According to PMBOK® (Project Management Body of Knowledge), a Project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. Let’s break this down to understand the meaning- A Project is a temporary endeavour- This means that the activities required to be carried out in a project are defined by time. It will have a definite start and end time. In other words, it will not be carried out endlessly. The duration can vary from days to months to years depending upon the complexity of the requirements. A Project creates unique product, service, or result- This means that completion of a project will always be marked with an output that is different from all other projects. The variations can be in terms of features of the product, location of product installation, or a new strategic improvement for any business. A set of activities can have repetitive elements but if the fundamental attributes are unique, then those set of activities can be termed as Projects.
Manufacturing- A team at Demag Cranes uses the same raw materials repetitively and follow a set of processes to manufacture industrial cranes but delivers a unique product in terms of capacity, speed of travel, or location of installation. Software- A group of team members at Accenture follows the same processes, methodology, meetings, templates, and programming language but delivers a new application with unique features every time.
A project involves a set of activities required to be carried out by a set of people in a given amount of time to create or modify a product, service, or result as per the defined requirements. It can be managed by a few or a hundred people and vary in duration from days to months to years depending upon complexity of the requirements. Characteristics of a project are- unique, temporary, driving change, and enabling business value creation.