Saturday, December 11, 2010

What is a Project?

"A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result". This is the definition of a project as given by Project Management Insitute (PMI).

Temporary and Unique
The two keywords in the definition of a project are "temporary" and "unique". To know whether you are working on a project, you should understand the meaning of these keywords.

Temporary does not mean short term. Projects can be of long durations. Construction projects typically take longer time. For example, if you are involved in a infrastructure project like the construction of an underground metro rail system, it may take many years to complete. And the outcome of these projects may also be around for hundreds of years. So, what do we mean by "temporary endeavor"?

Temporary, here, means a project has a definite beginning and an end. So, if you are doing something which seem to be going on forever, then it is likely that you are not working on a project. If you are working on a project, you should know the planned start date and planned completion date.

What do we mean by "Unique"? The outcome of every project is unique. You may be constructing similar buildings again and again, but every building is unique. For example, the soil condition may vary for each building or one of the materials used for the building was different.

Examples of Projects:
  • Constructing a building
  • Developing a software
  • Running a political campaign
  • Conducting a tour
  • Changing an organization structure
  • Developing a new procedure


  1. t's a temporary group activity designed to produce a unique product, service or result.

  2. A project is a way of organizing resource. It is a group of individuals who are assembled to perform different tasks on a common set of objectives