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Project is one or more enterprise efforts undertaken to create a unique deliverable, functional features of which are identified or can be identified before the efforts start. Any project can be viewed as a set of processes.


According to Management by Robbins and Coulter (14th edition),

Project. A one-time-only set of activities that has a definite beginning and ending point in time.

According to the BABOK Guide (3rd edition),

Project. A temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.

According to the INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook (4th edition),

Project. An endeavor with defined start and finish criteria undertaken to create a product or service in accordance with specified resources and requirements.

According to the ITIL Foundation 4e by Axelos,

Project. A temporary structure that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more outputs (or products) according to an agreed business case.

Projects vs ongoing operations

If ongoing operations are about running a business, projects are about changing that business.

Related concepts

  • Agile project. (1) A project which project scope cannot be predicted and defined; (2) The project that is developed using an Agile methodology. An Agile project is usually completed in several iterations or development cycles. Each iteration is reviewed and critiqued by the project team, which should include representatives of the project's various stakeholders. Insights gained from the critique of an iteration are used to determine what the next step should be in the project.
  • Project charter. A document issued by the project initiator or sponsor that formally authorizes the existence of a project, and provides the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities.
  • Project kick-off. The formally recognized start of a project.

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