What is a Project ?

A Project is a temporary, unique and progressive attempt or endeavor made to produce some kind of a tangible or intangible result (a unique product, service, benefit, competitive advantage, etc.). It usually includes a series of interrelated tasks that are planned for execution over a fixed period of time and within certain requirements and limitations such as cost, quality, performance, others.

Key Characteristics


As follows from the given definition, any project can be characterized by these characteristics:
Temporary. This key characteristic means that every project has a finite start and a finite end. The start is the time when the project is initiated and its concept is developed. The end is reached when all objectives of the project have been met (or unmet if it is obvious that the project cannot be completed – then it is terminated).
Unique Deliverable(s). Any project aims to produce some deliverable(s) which can be a product, service, or some another result. Deliverables should address a problem or need analyzed before project start.
Progressive Elaboration. With the progress of a project, continuous investigation and improvement become available, and all this allows producing more accurate and comprehensive plans. This key characteristic means that the successive iterations of planning processes result in developing more effective solutions to progress and develop projects.


In addition to the listed characteristics, a conventional project is:


∎ Purposeful as it has a rational and measurable purchase
∎ Logical as it has a certain life-cycle
∎ Structured as it has interdependencies between its tasks and activities
∎ Conflict as it tries to solve a problem that creates some kind of conflict
∎ Limited by available resources
∎ Risk as it involves an element of risk


Some examples of a project are:


∎ Developing a new product or service
∎ Constructing a building or facility
∎ Renovating the kitchen
∎ Designing a new transportation vehicle
∎ Acquiring a new or modified data system
∎ Organizing a meeting 
∎ Implementing a new business process