what is a projectWhen it comes to Project Management and related terms, we are biased and rely on the definitions provided by PMI.

According to PMI there are some traits that indicates the existence of a project.

I will try to mention and explain a few of them:

  • Temporary
  • Unique
  • Not Repetitive

Let’s analyze the above statements and try to understand and explore in depth a little bit.


[hr]What is a Project ?[hr]

By temporary, it is not meant that the duration of the project will be too short, but rather is meant that there will be a starting date and an ending date of the project.

e.g: You must have heard in your organization some saying;

“We are starting a new project on 1st of January and will end on 22nd of December.”

Although, it is not necessary that the project will start in January and will end exactly in December but there is a starting and ending date involve.

The project may start on the specified date but may not end on the specified date.

Because we know that the project is undertaken;

to either solve a problem,
or provide some services,
or create something unique,
and can only end when it achieves it’s objectives or goals for which the project was undertaken.

There could be a couple possible questions in here;


Can a project end without achieving its goals ?

Yes !.

A project can end early or can be terminated:
the objectives cannot be met, or
the objective cannot be possibly achieved, or
the need of the project no longer required.

Not all projects are successful.

There are many cases which could lead the project be ended or terminated early.

The project is normally undertaken to create a unique product or service or result.

Alot of people gets confuse and can be heard, we are doing operations.

We are creating the same houses with the same builder and material.

No!. You are wrong.

You may be working with the same team, with the same equipment but you are working in a different environment, a different location, a different circumstances and creating a new thing in a new place and that is referred to as unique.

So each project is unique and that uniqueness could be because of the reasons mentioned above.

The project is not repetitive.
Repetitive work is called operations.

Although I agree there are many things in a project that is repetitive but that does not change the whole course of the project, that may be a small part of the project but not as a whole.


Can a project exist with only one member ?


A project can have only one member, but that project would be putting butter on a toast.

May be I am too harsh on a single member project but yes again a project can have one or multiple members and even enterprises, but it will depend upon the complexity and nature of the project.


For the PMP Certification, remember to keep huge projects in mind while attending the questions.


  • Creating a PMO in your organization is a project.
  • Creating a new Software is a project.
  • Constructing a Building is a project.

Those were my views about a project, based on pmi perspective. what is a project in your view ?.

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