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Definition of project

 (Entry 1 of 2)

Definition of project  (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

intransitive verb

  • arrangement
  • ground plan
  • master plan
  • pooch [ chiefly dialect ]

plan , design , plot , scheme , project mean a method devised for making or doing something or achieving an end.

plan always implies mental formulation and sometimes graphic representation.

design often suggests a particular pattern and some degree of achieved order or harmony.

plot implies a laying out in clearly distinguished sections with attention to their relations and proportions.

scheme stresses calculation of the end in view and may apply to a plan motivated by craftiness and self-interest.

project often stresses imaginative scope and vision.

Examples of project in a Sentence

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'project.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Middle English projecte , from Medieval Latin projectum , from Latin, neuter of projectus , past participle of proicere to throw forward, from pro- + jacere to throw — more at jet

Anglo-French projecter , from Latin projectus , past participle

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Phrases Containing project

  • housing project
  • project oneself
  • sub - project
  • project onto
  • project one's voice
  • counter - project

Dictionary Entries Near project

Cite this entry.

“Project.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/project. Accessed 30 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

Kids definition of project.

Kids Definition of project  (Entry 2 of 2)

Medical Definition

Medical definition of project, more from merriam-webster on project.

Nglish: Translation of project for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of project for Arabic Speakers

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What Is a Project? Definition, Types & Examples

ProjectManager

What is a project, exactly? We talk a lot about specific facets of project management, but it’s sometimes valuable to start at the root and dig into the basics.

To fully understand high-level project management concepts, it’s important to know the simple answers. When you can call on this knowledge, more complicated concepts are easier to master. Whether you’re the project manager or a stakeholder, give your next project definition with these project management tips in mind.

Project Definition

A project is a set of tasks that must be completed within a defined timeline to accomplish a specific set of goals. These tasks are completed by a group of people known as the project team, which is led by a project manager, who oversees the planning , scheduling, tracking and successful completion of projects.

define and projects

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Project Plan Template

Use this free Project Plan Template for Word to manage your projects better.

Besides the project team, projects require resources such as labor, materials and equipment. Organizations and individuals manage projects with a wide range of objectives. These can take many forms, from constructing a building to planning an event and even completing a certain duty. Retailers, for example, may pursue projects that improve the way they track order fulfillment. Construction teams complete projects any time they plan and build something—and so on!

Project management software gives you the tools to manage all the parts of a project so it is delivered on time and within budget. ProjectManager is award-winning project management software with features to plan, manage and track your project in real time. Organize tasks on our robust Gantt, link all four types of task dependencies to avoid costly delays and save your project plan by setting a baseline. This allows you to track your actual progress against your planned progress to help you stay on track. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

ProjectManager's Gantt chart

What Are the Characteristics of a Project?

There are certain features or characteristics that are unique to projects and differentiate them from the daily operations or other types of activities of an organization. Here are the main characteristics of a project.

1. Any Project Needs a Project Manager and a Project Team

One of the most important characteristics of a project is that it’s a team effort. While the structure of project teams might change from one organization to another, projects usually involve a project manager and a team of individuals with the necessary skills to execute the tasks that are needed.

2. Every Project Needs a Project Plan

Project team members need clear directions from the project manager and other project leaders so that they can execute the work that’s expected from them. These directions come in the form of a project plan. However, a project plan is more than just a set of instructions for the project team. It’s a comprehensive document that describes every aspect of a project, such as the project goals, project schedule and project budget among other important details.

3. All Projects Go Through the Same Project Lifecycle

The project life cycle refers to the five phases all projects must progress through, from start to finish. The five phases of a project lifecycle serve as the most basic outline that gives a project definition. These five phases are initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and closure.

4. All Projects Share the Same Project Constraints

All projects no matter their size or complexity are subject to three main constraints: time, scope and cost. This simply means that projects must be completed within a defined timeline, achieve a defined set of tasks and goals and be delivered under a certain budget .

These project constraints are known as the triple constraint or the project management triangle and are one of the most important project features to know about.

5. Every Project Needs Resources

A resource is anything necessary to complete a project, such as for example, labor, raw materials, machinery and equipment. For example, in construction, raw materials such as wood, glass or paint are essential project resources . That said, other resources — like time, labor and equipment — are just as important.

A project manager must be able to identify all of the project resources in order to create a resource plan and manage the resources accordingly. When resources are left unaccounted for, it is easy to mismanage them.

resource plan template

Types of Projects

Projects can take many shapes and forms, which makes classifying them into types a very difficult task that requires different approaches. Here are some of the types of projects grouped by funding source, industry and project management methodology .

Types of Projects By Funding Source

One simple way to categorize projects is to look at their source of capital.

  • Private projects: Projects that are financed by businesses or private organizations.
  • Public projects: Projects which are funded by Government agencies.
  • Mixed projects: Projects that are financed by a public-private partnership.

Types of Projects By Industry

Projects can be executed by large or small organizations from any industry. However, some industries are more project-intensive than others. Here are some of the most common types of projects by industry.

  • Construction projects: The main goal of any construction project is to make a building that can be used for different purposes such as infrastructure, residential or commercial use.
  • Manufacturing projects: Manufacturing projects consist of manufacturing physical products to generate profits for a company.
  • IT projects: Information technology projects consist in establishing an IT framework for the processing of data at a company-wide scale.
  • Software development projects: The main goal of a software development project is to create a software product for a client.
  • Business projects: The term business project could refer to creating a new business, creating a new business unit for an existing company or simply launching a new business initiative.

Types of Projects By Project Management Methodology

Besides the types of projects mentioned above, projects can also be classified by the project management methodology that’s used to plan, schedule and execute them.

  • Waterfall projects: Waterfall is the most traditional project management methodology, where the project plan is defined before the project begins and each major project phase must be completed in sequence.
  • Agile projects: Agile projects are planned and executed in short iterations known as sprints , where project teams plan their activities as they execute the project.

Project Examples

Now that we’ve reviewed the main characteristics of a project and the various project types that exist, let’s review some common project examples to better illustrate what a project is.

Construction Project Examples

  • Construction infrastructure projects: Building a bridge, a road, a mass transportation system or a water treatment facility.
  • Residential construction projects: Building a house, a residential building or an apartment complex.
  • Commercial construction projects: Building a shopping mall, a parking lot or a hotel.

Manufacturing Project Examples

  • Building a factory from scratch
  • Manufacturing products for retail sale
  • Manufacturing products for a B2B purchase order
  • Improving an existing production line by acquiring new machinery and training employees

Key Project Terms to Know

No matter the project, there are universal project terms that are used regardless of project type, project size or any other factor. Know these seven terms like the back of your hand and you’ll be a step ahead before the project begins:

Project Scope

Project scope is a key aspect of the project planning stage. In many ways, it is the starting point. Determining project scope requires the project manager and their team to set goals and objectives, detail deliverables, create tasks, establish important dates and more. Project scope defines desired outcomes and all specific factors which will affect reaching them.

project scope template for managing projects

Project Stakeholder

A stakeholder refers to anyone and everyone involved in a project. A stakeholder can be involved at every stage of the project, or just in a certain way. Stakeholder analysis helps categorize how investors, team members, vendors, contractors and more can affect your project.

Project Deliverables

A deliverable refers to the specific outcome(s) a project creates. Deliverables can be “tangible” or “intangible,” meaning they can be a physical product or something conceptual. Typically, deliverables are the need that inspired the project in the first place. If someone contracts a builder to design and construct an office space, the office is a tangible deliverable.

Project Milestones

Milestones are predetermined achievements that help track project progress. Think of milestones as checkpoints. These checkpoints are decided on before a project begins, so the project manager and team know when they are on track to achieve deliverables. Without milestones, it’s difficult to know if the project is on the road to success or needs to reroute.

Project Dependencies

Project dependencies refer to how resources must be shared and allocated within a project. Many projects will use the same physical materials for different purposes and across different stages. Understanding this dependency is the only way to ensure there is enough resources to go around. Similarly, all projects are broken down into tasks. When one task cannot begin before another is completed, these tasks share a dependency.

What It Means to Work on a Project

Whether it’s the project manager, a team member or any other project stakeholder, they’re a member of the greater project team and their actions directly affect other team members. Like any team, you “win” or “lose” as a unit, so it’s incredibly important to communicate and listen to other team members in order to coordinate efforts and succeed. Most project mishaps and project failures are the direct results of poor communication or lack of collaboration.

Why does this matter as long as the work is getting done? Working on a project is about understanding the project as a whole just as much as it is about doing the work. The only way to see this big picture is by listening to the team and learning from one another.

What Is Project Management?

The process of project management starts with the conception of the project and continues all the way through the project lifecycle. This requires detailed knowledge of company resources and how to assign them in order to complete tasks, duties, events and other projects.

A wide range of industries relies on project management methods and tools to execute projects. A few examples of these industries are construction, IT, engineering, marketing and advertising. Any team working together to reach a shared objective is engaging in some form of project management.

What Does a Project Manager Do?

A project manager is more than just a manager, in the traditional sense. This individual is the leader of the project team and oversees every aspect of the project, from beginning to end. The project manager will typically write the project plan, run team meetings, assign tasks and do quality control tests to ensure everything is running smoothly. A project manager can’t carry the entire project on their back, though. One of their key duties, in fact, is knowing how to entrust various responsibilities to team members.

With the help of their team, project managers will create project schedules and budgets. They will also create project reports throughout the project lifecycle.

As you can see, their responsibilities are widespread, but that doesn’t mean spreading too thin. Ideally, a project manager creates the foundation of the project—like the foundation of a house. They then appoint other individuals to finish out each room.

Project Definition: Best Practices for Project Management

Regardless of the project, the size of the team, or anything else, there are practices that exponentially increase the chances of success. As vital as it is to hit goals and achieve deliverables , it’s just as important to create a positive culture within the project. These five tips may seem simple, but they make a big difference:

Set Regular Team Check-ins

It’s easy to meet with the team “as needed,” but once a project begins it gets harder to find time in everyone’s schedule. Instead, schedule regular meetings before a project even starts. These meetings serve as check-ins where team members can give each other updates, voice concerns, ask questions, make adjustments and do anything else they may need. When these check-ins are already built into the schedule, no one is waiting to meet until there’s a mishap or issue.

Part of what gives a project definition is knowing how to delegate. Whether it’s the project managers or a team member, they’ll more than likely need help with a task at some point. Now, this doesn’t mean just passing along the task to someone else. It means that every team member has equal responsibilities. Instead, the best project managers know how to relinquish some control and delegate to team members.

Know the Team

Everyone on the project management team should be familiar with each other’s strengths, weaknesses and specialties. For example, if a team member needs information from a different department, they should know exactly who to ask. This familiarity cuts down on lost time. It is especially important for a project manager to know their team extremely well.

When a project member knows these things, they can make decisions that play to their team members’ strengths, not around their weaknesses. Knowing the team is a huge aspect of creating a positive culture within a project, as it celebrates everyone’s abilities.

team charter template for project management

Celebrate Milestones

Speaking of positive culture, never underestimate the power of taking a moment to mark meeting a milestone . Reaching one means the team has made significant progress and the project is still on track. At the very least, it’s important to announce reaching milestones during team check-ins. This keeps everyone on the same page and improves team efficacy.

Choose Superior PM Tools

Project management is an extremely complex job. Without the proper tools, it’s easy to make mistakes, become disorganized and even fail to complete the project. The best way to protect your project from these missteps is by choosing tools that simplify the entire process.

The best project management software does just that. Using project management software unleashes your team’s and the project’s full potential and takes the end result to new heights. The key is finding an intuitive, user-friendly project management software that makes no compromises in functionality.

How ProjectManager Makes Managing Projects Easy

ProjectManager is an award-winning project management software that makes managing projects easier than ever. Our online software allows the entire team to work on the project while in the field or on the go, and our modern interface combines functionality with user-friendly navigation. This means no more wasted time just trying to familiarize yourself with a new tool and more time perfecting your project definition.

Plan on Gantt Charts

Plan your projects from start to finish with ProjectManager’s powerful Gantt chart feature, which allows you to map out project tasks in phases. You can even create dependencies and set milestones. Plus, you can import Excel files and Microsoft Project files, so switching over to our software is seamless.

ProjectManager's Gantt chart

Track on Project Dashboards

As the project team moves forward with tasks, project managers can track every status update on our real-time dashboard that you can personalize to show the most important metrics. Every change to a task is tracked and automatically updates the colorful, easy-to-read charts and graphs. Keeping an eye on your project’s progress has never been easier!

ProjectManager’s dashboard view, which shows six key metrics on a project

Get all these features and more when you use ProjectManager. All of these tools are available in our software to help you plan, track and report on your project in real time. See what it can do for you by taking this free 30-day trial run!

Click here to browse ProjectManager's free templates

Deliver your projects on time and under budget

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Your Guide to Project Management Best Practices

What is a Project? – Definition, Lifecycle and Key Characteristics

What is a Project? – Definition, Life-Cycle and Key Characteristics

If you’re a project manager, developer, or anyone else who works on completing goals, then you’re familiar with the definition and essential characteristics of the project. However, project definition is often used in different contexts and can mean something different to each project management professional.

But one thing that everyone agrees on when it comes to the meaning of “project” is that every project initiative defines a final deliverable to be produced in a finite period and budget, unlike a continuous process.

An individual or organization involved in projects needs to understand how to solve the complexity of problems through a systematic management approach. In this article, we’ll define the terms “project” and “lifecycle,” describe the critical characteristics of a project, and explain how to distinguish a project from an activity.

A girl wondering if she's going to do a project or an activity

What is a Project? – The Definition

Project  is an excellent opportunity for organizations and individuals to achieve their business and non-business objectives more efficiently through implementing change. Projects help us make desired changes in an organized manner and reduce the probability of failure.

Projects differ from other types of work (e.g., process, task, procedure). Meanwhile, in the broadest sense,  a project is defined as a specific, finite activity that produces a visible and measurable result under specific preset requirements .

It attempts to implement desired change in an environment in a controlled way. By using projects, we can plan and do our activities, for example:

  • Build a garage.
  • Run a marketing campaign.
  • Develop a website.
  • Organize a party.
  • Go on vacation.
  • Graduate a university with honors or whatever else we may wish to do.
A  project is a temporary, unique, and progressive attempt to produce a tangible or intangible result (a unique product, service, benefit, competitive advantage, etc.). It usually includes a series of interrelated tasks planned for execution over a fixed period and within specific requirements and limitations such as cost, quality, performance, etc.

The Key Characteristics of a Project

As follows from the given definition, any project features these characteristics:

  • Temporary . This fundamental characteristic means every project has a finite start and end. The start is when the project is initiated and its concept is developed. The end is reached when all project objectives have been met (or unmet if it’s evident that the project cannot be completed – then it’s terminated).
  • Unique Deliverable(s) . Any project aims to produce some deliverable(s) which can be a product, service, or another result. Deliverables should address a problem or need to be analyzed before the project start.
  • Progressive Elaboration . With the progress of a project, continuous investigation and improvement become available, allowing more accurate and comprehensive plans. This fundamental characteristic means that successive iterations of planning processes develop more effective solutions to progress and develop long-term 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 particular lifecycle.
  • Structured as it has inter-dependencies between its tasks and activities.
  • Conflict as it tries to solve a problem that creates some friction.
  • Limited by available project resources.
  • Risk as it involves an element of change with a negative impact.

Below are some examples of projects:

  • Digging a well for the extraction of a natural resource in Nebraska
  • Building a wooden house somewhere in Spain
  • Developing a cloud-based marketing platform for startups
  • Establishing a non-profit organization for COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts
  • Renovating the kitchen
  • Organizing a project meeting  with critical stakeholders
  • Running a marathon … (anything you don’t repeat often).

No matter how big or small your project is, you can benefit from using editable project templates ― pre-formatted, reusable outlines that are a starting point for planning new work.  Templates  enable you to set up to-do’s, budgets, project schedules, reports, and other formal documents without starting from scratch.

Project vs. Activity

If you need clarification on “ project versus activity, ” let us explain the differences in the following list.

  • Project is an all-encompassing term that helps you organize multifaceted tasks and manage multiple resources.
  • Activities are particular types of tasks categorized based on the kind of work involved, the purpose, and constraints.
  • A project is a lifecycle event, while an activity is a discrete unit of time or task that complements the scope of project planning.
  • Projects have tangible deliverables or products and measurable outcomes, unlike activities and routine operations that don’t.
  • Projects are temporary, but activities are ongoing and continuous.
  • Projects usually have a number of activities, while single tasks in an activity or multiple tasks within an activity do not represent a project.
  • Activities are sequential and sequential activities can be part of a sub-project.

Project Work Breakdown Structure

In project management, the work breakdown structure (WBS) defines a deliverable-oriented hierarchical decomposition of all the essential work to be executed by the project team to accomplish the desired objectives and create the required deliverables. It’s made up of separate activities organized as packages or phases.

It’s an organized and systematic way of illustrating a project to increase clarity. The primary purpose of the WBS is to describe what work needs to be done and how it fits within the project context. Identifying the tasks for successful project completion is essential, so you can clearly understand what activities should be accomplished by specific dates.

A WBS serves as a basis for finding the critical path and developing a network diagram that captures the flow of work needed to accomplish the project objectives.

  • Program  – a broad, long-term objective that is often decomposed into a series of projects and sub-projects
  • Task  – an identifiable and measurable activity that creates a small unit of work for a related project
  • Work package  – a division of a project task
  • Work unit  – a division of work packages

Projects, programs, tasks, work packages, and units are the elements of the  work breakdown structure  or WBS. Often WBS is used to determine an activity-based hierarchy of projects regarding their deliverables and objectives.

A program includes several or larger projects. A larger project can be broken down into smaller interrelated sub-projects. Each can be divided into tasks that are decomposed into complementary activities or sub-tasks. A task includes a series of smaller goals that are monitored against milestones.

Project Lifecycle: Common Phases

The concept of the lifecycle is fundamental in project management. It describes a project’s phases over time, from initial launch to completion and termination.

The project lifecycle includes an organization’s activities to produce the final product. Therefore, these activities should be considered equally important and referred to as “steps” or “phases.”

The value of project lifecycle management is that it defines what key stakeholders should be focusing on:

  • In each phase, progress the project to its subsequent development step.
  • Associated risks and challenges.
  • Effective leadership styles, team dynamics, and strategies support project success.

Depending on the company and the  chosen method of project management , the project lifecycle can include these typical phases:

  •   Conducting a feasibility study  is a phase meant to determine the viability of a project. The primary purpose of this phase is to identify the proposed project’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.
  • Establishing the project requirements  — identifies functional and technical requirements for producing a desired outcome or benefit. Defining project acceptance criteria usually include in this step.
  • Developing the project scope  defines what has to be done for the product, who will do it, and how it will be done. This stage is also where the high-level project objectives should be defined.
  • Creating the schedule  and the budget  — also called “ project baseline ” refers to the detail of the project timeline and the estimated budget, including dates and periods of each activity and the costs to be covered. It also includes time buffers for contingencies to avoid delays in the start or delivery of the product.
  • Creating the project plan  — planning, organizing, and scheduling the work assigned to a project is known as project planning. Its main aim is to ensure that the activities required to create and deliver a product are put in place following the allocated budget and deadline.
  • Executing project work  — it is also known as project implementation. The primary purpose of this phase is to ensure the completion of all activities and tasks following the project plan.
  • Controlling and reporting  — this phase consists of tracking progress, changing circumstances and risks, identifying issues, plus monitoring the work performed during project execution. It can notify managers in the case of any deviation from the plan.

Predictive and Iterative Project Lifecycles

Most project management lifecycles can be of two types: predictive and iterative.

The  predictive lifecycle  is suitable for projects where the deliverables should be completed within a predefined time frame and budget. For instance, here are the five phases of the predictive lifecycle (the waterfall methodology) according to The PMBOK Guide by the Project Management Institute (PMI):

  • Monitoring and Control

The predictive lifecycle is used in situations when you can estimate the average time required to complete every phase in your project. This makes it easy for managers to estimate the total time and cost that will be involved in completing the project successfully. However, this approach does not allow for identifying factors that might prevent you from achieving your goals on time and within budget.

The  iterative lifecycle , sometimes called the spiral lifecycle, is suitable for situations when you cannot accurately estimate the time and cost to complete every phase or activity.

The iterative methodology is suitable for those types of agile projects that have to deal with uncertainties, frequent changes in requirements, and other unforeseeable problem-solving activities.

Below are the six standard stages of the iterative lifecycle (Scrum, Extreme Programming, Agile approach):

  • Maintenance

Project Management in Business

Startups and mature companies widely use project management to complete complex tasks and business objectives. It is used for planning, organizing, and controlling business projects that guide an organization’s growth.

Business project management is a systematic approach to planning, organizing, and controlling the work of one or more people and divisions within an organization to achieve a specific business aim. It is usually carried out using project management tools and techniques to achieve a particular business goal.

A business project can be aimed at developing a new product or service that will either fill a gap in the market or create a unique niche for your company.

Say you want to develop a new generation of mobile phones, then it is an R&D project management task within your business operations.

Or, you want to build a computer program to speed up the process of resolving life-chat queries in your customer support department. Then you have to plan and organize its development as a software project.

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What is a Project? - Characteristics and Examples

A project is a temporary venture to produce a new and unique deliverable . A deliverable could be a tangible product, a service or achievement of a required outcome. stakeholdermap.com

Characteristics of a project

What is a Project? 4 characteristics of a project

1. It has a start and a finish

2. it creates something new, 3. it starts with an idea, which is turned into something, 4. it isn't business as usual, projects still follow processes, project management processes, product processes, examples of projects compared to operations or business as usual, railway project example - crossrail.

What is a Project? Crossrail example of a project

Railway Operations example - Running stations, maintaining tracks

What is a Project?r railway maintenance example of what isn't a project

Project - Designing a new car

What is a Project? Example of designing a car

Operations – The production line building the car

car production line example of what isn't a project

Read more on Project Management

Everything You Need to Know about Project Definition

By Kate Eby | April 27, 2022

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We’ve created a comprehensive guide to project definition, including how to write an effective project definition document and expert tips. 

Included on this page, you’ll learn the essential components of project definition , as well as find a project definition assessment rubric and a project definition document checklist to get started.

What Is Project Definition?

The term project definition refers to the work a project manager, sponsor, and stakeholders undertake at the project onset to determine the goals and needs. The manager records that definition in a project charter or project definition document.

Teams perform project definition at the beginning of every project, regardless of the specific project management framework you use. The term is sometimes confused with scope definition, but the two are distinct.

Mike Clayton

Mike Clayton, the CEO and founder of OnlinePMCourses.com , notes that the confusion around project definition often occurs because there is “no fixed terminology in project management — it’s always changeable, with some more changeable than others.” The project size, school of thought, and location all influence the differentiating factors in terminology. 

For example, Clayton prefers the term project definition for what PMI calls project initiation . “If your team uses PRINCE2, the term project initiation is the same stage that PMI calls project planning . On smaller projects, the project initiation and planning can merge into one.”  

He also recommends that you “avoid being didactic about terminology. Sometimes project managers have been taught [terminology] one way, and then they join a different company that uses different terms.” The lack of standardization of terms can cause friction within a team if there isn’t a shared understanding of terminology or if team members get too tied to one way — the important thing is to understand the essence of the task. As Clayton continues, “As long as one of the first things you do is to define your project clearly, then you’re doing it well.” 

When defining project definition and the project lifecycle phases, this article refers to the five phases of a project lifecycle from the PMBOK Guide (Project Management Body of Knowledge), created by the Project Management Institute. 

Project definition occurs during the first project phase, called project initiation , and includes a high-level overview using basic information to get your project started. (Note that the definition does not contain extensive details at this point — you’ll determine specifics in the next phase, called project planning .) The goal of project definition is to guide preliminary conversations and decisions that will lead to the project’s goals and objectives. Upon approval, the team will expand the definition with more details that support its successful execution. 

Read our comprehensive guide to project planning or use our project plan templates to develop the specifics of your execution tasks. 

Regardless of the project management framework you use, project definition helps to create a shared understanding without expending a significant amount of effort to outline each of the following: 

  • People: Who is involved in the project, and what are their roles?  
  • Project Goals and Objectives: What are (and are not) the intended goals and output of the project? 
  • Purpose: Why is this project necessary to meet business goals? 

By determining the above, the team and the project sponsor can make informed decisions from a shared understanding. Doing so helps you to do the following: 

  • Determine Project Fit: Is this project the best solution to the business problem or needs at hand? Does the project actually solve the fundamental issue? Are there other projects or directions that would be a better solution?
  • Inform Business Decisions: Is this project’s return on investment (ROI) worth dedicating valuable resources?
  • Align Project Objectives: Have we answered how this project meets business goals? How does this project contribute to the business?
  • Onboard Project Team: Do the project’s team, stakeholders, and sponsors truly agree on the project? What compromises are necessary to specify the project’s constraints, clarify project boundaries, and avoid scope creep? What trade-offs need to occur to ensure the project meets the schedule, budget, and scope?

What Is a Good Project Definition?

A good project definition identifies the purpose of a project. A strong definition helps you manage stakeholder expectations by clearly detailing how the project solves the problem at hand, and it should prevent confusion and miscommunication throughout the project lifecycle.

Once the project manager assembles a definition outline, the next step is to ensure the team reaches consensus on the project definition. As Mike Clayton says, “Good project definition is when everyone reads the definition, understands it in the same way, and agrees to it.” 

You can use the benchmarking method to maintain standards and objectives while measuring progress. Benchmarking is not a significant part of developing the objectives or goals during project definition, as this stage does not require such precision. Instead, teams use benchmarking techniques in project planning to establish performance indicators measuring the project’s performance during execution. 

That said, you can use benchmarks and standards to determine the strength of your project definition. Many project managers use a project definition checklist to ensure that the project is thoroughly detailed as they assemble the project charter, especially if they manage several projects. 

Once the team thoroughly specifies the project, evaluate its effectiveness and success against established criteria. No matter the industry, it is easy to place low value or feel rushed when taking the time to assess if the definition meets the standards of the project. However, if you avoid project definition, the project is vulnerable to more assumptions, scope creep, and costly risks.

Project Definition Document Template

Project Definition Document Template

Download Project Definition Document Template Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF | Google Docs

Use this customizable project definition document template to easily compile your project definition statement. This free template functions as an effective framework to quickly assemble your project’s overview, tentative schedule, scope, resources, costs, and customer benefits, as well as the risks, constraints, and assumptions.

Project Definition Document vs. Project Charter

A project definition document (PDD) is the umbrella term for a short document that describes a project. A p roject charter, project brief, and project description are types of PDDs. They all snapshot the work and resources required for a project. 

There is no difference between a project charter and a project definition document — they are the same document created during the project initiation phase. Project managers may prefer one term over the other, depending on their training or their workplace, though it is best to stay consistent on the terminology within your team to avoid confusion. 

Often, people confuse the project initiation document (PID) , the project plan, and the scope statement with the PDD, but they are distinct. A project initiation document is a highly detailed document that you complete during project initiation. A project plan expands the outlined details in the PDD during the project planning phase, and fills in specific details and tasks. A scope statement is also a detailed document completed during the project planning that defines the budget, schedule, and boundaries for the work and resources needed.

Project Definition Document Assessment Rubric

Project Definition Document Assessment Rubric

Project Definition Quality Assessment Rubric Microsoft Excel | Google Sheets

Regardless of the approach you choose for developing your project definition, you should use an assessment rubric to evaluate its clarity and strength. After completing your project definition document, weigh your document against the rubric’s value criteria to determine areas of improvement. This rubric evaluates five major components of the project’s definition (purpose, objectives, scope, uncertainties, and metrics) and includes a reviewer feedback section for each criterion.

How Do You Define a Project?

To define a project, start by choosing the parameters for the project’s goals. First, determine the project objectives in relation to larger business goals, and then build consensus on the outcome of the project with stakeholders. 

Your completed project definition will outline your project from start to finish without spending effort on the details. (Some project definitions may need to add more information in order to gain approval; these additional details include potential limitations, risks, and roles.) A project definition will ultimately validate the project’s primary benefit and the estimated cost to get there. 

Regardless of the format or framework of your definition, the elements of a sound project definition will always include the following: 

  • Vision or Purpose: State why your project is necessary and how it serves a greater purpose to meet business objectives.
  • Objectives: These include resulting products, goods, or services generated from the project. Project objectives can focus on tangible goals, such as a manufactured good, or on less tangible goals, such as building team efficiency or workplace culture.
  • Scope: This is a high-level overview of the project’s deliverables, tasks, budget, and schedule. You can use a project scope template to help structure the overview.
  • Negotiated Success Criteria: Stakeholders and the project manager must agree on how they will define project success. Specify the metrics and stick with them before you begin project work, and ensure that all stakeholders share an understanding to support future dialogue on the project’s progress. 
  • Exclusions: In this section, determine what is and isn’t expected to be included at project close. Stakeholders must agree to the exclusions (or project scope boundaries) to prevent scope creep. 
  • Additional Details: List any details needed to help communicate the project’s necessity to the approver (examples include potential risks, stakeholder priority, the sponsor, or activities required to complete the deliverables). Here, too, avoid being too detailed at this point in the process. 

The project manager’s role is to determine and document the definition. However, a project manager must also manage the people in the process in order to build consensus and buy-in, especially when scoping. Although the project management lifecycle looks linear on paper, remember that some activities will naturally overlap. Therefore, the project manager works independently to prepare the tactical information and concurrently leads conversations in a highly nuanced way to get the project team working together. 

Mike Clayton advises, “One of the skills a project manager must have is mediation. Your management starts with the most important stakeholders and project sponsor to learn the goals and objectives from them and to help them to articulate it. Next, figure out the scope, [which] will always be the hardest part. That’s because stakeholders want different things — it’s politics with all different sorts of views. You have to sit down with each of the stakeholders, understand their perspective, and then maybe get them in the same room to work toward an agreement.”

Project Definition Checklist

Project Definition Checklist

Download Project Definition Checklist Microsoft Excel | Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF | Google Docs | Google Sheets

Use a project definition checklist to ensure that you cover all areas as you define your project. This template includes space to highlight the project purpose, goal, objectives, scope, exclusions, dependencies, constraints, risks, issues, stakeholders, and budget, if available. You can also edit this checklist to meet the needs of your project or organization.

What Is a Project Definition Document?

A project definition document (PDD) , also known as a project charter , is a two- to three-page document that outlines a project’s requirements. A project manager creates the document with stakeholder input. Project teams reference this document throughout the project lifecycle.  

This initial document is essential for managing client and stakeholder expectations, since it functions as a tool to create shared understanding about project scope. This shared understanding creates transparency, which ultimately leads to greater project success.

How Do You Write a Project Definition?

To write a project definition, you need to articulate the purpose of the project. First, define the problem to determine if it makes sound business sense to proceed. Then, sketch ideas for how to deliver your solution to the problem. 

After formally defining your project, you will use the document to determine if it makes sound business sense to proceed. Write your project definition using the following steps: 

  • Determine Which Ideas Are Suitable: Before writing the document, the project manager must approach the project with curiosity. Not all project ideas may be suitable for the business. Articulate the project’s purpose by asking what it seeks to accomplish and why.
  • Estimate the Requirements: In this section, quantify the major cost, resources, and time requirements, as well as the risks the project faces.
  • Identify the Project Benefits: Describe how the project positively contributes to the organizational goals, stakeholders, and clients or customers.

define and projects

Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez , the former global chairman of the Project Management Institute, a PMI Fellow, professor, and the author of the Harvard Business Review Project Management Handbook , shares that it is essential to “keep project management tools simple. Most people struggle with writing a project definition because they start with the document. But really, the project definition document should not take too much time if you have spent time analyzing, discussing, and defining the key elements with your stakeholders in advance. We also need to simplify how we define projects. One of the biggest issues is focusing on the business case only. We should also spend time defining the purpose of the project —the ‘why’ are we doing the project.”

The document will help the project manager verbalize the project’s strategic alignment with the business. You can then weigh the tactical delivery of value against the time, risk, effort, expenses needed to execute the project. The most accurate PDDs are realistic about the actual time and costs. By understanding what the project is and is not, and building in room for error, you can make an informed decision with the least risk moving forward.

define and projects

In the beginning, a project may also be full of ambiguity — for example, clients or sponsors may have a solution in mind that differs from the actual problem or don’t yet have enough information.

As Dawn Mahan, founder and CEO of PMOtraining , shares, “The initial definition might be, ‘I don’t have enough definition.’ If the project you’ve been tasked to lead only has three sentences, then you have to figure out what your client is looking for. Before your meeting, problem solve and think ahead of time to arrive at your client meeting prepared.” 

Mahan’s patented four-step process is as follows: Form the initial definition, determine the essential problem, devise an appropriate solution, and help manage client expectations: 

  • Define the Problem or Opportunity as Clearly as You Can: Get to the root of the problem. A common pitfall is that your client creates a solution to their perceived problem, but their solution doesn’t truly solve the core problem. Your job is to determine if the problem they’re solving for is the correct problem. For example, your client may have called your services to install a pool. But the root of the problem is a boredom issue, and they need an entertainment space for adults and kids to solve it. Starting from the root problem opens up new potential solutions that can address the real issue.
  • Identify and Force Rank the Five Delivery Objectives: After determining the root issue, outline the project’s goals and objectives using the triple constraint triangle , which refers to the project scope, budget, and schedule. Dawn notes that the PMI’s triple constraint actually contains five delivery objectives: time, budget, scope, quality, and stakeholder satisfaction. She says that, given the choice, a client would always rank all five objectives equally. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the PM to determine a client’s priorities regarding a particular project and then to force rank those priorities for such project. Once the project manager determines the client’s priorities, they can plan accordingly and offer relevant recommendations. By offering your client desirable solutions, you achieve two goals simultaneously: You build trust, and you reinforce your expertise as the project manager.
  • Generate Alternatives: Now that you know your clients’ priorities, there are a multitude of solutions. Consider the possible alternatives and get creative with developing multiple solutions.
  • Determine the Solution: From the solutions you’ve generated, pick the approach that best meets the needs and the objectives. That might mean that the project manager has additional work if resources are limited — if this is the case, consider finding more funding or creating a phased approach.

Project Definition Best Practices

Successful project definition starts with identifying your project’s purpose, and then with aligning your sponsor and stakeholders to this purpose. It is the project manager’s job to move the team to a consensus, and doing so requires advanced people management skills. 

It’s easy for project managers and their team to overlook the project definition, only to later find issues that could have been avoided with a clear PDD. Remind yourself of the following commonly understood best practices before the start of your next project: 

  • Slow down and make time for project definition. 
  • Be a project definition ambassador and educate your team. 
  • Understand the problem you’re trying to solve.  
  • Communicate clearly and often with your team and all relevant stakeholders, and get everyone on the team to articulate the goals to establish consensus. 
  • Align project goals with business goals. 
  • Use business cases as a reference.

Dawn Mahan shares the following: “A project manager is not just an order taker. If that were the case, there would be a lot of project disappointment because the project manager failed to ask ‘why.’ Project managers and clients or sponsors are interviewing each other — doing so builds trust and human connection and helps the project manager understand the client. This process also answers if the client truly knows what they want, which helps the project manager navigate how to work with the client. 

Additionally, Neito-Rodriguez says, it’s important to engage your sponsors and stakeholders: “You need to have strong sponsorship — not just C-level-titled sponsors, but true engagement. Get buy-in from your sponsors, make sure they know their role and the expectations. Meet with your sponsor at the beginning of the project and offer to explain/define the role of the sponsor.  

“Don’t assume sponsors will engage — it’s your job to drive the agenda in the early stages of the project. With a strong sponsor and clear purpose, your project may still have struggles in it, but it will be successful in the end.”

Mike Clayton provides suggestions to help hone your negotiation and influencing tactics when working with your stakeholders: “Be careful not to anchor your beliefs around the first conversation and let it take over. Avoid [doing so] by anchoring on your own beliefs and being aware of your sources of bias.” 

As you work to understand your stakeholders from the beginning and make decisions, Clayton continues, “Don’t overpromise. Overpromising usually happens because the project manager focuses on one group of stakeholders. Approach the stakeholders without bias toward significant or more senior people. Your tactics can also help to move the stakeholder group to consensus by presenting a compromise to hesitant stakeholders. For example, you may say, ‘We can’t give you X, but if we can give you Y, would that help?’”

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something that is contemplated, devised, or planned; plan; scheme: I have several little projects around the house that I’d like to tackle in my time off.

a large or major undertaking, especially one involving considerable money, personnel, and equipment: The city is undertaking several public works projects to modernize and upgrade infrastructure.

a specific task of investigation, especially in scholarship: Federal funding supports some cancer-related projects while other research is sustained by private grants.

Education . a supplementary, long-term educational assignment necessitating personal initiative, undertaken by an individual student or a group of students: For my literature class project, I wrote an original rock opera and performed one song from it.

the projects, Informal . a housing project , typically one constructed as a development of high-rise towers with apartments for low-income residents, especially in the second half of the 20th century: Back in those days, the projects were no place to raise a family.

to propose, contemplate, or plan.

to throw, cast, or impel forward or onward.

to set forth or calculate (some future thing): They projected the building costs for the next five years.

to throw or cause to fall upon a surface or into space, as a ray of light or a shadow.

to cause (a figure or image) to appear, as on a background.

to regard (something within the mind, as a feeling, thought, or attitude) as having some form of reality outside the mind: He projected a thrilling picture of the party's future.

to cause to jut out or protrude.

to throw forward an image of (a figure or the like) by straight lines or rays, either parallel, converging, or diverging, that pass through all its points and reproduce it on another surface or figure.

to transform the points (of one figure) into those of another by a correspondence between points.

to present (an idea, program, etc.) for consideration or action: They made every effort to project the notion of world peace.

to use (one's voice, gestures, etc.) forcefully enough to be perceived at a distance, as by all members of the audience in a theater.

to communicate clearly and forcefully (one's thoughts, personality, role, etc.) to an audience, as in a theatrical performance; produce a compelling image of.

to cause (the voice) to appear to come from a source other than oneself, as in ventriloquism; throw.

to extend or protrude beyond something else.

to use one's voice forcefully enough to be heard at a distance, as in a theater.

to produce a clear impression of one's thoughts, personality, role, etc., in an audience; communicate clearly and forcefully.

Psychology . to ascribe one's own feelings, thoughts, or attitudes to others.

Origin of project

Synonym study for project, other words for project, other words from project.

  • pro·ject·a·ble, adjective
  • pro·ject·ing·ly, adverb
  • coun·ter·proj·ect, noun
  • non·pro·ject·ing, adjective
  • re·pro·ject, verb
  • subproject, noun
  • un·pro·ject·ed, adjective
  • un·pro·ject·ing, adjective

Words Nearby project

  • Prohibition party
  • prohibitive
  • prohibitory
  • projected window
  • projection booth
  • projectionist

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use project in a sentence

Interviews were conducted in Arizona, Florida and North Carolina as part of a joint project by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Cook Political Report.

The project took data on the soil and slopes across California and then included wildfire risk and climate projections, and used that to show which roadways were vulnerable to post-fire debris flows.

Launching a project to grow more palm oil on less land was the easy part, he knew.

We urge more investors to invest capital into high-impact projects where everyone succeeds as a result.

That project began in 2018 with Kerri Evelyn Harris's campaign, and the vote patterns today will reveal whether the left can make more gains with suburbanites.

I started just writing these songs, at first it felt like a project or something.

Thus begins an episode of The Mindy project centered around a guy trying to have butt sex with his girlfriend.

Riots broke out in 1994, after Iranian authorities replaced a Sunni mosque in Mashad with a development project .

Gurley was gunned down on Nov. 20, when a pair of cops was patrolling the rough housing project .

Opechatesgays.com is one project of a much larger organization, EthicalOil.org—and here is where things get really interesting.

The worthy knight not being now alive to veto the project , a figure of him has been placed opposite the College in Edmund Street.

Her black eyes were fixed intently on his face, but she was thinking, weighing in her mind some suddenly-formed project .

Very soon I induced my directors to adopt the view that the railway company must encourage and help the project .

New York is like one of those nightmares a certain class of writers project and label 'Earth in the Year 2000.'

The project of a congress was accordingly abandoned, and everywhere recrimination gave place to rejoicing.

British Dictionary definitions for project

a proposal, scheme, or design

a task requiring considerable or concerted effort, such as one by students

the subject of such a task

US short for housing project

(tr) to propose or plan

(tr) to predict; estimate; extrapolate : we can project future needs on the basis of the current birth rate

(tr) to throw or cast forwards

to jut or cause to jut out

(tr) to send forth or transport in the imagination : to project oneself into the future

(tr) to cause (an image) to appear on a surface

to cause (one's voice) to be heard clearly at a distance

(intr) (esp of a child) to believe that others share one's subjective mental life

to impute to others (one's hidden desires and impulses), esp as a means of defending oneself : Compare introject

(tr) geometry to draw a projection of

(intr) to communicate effectively, esp to a large gathering

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Table of Contents

Definition of project, importance of project management , characteristics of a project, projects vs operations , project boundaries explained , the nature of a project, the project life cycle, phases of the project management life cycle , a project is considered successful when , how to implement a project, types of projects in project management , examples of successful projects, benefits of project management software for better project management , frequently asked questions , choose the right program, what is a project in project management: life cycle, and more.

What is a Project: Definition, Features, and Examples for Successful Project Management

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Projects are temporary, no matter how many years they last. This is because projects exist to solve particular problems and achieve specific goals efficiently.  

As Joseph M. Juran rightly put it, “A project is a problem scheduled for solution.” 

The size of the project is thus determined by the nature of the problem it is intended to solve. That said, the benefits of project management in organizations go beyond merely keeping within the project’s allocated resources, including timelines, cost, deliverables, and scope. The difference is in the value and efficiency that project management delivers. The project manager is in full control of the project and works to keep all stakeholders on the same page. This accords project teams the opportunity to collaborate on tasks and own the project’s vision and align with it in the course of executing their tasks.

Read more: What is a Project Management Plan and How to Create One ?

A project is a combination of set objectives to be accomplished within a fixed period. They are an excellent opportunity to organize your business and non-business goals efficiently. The changes made in the project completion process are expected to perform better. When you work on an office project, it requires experts from different departments to come together. When you are working on a school / college project, you collaborate with fellow students to meet the objective. While working on a personal project, you will be coordinating with your family or friends to accomplish the set objectives. Therefore, we can say one individual can own that project, but it is a group activity. These people are known as project managers .

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Watch the video below that will help you understand the basics of project management.

The importance of project management cuts across different businesses and industries. While the goals and objectives can be achieved in any setting, they are better and more efficiently achieved within a project management structure. Initially, project management was reserved for special projects, for instance, delivering new and/or innovative products or initiating a digital transformation. Today, more organizations, especially the large ones, are adopting project management for the more routine operational tasks to accomplish them more efficiently and deliver higher value.  

Project management involves proper planning, execution, and monitoring. It helps in increasing the chances of achieving optimal results for pre-set objectives. It enables project managers and other stakeholders to analyze the importance of any particular project for an organization and utilize business resources appropriately. In essence, project management helps set the scope, budget, and process of a project accurately.  

What qualifies an undertaking to be a project?  

You may have already worked on a project without realizing it. 

Here are the seven characteristics that define a project. 

Projects are Bound by Time 

As we have already seen, projects are temporary in nature. It means that all projects have defined start and end times within which the project concept is birthed, planned, executed, and delivered. Once project objectives have been met, the project comes to a close. In addition to the time resource, projects are also bound within the constraints of scope, quality, and cost. Project goals are thus formulated within the available resources. 

A few times, however, projects have been terminated before their planned end-time or before their goals have been achieved. This often happens when it becomes clear that the project is no longer viable. 

Projects are Purposeful 

The Project Management Institute (PMI) defines a project as a pool of human and non-human resources in a temporary undertaking to achieve a specific purpose. 

Projects are initiated to accomplish specific objectives against the available resources. After the project’s purpose has been achieved, a project will be brought to a close. The insights that have been drawn from it are documented for reference. As the project progresses through the predefined phases, monitoring and evaluation are done to ensure that the project’s cause for existence and objectives are fulfilled accordingly.  

Projects Progress Through a Life Cycle to Accomplish Goals 

The project life cycle represents the different phases that a project goes through from start to completion. All projects typically go through four phases which are: 

  • Initiation 
  • Implementation 

Just as projects are limited to available resources, different phases in a project should have resources allocated to them in advance. A project’s requirements may change, which is bound to impact the resources allocated to it. For this reason, project managers ought to ensure that the project is practically flexible to accommodate changes and still remain viable.

In addition, each project phase has part of the resources exclusively allocated to it to enable effective monitoring and evaluation.   

Projects are Unique

By PMBOK Guide standards, projects are temporary and undertaken to create a unique project service or result. Projects are unique in purpose, goals, location, structure, resources, activities, and other project variables to make each project different from the others. 

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Projects are Channels Used to Venture Into the Unfamiliar 

Every project has a level of risk and uncertainty. It is because not much is known about the outcome of activities through the project life cycle until they are actually executed. Hence, projects are usually based on projections of outcomes. However, the level of risk differs from one project to another. This will depend on how well the project is planned and steered through the project life cycle phases, resources available, or the toolset adopted to execute the project, among other factors.  

Projects Require Cross-Departmental Collaboration 

Projects require teams or individuals with different skills, roles, and responsibilities in various departments to collaborate to achieve a common purpose or solution. Collaboration presents immense benefits in project management as it pools together valuable ideas, skills, and expertise needed to deliver value. 

A Project is a Single Entity

Even though a single project will bring together diverse skills, functions, roles, participants, and even disciplines, it remains a single entity. This is because all these components unite towards achieving the project goals. 

Many undertakings that often pass off as projects are more often not projects but operations. This is due to the fact that they do not possess the qualities listed above. 

As illustrated in the table below, operations are usually ongoing undertakings without finite timescale and are not unique owing to their routine nature. 

A project boundary is a definition of the limits and exclusions of the project work. Project boundaries are listed as project boundaries identification in the scope statement. 

Boundaries are important for the project as they will state the things applicable to the project and those out of the project’s limits. This helps the project manager to determine the content of project activities. 

Factors to be considered when identifying project boundaries include:

  • Project goals and objectives 
  • Project/product scope
  • Project phases 
  • Project resources 

The nature of a project is optimistic. It is the hope of any project manager that the goals set out for a project will be accomplished and the output results in the betterment of a firm/individual. Projects vary by size, industry, objectives, organization, and output. 

However, the nature of every project, large or small, is to pass through a pre-planned life cycle right from initiation to its completion. 

A project process is divided into five main phases, collectively known as the project life cycle. Given the amount of work that goes into planning an entire project, it is more practical to break the project into phases for effective execution and monitoring. The project life cycle provides a framework within which the project activities and resources are organized into a logical execution sequence for optimal utilization of resources and ultimately the best outcome.  

Each project phase is goal-oriented and will include:

  • A list of activities that need to be accomplished during the phase 
  • Details of team members and their roles 
  • Project deliverables 
  • Resources allocated to the specific phase of the project 
  • Performance monitoring guidelines

Here is a breakdown of the phases of a project life cycle. 

Project Initiation Phase 

The project initiation phase marks the onset of projects. Typically, a project will be initiated in response to an opportunity that needs to be explored or a problem to be solved. By then, a cost-benefit analysis should have been conducted. 

Part of the cost-benefit analysis includes conducting a feasibility study, defining the project scope, establishing the project deliverables, and the stakeholders involved to build a business case. 

In this phase, the project charter becomes the most critical document as it outlines:

  • The vision and mission of the business 
  • Goals of the project and the value it will deliver to the business 
  • A list of all the stakeholders involved in the project 
  • Project scope and budget 
  • Anticipated risks 

Once all these details have been verified and the project approved, the project officially kicks off, project teams assemble, and planning begins.  

Project Planning Phase 

During project planning, it is essential for the project manager to understand the project requirements and objectives. The planning phase is the most critical stage for any project as planning impacts the project’s risk and outcomes.  

During the planning phase, a project plan is developed to provide all stakeholders with the roadmap for the project. It outlines all the activities, tasks, timelines, roles, costs, milestones, deliverables, and other dependencies required to execute the project successfully.  

The project plan is crucial during the execution, monitoring, and closing phases of the project as it details not only the project goals and objectives but also the ‘how to’ and the ‘who does what’ during implementation.

The following documents are prepared during the planning phase:

  • Scope statement 
  • Work breakdown structure (WBS)
  • Project plan 
  • Project schedule 
  • Change request management 
  • Communication plan
  • Project quality plan 
  • Acceptance plan 

Project Execution Phase 

Project planning and execution are two of the essential phases in achieving the goals of a project. The execution phase is typically the longest and takes up the biggest allocation of resources as the actual implementation of the project is done. At this point, controlling the project’s resources, monitoring the project’s progress, and maintaining clear communication among all the stakeholders becomes crucial. 

The project team uses the WBS and the project schedule to execute the tasks outlined in the project plan. Also, frequent team meetings are held to report the project progress, evaluate variances in the project, as well as address change requests, and update the project plan in case of any. 

The project manager ensures that he keeps all stakeholders up to date on the project’s progress through status reports. Communication should be appropriate as indicated in the communication plan. 

Once the deliverables have been produced, the final product delivered and accepted by the customer following the acceptance criteria, the project is ready for closure. 

Monitoring and Controlling Phase 

Even though monitoring and control are intended to check the entire project management process, it is handier during the execution phase. Monitoring and controlling are done to ensure that the project moves in the right direction and within the defined scope. When the project progresses as planned, the risk is minimized.  

Ideally, monitoring the project’s actual performance is compared against the planned performance and the appropriate course of action taken in the event that there is a variance.

Closing Phase 

The project is closed after it has achieved its goals and the product is ready for release and delivery to the client. This last phase is also known as the follow-up phase, where the project manager and the teams come together to discuss the project events and insights in a closing meeting. They will recap the entire life cycle to draw lessons and takeaways from it, identify strengths and opportunities for improvement, and document them alongside other project data for future reference. 

Sometimes, the project is closed before completion, mainly due to failure. 

Simply put, a successful project is one that is completed on time, within the budget, and having achieved its objective(s). 

Here are seven pointers of a successful project. 

  • Completed on time or before time 
  • Executed within the budget 
  • Objectives are met 
  • Meets or exceeds the expectations of the stakeholders  
  • Arising issues were addressed proactively 
  • Output is beneficial to the user 
  • Positive feedback from the project execution team about how the project was run 

Project implementation is the process of bringing a project to fruition. The phases of project implementation are:

  • Initiation: This phase defines the project objectives, scope, and feasibility. The project manager conducts a feasibility study to determine if the project is viable and if it aligns with the organization's strategic goals.
  • Planning: In this phase, the project manager develops a project plan that outlines the project's timeline, budget, and resource allocation. The project plan also includes a risk management plan and a communication plan.
  • Execution: In this phase, the project plan is put into action. The project manager coordinates resources and performs the necessary tasks to achieve objectives. The project team works together to complete project deliverables.
  • Monitoring and Control: In this phase, the project manager tracks progress, identifies and addresses issues, and makes necessary adjustments to keep the project on track. The project manager also communicates with stakeholders and the project team to ensure everyone is informed of progress and changes.
  • Testing and Evaluation: In this phase, the project deliverables are tested and evaluated to ensure they meet the project objectives. The project manager gathers feedback from stakeholders and the project team to identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Closure: In this phase, the project manager completes the project deliverables, documents the results, and transitions the project to the operational phase. The project manager also conducts a post-project review to identify lessons learned and best practices.

Though many projects share the same characteristics, they are never the same. As such, they fall into various categories based on different factors. It is important to classify projects as this helps the organization highlight its features and come up with the most appropriate approach to execute them.  

Types of Projects According to Their Source of Funding 

  • Public projects whose source of funding is the government or government institutions 
  • Private projects that are privately funded by the business or venture capital financing 
  • Hybrid projects whose source of funding is both private and public 

Types of Projects Based on Project Content 

  • Construction projects are those whose output is an artifact, for example, an IT system development project.  
  • Business implementation projects aimed at introducing a new/improvement feature or change in the business systems or processes.  
  • Research projects are carried out with the aim of seeking knowledge or insights for decision-making. 
  • Procurement projects that establish B2B relationships for the sourcing of products and/or services. 

Types of Projects Based on the Time it Takes to Implement Them 

  • Normal projects are those projects that have adequate time allowed to conduct them; as such, they will pass through the project life cycle to produce the expected quality output. 
  • Disaster projects are impromptu projects involving very high capital injection with minimal execution time. 
  • Crash projects are those projects that incur extra costs to be executed within a short period and project phases will typically overlap. 

Types of Project Management Methodologies

Some main types of project management methodologies are:

  • Waterfall Project Management: This style implements the project process in waves, and each step is dependent on its successor.
  • Agile Project Management: It involves working in smaller iterative processes and often involves project pivoting.
  • Scrum Project Management: It is a faster process and very beneficial for smaller firms. It is done to achieve results quickly. Click here to know more about scrum project management .
  • Kanban Project Management: It is a variant of Agile Project Management and is best for large organizations. The tasks are simulated with processes to reduce the number of tasks over time.
  • Lean Project Management: Lean Project Management works the same as Kanban Project Management , plus it focuses on customers too. It makes sure that the project is implemented so that the timely delivery of services/goods can be made to customers.

Some examples of successful projects are:

  • The UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) was established in 2016. This project was initiated in 2009, and its goal was to bring India's 1.23+ billion citizens under the world's largest biometric system, Aadhaar.
  • American Airlines faced problems in technology overlapping when they merged with US Airways. They adopted a project to adapt to the changes and capitalize on their employees to better the business to manage this change. This project helped them a lot to grow.

The purpose of project management software is to help project managers with planning, scheduling, resource allocation and control, change management , document sharing and collaboration, quality management, and more project management functions. The project management software is basically an administration tool that helps project managers execute their duties through the different phases of the project life cycle.  

1. What is a Project in Project Management?

A project in project management is a temporary and unique endeavor that aims to achieve specific objectives within a defined timeframe, budget, and scope. It involves planning, executing, and controlling resources to deliver a desired outcome that meets stakeholder expectations.

2. What is Change Management in Project Management?

Companies will, from time to time, introduce new systems or processes as outcomes of initiated projects. These changes affect the usual way of operations and often have an impact on human resources. Change management is thus a structured way of managing these changes to help people transition from the previous to the new status by positively adapting to the new systems and processes. This enhances business performance and helps the organization attain its strategic goals. 

3. What is Agile Methodology in Project Management?

An agile methodology is an approach through which a project is broken down into several phases to be executed iteratively. This approach emphasizes the continuous development and improvement of product features through incorporating feedback after every iteration and changes in requirements to deliver high-value products. 

4. What is Cost-Benefit Analysis in Project Management?

Before a project is initiated, it is important to perform a cost-benefit analysis for the product or service being built. A cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is the process by which an evaluation is done to check the costs of an undertaking versus its benefits. Using the CBA, all possible expenses and benefits of the undertaking are listed then the following values are calculated to ascertain its viability.

  • Return on investment (ROI)
  • Internal rate of return (IRR)
  • Net present value (NPV) 
  • Payback period 

5. What is Cost Management in Project Management?

This is the process by which a project’s costs are planned, budgeted, and controlled through the various phases of the project lifecycle. This enables the proper utilization of resources and the project teams to achieve project goals within the cost allocation put in place. 

6. What is Cost Variance in Project Management?

Cost variance refers to the comparison between the planned and actual project budget. This is done by calculating the difference, in other words, variance, between the BCWP (budgeted cost of work performed) and the ACWP (actual cost of work performed).  

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Our courses are designed to help professionals at every level of experience to develop and enhance their project management skills, whether you're just starting out in the field or looking to advance your career. With our courses, you'll gain practical, hands-on experience in managing projects from start to finish, and learn best practices and industry standards that will set you apart from the competition.

Program Name PMP® Certification Training Course PMP Plus Post Graduate Program In Project Management Geo All Geos All Geos All Geos University PMI Simplilearn University of Massachusetts Amherst Course Duration 90 Days of Flexible Access to Online Classes 36 Months 6 Months Coding experience reqd No No No Skills you wll learn 8+ PM skills including Work Breakdown Structure, Gantt Charts, Resource Allocation, Leadership and more. 6 courses including Project Management, Agile Scrum Master, Implementing a PMO, and More 9+ skills including Project Management, Quality Management, Agile Management, Design Thinking and More. Additional Benefits -Experiential learning through case studies -Global Teaching Assistance -35PDUs -Learn by working on real-world problems -24x7 Learning support from mentors -Earn 60+ PDU’s -3 year course access Cost $$ $$$$ $$$$ Explore Program Explore Program Explore Program

Project management is a broad multidisciplinary yet specialized field that employs temporary undertakings to initiate profitable change to the organization. It is certainly one of the most exciting and fulfilling careers to pursue. You can learn all about 'what is a project' and project management with PMP® Certification Training  courses from Simplilearn. To take your career to the ultimate level, you can apply for our PG Program with the University of Massachusetts, where you will learn tools and digital skills that will help you lead and manage complex transformational projects and become a digital-age project leader. Start the amazing learning journey now!

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What is a Project? Importance, Characteristics, Examples, and Types

In this blog, we will delve into the world of projects, exploring what they are, their key characteristics, and the various types. We’ll also provide real-life examples to illustrate how projects are managed and executed effectively.

So buckle up, grab a pen and paper, and get ready to learn everything you need to know about projects and project management!

Points to be Explored

What is a Project?

Importance of project management, characteristics of project, project management life cycle, types of projects, examples of projects.

Want to become a master of project management? Watch this video

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A project in project management is a provisional and unique effort to achieve a specific goal or objective. It involves defining and planning a set of tasks and activities, assigning resources such as time, money, and personnel, and then executing and monitoring progress until the project is completed.

A project in project management requires careful planning, execution, and monitoring in order to ensure that the end result is achieved on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards. Whether it’s building a bridge, launching a new product, or improving a business process, project management helps to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that the final outcome meets the desired goals and objectives.

Take the next step in advancing your career with our comprehensive Project Management Course !

Project management is crucial in the tech industry because it helps ensure that technology projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.

A skilled project manager will set clear goals and objectives, plan out tasks and resources, and monitor progress to make sure that everything is moving forward as it should be.

They will also anticipate and manage risks, resolve any problems that arise, and make sure that everyone involved in the project is working together effectively.

This all leads to the successful delivery of high-quality technology products that meet the needs of customers and the goals of the organization.

Get ready to ace your next interview with the help of Project Management Interview Questions !

Characteristics of Project

A project has a lot of characteristics that define it. A project can be said successful if it fulfills the below mentioned characteristics:

  • Temporariness:

Projects have a defined start and end date, and once they are completed, they are closed.

  • Uniqueness:

Projects are undertaken to achieve specific goals or objectives that are different from routine work. This makes each project unique and requires careful planning and execution.

  • Interdependence:

Projects often involve multiple stakeholders and departments working together towards a common goal. This interdependence requires effective communication and collaboration.

  • Uncertainty:

Projects are inherently uncertain and involve risks that need to be managed. For example, the construction of a building may encounter unexpected weather conditions or changes in regulations that need to be addressed.

  • Constraints:

Projects are typically subject to constraints such as budget, time, and resources. Project managers must balance these constraints to deliver the project successfully.

  • Deliverables:

Projects are undertaken to produce specific deliverables, such as a product or service, that meet the needs of stakeholders.

  • Continuous Improvement:

Projects provide opportunities for continuous improvement and learning, which can be applied to future projects to make them more efficient and effective.

Project Management Life Cycle

Let’s understand the project management life cycle with the help of an example, let’s say you are a gardener who is asked to plant a garden.

Just as a gardener needs to prepare the soil, plant seeds, provide the right amount of water and sunlight, and harvest the crops. Similarly, a project manager needs to go through several steps to complete a project successfully and he earns a handsome salary for the same.

It has several phases which include:

  • Initiation:

This is like preparing the soil. The project manager will define the project goals, scope, and stakeholders.

This is like planting seeds. The project manager will create a detailed plan for how the project will be executed, including tasks, timelines, and resources.

This is like watering and providing sunlight to the seeds. The project manager will oversee the day-to-day work of the team and make sure that everyone is moving forward according to the plan.

  • Monitoring and Controlling:

This is like checking the growth of the plants. The project manager will regularly assess the progress of the project and make adjustments as needed to keep it on track.

This is like harvesting the crops. The project manager will ensure that the project has met its goals and that all stakeholders are satisfied with the results.

Types of Projects

There are various types of projects available in the industries today, some of the most common types used are:

  • Manufacturing Projects:

These projects involve the production of goods or products, from concept to market. Think of a car manufacturing plant producing thousands of cars every day – that’s a manufacturing project!

  • Construction Projects:

These projects involve building something tangible, like a bridge, a road, or a skyscraper. They require careful planning, coordination, and collaboration with engineers, architects, and construction workers.

  • Management Projects:

These projects are focused on improving processes and systems within an organization. For example, a company might launch a project to streamline its supply chain and make it more efficient.

  • Research Projects:

These projects are focused on advancing knowledge in a particular field. For example, a scientist might conduct a study to understand the impact of climate change on certain species of plants.

Career Transition

define and projects

Some of the projects commonly used in the industry are:

  • Software Development Project:

Imagine that your team is tasked with developing a new mobile app that allows people to order food delivery from their favorite restaurants. Your project will involve defining the app’s features, designing its user interface, writing code, testing, and launching the app. You’ll also need to manage resources such as software developers, designers, and testers.

  • Marketing Campaign Project:

Imagine that your team is responsible for planning and executing a marketing campaign to promote a new product. Your project will involve developing a marketing strategy, creating advertising materials, and coordinating with media outlets to reach your target audience. You’ll also need to manage budgets and measure the success of the campaign.

  • Launching a New Product:

Launching a new product can be a complex and challenging process, especially when competing in a crowded marketplace. Project managers must work with marketing, engineering, and sales teams to research and develop the product, create advertising materials, and launch the product in a way that maximizes impact and reaches the target audience.

  • Developing a Mobile App:

Developing a mobile app is a fast-paced and ever-evolving field, and project managers must be able to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and trends. They must work with software developers, designers, and testers to design and build an app that is both functional and visually appealing, while also managing schedules, budgets, and quality control.

  • Building company-wide data reporting dashboards:

It is a project management task that involves creating a centralized platform for displaying and analyzing key data and metrics across an organization. This platform can be in the form of a dashboard that displays real-time data and provides insights into areas such as finance, sales, marketing, operations, and customer behavior.

To summarise, Project Management is a crucial process that helps to ensure the successful completion of a project within budget, timeline, and quality expectations. It involves the coordination and management of resources, activities, and tasks to achieve specific goals and objectives.

Effective project management requires planning, organization, communication, and monitoring of progress. By utilizing these skills, project managers can increase the chances of delivering successful projects and satisfying stakeholders.

If you would like to learn more about this topic or other related topics, please feel free to check out our blog again in the future. We are always striving to provide valuable information to our readers.

If you have any questions to ask, feel free to drop them on our Community Page !

The post What is a Project? Importance, Characteristics, Examples, and Types appeared first on Intellipaat Blog .

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What is a project in project management?

define and projects

Everyone has a vague idea of what a project is, but how do you create and complete projects that help move your organization toward continuous growth and success?

With many companies failing to meet their desired project goals, we think it’s time for a primer on what a project actually consists of, along with some tools and tips to manage them efficiently.

What is a project?

A project is a group of tasks and subtasks that need to be completed to achieve an goal.

An organization’s goal could be more conversions, launching a company website, updating existing apps or features, delivering products to clients, etc.

Every project is temporary, meaning it must have a defined start and end date .

For successful project completion, you need someone to plan and delegate tasks, define deadlines, monitor progress, and make tweaks along the way. This individual is known as a project manager (PM) .

What are important elements of a project?

Each project has the following elements:

Goals:  these are desired outcomes that must be achieved by a predefined time. For example, the project goal could be to “launch the app by March 10” or “gain X new leads by September.”

Tasks: tasks are the project activities that are assigned to team members who must complete them before their deadlines.

Timelines: timelines indicate clear start and end dates for individual tasks. They also help project managers visualize a project in its entirety.

Milestones: milestones are important events along a project’s timeline and are used to monitor progress. Examples can include obtaining funding, getting approval from a key stakeholder, or entering the testing phase for a new app.

Resources: resources are anything you need to deliver a project. These include people, money, supplies, and more.

Deliverables:  a deliverable is what you produce during the project. It can be reports, content, products, apps, or any other item that the client has asked for.

Budget: budgets are the total cost of a project.

Stakeholders: stakeholders are individuals who are involved in a project. Internal stakeholders can include project managers and team members. External stakeholders can include contractors and suppliers.

Acceptance criteria: acceptance criteria are the conditions that a project must meet for a client to accept (e.g., a mobile app has to work with iOS and Android devices).

Once all of these elements have been defined, they are compiled to form a project plan . The plan then acts as a guide for project control and execution.

How to manage a project successfully?

Managing a project is by no means easy. A single misstep can (and often does) lead to missed deadlines. In fact, only 29% of organizations say they mostly or always deliver projects on time.

So how can you effectively manage a project from start to finish? And how can you coordinate individual tasks and keep things on schedule?

The process of planning projects and leading teams toward successful project completion is known as project management .

While each team can define a successful project in their own way, here are 5 tips for project management:

1. Proper planning

A vital part of the project management process is to build a project plan that helps the team meet their objective as efficiently as possible. PMs need to pick the right project management methodology, give their team the right tools, and keep an eye on the project budget.

Good project planning also involves flexibility since priorities are likely to change once the project starts.

2. Pick the right team members

Managers must pick the right team members to perform critical roles in a project. This could mean choosing employee X to finish a significant task, choosing team members A and B to be in charge of a particular project phase, or in general, assigning tasks to the right people.

3. Clear communication

For a project manager, good communication means everyone on your team has a clear idea of project goals, progress, tasks, and any project-related updates. It’s also equally important for team members to communicate with each other effectively. A software that centralizes all work-related communication  — like monday.com — is ideal for this.

4. Use milestones to track progress

Milestones are indicators of project progress. When milestones are reached on time, it indicates that your project team is on track. Missed or delayed milestones indicate that managers and project team leaders need to re-evaluate key elements to identify and solve any issues.

5. Evaluate performance and make changes

Real-time data on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is crucial for project control. KPIs in project management are generally related to timeline, budget, quality, and effectiveness. But, more than half ( 54% ) of surveyed project managers did not have access to real-time project KPIs. PMs need to use software that provides real-time project data so they can identify and solve issues promptly.

Project framework vs project methodology

What is a project framework.

A project framework maps out standardized processes, tools and templates you’ll need to manage a project from start to finish.

Think of it as a set of instructions that your team will follow to achieve a specific outcome. It usually consists of 3 elements: project lifecycle, project control cycle, tools and templates.

If you’ve been involved in a project that was completed on time without going over budget or running into major issues, it’s thanks to the project management framework that was used.

The framework you choose will largely depend on the complexity of the project and your personal preferences.

Read more in our detailed guide about project management frameworks and how to choose the most suitable one for your organization, team or projects.

What is project methodology?

Let’s look at how a project framework differs from a project methodology as these are often mixed up.

A project methodology is the set of principles you’ll follow to manage a project.

It’s more strict and formal than a framework. A project methodology helps project managers to manage the project work and facilitate team collaboration.

For a complete breakdown of each, check out our article on the top project management methodologies .

How monday.com helps you manage projects

Project frameworks provide a tried-and-tested method to manage a project. But a framework alone isn’t enough — you need project management software to organize your work.

monday.com is a powerful Work OS with an intuitive user interface that makes it easy for you to plan, manage, and track your projects in one place.

Our platform facilitates collaboration across teams, so you can reduce tedious meetings and eliminate back-and-forth emails.

Here’s an example of how teams use monday.com to collaborate in real-time:

Communicate with all stakeholders over one shared platform to move projects forward.

You can also attach documents to your boards and share them with your team. These collaboration features help keep everyone on the same page.

The fact that everything is kept in one platform also cuts back on the need to constantly switch between applications.

And with different data visualization options including Kanban, Gantt, Timeline, Calendar, and more, you can visualize and monitor project progress exactly how you want to.

Keeping projects on schedule with float management

Projects enable businesses to respond to changing environments and meet the needs of their customers. But keeping things on track takes a lot of time and effort, especially for projects that have work spread out across different teams.

Project methodologies like Scrum and Kanban lay the groundwork for teams to manage and deliver projects from start to finish. No matter what you choose, you’ll need project management software like monday.com to keep everything organized.

A great place to start to put together a project plan and get everyone on the same page is our project management plan template . You can use the template as is or customize any aspect of it to fit your project workflow.

Try it out for free now, the first 2 weeks are on us!

define and projects

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What is a Project? Definition, Types & Examples

Fahad Usmani, PMP

July 18, 2022

project

On my blog, I have written various posts connected to projects and project management; however, I have not written anything specifically on projects and project management, programs and program management, or portfolios and portfolio management.

I am currently working on developing blog pieces about these subjects, the first of which will be titled “What is a Project, Its Definition, Features, and Examples.”

After reading these blog posts, I hope you won’t have any questions or concerns regarding these ideas.

Let’s start with the project.

What is a Project?

Creating deliverables is one of the primary reasons why projects are started in the first place. A project deliverable might be tangible or intangible products or results that are one of a kind and can be independently verified.

The output of the project is not referred to as being “temporary,” as the project itself is what comes to an end and not the result.

Projects create a unique product, result, or service that is not repetitive. Despite the fact that many construction projects result in the construction of buildings, bridges, and dams that are comparable to one another, each of these structures is an original product.

It is considered an operation if there is a repeating output. The production of automobiles, for instance, involves a pattern of identical steps.

Features of the Project

features of the project

A project has the following features:

  • Temporary Nature: All projects are temporary. This means that once the project’s objective is achieved, it ceases to exist.
  • Definite Timeline: A project has a definite, measurable, and achievable timeline with a definite start and end. A project cannot continue forever; it has a definite duration.
  • Produces Output: All projects produce an output. The output can be a unique product or an enhancement, a unique service, or a result.

Project Boundaries

project boundaries

Boundaries are limitations on projects, and all projects have limitations; these are called constraints. The three main constraints are known as triple constraints. These triple constraints are:

  • Scope: This is the first project boundary, and project managers cannot perform the work outside of the scope of work. The scope can be product scope or project scope .
  • Time: Projects are temporary and must finish within a specified duration. A project crossing its duration is known as a delayed project, and the client can ask for a penalty for not completing the project on time.
  • Cost: Most projects have fixed budgets, and the project manager must complete the project within it. Going over budget is not desirable and can cause project failure.

Types of Projects

You can divide the project into three categories based on the methodology you use for their management.

  • Traditional Projects: This is the most traditional approach to the management of projects. Here the scope of work is fixed, changes are not common, and these projects follow five phases of project management. Most projects, such as those involving infrastructure or construction, are examples of traditional projects.
  • Agile Projects: These are newer methods of managing projects. Most IT projects are managed through agile methodologies. You can use agile methodologies when the scope of work is not well defined, and changes are common.
  • Hybrid Projects: These are combinations of the projects mentioned above. Hybrid project management is helpful for large projects, including construction and software development elements.

Examples of Projects

A few examples of a project are:

  • Constructing a building
  • Developing a new pharmaceutical compound
  • Expanding a tour guide service
  • Merging two organizations
  • Exploring for oil in a region
  • Modifying an organization’s software system
  • Researching to develop a new manufacturing process
  • Improving a business process within the organization

The most important characteristic of a project is its temporary nature; the project ends when it achieves its objective. The project can also end when:

  • Funding is exhausted
  • The project is no longer necessary
  • Resources are no longer available
  • The project is terminated for legal cause or convenience

Project Life Cycle

Projects undergo different phases, from initiation to completion. These phases are known as the project management phases , a collection of logically related project processes. 

The phases can be iterative, overlapped, or may be sequential. Phases are time-bound with a start and end or control point. These control points are known as “phase gate,” “control gate,” or “phase review.” 

Though projects vary in size and the amount of complexity they contain, a typical project can be mapped to the following project life cycle :

  • Starting the project
  • Organizing and preparing
  • Carrying out the work
  • Closing the project

The production of a product, result, or service might involve numerous stages during the life cycle of a project. These recurring stages are known as developmental life cycles. A project cycle can be:

  • Iterative Life Cycle: Scope is planned early, but time and costs are modified as more scope details become available while the project progresses. Iterations develop the product through repeated cycles, while increments successively add to the product’s functionality.
  • Incremental Life Cycle: The deliverable is produced through a series of iterations that successfully add functionality within a predetermined time frame.

Five Phases of the Project

During a project life cycle, projects go through five phases. These phases are:

  • Monitoring and Controlling

#1. Initiation Phase

This is the beginning stage of the project, which also marks the beginning of the organization’s official launch of the project. Approval of the project charter and stakeholders identification are two crucial processes during this phase.

The project charter is the most important document associated with the project and includes essential information. It may consist of a feasibility study summary , a business case , a cost-benefit analysis , essential assumptions and limitations, project milestones , relevant stakeholders, and so on.

It shows the project objective , scope, deliverables, budget, and duration and assigns a project manager. 

Identifying project stakeholders is the second process after the project charter is signed. 

If all of your project’s stakeholders are happy, then your project was a success. If you do not identify your stakeholders, you will find that completing the project presents many challenges for you.

To ensure a successful conclusion to the project, you must first determine who your project’s stakeholders are and then effectively manage those stakeholders.

#2. Planning Phase

During this stage, you will work on developing a project management plan that is both comprehensive and detailed.

The project plan is sometimes referred to as the project management plan. This document explains how you will execute the project, monitor, control it, and close it.

The planning process begins with the gathering of requirements and the definition of the scope. After that, you establish the timeline, decide when the deadline will be and assign the resources.

Then you develop other subsidiary project management plans, such as cost, resource, procurement , and risk management plans .

You may hold your first project kick-off meeting in this phase.

Rolling Wave Concept

The detailed project scope is often unavailable at the initial stage of the project. So you make detailed plans for the near-term work for which a detailed scope is available. For the rest of the work, you go for high-level planning. This phenomenon is known as “ rolling wave planning .”

#3. Execution Phase

This phase of the project life cycle takes the most time. During this phase, you put the majority of your effort and resources into developing the actual product.

During this project phase, you, as the project manager, are responsible for managing the stakeholders, processes, and communication.

Any delay in this phase will affect your timeline, and you may exceed your schedule and your budget. This will affect the team morale and thus the project’s progress.

During the entire phase of implementation, you must have a proactive attitude.

The project output is developed in this phase.

#4. Monitoring and Controlling Phase

This phase happens concurrently with the execution phase. While executing the project plan, you will continuously monitor the progress for any deviation from the baseline.

If you observe any deviation in your plan, you will immediately take corrective action to solve the problem. You will also take preventive action to stop deviations from occurring.

In this phase, you control all aspects of your projects, including scope, cost, schedule, resource, risk, procurement, communication, etc.

#5. Closing Phase

This is the project’s final phase, with only one process: close project.

The most important steps in this process are the transition of the final product, the development of the final report, the updating of the project papers, and the updating of the organizational process assets .

Closing a project is not about just closing the project. You also complete the final transition of the product or service to the client.

You will investigate whether or not all of the purchase agreements have been finalized and the invoices paid.

You will update your lessons learned document and other project documents . After updating these documents, you will store them in repositories as organizational process assets.

Finally, you will disband your project management team and release all team members so the organization can assign them to other projects. 

How to Implement a Project

A project is implemented depending on the methodology for managing the project . 

For traditional projects, you can manage them using five phases of project management:

  • Initiation: The project charter is developed in this phase, and stakeholders are identified.
  • Planning: The project manager collects project and product requirements and develops project plans and baselines.
  • Executing: In this phase, the project manager executes the plan and does the real work. Most of the time and money is spent in this phase.
  • Monitoring & Controlling: The project manager monitors and ensures the project is progressing as planned. If there is any deviation, they will take corrective and preventive actions.
  • Closing: In this phase, the final deliverable is delivered to the client, and the project is closed.

The agile project requires eleven steps:

  • Identify Product Vision: Every product must have a vision, and the product owner should develop the product vision. This vision summarizes the product features and its main benefits.
  • Develop Product Roadmap: Road map is a high-level summary of the product and what it will become in the future. Here the product owner is focused on objectives instead of features.
  • Assign Agile Team: The agile team will be assigned the project. The team will include the product owner, scrum master, and other team members.
  • Create the Product Backlog: A list of product features known as user stories. The product will meet with the user and develop the user stories.
  • Create Spring Backlog: After creating the backlog, the product owner will prioritize the user stories and create the sprint backlog to start the first spring. 
  • Release Plan: This plan will show how and when features will be delivered to the client. Release plans are defined by the dates and scheduled features.
  • Sprint Planning: The sprint duration is one to four weeks, allowing the team to develop working software and add additional features. Sprint planning takes place before the sprint starts.
  • Track Progress: The progress is tracked using a Burn-Down Chart for each sprint. All team members can access this chart and see the overall project progress.
  • Daily Standup Meetings: Agile promotes open communication. Daily standup meeting occurs for ten to fifteen minutes before starting work. Here team members can discuss any issue they are facing and the work plan.
  • Spring Review: At the end of the sprint, all team members sit together and put green marks on everything “done.”
  • Spring Retrospective: Here, the team discusses how the previous sprint was “done” and how they can do better next time. 

When a Project is Successfully Completed

In short, when all project stakeholders are satisfied or happy and accept the deliverable, the project is successfully completed.

A project is successfully ended when:

  • The project is completed on time.
  • The project is completed within budget.
  • The project fulfills all requirements.
  • The stakeholders are satisfied.

The last criteria are most important. You often fulfill all requirements, but if the stakeholders are unsatisfied, you cannot say your project is successfully completed.

Projects are started to accomplish particular objectives; after those objectives are met, the projects are closed. A project is a temporary organization and goes through five phases, from initiation to close. Each project’s results are one of a kind, just like the project itself.

Please use the comments section to ask any questions you may have regarding projects, and I will do my best to respond.

define and projects

I am Mohammad Fahad Usmani, B.E. PMP, PMI-RMP. I have been blogging on project management topics since 2011. To date, thousands of professionals have passed the PMP exam using my resources.

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MBA Notes

What is a Project: Definition, Characteristics, and Importance

Table of Contents

In this blog, we’ll define projects, explain their characteristics and importance, and provide some examples. Whether you’re an MBA student or just starting in project management, this article will give you a solid foundation for understanding what a project is all about.

Introduction

Before we dive into the details, let’s start with a simple definition of a project. A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. Projects are different from routine operations in that they are usually one-time efforts with a specific goal, timeline, and budget.

Characteristics of a Project

To better understand what a project is, let’s examine its key characteristics:

  • Temporary : Projects have a defined beginning and end, usually with a specific deadline or timeline.
  • Unique : Projects are distinct from routine operations or ongoing tasks. They create something that doesn’t exist before, such as a new product, service, or process.
  • Cross-functional : Projects typically involve people from different departments or areas of expertise who work together to achieve a common goal.
  • Uncertainty : Projects involve risk and uncertainty, such as technical, environmental, or market-related factors that can impact the outcome.
  • Resources : Projects require resources such as people, time, money, and equipment to achieve the desired result.
  • Goal-oriented : Projects have a specific objective or goal that they aim to achieve.

Importance of Projects

Projects play a critical role in project management, as they allow organizations to achieve strategic goals and objectives that they couldn’t achieve through routine operations. Projects also offer several benefits, such as:

  • Innovation : Projects drive innovation by creating new products, services, or processes that can improve customer satisfaction, increase revenue, or reduce costs.
  • Flexibility : Projects allow organizations to adapt to changing business environments, such as new technologies, customer demands, or regulations.
  • Competitive Advantage : Projects can provide a competitive advantage by offering unique products, services, or processes that differentiate the organization from its competitors.
  • Learning : Projects provide opportunities for learning and development, as team members acquire new skills, knowledge, and experience.
  • Improvement : Projects can lead to process improvements and efficiencies, as organizations identify and eliminate waste, errors, or inefficiencies.

Examples of Projects

Projects can take many forms and shapes, depending on the industry, organization, and objective. Here are some examples of projects:

  • Developing a new software application
  • Building a new hospital or school
  • Designing a marketing campaign for a new product launch
  • Implementing a new ERP system
  • Launching a new product line
  • Conducting a research study to explore a new market
  • Developing a new manufacturing process

Now that you understand what a project is, its key characteristics, and importance, you’re ready to explore the world of project management further. Remember that projects are essential for organizations to achieve their goals and stay competitive, and that effective project management requires careful planning, execution, and monitoring. Stay tuned for more blogs on project management topics.

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  • Project Management

1 Introduction to Project Management

  • What is a Project
  • Project Characteristics
  • Project Constraints
  • Who is a Project Stakeholder?
  • Project Management Frameworks and Standards
  • Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide 6th Edition
  • Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide 7th Edition
  • Project Roles

2 Project Feasibility Analysis

  • Why do we need to conduct project feasibility?
  • Dimensions of Project Feasibility
  • Stakeholders of project feasibility
  • Conducting a project feasibility analysis
  • Sample Project feasibility report
  • Business case

3 Project Chartering

  • What is a Project Charter
  • Inputs to Project Charter
  • Tools & Techniques for Creating a Project Charter
  • Stakeholder Analysis
  • Contents of the Project Charter
  • Sample Project Charter
  • Processes Utilizing Project Charter as Input
  • Creating Project Management Plan

4 Project Scope Management

  • Defining Project Scope
  • Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

5 Project Network Analysis (PERT and CPM)

  • Network Diagramming of Projects (AOA) Diagrams
  • Time-Analysis of Networks
  • Probabilistic Durations
  • Other Types of Diagrams
  • Project Scheduling

6 Project Scheduling

  • Defining the Schedule
  • Resource Scheduling Problem
  • Time Constrained Projects: Smoothing Resource Demand
  • Resource – Constrained Projects

7 Project Crashing

  • What is Project Crashing?
  • Time-Cost Relationship
  • Project Crashing Example

8 Earned Value Analysis

  • Define Earned Value Analysis
  • Earned value Analysis Terms
  • Earned value – Performance metrics

9 Project Management Information System

  • Objectives of Project Management Information System
  • Planning by Network Analysis
  • Cost Control Systems
  • Integrated Project Management Information System
  • Project Monitoring and Reporting
  • System Automation and Computerization

10 Project Monitoring and Control

  • Introduction to project monitoring and control
  • Types of control Systems
  • Project Monitoring and Control Plan
  • Gantt Chart
  • Earned Value
  • Technical Performance Measurement

11 Project Risk Management

  • Definition of Uncertainty and Project Risks
  • Risk Management Process
  • Risk Identification
  • Risk Categorization and Risk Breakdown Structure
  • Risk Assessment Methods
  • Risk Control Measures

12 Agile Project Management

  • Manifesto for Agile Software Development
  • Value-Driven Delivery
  • Stake Holder Involvement
  • Why People Over Process in Agile?

13 Project Contracts and Partnering

  • Project Partnering
  • Public-Private Partnership

14 Project Audit and Closure

  • What is a Project Audit?
  • When to Audit?
  • How to Audit
  • Who should Audit?
  • Audit Report
  • Project Closure
  • Types of Project Closure
  • Project Closure Process
  • Performance Evaluation

Getuplearn

Project: Definition, 11 Characteristics, Features, Process

  • Post author: Anuj Kumar
  • Post published: 20 July 2023
  • Post category: Management / Project Management
  • Post comments: 0 Comments

Table of Contents

  • 1 What is a Project?
  • 2 Table of Contents
  • 3 Definition of Project
  • 4.1 Objectives
  • 4.2 Life Cycle
  • 4.3 Uniqueness
  • 4.4 Team Work
  • 4.5 Complexity
  • 4.6 Risk and Uncertainty
  • 4.7 Customer-Specific Nature
  • 4.9 Optimality
  • 4.10 Sub-Contracting
  • 4.11 Unity in Diversity
  • 5.1 Outcomes
  • 5.2 Temporary
  • 5.5 Resources
  • 5.7 Teamwork
  • 5.8 Logical
  • 5.9 Risk and Uncertainty
  • 6.1 Idea Generation
  • 6.2 SWOT Analysis
  • 6.3 Environment Appraisal
  • 6.4 Corporate Appraisal
  • 7.1 Step 1: Setting Project Goals
  • 7.2 Step 2: Project Deliverables
  • 7.3 Step 3: Project Schedule
  • 7.4 Step 4: Supporting Plans
  • 8.1 What are the characteristics of a project?
  • 8.2 What are the features of a project?
  • What is a Project?

A project is an organized unit dedicated to the attainment of goals, and the successful completion of a development project on time, within budget, and in conformance with predetermined program specifications.

A project is a unique one-time activity performed to accomplish certain objectives within a designated time frame. Projects can be small/large, simple/complex, national/international, and industrial/non-industrial.

Definition of Project

Risk and uncertainty, customer-specific nature, sub-contracting, unity in diversity, idea generation, swot analysis, environment appraisal, corporate appraisal, step 1: setting project goals, step 2: project deliverables, step 3: project schedule, step 4: supporting plans, faqs about the what is a project.

A project consumes resources. The resources required for completing a project are men, materials, money , and time. Thus, we can define a project as an organized program of pre-determined groups of activities that are non-routine in nature and that must be completed using the available resources within the given time limit.

These are the definitions of project discussed below:

A project typically has a distinct mission that it is designed to achieve and a clear termination point the achievement of the mission Getuplearn
A project as the whole complex of activities involved in using resources to gain benefits. Gillinger
Project can be defined as “A system involving the co-ordination of a number of separate department entities throughout organization, in a way it must be completed with prescribed schedules and time constraints”. Project Management Institute

Characteristics of a Project

These are the characteristics of a project given below:

Characteristics of a Project

A project has a set of objectives or a mission. Once the objectives are achieved the project is treated as completed.

A project has a life cycle. The life cycle consists of five stages i.e. conception stage, definition stage, planning & organizing stage, implementation stage, and commissioning stage.

Every project is unique and no two projects are similar. Setting up a cement plant and constructing a highway are two different projects that have unique features.

A project is a team work and it normally consists of diverse areas. There will be personnel specialized in their respective areas and coordination among the diverse areas calls for teamwork.

A project is a complex set of activities relating to diverse areas.

Risk and uncertainty go hand in hand with the project. A risk-free, only means that the element is not apparently visible on the surface and it will be hidden underneath.

A project is always customer-specific. It is the customer who decides upon the product to be produced or services to be offered and hence it is the responsibility of any organization to go for projects/services that are suited to customer needs.

Changes occur throughout the life span of a project as a natural outcome of many environmental factors. The changes may vary from minor changes, which may have very little impact on the project, to major changes which may have a big impact or even may change the very nature of the project.

A project is always aimed at the optimum utilization of resources for the overall development of the economy.

A high level of work in a project is done through contractors. The more complexity of the project, the more will be the extent of contracting.

A project is a complex set of thousands of varieties. The varieties are in terms of technology, equipment and materials, machinery and people, work, culture, and others.

Features of a Project

Each project is unique and aims to accomplish specific objectives. However, there are some common features across all projects, which are explained as follows:

Features of a Project

Each project has certain, well-established, and clear objectives, which it hopes to achieve within a certain period of time.

Each project has a temporary life span with a definite beginning and an end.

Each project has a fixed scope, as in size, goals, and requirements.

Each project has to work within specific task durations and dependencies.

Each project involves a fixed amount of resources with respect to people, equipment, and materials.

Each project has specific costs and contingencies, in which it should be completed.

Each project is a coordinated effort from multiple departments.

Each project follows a logical sequence of procedures.

Each project deals with a certain level of risk and uncertainty.

Project Selection Process

Identification of a new project is a complex problem. The project selection process starts with the generation of project ideas. In order to select the most promising project, the entrepreneur needs to generate a few ideas about the possible project one can undertake.

The project ideas as a process of identification of a project begins with an analytical survey of the economy (also known as pre-investment surveys). The surveys and studies will give us ideas. The process of project selection consists of the following stages:

Project Selection Process

The project selection process starts with the generation of a project idea. Ideas are based on technological breakthroughs and most of the project ideas are variants of present products or services. To stimulate the flow of ideas, the following are helpful:

SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. SWOT analysis represents a conscious, deliberate, and systematic effort by an organization to identify opportunities that can be profitably exploited by it. Periodic SWOT analysis facilitates the generation of ideas. The operational objectives of a firm may be one or more of the following.

An entrepreneur or a firm systematically appraises the environment and assesses its competitive abilities. For the purposes of monitoring, the business environment may be divided into six broad sectors as shown in Fig no. 1.3. The key elements of the environment are as follows:

  • State of the economy,
  • The overall rate of growth,
  • Cyclical fluctuations,
  • Inflation rate,
  • The growth rate of primary, secondary, and territory sectors,
  • The growth rate of the world economy,
  • Trade surplus and deficits,
  • Balance of Payment.
  • Industrial policy,
  • Government programs and projects,
  • Tax structure,
  • EXIM policy,
  • Financing norms,
  • Subsidies incentives and concessions,
  • Monetary policy .
  • The emergence of new technologies,
  • Access to technical know-how, foreign as well as indigenous.
  • Population trends,
  • Age shifts in the population,
  • Income distribution,
  • Educational profile,
  • Employment of women,
  • Attitudes toward consumption and investment .
  • Number of firms in the industry and the market share of the top few,
  • Degree of homogeneity and differentiation among the products,
  • Entry barrier,
  • Comparison with substitutes in terms of quality and price,
  • Marketing policies and practices.
  • Availability and cost of raw materials,
  • Availability and cost of energy,
  • Availability and cost of capital .

A realistic appraisal of corporate strengths and weaknesses is essential for identifying investment opportunities that can be profitably exploited. The broad areas of corporate appraisal and the important aspects to be considered under them are as follows:

Project Planning Process

As mentioned in the definition of project planning, project planning is a four-step process:

Project Planning Process

A project is said to be successful only when the requirements of the stakeholders have been met. A stakeholder refers to anybody directly or indirectly affected by the project. As a first step, it is vital to recognize the stakeholders in your project.

Examples of stakeholders include the project sponsor, the users of the project outputs, the customer who receives the deliverables, and the project manager and project team. After you have identified the stakeholders, the next step is to find out their needs.

The next step is to prioritize the needs of the stakeholders of the project. From the prioritized list, you need to create a set of goals that can be easily measured. A technique for doing this is to review them against the SMART principle. Once you have determined your goals, you need to record them in the project plan.

On the basis of the goals set in Step 1, you need to create a list of things the project needs to deliver to meet those goals. At this step, it is specified when and how each item must be delivered.

The deliverables are added to the project plan with an estimated delivery date. More accurate delivery dates are established during the scheduling phase.

Now a list of tasks that need to be executed for each deliverable identified in Step 2 is created. For each task, identify the amount of effort (hours or days) and resources required to complete the task.

After establishing the amount of effort for each task, it becomes easy to work out the effort required for each deliverable as well as an accurate delivery date. Update your deliverables section with more accurate delivery dates.

This section deals with plans you should create as part of the planning process. These can be included directly in the plan. The effectiveness of a project is a function of a better understanding of activities and critical success factors at various stages of the project.

Any project will typically pass through four stages. The first stage is the conceptualization stage, followed by the planning, execution, and termination or clean-up stages.

What are the characteristics of a project?

The following are the characteristics of a project: Objectives, Life Cycle, Uniqueness, Team Work, Complexity, Risk and Uncertainty, Customer-Specific, and Nature Change.

What are the features of a project?

Outcomes, Temporary, Scope, Time, Resources, Cost, Teamwork, Logical Risk, and Uncertainty, are the features of a project.

Related posts:

  • Project Management: Approaches, Characteristics, Successful Tips, Principles, Importance, Benefits
  • Project Management Life Cycle: Roles and Responsibilities, Stages, Problems, Challenges
  • Product: Definition, Concept, Levels, Hierarchy, Product Lines
  • 8 Techniques of Scientific Management
  • General Principles of Management
  • 5 Process of Organizing
  • Organization: Meaning, Definition, Importance, Characteristics, Process, Principles

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9 importance of organization.

  • Nature of Staffing: Importance of Staffing
  • 14 Importance of Controlling
  • Importance of Coordination
  • Principles of Scientific Management
  • Contingency Approach to Management: Features, Advantages, Limitations, Relationship, Implications
  • Features of MBO

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  • Get Started

Project Definition and Initiation

What is a project.

According to PMI, a project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.  A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources.  A project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal.

The work will be considered a project if it meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • is estimated to take over 320 hours (effort)
  • requires coordination among two or more groups within IT Services
  • is estimated to take longer than six months
  • will involve more than one area on Campus
  • has a difficult to understand problem or solution is considered to be complicated
  • involves contracting with outside vendor(s)
  • has dependencies to other projects or vendors
  • must be delivered within a short or specific timeframe

If your need meets the above criteria, please submit a Project Request to discuss further

Project Management Activities and Templates

If you’re simply looking for some information on project management activities and associated templates to get started with your project, please see our Full List of Project Management Templates.

Service Request

If a work effort is under 320 hours and doesn’t have any of the project characteristics listed above, the effort should be considered a Service Request. These efforts are not required to follow the full project management methodology. Please enter your request information into ServiceNow .

What is a Project in Project Management?

A project is defined as a sequence of tasks that must be completed to attain a certain outcome. According to the Project Management Institute ( PMI ), the term Project refers to ” to any temporary endeavor with a definite beginning and end”. Depending on its complexity, it can be managed by a single person or hundreds.

Characteristics of a project

A project is a set of interdependent tasks that have a common goal. Projects have the following characteristics:

characteristics of a project

  • A clear start and end date   – There are projects that last several years but a project cannot go on forever. It needs to have a clear beginning, a definite end, and an overview of what happens in between.
  • A project creates something new   – Every project is unique, producing something that did not previously exist. A project is a one-time, once-off activity, never to be repeated exactly the same way again.
  • A project has boundaries   – A project operates within certain constraints of time, money, quality, and functionality. We’ll see more about this in later sections.
  • A project is not business as usual   – Projects are often confused with processes. A Process is a series of routine, predefined steps to perform a particular function, say, expense reimbursement approvals. It’s not a one-off activity. It determines how a specific function is performed every single time.

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The diverse nature of projects.

Projects come in a wide range of shapes and sizes.

A project can:

  • Be big:   Like the construction of the Hoover Dam, take years to complete, and have a humongous budget.
  • Be small:   Like your weekend project of installing a pathway in your lawn
  • Involve many people:   Like planning a wedding
  • Just yourself:   rearranging the photos in your wedding album

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Types of projects

Projects can be diverse in the ways in which they are implemented.   Here are some examples of projects:

  • Traditional projects:   These are run sequentially in phases. These phases are typically initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closure. Most high-cost infrastructure projects make use of traditional project management.
  • Agile projects:   These are used mainly in software development. They are people-focused and adaptive. They also typically have short turnaround times.
  • Remote projects:   Remote project management   is usually used by distributed teams that seldom meet in person. Handling freelance contributors is an example of a remote project.
  • Agency projects:   Agency projects are outsourced to an agency that is likely to have projects with multiple clients.   Marketing and design projects   are commonly outsourced to agencies.

The boundaries of a project

Every project operates within certain boundaries called constraints:

  • Project scope
  • Project schedule

project management boundaries

All of these   project constraints   depend on what the project aims to achieve and when. The outcome of a project results in deliverables. Anything that’s produced during the project’s development such as   documents, plans, and   project reports   is considered a deliverable. A   deliverable   may also be the result of the project itself.

Having a final deliverable, as well as a finite timespan, distinguishes   project management   from business-as-usual operations. Since projects are unlike routine operations, most people involved are those who usually don’t work together. Sometimes, the professionals involved will come from different organizations and geographies. If the desired outcome is achieved on time and within budget, a project is considered to be a success.

Project life cycle – 5 stages

Often, projects are divided into five   project phases   each of which comes with a distinct set of tasks, objectives, and a particular deadline. Dividing a project into different phases enables teams to stay on track throughout their entire life cycle.

1. Initiation

The first phase in a project’s life cycle is called   project initiation . Here, a project officially launches. It is named, and a broad plan is defined. Goals are identified, along with the project’s constraints, risks, and shareholders. At this point, shareholders decide if they want to commit to the project.

Depending on the project, studies may be conducted to identify its feasibility. For IT projects, requirements are usually gathered and analyzed during the initiation phase.

2. Planning

A roadmap that will guide teams from creating a   project plan   throughout the project’s execution and closure phases is developed comprehensively during the planning stage. Deadlines must be set, and resources must be allotted. Breaking down tasks into smaller, manageable activities makes it easier to   manage project risks , costs, quality, time, and so on.

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At the same time, breaking down tasks into digestible pieces will empower everyone involved to accomplish the project on time and stay within budget.

3. Execution

The project plan is implemented during the   project execution phase . At this point, teams will work on the deliverables to ensure that the project meets the necessary requirements.

Everyone usually gathers for a meeting to mark the official start of the project, where teams can get acquainted with each other and discuss their roles in the success of the project. Modes of communication and   project management tools   are identified before the project plan is executed.

Learn how  kickoff meetings  can help you steer your projects toward success right from the start.

In addition, team members familiarize themselves with the necessary status meetings and reports that will be conducted throughout this phase to collect project metrics. The project execution phase is a critical point in a project’s life cycle as it will help everyone determine if their efforts will ultimately be fruitful or not.

4. Monitoring and Controlling

The   project monitoring and controlling phase   happen at the same time as the execution phase. It’s the job of the   project manager   to oversee operations and make sure that everything is headed in the right direction, according to plan.

Aside from overseeing the project’s performance, project managers have to monitor resources, manage risks, head status meetings, and reports, etc. If unforeseen issues arise, the project manager may have to make adjustments to the plans, as well as the project schedule.

The final phase of the project management life cycle known as the   project closure phase   isn’t as simple as delivering the output itself. Project managers have to record all deliverables, organize documents in a centralized location, and hand over the project to the client or the team responsible for overseeing its operations during the project closure phase.

Not only that, but teams come together for a final meeting to discuss the insights they’ve learned and to reward the hard work of each member.

When is a project considered a success?

The short of it is that a project that is completed on time and on a budget can be considered a success.   However, a project can be evaluated on many criteria:

  • Does it meet business requirements?
  • Is it delivered on schedule and on a budget?
  • Does it deliver the expected value and ROI?

What defines a successful project is likely to change based on the type of project. This is why it is important to define what project success means during the initiation and planning phases of a project.

How to implement a project

Project implementation can vary based on the methodology used. In traditional project management, implementation is done in 5 phases.

  • Initiation: This phase involves making the case for the project to convince the   project stakeholders . A Project Initiation Document (PID) is created with basic information about the project including probable resource use and feasibility.
  • Planning: This phase occurs once a project has received approval from stakeholders. This is a critical phase that involves a myriad of tasks including contingency planning, allocating tasks, and planning resource sharing.
  • Execution: This is the phase when the actual work happens. Periodical reviews are conducted to ensure that execution happens within schedule.
  • Monitoring: Monitoring happens in tandem with execution. Constant monitoring by the project manager is required to ensure that work goes on minus hiccups.
  • Closure: This phase involves the important final tasks in the project including project delivery to the client and documenting the learnings from the project.

Once these steps are complete, a project can be said to be implemented well.

How project management helps you manage projects

Projects can be very complex undertakings that require a huge amount of effort and resources. No matter what the goal is, using   project management principles   will help the initiative run smoothly. Without proper project management principles, projects will be handled haphazardly and are at a much higher risk of

  • project failure ,
  • delay in the project , and
  • being over budget.

Knowing the fundamentals of project management improves one’s chances of completing a project successfully. No matter what industry or niche an organization is in,   project management methodologies and frameworks   enable them to steer the project in the right direction.

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  • Project Management

What is Project in Project Management? Types, Importance and Examples

Home Blog Project Management What is Project in Project Management? Types, Importance and Examples

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In the dynamic business environment of current times, existing business organizations aggressively seek to upgrade or change their practices, and startups begin with the best practices of the processes. Both need the route of the Project to accomplish their objective.

So, what is a project in this dynamic business environment? Projects are, in short, vehicles of change. They are the instruments that deconstruct the need of a business and set goals to fill the gaps within its organization. Going for  Project Management  t rainings  will help you learn further how project management works.

What is Project?  

The basic definition of a project is: “an organizational initiative to achieve certain outcomes within a timeframe and a budget.” Moreover, a project is conceived when business needs are recognized in the processes being used within an organization. These needs are the  “gaps”   that require to be filled in an effort to set the organization on a growth path. These gaps are of strategic importance and could range from customer complaints, declining revenues, or new, upcoming business opportunities. They are treated as goals and targets to be achieved within a fixed period of time. It is expected that the defined goals would work as a catalyst to bring about changes to fine-tune and sharpen the working of a business set-up.  

Things that Define a Project  

Here are the most important points that define a project:   

It is the ultimate deliverable or the destination to be reached. It is done when a need for change is recognized. This is the first step towards setting a goal; recognizing the true shape of things. It could be obsolete machinery (manufacturing), a system problem (admin or software issues), paucity of resources ( financial or human), reduced standing in the market, faulty products, and any number of other issues that require immediate attention for rectification and revival measures.

Once the problems are given cognizance, then what ought to become clearer. It is the ought-to-be status that forms the goals. It helps in deciding priorities as various future accomplishments are weighed in terms of importance. The order of importance is decided upon according to the value system that an organization subscribes to. This helps in focusing dedicated efforts toward achieving goals.

2. Objectives

After an organizational introspection leads to setting goals, it is the next step of defining objectives. Often objectives are confused with goals because of their close proximity in meaning. But it is objectives that help in giving clarity to goals. Objectives within a project are to comprehend activities and their direction, resolve conflicting activities and ensure that personnel is accountable for their work.

In the end, to understand the objective, we have to understand that it might be a company’s goal to be one of the Fortune 500 companies. To achieve this, it has to have objectives that would gradually guide it toward fulfilling its goal. Thus objectives are the yardstick that helps assess and measure progress toward a goal. As successes accumulate, the sense of achievement thrusts the organizational members towards the set goal.

This is a very critical component of a Project. The scope is drawn once the expectations of the client and stakeholders are on the table. The continual reference to the scope of work ensures that there is no going off course. It keeps a firm control over what is to be done and what cannot be/should not be executed. Without this outline, a Project can serve in the unwanted direction and end up not delivering the desired outcome. The scope is communicated to all the personnel concerned so that they are on the same page about the goals and objectives of the exercise.

Having understood what a Project is, it is important that its planning is done by an organizational member who has done formal  training for PMP . Without it, he might find himself deficient in handling, executing, or delivering its outlined goals and objectives.

Nature of Projects

A project can only be managed well if the nature of the project is clearly understood by the project manager. A project has commonly been defined as a unique, temporary, multidisciplinary effort by an organization toward creating an output within a framework of checks and balances. When talking about the nature of a project, the three qualities that stand out are uniqueness, temporary nature, and its aim to create output/deliverables.

Every project is unique. No project can be executed on the lines of previous projects. Even the algorithm in which the project is carried out would be new and exclusive to the demands of the project. It cannot be likened to normal everyday operations either. The latter has to be done on a daily basis to keep the organizational cycle moving. But a project would be goal-specific. Its very nature/ characteristics would set it apart from everyday operations. It is a combination of activities that are formulated with a view to fulfill specific goals and objectives, staying within the scope of things.

2. Temporary

The temporary nature of the project is such because it is bound within two boundaries; a beginning and an end. The beginning is all about a project taking off and going through various stages to reach the end. The end spells the required deliverables or outcomes that have been specified by the client or preordained by the responsible organizational members. It is not always necessary that the project has to end the way it has been envisaged. It can also be aborted mid-way due to different reasons. So, the temporary nature of a project is about the engagement period and has nothing to do with the resultant product or service.

3. Creating Output

Every time a project comes into being, it is for the specific purpose of achieving or delivering a desired outcome. This outcome could be of a tangible or intangible nature. A product is tangible, and a service is intangible. To deliver outcomes, companies have to create outputs. These are often taken to be activities that are designed with an eye on the ultimate deliverable. But the output is the immediate result that happens as soon as the project is completed.

It might include training employees on the new ERP system, meaning that the first level of scope has been delivered. Successful delivery of outputs would add up to successful delivery of outcomes. This is uncertain as the planning and execution of projects differ, and the quality of resources and tools assigned also vary.

4. Big Project

A Big Project/small project will also contribute to deciding the nature of the project. Under its unique and temporary character, we have to refer to its size. Project sizing is a part of  project management  that estimates the measure of resources and practices to be applied in executing a project.  The expected time span and the number of multidisciplinary departments working on it are also some of its keys deciding factors.

This helps in working out the scope of project management activities that would fulfill the expected targets. A Big project will have many deliverables with umpteen activities and tasks working towards the ultimate goal. Project management tools employed would also be different from the ones to be employed in a relatively smaller project.

5. Small Project

These are projects that have shorter timelines, are relatively less costly, and have fewer resources deployed for their execution. In short, every determinant of a project size is slightly shrunk. Its impact on a company’s balance sheet can also be slight, but a large project could disbalance its bottom line. Small projects, more often than not, do not have dedicated resources. They would be a part of more than one project and would be shunted from one to the other depending on the urgency or requirement.  

Other characteristics of a small project would be a single objective and an easy solution that can be achieved without complicated efforts; it has a narrowly defined scope of work; it is to be implemented in only one business unit and is headed by a single person. In contrast, a project with a broad scope of work and multiple objectives involving multiple skill areas would not fall under the head of a small project. It has to be handled with the skillset and intensive efforts required for a big project.

A small project would be more likely to be dealing with small changes within an organization. It could be about developing a training course, implementing a software system, upgrading the existing system, developing a website, evaluating existing operational practices, or preparing a proposal. Whatever the size of the project, one has to remember that processes have to be managed, and people have to be guided.

To do this skillfully, it is advisable that an aspiring project manager undertakes the  best PRINCE2 course . Going for this course will help a project manager know when and how to apply which knowledge area to a project. A project has to be evaluated by a trained project manager for its fitment needs.

Types of Projects

The nature of a project, its features, characteristics, and size decide the course of action for its fulfillment. It is the customer, contractor, and project management team that has to work in tandem with each other to see the project to its desired conclusion. The customer specifications and the consequent management strategy differ for every project and its type. There are four types of projects demanding different approaches. These are:

1. Traditional Projects

These are projects that follow a templated lifecycle. The course of the project is predicted, and so is its outcome. It is about creating products/goods, and services. With multiple and dynamic manufacturing practices available, competition is stiff and stringent planning for production is required. Some things have to be taken into account before chalking a production plan.

These would be material requirements planning, supply chain management, production scheduling, Production lead time, capacity planning , and inventory control. Keeping a finger on all the segments of manufacturing means increased complexity in Operations. So manufacturing projects would have to be more precisely planned to the last detail, ensuring that all the tiniest details have been addressed and accounted for.

2. Agile Projects

Knowledge of general management and specialization in domain management is especially needed when we need to plan an iterative project. Here objectives can only be accomplished dependent on a series of operations that are themselves affected by resource constraints. There are glaring conflicts between stated objectives about scope, costs, timelines, and quality and the limitations clamped on human, material, and financial resources. Therefore, dealing with an agile project, certain guidelines have to be strictly followed.

The first would be absolute clarity in specifications about project objectives and plans that include delineation of scope, budgeting, scheduling, determining budget demands, and forming project teams. Maximum resource utilization has to be ensured by keeping the supply chains working smoothly without delays so that there is strict adherence to prescribed schedules and plans. An operations strategy should be in place to control and coordinate planning, design, estimating, contracting, and completing small iterations. Lastly, a very efficient communication channel is needed to resolve issues among the project participants.

3. Agency Projects

Managing a project is all about multitasking. Several elements have to be simultaneously handled, all the while anticipating different outcomes to be achieved within the pre-decided timeframe and budget restrictions. There are some very common issues that a manager is bound to encounter, namely of scope definition, budget, communication, and conflict within the team. A cloudy outline of objectives can give rise to a host of problems, including those related to resource and stakeholder management. Oftentimes, this is the major cause of project failure. Along with the clarity of goals comes the setting of milestones and the calibration of results.

This can be done by SMART ( specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timebound) and CLEAR ( collaborative, limited, emotional, appreciable, refinable) means. A project has to be parcelled into small packets and assigned to the members of the project team with their own objectives and goals. Another issue that has to be addressed mid-way is Scope creep. A project begins with a particular vision but can change course and move in a direction not envisaged. This can only be managed by firm navigation, increase of budget, and duration.

4. Remote Projects

The management of these projects vastly differs from the other three types of projects in the way they are planned, performed, or managed. The goals and objectives in remote projects are not the same as in the other developmental projects, which have customer requirements as outputs and outcomes. Here, it would be a team or group of professionals located in different places but working on one project. The time zones and cities might differ, and the responsibilities too would be different, but the outcome targeted would be unified. Oftentimes, a remote project might have positive deliverables, or it might not have anything to do with bottom lines, and yet that project would be commissioned. An important example of a project which is in remote mode is a research project.

The sponsor is not affected by the result. Here the objectives and goals would be about deconstructing or reinforcing a theory/a find. Other developmental projects could be dependent on the research projects. So planning, controlling, or scheduling might be a problem as research is all about milestones that might not be fulfilled as per the expectations. The most appropriate example of this is the pharmaceutical industry, where constant research must be carried on. It requires a very flexible budget and timeframe to reach a medical solution or treatment to the regulatory body.

For projects to be desirably closed, the personnel handling these should be certified professionals. Intricacies of  project management  can only be foreseen and addressed if the organizational members/ project manager is well qualified.

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What are the Characteristics of a Project?

1. projects progress through a lifecycle to accomplish goals.

The project management lifecycle is a step-by-step structure of best practices for shepherding a project from start to finish. It gives a project an organized technique to plan, execute, and complete a project. There are four phases:

a. Initiation:  This is the beginning phase of the project. It helps determine the project's goals, scope, and resources, giving a project and team clear guidance.

b. Planning: This phase determines how to achieve the goals set in the initiation phase. This step helps create budgets, timeframes, and milestones, as well as gather resources and documentation. This step also entails estimating and forecasting risk, implementing change management methods, and developing communication protocols.

c. Implementation:  This generally entails monitoring and evaluating progress, maintaining quality, reducing risk, managing the budget, and using data to guide your decisions.

d. Closure:  At the last stage of the project management lifecycle, you'll wrap up project activities, hand over the finished product or service to its new owners and analyze what went well and what didn't. It will also be an opportunity to recognize your efforts.

2. Projects are Unique

Every project is distinct. Every project is a unique, original, and one-of-a-kind, never-before-tried venture. A project is temporary since its scope and resources are predetermined, and its start and conclusion dates are fixed in time. A project is distinctive in that it consists of a particular set of procedures intended to achieve a single goal rather than being a routine series of operations.

3. Projects Require Cross-departmental Collaboration

Projects necessitate the collaboration of multiple teams from various departments. This is known as cross-functional collaboration, and it may be very beneficial to your company. Fusing ideas from multiple groups and departments enables you to develop, contribute new viewpoints, and work toward common objectives.

4. The project is a Single entity

A single project may involve various people with various roles, tasks, and specialties, yet it remains a single entity. This is because these components work together to achieve the project's objectives.

What is the 3M’s of Project?

Certain imperatives need to be observed in executing a project. There are 3M’s - methodology, mindset, and metrics. These determine the direction and the route of the project:

It is how the project needs to be addressed. It needs to be measured for what is required. Here a method has to be crafted so that every phase of the project is measured for its success or progress toward the ultimate goal. The methodology is a set of predetermined principles and processes that would be followed when executing a project. This guide helps in prioritizing the work portioned out within the project.

The project team has the option to apply Agile, Kanban, Scrum, Waterfall, or even hybrid methodologies. Then there is the critical path method, Lean project management, Six Sigma, Critical Chain Project management, and more. It all depends upon the scope, goals, and objectives of a project. It is the character of a particular project that will decide which approach is best suited.

2. Manage to Measure

Here, it is the attitudes and influences of the project management team that guides it toward the best approach. The tactics and the control that is required to be practiced for managing the resources marked out for a project. It involves several elements that constitute a mindset prepared to measure performance objectively, namely:

  • Critical Thinking:  It is the ability of the project personnel to be able to view a project multidimensionally and find solutions for its completion. This will reveal the hidden risks and issues that might assume unmanageable proportions during the project.
  • Initiative:  when the project personnel is self-motivated and does not to be told what to do; that denotes his ability to take the initiative without being commanded. Success is more likely.
  • Collaboration:  Having a team spirit while working on a project is hugely important for its success. There should be no personal or professional conflicts within the team, for that would mean sure failure. So success has to be obvious to be measured.

3. Make it Easy

There are metrics to determine the success or failure of any project. Comprehending the project in its entirety is what leads to its positive completion. The pre-set milestones lead to well-informed decisions about the next steps. Then there are metrics related to costs to evaluate performance, productivity, Return on investment, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and schedule variance. Keeping a set of metrics alongside the project would make execution and assessment much easier and less time-consuming.

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Project Life Cycle

The sequence of steps and phases used to complete a project is known as its life cycle. It outlines the high-level project delivery process and the actions you must take to bring about change. It's the way projects go; it's how a team is led through each stage of a project, from the initial brief to the final delivery.  There are five phases:

1. Project Initiation Phase

The first stage of a project's life cycle involves starting the project with your team and the client and obtaining their commitment. You systematically compile all relevant information to determine the project's scope, cost, and resources. The purpose of the beginning phase is to take a project's (sometimes vague) brief and determine what the project must do and accomplish to succeed.

Steps during the initiation stage: 

  • Make a project chart with vision, objectives, and goals. 
  • Identify the service that needs to be provided. 
  • Identify the primary problem and its solution.
  • Identify the cost and benefits of the solution.
  • Identify the stakeholders.
  • Tools used in this phase:
  • Project Proposal: It defines the project and outlines the goal and requirements.
  • RACI Chart: It plots the roles and responsibilities of the team.

2. Project Planning stage

In planning, you outline every task that must be completed and develop the project's overall road map. It would be best if you decided how, you and your team will accomplish the project's objectives at this stage of the project's life cycle. It's worthwhile to assess those objectives using 3P's: Possible, Passionate, and Pervasive.

Steps during the Planning stage:

Make a project plan by identifying the constraints and creating a timeline.

Create a financial plan.

Create a resource plan and make your team. 

Identify the risks and dependencies and make a mitigation plan. 

Tools used in this phase: 

  • Gantt Chart: A horizontal bar chart that shows members which tasks must be accomplished in what sequence and how long each job is expected to take. 
  • Risk Register:  A diagram that shows project-related risks, their likelihood, their possible impact, their level of risk, and any mitigation strategies. 

3. Project Execution stage

This is the stage of the project life cycle in which you finally get to put your fantastic project plan into action. Upon bringing your resources on board, you brief them, establish the ground rules, and make introductions. Following that, everyone pitches in to complete the tasks outlined in the plan. 

Steps during the Execution stage: 

  • Team leadership 
  • Task creation 
  • Task briefing 
  • Client management 
  • Communication 

Change Requests: These are the documents used to suggest alterations to a project's objectives or scope. 

4. Project Monitoring and Controlling Phase

This is one of the most challenging phases of the project management process . It entails performance reporting as well as project monitoring and control. This entails monitoring the project's progress and, if necessary, taking action to correct any deviations from the original plan. 

Steps during the project monitoring and controlling phase: 

  • Cost and time management 
  • Quality management 
  • Manages the changes. 
  • Burndown Chart: This graph shows the time left and divides the chores into smaller, more manageable chunks. 

5. Project Closure Phase

It's helpful to arrange a post-project review meeting to review the project's strengths and shortcomings, the team's performance, what went wrong or didn't go so well, and how to improve moving forward. This can be one of the most enjoyable project stages since it allows you to recognize and honor valuable team members while celebrating triumphs. 

Steps during the project closure phase: 

  • Performance analysis 
  • Team analysis 
  • Post-implementation review 
  • Impact Report: This report, provided to your stakeholders, compiles a series of metrics demonstrating how your initiative made an impact. 
  • Project Closeout Report: A project closeout report summarizes the results of your project. 

The project life cycle gives project managers a roadmap for navigating their work. At each project stage, it specifies where to begin and where to move next. Whatever happens, the project life cycle gives a dependable structure to return to and refocus on.

How Do You Plan a Project?

A project will be a non-starter if it is not planned well. There are parameters and guidelines that should be followed when planning a project. These would be:  

  • Create and analyze a business case thoroughly.
  • Meet stakeholders for approval of the created business case.
  • Define the scope of the project.
  • Set up project goals and objectives.  
  • Determine project deliverables.  
  • Project schedules and milestones should be created.
  • Tasks should be assigned, or resources planned according to members’ strengths.
  • Risk assessment.

How to Implement a Project?

Putting a project into action involves several steps, including some planning that must be done beforehand. The following list of activities will help you carry out a project successfully:

  • Assess the project plan:  It is advantageous to construct a strategy that satisfies the requirements of management, clients, and important stakeholders within the first stage of the project cycle. Before beginning a project, evaluate the plan and ensure everyone on the team knows the project deliverables. 
  • Planning: Project managers should regularly discuss the team's development during this phase with them. To ensure the team has all they need to finish the project effectively, compare the project's timeframe to the anticipated schedule and monitor the available resources. Communication is essential at this phase of the process to keep the team informed about the project's priorities.
  • Execution of Plan:  Many projects face change, and how well a project manager executes such changes can influence the project's conclusion. Ask the team questions and keep in touch to find out where they need extra assistance. If a project deviates from the plan, be prepared to devote more personnel or resources.
  • Analyze Project Data:  It's crucial to consistently examine and analyze data during a project's implementation phase to gauge progress against original estimates. You can gather information on staffing, resources, and budget using specialized project management software to monitor and control the changes.
  • Final Reports and Closing:  Provide reports to the project team, clients, and stakeholders detailing how the project fared concerning the anticipated budget and timeframe during the final implementation phase. Companies can use this stage to evaluate the project's accomplishments and pinpoint any areas that require improvement going forward, which can help the project management cycle in the long run.

When is a Project Considered Successful?

After completing the project, it's important to deliver the project successfully. Six factors indicate that the project was successful.

1. Delivery on time:  A project will be successful if it is finished on schedule or earlier than anticipated. This indicates that the team members did an excellent job and dedicated all their time and effort to the project. 

2. Delivery on Budget:  Frequent unforeseen difficulties could necessitate more project funding. To handle these difficulties, the manager must seek additional resources. Yet, when a project stays within the budget established at the start of the project, it signifies that the project did not encounter many obstacles that would cause it to exceed the scope of the budget. The initiative will be considered a success. 

3. All objectives achieved: When a project is completed, it usually has a goal and objectives. These objectives were supposed to be accomplished by the project's conclusion. A project is successful when its goals are fully met, and its purpose is realized since it has solved the problems it was intended to solve. 

4. Customer Satisfaction: In any business, the consumer is always king. Thus, if clients are pleased with the work the employees have completed, the project is successful. Because of the trust and happiness gained from the project, they established good relationships and reliable contracts. 

5. Good Feedback: Clients' positive feedback to the project manager and team suggests the project succeeds. 

6. Good Profit: The project can make money and pay back its invested money. If both of these goals are met, and there are indications that the initiative has raised company profitability, the endeavor is unquestionably deemed a success. The project will also be regarded as successful if it gives the stakeholders clear advantages.

Examples of Successful Projects

Some of the successful samples of the project are described as follows:   

  • Amazon:  It has been most successful in increasing its visibility to its customers, tracking tasks, and enabling different groups of resources to handle projects independently  
  • Siemens Healthineers:  It had to manage 100+ projects of varying dimensions and targets. They wanted to have a platform that could create a system for managing each project independently.  
  • Triumph Group:  The company began an overhauling of processes within the company. The aim was to centralize processes and systems. This led to better governance, improved reporting, and increased visibility.   
  • American Airlines:  Merged with U.S. Airways, creating overlapped systems and processes, particularly technological. Introducing resource management helped them streamline their operations.

A project with its characteristics, features, and nature is an opportunity to take a business to the next level of achievement. The changes which are brought about or a product that has been introduced are expected to improve the balance sheet. So, that is the ultimate goal of a project - to improve the entire scenario.  KnowledgeHut’s online trainings for Project Management  ensures a project management trainee gets comprehensive information about the project and its various components.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Project management is a business strategy that curates processes and brings them together to deliver advantages to organizations. It streamlines and formulates guidelines and techniques to enhance the success rate of a product in the market. A major plus of project management is that it increases the chances of getting desired outcomes. So, a project management exercise would help plan a project in a way that all its goals, objectives, budget, and timelines are achieved.

While operations are continual and permanent, projects are distinct and temporary. Additionally, whereas projects typically have a set budget, operations must turn a profit in order to remain functional. 

The cause behind a project's existence, the significance of the work completed, the aspiration or ideal it pursues, or the course it adopts and upholds are all explained by the project's purpose.

A project process is a set of interrelated activities that are performed to achieve a specific business goal. The different project phases in the process include planning, execution, monitoring, and controlling the project to ensure that it meets the desired outcome.  

The features of a project typically include: 

  • Unique goal. 
  • A predefine start and end date. 
  • Proper resources. 
  • Involves and plans risk and uncertainty. 
  • Collaboration and coordination. 
  • Involves stakeholder expectations and requirements. 
  • May have interdependent tasks and activities. 

Profile

Kevin D.Davis

Kevin D. Davis is a seasoned and results-driven Program/Project Management Professional with a Master's Certificate in Advanced Project Management. With expertise in leading multi-million dollar projects, strategic planning, and sales operations, Kevin excels in maximizing solutions and building business cases. He possesses a deep understanding of methodologies such as PMBOK, Lean Six Sigma, and TQM to achieve business/technology alignment. With over 100 instructional training sessions and extensive experience as a PMP Exam Prep Instructor at KnowledgeHut, Kevin has a proven track record in project management training and consulting. His expertise has helped in driving successful project outcomes and fostering organizational growth.

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Project vs Process: Definitions, Differences, & Examples

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“Project” and “process” are two distinct concepts often used in the context of work, management, and various industries. Organizations often use both projects and processes to manage their work effectively. Projects may involve creating or improving processes, and processes may be used to carry out the work involved in projects.

This article explains the differences between a process and project with examples of both scenarios. Additionally, we have provided useful templates to help you streamline your projects and processes.

What is a Project

A project is a temporary and unique endeavor with a specific goal or objective, carried out to create a product, service, or result. It is characterized by a defined beginning and end, a set of resources, and a scope that determines what needs to be accomplished. Often, projects are started to solve a problem, take advantage of an opportunity, or meet a challenge.

Typically a project goes through 5 stages in its life cycle.

  • Project initiation : Define project goals, develop a business case, define the project on a broad level, and identify project stakeholders.
  • Project planning : Define project scope, create a project plan, set a budget baseline, and define roles and responsibilities.
  • Project execution : Allocate and manage project resources, develop the product or process, and address issues as they rise.
  • Project monitoring : Track effort and cost, monitor project progress, ensure adherence to the project plan and eliminate bottlenecks.
  • Project closure : Handover deliverables, review project deliverables, get project results approved, and document lessons learned.

Project Management Lifecycle

Example of a Project

Some prime examples of projects include the development of software or product, a new marketing campaign, the construction of a building, or a relief program after a natural disaster.

Following are useful project management templates that will help you get a head start on your project.

Project Plan Template

The project plan is a comprehensive document that outlines how the project is executed, monitored, and controlled. It highlights vital project information such as deadlines, assignments, and key milestones and is usually represented in the form of a Gantt chart.

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Project Charter

The project charter is a short document that explains what a project entails. It describes what the project goals are, who is involved and their responsibilities, and the stakeholders, and defines the authority of the project manager.

Project Communications Plan

A project communication plan is a guideline of what, when, and how key project information will be shared at key intervals with invested stakeholders.

Project Timeline

A project timeline outlines key phases and tasks from initiation to closure, and helps to facilitate planning, tracking, and managing project progress.

What is a Process

Any organization, regardless of its size, has business processes. A process is a series of interrelated and repeatable activities or steps that are designed to achieve a particular outcome or produce a specific product or service. Processes are fundamental to how organizations operate and carry out their work efficiently. They involve a sequence of actions that transform inputs into outputs, with the goal of achieving consistency, quality, and efficiency.

Typical phases of a process include:

  • Initiation : Define the purpose and objectives of the process, identify stakeholders, and set initial scope.
  • Planning : Create a detailed plan, allocate resources, and establish monitoring metrics.
  • Execution : Implement the planned activities, transforming inputs into desired outputs.
  • Monitoring and controlling : Regularly track progress, compare actual vs. planned performance, and implement controls.
  • Evaluation : Assess effectiveness and efficiency, gather stakeholder feedback, and identify areas for improvement.
  • Optimization : Make adjustments based on evaluation, seek continuous improvement, and implement changes.
  • Closure : Conclude the process when objectives are met, archive documentation, and communicate completion to stakeholders.

Examples of Processes

Following are some examples of process maps, which are used to visualize processes within an organization.

Employee offboarding process

The following swimlane flowchart depicts the process of offboarding employees. It highlights the steps involved and the responsible parties for carrying them out.

Customer support process

This process map outlines how to handle customer requests. Each swim lane represents the individuals and teams involved in the process and their actions.

Employee recruitment process

The following flowchart visualizes the steps in the process of onboarding new employees starting from identifying hiring needs.

Project vs Process

Listed below are differences between process management vs project management for easier analysis.

Benefits of Projects vs Processes

Projects bring innovation and change, while processes focus on maintaining operational efficiency and consistency, with both contributing to the overall success of an organization.

Benefits of Projects

Innovation and change : Projects are catalysts for innovation and change, allowing organizations to introduce new ideas, products, or services.

Goal achievement : Projects provide a structured approach to achieving specific objectives within a defined timeline.

Resource allocation : Resources are allocated for a temporary period, allowing efficient use and focused efforts.

Flexibility : Projects offer flexibility to adapt to changing requirements and circumstances.

Learning opportunities : Each project presents learning opportunities, contributing to organizational knowledge and expertise.

Risk management : Projects emphasize identifying and managing risks to ensure successful outcomes.

Benefits of Processes

Operational efficiency : Processes ensure consistent and efficient day-to-day operations within an organization.

Resource optimization : Resources are utilized continuously, contributing to ongoing productivity and efficiency.

Consistency : Processes lead to consistent and standardized outputs, reducing variability in operations.

Quality control : Emphasis on control mechanisms ensures that processes adhere to quality standards.

Continuous improvement : Processes encourage a culture of continuous improvement, refining operations over time.

Documentation : Standard operating procedures and guidelines provide a reference for consistent execution.

Creately for Projects vs Process Management

Creately is an intelligent visual platform that enables visual collaboration, knowledge management, project execution and business process management. With real-time collaboration and advanced data integration capabilities, it also helps connect cross-functional teams across your entire organization.

Creately’s easy visual workflows and powerful data integrations helps deliver a single reference point for everything during a project lifecycle. You can easily organize and manage tasks, resources, assets, and workflows in an easy, visual platform with advanced built-in visual project management tools .

On the other hand, its whiteboard-like ease of use and advanced process modeling and data capture capabilities help streamline modeling, analyzing, and optimizing business processes collaboratively with stakeholders and clients.

In conclusion, knowing the difference between project vs process is important for running organizations well. Projects are like engines for new ideas and goals, bringing change and innovation. Processes, on the other hand, keep things running smoothly every day, making sure everything is consistent and of high quality. Finding the right mix of projects for growth and efficient processes for daily tasks is crucial for a successful organization. Balancing both aspects helps organizations adapt to change while maintaining stability in their day-to-day operations.

Join over thousands of organizations that use Creately to brainstorm, plan, analyze, and execute their projects successfully.

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Amanda Athuraliya is the communication specialist/content writer at Creately, online diagramming and collaboration tool. She is an avid reader, a budding writer and a passionate researcher who loves to write about all kinds of topics.

What is project scope? (Plus 7 steps to help you define project scope)

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17 Jan 2023 By Jo Johansson

Illustrative elements depicting project scope.

In this article 📖

Project scope is the project manager’s best friend. It’s what we lean on throughout the project life cycle . It keeps us on the straight and narrow all the way to project success.

But sometimes, complacency can creep in . We might think that “Oh, I don’t need a project scope, I’ve done thousands of projects like this!”

Let us stop you right there.

As project managers, defining and planning projects is what we do. That means everything starts with creating a project scope. No matter how many times you’ve done similar projects, you can’t afford to ignore the basics.

So let’s revisit them.

What is scope in project management?

First things first. This article covers project scopes (rather than product scopes). These are often confused, but are two different items:

  • Product scope: the features, functions, and characteristics of a product or service
  • Project scope: what is required to help deliver that product or service (and the outlined features, functions, and characteristics)

Project scope definition

Simply put, a project scope defines all the work and considerations required to deliver a specific outcome.

All of these elements are documented in a project scope statement, which we’ll look at next.

What is a project scope statement?

Also sometimes known as a “statement of wo rk” or “project definition,” a project scope statement is a document that outlines the objectives and deliverables of a project. 

Throughout the project life cycle, it serves as a reference point for all stakeholders involved. It should be revisited during the course of the project to make sure nothing’s gone awry. 

A project scope statement can include items such as: 

  • Project overview and description of work
  • Project justification 
  • Project goals and objectives
  • Deliverables  
  • Stakeholders 
  • Tasks and deadlines 
  • Constraints
  • Assumptions
  • Inclusions/exclusions

And let’s be real here. It’s not easy to write a good project scope statement. It takes time and requires a lot of attention to detail. Clients want to know exactly what they’re paying for, and this is the document that will clarify that.

The importance of project scope

It’s essential for project teams and other relevant stakeholders to understand why project scope is so important.

Understanding what, when, and how things are getting done is one of the many benefits of developing project scopes.

A foolproof project scope statement is your get-out-of-jail-free card. (We’re not kidding, it’s what could win the case in a potential lawsuit!)

Key benefits of a scope statement in project management

If you’re wondering why project scope is so important,  it really boils down to three things:

Manage project objectives

It can be easy to lose track of project objectives once you’re swamped with tasks. But your project scope should inform the project plan in which each task is tied to a specific project objective. The project plan will keep you on track and make sure your project team is always working on the right things.

Download our project plan template

Manage project cost

Every project has a budget. And it’s the project manager’s responsibility to make sure that budget is used wisely. The project scope includes a breakdown of the costs, explaining exactly where the money is going, leaving no room for client concerns. Plus, for bigger projects, you want to set aside some of the budget for unforeseen expenses.

Download our project budget template

Manage project schedule

Project delays anyone? Yup, we’ve all been there. The project manager is responsible for making sure deadlines are met and projects wrap up in a timely fashion. If you don’t have a well-defined project scope, you’ll soon run into issues with timelines, scheduling , and resource allocation . 

Download our project scheduling template

The dangers of not following project scope best practices

Once you’re in the project it’s easy to forget about scope and “press on”—after all, what’s an extra couple of thousand dollars and a slight delay? 

Well, a poorly defined project scope, a forgotten project scope (or not having one at all!) is a one-way ticket to project failure.

Ask any seasoned project manager, and they’ll have plenty of tales to share about failed projects. The culprit—for the most part—is a poor project scope. 

Sir James Dyson knows better than anyone.

Project scope failure: Dyson’s electric car

This is an example of what happens when a project scope doesn’t exist.

Ever heard of Dyson’s electric car ? No? Well, not many of us have. Back in 2017, they announced the development of their first electric car. Dyson was ready to apply its well-known design thinking to an entirely new product. Pretty exciting stuff! 

But just two years (and a handsome amount of $600,000) later—they pulled the plug. 

So what happened? Poor project scope is what happened. But within that, two key things:

  • Underestimation of costs
  • Perfectionism (aka scope creep )

As a result, the N526 (its code name), never saw the light of day. 

Dyson's electric car, a futuristic SUV

The N526 could have been yours for a neat $185,000.

The point is, never underestimate the power of a solid project scope, it could make or break a project (and the bank).

So, how do you go about writing a successful project scope statement? Let’s take a look.

How to write a project scope: a checklist of what to include

All projects are different, and with that, what’s included in a project scope statement will look different, too.

Below, we’ve listed the key elements to include when writing a project scope statement, regardless of project size:

  • Project overview and description of the work: Summarize what the project is
  • Project justification: Explain why this project is necessary or a priority. Why was the project started in the first place?
  • Project goals and objectives: What the project aims to achieve 
  • Deliverables: All outputs (whether tangible or intangible) that are submitted within the scope of a project
  • Processes: Specify any processes that need to be followed to execute the project requirements 
  • Resources: Who and what is needed to complete the project?
  • Budget: How much budget do you have to work with? 
  • Costs: How much will the different ingredients of the project cost?
  • Stakeholders: The organizations and individuals actively involved in the project. It may also include those who are interested or impacted by the project completion result (but not actively involved) 
  • Tasks and deadlines: What tasks will be carried out? What are the target timings of when these will be completed? 
  • Timelines: Overarching timeline of what will happen when
  • Milestones: Key events in the project’s timeline, for example, when stakeholders can expect a specific deliverable to be done
  • Constraints: What boundaries or risks is the project facing?
  • Assumptions: All projects assume certain conditions, for example: “Mark from marketing will support the team.” What other assumptions do you or your team have about the project? What factors do you assume to be true for the project to fail or succeed (without hard proof)? 
  • Inclusions/exclusions: Tasks, items, or actions that will be included or excluded from the project
  • Agreement: Stakeholders’ sign-off at the end of the document

Download the eBook, Confessions of a Project Manager

How to define project scope 

Now we know what to include when writing a project scope statement. But, getting started with how to define the scope of a project can sometimes be overwhelming.

That’s why we’ve put together actionable steps to define what should go into your project scope, and how to approach writing a project scope statement. 

These will help you keep projects on track, and ultimately make sure your stakeholders are happy.

7 project scope steps to get started

Step 1: identify project objectives.

One key factor that can impact project success is fully understanding the objectives of a project and outlining them in a way that every stakeholder can understand.

This process involves:

  • Identifying the stakeholders
  • Understanding their needs and expectations
  • Determining how the project will meet those needs
  • Formulating clear project objectives that address those needs

Ideally, you should apply the SMART framework to ensure that your project objectives are: 

  • S pecific: Set clear and specific goals for effective planning
  • M easurable: Define how you’ll measure progress across the project
  • A chievable: Ensure goals are achievable within the given time frame.
  • R elevant: Make sure goals align with stakeholder expectations.
  • T ime-bound: Set realistic deadlines across all stages of the project.

Defining project objectives can sometimes be an exercise in patience more than anything. But it’s worth spending time on this upfront to avoid confusion or conflicting opinions down the road.

Pro tip: Project objectives may also be referred to as deliverables.

Read: Project management tactics that drive project success

Step 2: Create a resource management plan

No resources, no project. A resource is anything from a meeting room to a vehicle, a tool, a person, or a budget. You name it, it’s a resource.

(However, calling people resources feels a bit bleurgh, so we like to call them, well, just people.) 

Once your project objectives have been defined, it’s time to look at resource allocation. In summary, who’s doing what and when. The most important part of resource planning is getting the right people with the right skills on the right projects. The second most important thing is preventing resource over allocation.

To achieve the above, you want to create a detailed resource management plan .

Pro tip: Forget about spreadsheets and do your resource planning at scale in a flexible resource management tool .

Read: The #1 mistake you’re making with your resource management plan

Step 3: Identify project constraints

What will impact your project scope? Project scope is not just about the work that’s going to be delivered. It’s also about the boundaries and constraints that will have an impact on said deliverables. 

It could be something as simple as one of the main stakeholders will be OOO for four weeks due to surgery, and feedback won’t be delivered as quickly. Or it could be something as daunting as a global distribution issue due to a shortage of a certain material.

Project constraints can fall into different categories, which may include:

  • Cost: This is a standard constraint for any project and is typically presented as a cost or budget range. As long as you stay within range, you’re on target.  
  • Time: Time, along with cost, is a standard constraint stakeholders will look at to determine if a project is on track. Similar to cost, you’ll use a timeline range that you’ll want to stay within.
  • Scope: Scope refers to the project deliverables. These might change during the project life cycle.
  • Quality: Quality refers to the quality of deliverables agreed on. Has anything changed? Has everything been properly tested? Has anything been substituted? 
  • Benefits: This constraint represents the value the outcomes of a project are expected to deliver. 
  • Risk: Every project comes with risk. It’s about how much risk we’re willing to deal with. That’s why we do risk assessments before projects start and evaluate the impact and how much risk we’re willing to tolerate.
  • Resources: Resource planning can be difficult depending on the type of project. Sometimes you might need a resource sooner than expected and that resource may not be available. Resource scheduling is all about planning for change and being flexible in order to make sure project timelines can be met.

No constraint is too big or too small, so make sure to speak to all stakeholders. Depending on the nature of the project, do your due diligence in terms of research—it might just be what saves the day.

Pro tip: Think about project constraints as soon as you can (even before project initiation) to gather as much information as possible to add to the scope.

Read: 5 tips to help you manage resource constraints

Step 4: Draft your project scope statement

Objectives, check. Resources, check. Constraints, extra check.

Now it’s time to start writing your project scope statement. Pull in all the information you’ve collected from your research and discussions with project stakeholders.

We know the project scope statement sounds like a big fancy document, but it doesn’t have to be. Depending on the size and complexity of your project, it can be anything from a bulleted list or a couple of paragraphs, to a comprehensive statement of work (SoW).

If you’re wondering how to get started, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the project and why are we doing it?
  • What are the deliverables of the project?
  • How do we measure the success of the project?
  • Who’s on the project team for this?
  • Who’s the project owner?
  • What does our resource plan look like?
  • What’s our budget?
  • What’s our time frame?
  • What are the constraints?
  • Who are the key stakeholders?

Pro tip: You want to cover your bases, but focus on relevance—not length. 

Step 5: Align with project stakeholders

Don’t think about your project scope statement as a “one and done.” Sure, do your research and pre-empt the important things in order to create trust with your client. But feedback is essential—plus, clients love giving it! Always make your clients part of the process and turn the project scoping process into something everyone can get excited about. 

This is also an exercise in assessing whether the project objectives are the right ones. Don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board if that’s the case. Change in direction is common once stakeholders are given the full picture. 

Once aligned, make sure key stakeholders sign off on the project scope. As mentioned earlier, it’s your insurance if anything goes wrong. 

Pro tip: Managing stakeholder expectations and creating alignment is about negotiation more than anything. Brush up on your negotiation skills!

Read: Guide to negotiation in project management

Step 6: Create a change management plan

A change management plan won’t be necessary for every type of project. If it’s a big, complex project, with a huge scope, a lot of constraints, and equally as many stakeholders, then a change management plan will be your saving grace. 

A change management plan is exactly what it sounds like: a process that guides how to make changes in a project that’s already underway. 

You don’t want just anyone to be able to jump in and make changes to the scope on the fly, but you also don’t want people to not be able to change anything at all. As we all know, once a project gets going, you might run into issues or make discoveries that require change.

So what you want is for anyone to be able to request a change . And that’s exactly what the change management plan is here to do. Again, fancy term, but it might be something as simple as submitting a Google Form, stating the reasons and requirements for a specific change.

Now, while smaller projects won’t require an established change management plan, it’s still the project manager’s responsibility to keep an eye on changes to avoid their greatest enemy: scope creep.

Read: Scope creep – 6 ways to win against the scariest villain in project management

Step 7: Share the project scope with the team

Once finalized, the project scope statement should be shared with the project team and its stakeholders. 

The project scope should live in a place where it’s easily accessible to everyone so they can go back and use it as a reference whenever they need to.

For bigger projects, put a scope reminder day in your schedule to make sure it’s top-of-mind. This way, it’ll be easier to identify deviations from the scope and you’ll be able to make any adjustments necessary. 

Sure, noticing that you’re straying away from the project scope isn’t a good feeling. But do you know what’s even worse? Not noticing at all, and in turn, not being able to do anything about it.

Trust us, your clients will thank you for scope reminder day!

Pro tip: It can be hard to create a healthy relationship with a project scope statement, so make sure you don’t obsess over the details to the point where it affects your team. 

Read: Team burnout: 9 ways project managers can prevent it (before it’s too late)

Project scope example: Website redesign  

Alright, here we are. You’re a project manager that needs to define the project scope for a website redesign project. Not an easy task! 

Some components of a simplified project scope statement will look something like this:

Project overview:

The website is outdated in terms of design and functionality and needs a complete overhaul to better represent our brand to stand out and compete in a saturated market.

Project objectives:

Deliver a revamped website that’s easy to navigate and guides visitors down the conversion path.

  • Project owner (in-house)
  • Design agency (external)
  • Dev agency (external)

Project timeline:

  • Week 1-2: Audit
  • Week 3: Brief design agency
  • Week 4-8: Design phase
  • Week 9-12: Development phase
  • Week 13: Testing phase
  • Week 14: Launch

Budget: $95,000

Project constraints:

  • Technical issues with CMS
  • Feedback delays
  • Technical issues during the testing phase

Your project scope will change (and that’s fine)

When in doubt, go back to the project scope. Remember, while the project scope is your insurance policy, it’s not written in stone. Changes are often necessary, and it doesn’t mean you didn’t do a thorough job in the first place. It simply means that projects are living things that are inherently prone to change.

As project managers, it’s not about creating the perfect project scope—there’s no such thing. It’s about planning for and anticipating change. If we didn’t do that we wouldn’t be doing our jobs.

Working on a project scope statement? Nail the resource plan by managing team schedules, utilization, and workloads with a resource management tool like Resource Guru. Try it free for 30 days .

Related Resource Guru reads:

  • Workload planning: A complete guide
  • Project owner: How to take ownership of a project
  • Schedule your day for focus: 6 steps toward a flow state for project teams

Join 28,550 subscribers and get an update from us every month or so :)

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Jo Johansson

👋 I'm Jo, Senior Content Marketing Manager at Resource Guru. I spend my days creating educational content that helps people be more productive at work, so they can enjoy their time off work. Got any ideas or requests? Drop me a line at [email protected].

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Cambridge Dictionary

  • Cambridge Dictionary +Plus

Meaning of project in English

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  • The government has given the go-ahead for a multi-billion-pound road-building project.
  • The cost of the project has increased dramatically since it began .
  • A large portion of the company's profit goes straight back into new projects.
  • Has she had any experience of managing large projects?
  • I want to thank you all for the time and energy you have put into this project, and for your part in making it such a success .
  • accommodation
  • arrangement
  • counter-strategy
  • counter-tactic
  • exit strategy
  • non-programme
  • package deal
  • plan of action
  • policy-maker
  • preparation

You can also find related words, phrases, and synonyms in the topics:

project verb ( CALCULATE )

  • algebraically
  • algorithmic
  • guesstimate
  • inverse function
  • linear equation
  • mathematical
  • miscalculate
  • miscalculation
  • triangulate
  • work something out

project verb ( THROW )

  • precipitate
  • throw something in

project verb ( MAKE AN IMAGE )

  • aerial photograph
  • backlighting
  • golden hour
  • happy slapping
  • photojournalism
  • photojournalist

project verb ( STICK OUT )

  • overhanging
  • protuberant

project | American Dictionary

Project noun ( piece of work ), project noun ( building ), project | business english, examples of project, collocations with project.

These are words often used in combination with project .

Click on a collocation to see more examples of it.

Translations of project

Get a quick, free translation!

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6 RACI Matrix Alternatives to Help Define Project Roles

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Clear visualization of which team members are responsible for given deliverables is critical to project success. Check out these six RACI matrix alternatives as you begin to plan. Which fits your project best?

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A RACI chart, or RACI matrix, is a responsibility assignment tool that visually defines roles and responsibilities within a project lifecycle.

Colorful table RACI matrix with definitions of RACI roles.

The vertical axis of the chart represents individual tasks or aspects of the project, whereas the horizontal axis represents individuals. Each square within the chart is filled based on the responsibilities of each party relative to specific tasks: responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed.

Project managers rely on a wide range of tools to support project needs, and the RACI matrix is one of the most common project management tools. Yet, you might find that it falls short when it comes to defining roles, responsibilities, project scope, or other essential details and tasks.

Read more: What is a RACI Matrix?

RASCI 

R esponsible • a ccountable • s upport • c onsulted • i nformed.

One of the top choices in RACI alternatives is a RASCI matrix, a work responsibility chart that’s built in the in the same way as a RACI chart is, but with the added category of “support”.

While it may not seem like much of a difference, the additional category adds another layer of engagement for teams who may be working with multiple departments across the organization or external supporting contractors.

Example of a RASCI chart, with category labels to support “responsible,” “accountable,” “support,” “consulted,” and “informed.”

D river • A pprover • C onsulted • I nformed

The DACI model is designed as an alternative to the RACI model that provides teams insights about roles and responsibilities while placing more emphasis on drivers and decision-makers in the team dynamic.

This model works especially well for teams that have multiple leaders within the project dynamic, such as a portfolio manager, program manager, and project manager or teams working with numerous external stakeholders.

A breakdown of the DACI model: “driver,” “approver,” “consulted,” and “informed.”

R ecommend • A gree • P erform • I nput • D ecide

The RAPID model, unlike the previous alternatives, is designed as a decision-making tool rather than a responsibility-focused one.

RAPID is helpful for teams that need to come to a consensus about project decisions. In this model, instead of assigning roles or responsibilities, teams work through a prescribed decision-making process to reach a consensus: recommend, agree, perform, input, and decide.

A description of the RAPID decision-making model.

Gantt Chart

One of the most notable alternatives to RACI is a Gantt chart. While both charts enable teams to visualize responsibilities, a Gantt chart ties individuals to direct tasks and deliverables while highlighting task dependencies and timelines. Gantt charts are a useful tool for teams that need to visualize multiple project metrics in one chart.

Interested in trying a Gantt chart software?

Example of a Gantt chart within TeamGantt.

Work Breakdown Structure

A work breakdown structure is a diagram that helps teams break down large, task-heavy projects into smaller portions of work to keep things organized and ensure that all essential tasks are completed. While this type of diagram does not tie the tasks to any specific team member, it makes it easier to digest the totality of work that will be completed throughout the project lifecycle.

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Read more: Work Breakdown Structure Basics

Project Dashboard

Project dashboards are a powerful tool typically included in project management software that provides analytical overviews of one or more projects. Where a RACI matrix provides information about team responsibilities, a project dashboard gives teams information about the project itself in an unbiased manner, from detailed stats on remaining work to budget tracking. What’s more, this data is highly customizable, making it a flexible tool for teams of all shapes and sizes. 

Interested in trying out dashboard capabilities in a project management solution? Give ClickUp a try.

Example of a project dashboard from ClickUp.

Read more: RACI vs DACI

How can I decide which project tool is right for my team?

While ultimately, only you can decide which tools are a strong fit for your project needs, it’s important to remember that each of these tools can be customized. Moreover, you should feel free to utilize multiple tools, as all of the recommended tools in this article can be used concurrently.

What are some of the pros of using a RACI matrix?

A RACI matrix is a great tool for streamlining team communication, maximizing resource allocation, and aligning stakeholder and team expectations. Because RACI charts easily display roles, they’re often used for teams of all sizes to familiarize themselves with others in the project team, or external stakeholders, whose role in the project should be considered.

What are some of the cons of using a RACI matrix?

While RACI charts can be a helpful project tool, it shouldn’t be the sole tool your team relies on to complete a project. RACI charts have numerous downfalls, including their complexity, inability to highlight all aspects of the project, and limited interpretations of what each role represents within the scope of actual work.

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Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Organization > What is rolling wave project management?

What is rolling wave project management?

Starting a new task at work without a quality project management technique can feel daunting. If you work in a fast-paced office environment, consider rolling wave planning—a project management strategy that mirrors the ebb and flow of your work. Here are some practical tips for using rolling wave planning to manage any shifts or changes in your projects.

A notebook with notes on it

Rolling wave planning at the office

For many, a typical workday at the office feels more like navigating turbulent waters than taking a smooth cruise. Rolling wave planning embraces this reality by adopting a method that aligns with the unpredictable nature of office projects.

The definition of rolling wave planning

Rolling wave planning is a project management tool that emphasizes the iterative process—building, changing, and refining a project. Using rolling wave planning, you don’t create a set plan for the entirety of the project up front, but instead refine the project plan in “waves” throughout the life of the project. It’s especially useful for ongoing projects without a clear finish line.

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How rolling wave project management works

  • Wave 1: Initial planning. Set the course for the project with a broad project plan outlining goals and key milestones.
  • Wave 2+: Detailed planning. As the project progresses, delve into more detailed planning for upcoming phases. Learn from experiences and adjust strategies accordingly.

The features of rolling wave project management

The rolling wave project management methodology is designed to be flexible and adaptable. It’s particularly well-suited to office environments where projects can be unpredictable and subject to change.

One of the key features of rolling wave project management is its focus on short-term planning. By breaking down a project into smaller phases, it becomes easier to manage and adapt to changing circumstances. This approach also helps prevent overplanning for distant future phases, which can be a waste of valuable office resources.

Another important aspect of rolling wave planning is its emphasis on flexibility and a willingness to adapt. By learning from experiences and adjusting as needed, rolling wave planning helps your projects stay on track and deliver results.

The benefits of rolling wave project management

Rolling wave planning is especially beneficial in a dynamic office setting where your final deliverable goals are subject to change. Managing your project using the rolling wave technique can help you update your project plan without requiring you to start from scratch. Here are some additional benefits of rolling wave project planning:

  • Enhanced flexibility. In an office setup, flexibility is key. Rolling wave project planning allows for agile adjustments, ensuring that your project sails smoothly despite sudden shifts.
  • Adaptability. In fast-paced office environments, adaptability is crucial. Rolling wave planning empowers teams to pivot quickly in response to changing demands.
  • Efficient resource allocation. By focusing on meeting short-term goals , this approach prevents overplanning for distant future phases and avoids wasting valuable office resources as a result.

Amid a whirlwind of office tasks and deliverables, rolling wave planning can help you navigate unforeseen changes to your projects. Consider adopting this approach for your next project and enjoy the benefits of this flexible management tool.

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Computer Science > Robotics

Title: producing and leveraging online map uncertainty in trajectory prediction.

Abstract: High-definition (HD) maps have played an integral role in the development of modern autonomous vehicle (AV) stacks, albeit with high associated labeling and maintenance costs. As a result, many recent works have proposed methods for estimating HD maps online from sensor data, enabling AVs to operate outside of previously-mapped regions. However, current online map estimation approaches are developed in isolation of their downstream tasks, complicating their integration in AV stacks. In particular, they do not produce uncertainty or confidence estimates. In this work, we extend multiple state-of-the-art online map estimation methods to additionally estimate uncertainty and show how this enables more tightly integrating online mapping with trajectory forecasting. In doing so, we find that incorporating uncertainty yields up to 50% faster training convergence and up to 15% better prediction performance on the real-world nuScenes driving dataset.

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IMAGES

  1. Project Definition: MindManager mind map template

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  2. What is a Project in Project Management? Definition and Types

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  3. Project Characteristics: Key Elements That Define a Project

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  4. The 5 Project Management Steps To Run Every Project Perfectly

    define and projects

  5. Types of Projects

    define and projects

  6. Five Phases of Project Management

    define and projects

VIDEO

  1. Characteristics of Projects , Project Management Definition

  2. What is a Project Definition? Project Management in Under 5

  3. Project Definition

  4. What is a Project?

  5. What is Project Scope Management? Scope of Project, Definition, Importance and Example

  6. Types of Projects

COMMENTS

  1. Project Definition & Meaning

    project: [verb] to devise in the mind : design. to plan, figure, or estimate for the future.

  2. What Is a Project? Definition, Types & Examples

    Project Definition. A project is a set of tasks that must be completed within a defined timeline to accomplish a specific set of goals. These tasks are completed by a group of people known as the project team, which is led by a project manager, who oversees the planning, scheduling, tracking and successful completion of projects. Get your free.

  3. What Is A Project? Characteristics, Types, & Simple Examples

    Basic Project Definition. A project is a temporary endeavor with a fixed start and end date. It's an initiative with a unique product or service that has specific goals and objectives that a project manager and their team fulfill. Project teams follow specific frameworks or methodologies, such as The Project Management Institute's (PMI) Project ...

  4. What Is a Project? Definition, Key Characteristics Lifecycle

    - The Definition. Project is an excellent opportunity for organizations and individuals to achieve their business and non-business objectives more efficiently through implementing change. Projects help us make desired changes in an organized manner and reduce the probability of failure. Projects differ from other types of work (e.g., process ...

  5. PROJECT

    PROJECT meaning: 1. a piece of planned work or an activity that is finished over a period of time and intended to…. Learn more.

  6. What is a Project? The definitive guide with examples

    A project is a temporary venture to produce a new and unique deliverable. A deliverable could be a tangible product, a service or achievement of a required outcome. stakeholdermap.com. One of the best ways to differentiate a project from say operations or business as usual is to look for a clear start and end.

  7. Project Definition 101

    The term project definition refers to the work a project manager, sponsor, and stakeholders undertake at the project onset to determine the goals and needs. The manager records that definition in a project charter or project definition document. Teams perform project definition at the beginning of every project, regardless of the specific ...

  8. PROJECT Definition & Usage Examples

    Project definition: something that is contemplated, devised, or planned; plan; scheme. See examples of PROJECT used in a sentence.

  9. What Is a Project: Definition, Types, Key Features and More [Updated

    Definition of Project. A project is a combination of set objectives to be accomplished within a fixed period. They are an excellent opportunity to organize your business and non-business goals efficiently. The changes made in the project completion process are expected to perform better. When you work on an office project, it requires experts ...

  10. What is Project Management? Definition, Types & Examples

    Project Management is the application of specific knowledge, skills, methodologies, and techniques aimed at achieving specific and measurable project goals, including, ultimately, successful project completion. It differs from general "management" because project management relates directly to the goals and time-bound objectives achieved ...

  11. What is a Project? Importance, Characteristics, Examples, and Types

    This is like preparing the soil. The project manager will define the project goals, scope, and stakeholders. Planning: This is like planting seeds. The project manager will create a detailed plan for how the project will be executed, including tasks, timelines, and resources. Execution: This is like watering and providing sunlight to the seeds.

  12. What Is A Project? Definition, Tools And Tips

    Every project is temporary, meaning it must have a defined start and end date. For successful project completion, you need someone to plan and delegate tasks, define deadlines, monitor progress, and make tweaks along the way. This individual is known as a project manager (PM).

  13. What is a Project? Definition, Types & Examples

    Definition: According to the PMBOK Guide, a project is defined as a "temporary endeavor to create a unique product, service, or result." Creating deliverables is one of the primary reasons why projects are started in the first place.

  14. What Is a Project? (With Types, Key Terms and Tips)

    A project is a planned set of tasks to attain a particular outcome, such as learning new information or creating something new. Business projects achieve specific business objectives, align with a company's business strategy, and fall into different categories according to content or purpose. Unlike business operations, business projects are ...

  15. What is a Project: Definition, Characteristics, and Importance

    To better understand what a project is, let's examine its key characteristics: Temporary: Projects have a defined beginning and end, usually with a specific deadline or timeline. Unique: Projects are distinct from routine operations or ongoing tasks. They create something that doesn't exist before, such as a new product, service, or process.

  16. Project

    A project is a piece of work that is planned or intended. Plan a little extra time for your gingerbread house project — gluing the walls and roof can take a while.

  17. Project: Definition, 11 Characteristics, Features, Process

    A project consumes resources. The resources required for completing a project are men, materials, money, and time.Thus, we can define a project as an organized program of pre-determined groups of activities that are non-routine in nature and that must be completed using the available resources within the given time limit.

  18. What Is Project Planning? Benefits, Tools, and More

    Project planning refers to the phase in project management in which you determine the actual steps to complete a project. This includes laying out timelines, establishing the budget, setting milestones, assessing risks, and solidifying tasks and assigning them to team members. Project planning is the second stage of the project management ...

  19. Project Definition

    What is a Project? According to PMI, a project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result. A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources. A project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations ...

  20. What is a Project in Project Management? Definition and Types

    A project is defined as a sequence of tasks that must be completed to attain a certain outcome. According to the Project Management Institute ( PMI ), the term Project refers to " to any temporary endeavor with a definite beginning and end". Depending on its complexity, it can be managed by a single person or hundreds.

  21. What is Project? Types, Importance and Examples

    Things that Define a Project . Here are the most important points that define a project: 1. Goal. It is the ultimate deliverable or the destination to be reached. It is done when a need for change is recognized. This is the first step towards setting a goal; recognizing the true shape of things. It could be obsolete machinery (manufacturing), a ...

  22. Project vs Process: Definitions, Differences, & Examples

    Often, projects are started to solve a problem, take advantage of an opportunity, or meet a challenge. Typically a project goes through 5 stages in its life cycle. Project initiation: Define project goals, develop a business case, define the project on a broad level, and identify project stakeholders.

  23. What is project scope?

    Also sometimes known as a "statement of wo rk" or "project definition," a project scope statement is a document that outlines the objectives and deliverables of a project. Throughout the project life cycle, it serves as a reference point for all stakeholders involved. It should be revisited during the course of the project to make sure ...

  24. PROJECT

    PROJECT definition: 1. a piece of planned work or an activity that is finished over a period of time and intended to…. Learn more.

  25. 6 RACI Matrix Alternatives to Help Define Project Roles

    Lauren Good is a staff writer and project management expert for project-management.com Previously, she was a communications consultant, managing hundreds of projects while providing 20+ clients with strategic planning and content strategy across the information technology, cybersecurity, SaaS, and cannabis sectors.

  26. What is rolling wave project management?

    Rolling wave planning embraces this reality by adopting a method that aligns with the unpredictable nature of office projects. The definition of rolling wave planning. Rolling wave planning is a project management tool that emphasizes the iterative process—building, changing, and refining a project.

  27. model card in machine learning

    IT project management. IT project management is the process of planning, organizing and delineating responsibility for the completion of an organizations' specific information technology (IT) goals. See More. HR technology (human resources tech) solid-state storage; entity relationship diagram (ERD) model card in machine learning; converged ...

  28. Guiding Llama 2 with prompt engineering by developing system and

    Prompt engineering is the practice of guiding large language model (LLM) outputs by providing the model context on the type of information to generate. Depending on the LLM, prompts can take the form of text, images, or even audio. Embedding refers to the process of encoding any kind of information into numerical format by representing key features of the input as a numerical vector.

  29. [2403.16439] Producing and Leveraging Online Map Uncertainty in

    High-definition (HD) maps have played an integral role in the development of modern autonomous vehicle (AV) stacks, albeit with high associated labeling and maintenance costs. As a result, many recent works have proposed methods for estimating HD maps online from sensor data, enabling AVs to operate outside of previously-mapped regions. However, current online map estimation approaches are ...