What is a Project?

A Project is a temporary endeavour set up to achieve one or more unique and specific objective(s) - that is how I define a project to be. Now, while talking about a project, we'll have to definitely consider the definition put forward by some of the premier institutions on the subject of project management.

The PMI defines project as:

It's a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.

PRINce2 defines a project as:

A temporary organization that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to an agreed Business Case.
What is a Project?

What exactly is a Project?

Features of a Project

Both the definitions points towards a few key points, indicated by the use of a few keywords: "temporary", "endeavour", "unique", "specific", "objective". These are the most important features of a project. There are however, other features of a project. Let's take a look at some of the key features of a project:

  • A project is something very unique
  • A project is set up to achieve a specific objective
  • A project is something that does not last forever
  • A project would have a specific start date
  • A project may have a specific end date or a delivery deadline
  • A project generally consists of completing a number of tasks
  • A project generally involves a budget
  • A project will have people involved - in the form of teams

Examples of Projects

Abstract things are sometimes very easy to understand through examples. Let's take a look at a few examples of projects:

  • Light Rail: Building of the light-rail system to connect my city to its airport was definitely a grand project for the whole region.
  • Building Construction: This famous construction company is engaged in a luxury multi-purpose building construction project that will change the face of our neighbourhood.
  • Mobile App Development: I know this girl, who's managing a project on payment processing through their company's mobile app. That is a digital project.
  • Website Redesign: One of my colleague's working on redesigning an e-commerce website. This is another digital project.
  • 3D Game Development: My friend from school is working on this cool 3D game to be released this summer on Oculus Rift. That is definitely a project with a strict deadline.
  • My first Music Album: I'm working with my local garage band to get this done and it is my most-passionate project.
  • My friend's second Art Exhibition: My friend has given her heart and soul into this project.
  • Renovation of my house: I'm scared of this project, the budget is beyond my comprehension, the timeline is too long and the house will be a mess all through this time. But, I don't have an option as the old house is already in shambles.
  • Building of Egypt's Pyramids: A remarkable achievement of a bygone era, that we marvel even today. These were some of the very first projects that we know of today.

These are by no means a good representation of all the various types of projects that we could have, but these definitely show how diverse projects could be.

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