What is a project?

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Let's start easy:

A project is a coordinated effort to deliver specific results

Slightly more elaborated:

A project is a dedicated and coordinated effort that is limited in time and scope, to deliver specific predefined results

Another approach: A project...

  • Has a start and an end - It's limited in time
  • Has a dedicated team and organisation
  • Requires efforts, focus, communication, organisation, budget and maybe other resources
  • Is aimed to result in a specific and usually unique outcome or a collection of outcomes - change. These desired ourcomes are to a certain degree defined before the project, but are often updated as part of the project.

Example: Project management book Delft

During my studies at TU Delft, I had to read a book about project management. I think it started with an example where something new and out-of-the-ordinary had to be done within a company (product the annual reports? Organise a company picknick before summer?) Several folks within that company had an idea about how to go about:

  • Treat it as regular work within a certain department (HR?)
  • Someone will do it ad-hoc somewhere on the side
  • Treat it as a project.


Why do something as a project?

Start & end

Projects have a start & end

Non-project work

Non-project work

See also