HOME

TheInfoList



OR:

A project is any undertaking, carried out individually or collaboratively and possibly involving research or design, that is carefully
plan A plan is typically any diagram or list of steps with details of timing and resources, used to achieve an objective to do something. It is commonly understood as a temporal set of intended actions through which one expects to achieve a goal. ...
ned to achieve a particular goal. An alternative view sees a project managerially as a sequence of events: a "set of interrelated tasks to be executed over a fixed period and within certain cost and other limitations". A project may be a temporary (rather than a permanent)
social system In sociology, a social system is the patterned network of relationships constituting a coherent whole that exist between individuals, groups, and institutions. It is the formal structure of role and status that can form in a small, stable group. A ...
( work system), possibly staffed by
team A team is a group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal. As defined by Professor Leigh Thompson of the Kellogg School of Management, " team is a group of people who are interdependent with respect to inf ...
s (within or across
organization An organization or organisation (Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is an entity—such as a company, an institution, or an association—comprising one or more people and having a particular purpose. The word is derived fr ...
s) to accomplish particular tasks under time constraints. A project may form a part of wider programme management or function as an ''ad hoc'' system. Note that
open-source software Open-source software (OSS) is computer software that is released under a license in which the copyright holder grants users the rights to use, study, change, and distribute the software and its source code to anyone and for any purpose. Open ...
"projects" or artists' musical "projects" (for example) may lack defined team-membership, precise planning and/or time-limited durations.


Overview

The word ''project'' comes from the Latin word ''projectum'' from the Latin verb ''proicere'', "before an action," which in turn comes from ''pro-'', which denotes precedence, something that comes before something else in time (paralleling the
Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor ...
πρό) and ''iacere'', "to do". The word "project" thus originally meant "before an action". When the English language initially adopted the word, it referred to a plan of something, not to the act of actually carrying this plan out. Something performed in accordance with a project became known as an "
object Object may refer to: General meanings * Object (philosophy), a thing, being, or concept ** Object (abstract), an object which does not exist at any particular time or place ** Physical object, an identifiable collection of matter * Goal, an ai ...
". Every project has certain phases of development. Based on the Project Management Institute, a project can be defined as a "temporary endeavor" aimed to drive changes in teams, organizations, or societies. The output of a project is normally a unique product, service, or result.


Cancellation

Project cancellation is the termination of a
project A project is any undertaking, carried out individually or collaboratively and possibly involving research or design, that is carefully planned to achieve a particular goal. An alternative view sees a project managerially as a sequence of eve ...
prior to its completion and generally includes the cessation of access to
funding Funding is the act of providing resources to finance a need, program, or project. While this is usually in the form of money, it can also take the form of effort or time from an organization or company. Generally, this word is used when a firm us ...
and other project resources. Project cancellation may result from cost overruns,
schedule A schedule or a timetable, as a basic time-management tool, consists of a list of times at which possible tasks, events, or actions are intended to take place, or of a sequence of events in the chronological order in which such things are ...
overruns, changes in
budget A budget is a calculation play, usually but not always financial, for a defined period, often one year or a month. A budget may include anticipated sales volumes and revenues, resource quantities including time, costs and expenses, environmen ...
, change or
obviation Obviation may refer to: * A linguistic process involving the obviative Within linguistics, obviative ( abbreviated ) third person is a grammatical-person clusivity marking that distinguishes a non- salient (obviative) third-person referent from ...
of the
goal A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envision, plan and commit to achieve. People endeavour to reach goals within a finite time by setting deadlines. A goal is roughly similar to a purpose or a ...
of the project, political factors, or any combination of those and other factors.
Contract A contract is a legally enforceable agreement between two or more parties that creates, defines, and governs mutual rights and obligations between them. A contract typically involves the transfer of goods, services, money, or a promise to ...
s often stipulate the time and the manner in which a project may be cancelled. Contracted projects typically have a specified end date, when the contract may or may not be renewed; nonrenewal often has the same effect as cancellation but carries different legal ramifications.


Formal definition in the project-management realm

A project consists of a concrete and organized effort motivated by a perceived opportunity when facing a problem, a need, a desire or a source of discomfort (e.g., lack of proper ventilation in a building). It seeks the realization of a unique and innovative deliverable, such as a product, a service, a process, or in some cases, a scientific research. Each project has a beginning and an end, and as such is considered a closed dynamic system. It is developed along the 4 Ps of project management: Plan, Processes, People, and Power (e.g., line of authority). It is bound by the triple constraints that are calendar, costs and norms of quality, each of which can be determined and measured objectively along the project lifecycle. Some projects produce some level of formal documentation, the deliverable(s), and some impacts, which can be positive and/or negative.


Specific uses


School and university

A project is an individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned and researched about by students. At schools, educational institutes and universities, a project is a
research Research is " creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization and analysis of evidence to increase understanding of a topic, characterized by a particular attentiveness ...
assignment - given to a student - which generally requires a larger amount of effort and more independent work than that involved in a normal essay assignment. It requires students to undertake their fact-finding and analysis, either from library/internet research or from gathering data empirically. The written report that comes from the project is usually in the form of a dissertation, which will contain sections on the project's inception, analysis, findings and conclusions.


Project management

In
project management Project management is the process of leading the work of a team to achieve all project goals within the given constraints. This information is usually described in project documentation, created at the beginning of the development process. Th ...
, a project consists of a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique
product Product may refer to: Business * Product (business), an item that serves as a solution to a specific consumer problem. * Product (project management), a deliverable or set of deliverables that contribute to a business solution Mathematics * Pr ...
,
service Service may refer to: Activities * Administrative service, a required part of the workload of university faculty * Civil service, the body of employees of a government * Community service, volunteer service for the benefit of a community or a p ...
or result.
Project Management Institute The Project Management Institute (PMI, legally Project Management Institute, Inc.) is a U.S.-based not-for-profit professional organization for project management. Overview PMI serves more than five million professionals including over 680,0 ...
. ''A Guide to the
Project Management Body of Knowledge The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) is a set of standard terminology and guidelines (a body of knowledge) for project management. The body of knowledge evolves over time and is presented in ''A Guide to the Project Management Body of ...
'' (PMBOK Guide), Third Edition.
Another definition is a
management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a nonprofit organization, or a government body. It is the art and science of managing resources of the business. Management includes the activities ...
environment that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to a specified
business case A business case captures the reasoning for initiating a project or task. It is often presented in a well-structured written document, but may also come in the form of a short verbal agreement or presentation. The logic of the business case is that ...
. Projects can also be seen as temporary organizations. Project objectives define target status at the end of the project, reaching of which is considered necessary for the achievement of planned benefits. They can be formulated as
SMART criteria S.M.A.R.T. is a mnemonic acronym, giving criteria to guide in the setting of goals and objectives that are assumed to give better results, for example in project management, employee- performance management and personal development. The term was ...
:Carr, David
Make Sure Your Project Goals are SMART
PM Hut. Accessed 18. Oct 2009.
Projects are often guided by a steering group. * Specific * Measurable (or at least evaluable) achievement * Achievable (recently Agreed to or Acceptable are used regularly as well) * Realistic (given the current state of organizational resources) * Time terminated (bounded) The evaluation (measurement) occurs at the project closure. However, a continuous guard on the project progress should be kept by monitoring and evaluating.


Civil and military construction and industry infrastructure

In civil, military and industry (e.g. oil and gas) infrastructure, capital projects refer to activities to construct and install equipment, facilities and buildings. As these activities are temporary endeavors with clear start and end dates, the term "project" is applied. Because the results of these activities are typically long-standing infrastructure, with a life measured in years or decades, these projects are typically accounted for in financial accounting as capital expenditures, and thus they are termed "capital projects".


Computer software

In
computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations (computation) automatically. Modern digital electronic computers can perform generic sets of operations known as C ...
software, a project can consist of programs, configuration definitions and related data. For example, in
Microsoft Visual Studio Visual Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) from Microsoft. It is used to develop computer programs including websites, web apps, web services and mobile apps. Visual Studio uses Microsoft software development platforms such a ...
, a "solution" consists of projects and other definitions.


State project

It can be defined as "a set of state policies and/or agencies unified around a particular issue or oppression". Therefore, these kinds of projects involve constant change and dynamism due to the social constructions that evolve among time. State projects have to adapt to the current moment. They are mostly community services based.


Infrastructure code

In the context of infrastructure code, a project is a collection of code used to build a discrete component of the system. There is no rule on how much a single project or its component can include.


Types

Some analyses of project-oriented activity distinguish - using military-style terminology - between grandiose strategic projects and more trivial or component operational projects: tactical projects.


Examples

*
Human Genome Project The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international scientific research project with the goal of determining the base pairs that make up human DNA, and of identifying, mapping and sequencing all of the genes of the human genome from both a ...
, which mapped the
human genome The human genome is a complete set of nucleic acid sequences for humans, encoded as DNA within the 23 chromosome pairs in cell nuclei and in a small DNA molecule found within individual mitochondria. These are usually treated separately as ...
*
Manhattan Project The Manhattan Project was a research and development undertaking during World War II that produced the first nuclear weapons. It was led by the United States with the support of the United Kingdom and Canada. From 1942 to 1946, the project w ...
, which developed the first
nuclear weapon A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission (fission bomb) or a combination of fission and fusion reactions ( thermonuclear bomb), producing a nuclear explosion. Both b ...
* Polaris missile project: an
ICBM An intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with a range greater than , primarily designed for nuclear weapons delivery (delivering one or more thermonuclear warheads). Conventional, chemical, and biological weapo ...
control-system * Apollo program, which landed humans on the
moon The Moon is Earth's only natural satellite. It is the fifth largest satellite in the Solar System and the largest and most massive relative to its parent planet, with a diameter about one-quarter that of Earth (comparable to the width of ...
*
Soviet atomic bomb project The Soviet atomic bomb project was the classified research and development program that was authorized by Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union to develop nuclear weapons during and after World War II. Although the Soviet scientific community di ...
*
Soviet crewed lunar programs The Soviet crewed lunar programs were a series of programs pursued by the Soviet Union to land humans on the Moon, in competition with the United States Apollo program. The Soviet government publicly denied participating in such a competitio ...
*
Project-706 Project-706, also known as Project-786 was the codename of a research and development program to develop Pakistan's first nuclear weapons. The program was initiated by Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1974 in response to the Indian nuclea ...
*
Great Pyramid of Giza The Great Pyramid of Giza is the biggest Egyptian pyramid and the tomb of Fourth Dynasty pharaoh Khufu. Built in the early 26th century BC during a period of around 27 years, the pyramid is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient Worl ...


Topics associated with projects

*
Megaproject A megaproject is an extremely large-scale investment project. According to the ''Oxford Handbook of Megaproject Management'', "Megaprojects are large-scale, complex ventures that typically cost $1 billion or more, take many years to develop a ...
*
Program management Program management, is the process of managing several related projects, often with the intention of improving an organization's performance. It is distinct from ''project'' management. In practice and in its aims, program management is ofte ...
* Project governance *
Project Management Institute The Project Management Institute (PMI, legally Project Management Institute, Inc.) is a U.S.-based not-for-profit professional organization for project management. Overview PMI serves more than five million professionals including over 680,0 ...
(PMI) * International Project Management Association (IPMA) * Project management software * Project planning * Small-scale project management *
PRINCE2 PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is a structured project management method and practitioner certification programme. PRINCE2 emphasises dividing projects into manageable and controllable stages. It is adopted in many countries wor ...


References

{{Authority control Collaboration