Definition of Progressive Elaboration

Most projects do not come together without some detours.
Most projects do not come together without some detours. (Image: vaeenma/iStock/Getty Images)

While businesses and their project managers begin every project with a desired result firmly in mind, they need to allow for all the events and circumstances that arise that might alter their timelines or their means of arriving at that desired result. As project managers, along with their teams, progress through the project, they need to continue to examine their approach and the overall scope, fine-tuning and making adjustments as needed.

The Definition of Progressive Elaboration

Progressive elaboration is a project management technique that allows for alterations, improvements and changes in direction as the project progresses. This is usually achieved by continually monitoring the project to note design modifications, new details and findings, or the need for additional materials, team members or consultants. This process allows for new versions of the originally sketched project plan. The desired result is that project managers ultimately achieve a more detailed project scope and more accurate project estimates.

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