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What is a project, and what are its main attributes?

How is a project different from what most people do in their dayto-day jobs? What other factors affect a project?
There are many definitions of what a project is. The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) defines a project a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result. In the PRINCE2 2009 Manual, a project is defined as a temporary organization that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to an agreed Business Case. David Allen, a writer in GTD Times states that any outcome that’s going to require more than one action item, in some sequence of events in order to be able to get to that outcome, that is a project. A project has distinctive attributes, which distinguish it from ongoing work or business operations. It can said to be different from what most people do in their day-today jobs. It has a unique purpose and well defined objectives. Projects exist to bring about a product or service that hasn’t existed before. In this sense, a project is unique. Unique means that this is new, this has never been done before. Maybe it’s been done very similarly before but never exactly in this way. Projects are also temporary in nature. They are not an everyday business process and have definitive start dates and end dates. This characteristic is important because a large part of the project effort is dedicated to ensuring that the project is completed at the appointed time. To do this, schedules are created showing when tasks should begin and end. Projects are the means by which we introduce change. Once the desired change has been implemented, business as usual resumes and the need for the project is removed. A project requires resources, often from various areas, which are people, hardware, software and other assets. It is collaboration not just from IT department but from sales, marketing, and other areas of the company to develop ideas. Projects involve a team of people with different skills working together (on a temporary basis) to introduce a change that will impact others outside the team. A project should have primary sponsor or customer. A program is a group of projects managed in a coordinated way. It also involves uncertainty. This is because a project is unique, difficult to be clearly defined the objectives and also how much it will cost. In contrast with projects, operations are ongoing and repetitive. They involve work that is continuous without an ending date and you often repeat the same processes and produce the same results. The purpose of operations is to keep the organization functioning while the purpose of a project is to meet its goals and to conclude.

A good project manager is important to ensure a project’s success. It is also constrained in three possible ways – scope, time goals and cost goals, or namely the triple constraint.