was not chosen by chance. The pyramid and the project development process have a lot in common. The pyramid visually strives upward, as the project always strives upward, to development. The pyramid is built gradually, in stages, each stage is associated with certain difficulties. Also, a new stage is not possible without creating the previous one. A pyramid is both a complex structure and an excellent visualizer, so the arrangement of the needs of the project with a pyramid will help to show at the same time the difficulties that people will encounter during implementation, and the stages and result that will be achieved.

The project needs pyramid is a pyramid consisting of at least seven groups of needs (Figure 1). Not necessarily all of these needs groups will be used in each project, this pyramid indicates the ideal location of needs. But each commercial structure for growth needs to satisfy all the needs indicated in the figure.

From the pyramid of project needs arises the tree-like system of the project (Figure 2), which will later be transferred to convenient tools for implementation (for example, to the Gantt chart).

* Figure 1. Pyramid of project needs

* Figure 2. Tree-like system of project needs

The development of a pyramid of project needs is currently relevant in that during a period of stagnation and crisis phenomena, it is possible to clearly determine the actual directions of the project development, investments that should be supported. And also those needs that should be suspended or postponed until the previous needs are met. The pyramid of needs can also visualize current and unmet needs, which in the near future will help the project improve its position. So to speak, to structure growth points and see the potential for development.

The company at the initial stage lives on with the needs set by the owners and the market. Most often, these are the needs that allow the company to simply survive. Do not grow, do not develop, namely survive. That is, the company meets only vital needs - in the purchase of goods, equipment, hiring only key employees. With the subsequent growth of the company, strengthening and maximum satisfaction of primary needs, new needs appear. More often than not, a company outgrows old needs. Primary needs no longer allow the company to grow.

This is precisely the cornerstone of this approach, which shows that the growth of the company requires an increase in needs and their satisfaction. If the needs are not met, there will be no growth. Also, with growth, growing up, a company can gradually move away from primary needs to needs of a higher value. At the same time, lower needs will simply be rejected and cease to play the key first, and in the future, any role in development.
It is also not unimportant to understand that even meeting only primary needs gives the project a chance to survive. That is, it is not necessary that the project will need to satisfy any higher hierarchy needs. But if the project does not satisfy the needs consistently, it closes the opportunity for revenue growth.

For example, the need for promotion through newspaper advertising in the early 2000s gave way to promotion through online advertising. Yielded irrevocably, and growing companies out of 90 stepped over this need.
Here in a crisis, to save money, a company can reduce its needs, starting with higher ones, saving on growth. Or vice versa, rejecting lower, less efficient needs.
Let's look at the needs of the project from the bottom up. As a project, I consider the work of a commercial and public organization.

Primary needs or protoprotrebnosti.These needs arise in the project at the very beginning of its formation. First of all, investment needs. This type of needs will pull along with itself, like a magnet, all other needs. In this case, it is often not so much monetary investments that are important as investments of time, energy and mental. This need is basic, if you do not fulfill all the primary needs, the project will subsequently begin to slip and early or fail.

The needs of extensive growth.These needs absorb the basic needs that a project needs to satisfy in order to survive in the initial period of its existence. Most often, these needs are met by the most economical and at the same time tested, not requiring complex execution and special skill, actions. Extensive growth needs imply minimal creativity. To a greater extent, these needs are met by proven tools, copied and tested in other projects.

The needs of organizational change.The period of studying and analyzing the work done, summing up, understanding the level of satisfaction of needs and emerging new needs. This is an important and difficult moment, since with the growth of needs the project requires an increasingly professional, logically verified approach. Meeting this need will entail a transition to a new competent level, the use of more sophisticated tools and, as a result, guarantees a greater result. This need requires professional and experienced creativity, a creative approach, your own view of the world and the project. More often than not, at this stage, improvements are made to existing and existing project processes.

Needs of intense growth.For organizational changes, when the project prepares itself for further development, there is a need for intensive growth, when the project uses previous developments to obtain a better and more demanded product. To meet this need, trained and educated specialists are required, who are ready, with the help of their experience and knowledge, to develop the project in new directions. Also, to meet this need, most likely, you will need new, large, investment in the project. At this stage, new processes are introduced into the project that justified themselves in similar projects, but for some reason were expensive in the previous stages of meeting needs. At this stage, work is underway on the tasks that were set to meet the previous needs.

The needs of fundamental change. Most often, at this stage, thoughtful and adjusted, completely new processes are introduced into the project. Until recently, these latest processes have not been used much or have not been used at all in similar projects. In the future, these processes will radically change or complement the product and the project as a whole, ultimately complementing it with maximum value.

The needs of strategic growth. This need is at first glance similar to the need for intensive growth. But unlike the need for intensive growth, this need is satisfied by the most individual methods and tools. It is at this stage that the tasks that were set for the project while fulfilling the need for fundamental changes are fulfilled.

Higher needs. By higher needs, we mean those needs that are beyond the planning horizon. We are sure that we will have these needs, provided that all other needs are met, we can even voice them. But the higher needs are so far away or it’s not clear exactly which of them exactly will appear in the project that they are beyond the planning horizon. Such needs in the case of course may be, for example, the creation of regional offices, access to the foreign market and so on. That is, these needs are very large and are considered only to achieve the needs of those lower in the hierarchy.

It should also be noted that the increase in needs is due to the fact that the needs located at the top of the pyramid bring great benefits to the project. Therefore, the desire for higher needs is the motivating factor for the project. But it is also worth considering that higher needs require more energy and cost.

The main costs (investments) to meet needs:
• Health (not replenished)
• Education (replenished)
• Life energy (not replenished)
• Time (not replenished)
• Money (replenished)

These costs are present to meet each need, but their percentage component in meeting the needs is different and depends on the individual characteristics of the project, needs and people. In addition, these costs are divided into reimbursable and non-reimbursable costs. Therefore, you should be careful about the distribution of costs for the implementation of the project and it is most logical to think through the satisfaction of each need.

When visualizing the pyramid of needs, the project is divided into stages (needs). Each stage is a need and one division of the pyramid. Moreover, each need is characterized by several principles:

• Reality. The need can really be satisfied, that is, brought to a tangible result. Needs are met according to a pre-prepared plan.
• Logic. Needs themselves and the process of satisfying them are arranged in a logical chain that meets common sense and the vision of the development of the project.
• Time. Satisfying a need has a beginning, the exact time spent on satisfaction and the end. We know exactly how much time it will take us to satisfy our needs.
• Perspective. At the beginning, middle or end of the work on the project, we begin to see the prospect of the future development of the project. We begin to feel what we are missing, the project has new needs. These new needs arise in the new division of the pyramid.

Here are some examples.
As a first example, take a clothing store. This is a store in a middle-class mall, four sellers, an administrator, and a dozen suppliers. We see the store as a business aimed at making a profit for its founders. Such a store will have a number of needs. Primary needs, extensive growth needs, organizational growth needs, intensive growth needs, strategic growth needs, higher needs.

Roughly, the pyramid will look like this:
• The need for intensive growth. Conduct sales training, product knowledge for staff. To optimize the presentation of goods in the hall. Revision of the order grid. Create a stock and sales program. Search and hiring an administrator. Entering a store performance metrics system:


• The need for organizational change. The staff works poorly, changes are needed. Large stocks, poorly sold. Sellers are constantly late.


• The need for extensive growth. Monitor staff work, cleanliness in the room. Post all models of goods hall. Close and open the store on time. Create gift cards. Enter discount cards.


• Proto-requirements. Determine the budget for opening a store to find an area. Sign a rental contract. Hire staff. Conclude a contract for the supply of goods. Design, repair. Mount equipment.

This may look like the pyramid of needs of a clothing store development project.

Let's look at the following example. The company produces construction equipment. Sales are built over the Internet and a few distributors. There is no production, all production is outsourced.
• The need for intensive growth. Modify the machine control panel. Order a few equipment sketches to an industrial design agency. Hire a secretary. Take a few videos for the presentation of products, make professional photos of the products. Get certificates for machine tools. Take part in several industry exhibitions. Conduct development training, it is possible to hire a marketer.


• The need for organizational change. The machine does not show the desired performance. Equipment design is outdated. We do not have time to complete all the documents, we make mistakes. The client does not have enough information on the site. There is little confidence in the products, it takes longer to convince customers. Market monitoring is required, you need to monitor competitors, look for new products.


• The need for extensive growth. Order more types of equipment. Extend your online advertising campaign. Conclude an agreement for several new phone numbers in the office.


• Proto-requirements. Rent an office. Hire staff to the warehouse and office. Find a manufacturer. Create an internet site. Sign agreements with suppliers of components for machine tools.

As can be seen from the examples, needs are divided by complexity and need, arranged in a pyramid and satisfied one after another. Each new need arises from a previous satisfied need. At each stage of satisfying a need, you can stop, but then there is a risk that the project will not bring the desired result and the company will gradually slide into stagnation.

I am sure that the pyramid of needs of the project will be successfully applied as a tool for planning the development of the company. The pyramid of needs helps to decompose the stages of the project into the main components, to see the development perspective.

Waiting for criticism and reviews.

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