Projects can be further defined as temporary rather than permanent social systems or work systems that are constituted by teams within or across organizations to accomplish particular tasks under time constraints. An on-going project is usually called (or evolves into) a program.
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 πρό) and iacere, "to do". The word "project" thus actually 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".
School and university
At school, educational institute and university, a project is a research assignment given to a student which generally requires a larger amount of effort and more independent work than is involved in a normal essay assignment. It requires students to undertake their own 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...
Engineering projects are, in many countries, specifically defined by legislation, which requires that such projects should be carried out by registered engineers and/or registered engineering companies. That is, companies with license to carry out such works as design and construction of buildings, power plants, industrial facilities, installation and erection of electrical grid networks, transportation infrastructure and the like.
The scope of the project is specified in a contract between the owner and the engineering and construction parties. As a rule, an engineering project is broken down into design and construction phases. The outputs of the design process are drawings, calculations, and all other design documentation necessary to carry out the next phase. The next phase would normally be sending the project plans to a developer who will then help construct the plans (construction phase).
In project management a project consists of a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result. Another definition is a management environment that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to a specified business case.
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: 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) and 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. It is also worth noting that SMART is best applied for incremental type innovation projects. For radical type projects it does not apply as well. Goals for such projects tend to be broad, qualitative, stretch/unrealistic and success driven.
Examples of notable projects
- Human Genome Project which mapped the human genome
- Manhattan Project, which developed the first nuclear weapon
- Polaris missile project: an ICBM control-system
- Apollo program, which landed humans on the moon
- Soviet atomic bomb project
- Soviet manned lunar programs
- Great Pyramid of Giza
|Look up project in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Cone of Uncertainty
- Program management
- Project governance
- Project Management Institute (PMI)
- International Project Management Association (IPMA)
- Project management software
- Project planning
- Small-scale project management
- Oxford English Dictionary
- "SSRN-Embedding Projects in Multiple Contexts: A Structuration Perspective by Stephan Manning". Papers.ssrn.com.
- Thomas, G: How to do your research project. Sage Publications Inc, 2009....
- A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), Third Edition, Project Management Institute.
- Carr, David, Make Sure Your Project Goals are SMART, PM Hut. Accessed 18. Oct 2009.