What Is an Ad Hoc Project?

An ad hoc project is a one-time project designed to solve a problem or complete a task. The people involved in the project disband after the project ends. Resources are delegated to the project for a limited time only.

Businesses develop ad hoc projects when facing a challenge or task that is not part of the business’s regular repertoire, and ad hoc projects usually involve an ad hoc team. Because ad hoc projects are temporary, it is possible to pull in team members from different departments and, when necessary, from outside the organization. These may be employees hired only for the duration of the project, freelance consultants or people from other organizations working collaboratively to meet a common goal.

Ad hoc projects vary in duration and size. In some cases, a small project may be handled by a single employee working outside his usual duties. In other cases, a large project may last years, take a workforce of considerable size and be delegated large amounts of resources.

With the increased availability of and improvement in telecommunications, ad hoc projects frequently take place through distance collaboration. Ad hoc teams work online collaborating through shared files and teleconferencing. Distance collaboration decreases costs because it does not require a designated workspace or commuting time. Also, many workers perform better from their usual workspace.