What Is A Project?

Filed under Definitions | Posted by PMStudent
by Andrew Abogado via Flickr

by Andrew Abogado via Flickr

A project has a few qualities:

  • Has the goal of creating a unique product at the end of it
  • Has a start
  • Has an end (at least that’s the plan)
  • Has people involved (at least 1)

That’s about it.? If a group of activities fits that list, it’s a project.

Examples include creating anything that isn’t mass-produced:

  • Building a house
  • A science-fair project
  • Writing a book
  • Creating a website
  • Launching a satellite into orbit

Not All Projects Are Created Equal

Obviously, you are not going to need the same level of project management for a science fair project as you do for launching a satellite.? A project with 100 people working on it has very different needs from a project with one person.

Some definitions out there say that if you have 1 person working on it, it’s not really a project.? I think that’s bull.

It IS certainly true that the level of complexity and effort on a project directly determine how much “project management” needs to happen.

My rule of thumb:? “Only do what adds value.”

If you spend time and money on lots of formal project management practices when you don’t really need them, you are wasting resources.

More questions?? Leave a comment below or connect with me, and I will update this post as needed to provide the best definition possible.