Master project work

In addition to the notorious paper, project work is one of the most popular academic work and research methods in the university and the school. Although there is a certain similarity to a presentation in such a project, both ways of working are fundamentally different.

Project work versus presentation

The core difference lies in the complexity of the thing itself. A project is something that is worked out to completion in several consecutive and consecutive working steps. A paper simply treats the content of a topic. In the case of a presentation, the thematic framework is very narrow and the path from the topic to the lecture is quite clear with just a few steps. But working on a project requires good management – project management.

Project and project management – two cryptic terms

Often they are used, but what do they mean? If you ask your fellow students at the university, most people will probably say that this is a longer presentation. That it is not, you have just seen. What is a project? According to a definition that applies equally to teaching, university and business, a “project” is a project characterized essentially by the uniqueness of the conditions as a whole, e.g. Target, temporal, financial, personnel and other limitations, differentiation from other projects, project-specific organization. “This definition according to DIN 69901 gives an idea of ​​what the task for the successful execution of a project work could be. To take the wind out of the sails of every optimist: It’s not easy, as you think.

Steps in project management

The conditions for the completion of a project must be ideal if the result is to succeed. Above all, it is important to work in an action-oriented way. Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi defined action-oriented project lessons as working or “learning with the head, heart and hand.” Another quote. Yes, and it is helpful. What Mr Pestalozzi puts it so nicely stated that you should work with all your senses during project work. Strictly speaking, competences are about exploiting all your abilities. But what about the work steps? The following – noteworthy rough – overview should give a first impression.

Find the topic – the concept phase

What should the topic be? Do you want to plan lessons? Do you want to design a program? Questions about questions; and that’s good. It is still better, if one tries after the questions to answer them. This leads to the fact that the project takes shape and becomes concrete, what should be put on its feet. This beginning is very vague and unsatisfactory because no tangible foundation has been laid. But: it’s the idea that matters.

Analysis phase

Here is based on the results of brainstorming. This means that creativity methods (brainstorming, flow writing, etc.) are used to find out what it takes to implement the idea. All necessary information about the chosen topic has to be found. In addition, further to be ground to the idea. In these first two phases, pupils and students should work alone (without the help of a teacher or lecturer), because creativity must be given free rein. Spinners and dreamers have it easy here. At the end of this phase you should set up the so-called mission statement. It formulates a problem to be solved or the aim of the project work and the task is now to deal with the fulfillment of the mission statement. It also serves as a red thread.

Structuring phase

Now it gets less creative. The task is to structure the creative sponginess. This means that the previous result has to be divided into work packages. These work packages have to be incorporated in a so-called project structure plan. It is important to find out what needs to be done when, what needs to be done at the same time and when the execution of a particular work package promises the greatest success. In general, this is the most expensive phase.

After the temporal structuring now still personnel must be structured. The methods are logical and simple. It has to go according to competences. In a group that consists of a literary scholar an engineer and a cultural scientist it is clear that the literary scholar does not care about planning stage construction for a festival. Likewise, the engineer should refrain from designing the advertisement. Nobody should cook their own soup here and everyone should feel integrated, but core competencies have to be considered.


It finally comes to the implementation of the planned. This shows whether the preparation of the previous phases leads to the goal or runs into the void. It is important that in this, as in all other phases all team members together, still work independently and not against each other. Whether this worked out will be shown later in the quality of the final result.

Conclusion – the evaluation

Finally, the implementation is over. Instead of leaving everything behind, all that has happened has to be evaluated by all employees. The contributions of each individual must be summarized and recorded in a final article. And why? Quite simply: Should ever a project work be implemented again, the documentation can help to make it just as successful.

Presentation – The finale

Here everyone should ideally imagine the area he has worked on. No one knows the marketing as well as the guy who has taken care of the marketing. Useful for a presentation that presents a project work is to put them in time limits. That means thirty minutes, at most. Other methods are the so-called pitches, here a project is roughly presented in a few minutes. Usually not more than 10 minutes. In marketing and advertising agencies one uses this method frequently. Also famous is the elevator pitch. In this case, an idea is displayed in just a few seconds in a way that arouses the interest of the other person. This pitch usually lasts no longer than 30 to 120 seconds; as long as an average elevator ride.