What is a Project and its characteristics


The word PROJECT comes from the Latin word PROJECTUM from the Latin verb PROICERE; which means “to throw something forwards” which in turn comes from PRO-, which denotes something that precedes the action of the next part of the word in time and ICERE, “to throw”. The word PROJECT thus actually originally meant “something that comes before anything else happens”.


A project in business and science is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. Basically, it is planned to achieve a particular aim. The aim of a project is to attain its objective and then terminate. Some of the reasons to start a project can be:

  1. A customer request or market demand
  2. An organizational need
  3. A customer request
  4. A technological advance
  5. A legal requirement

Projects and operations differ primarily in that operations are ongoing and repetitive, while projects are temporary and unique. Generally, a project is a means of organizing some activities that cannot be addressed within the normal operational limits.

Project characteristics:

  1. It is temporary – temporary means that every project has a definite beginning and a definite end. Project always has a definitive time frame.
  2. A project creates unique deliverables, which are products, services, or results.
  3. A project creates a capability to perform a service.
  4. Project is always developed in steps and continuing by increments – Progressive Elaboration.

Project Management: Project management is the application / use of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project goals and objectives. Generally, Project Management includes the accomplished through the application of the following process:

  1. Project Initiation
  2. Project Planning
  3. Integration Management
  4. Scope Management
  5. Time and Cost Management
  6. Quality Management
  7. Staffing Management
  8. Procurement Management
  9. Communication Management
  10. Risk Management
  11. Project Execution
  12. Project Tracking, Monitoring and controlling
  13. Project Closure

For managing a project, a Project Manager is responsible for identifying requirements, goals, objectives and maintaining a balance between quality, scope, time and cost.


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