What is a Project?

Take the following scenario:

“For the past few weeks, I am carrying out a research on impact of environmental pollution in global warming. I planned to finish it by Feb 28th, 2008. I publish the result of my study in a local daily newspaper by March 10th, 2008.”

“So, tell me what am I executing right now?”

Your reply would be – “You are doing a research project”

“Yes, I am executing a research project.”

“Ok. you used a word ‘Project’ in earlier sentence. How can I call what I am doing right now a project?”

Definition of a Project:

A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. [1]

If the activity being performed has all the above characteristics then it needs to be called as a Project.

Keywords in the definition are: temporary & unique outcome.

* Temporary – It has definite beginning and end time. (10th Feb 2008 till 28th Feb 2008)

* Unique Product, Services or Results – It has results out of my research study – “A Report on Impact of Environmental Pollution in Global Warming”. And the study is unique in a manner that it conducted by considering with different organic & inorganic pollutants specific to particular area.

One other important inherent characteristic of Projects is progressive elaboration. Progressive elaboration means developing in steps, and continuing by increments.

* Progressive elaboration – The general methods explained in conducting the research was first briefed and then elaborated during the project phases with the inputs of different experts across the country.

[1]. PMBOK® Guide – 3rd edition – Page #. 5

One thought on “What is a Project?

  1. Hello, I’m a teacher of English from Latvia, I like your articles for your language, and as I’m compiling a short textbook on terminology in project management for my students (they study PM in Latvian/Russian), I ask your kind permission to use some of your terminology and some text passages for my students. It is a reference book, not a textbook on PM,
    Best regards, Helen

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