What is a Project?

Level: Beginner. Reading time: 5 minutes

A project is TEMPORARY. That means it has a clear and specific goal (objective) and has a start and a finish.

In order to deliver the project you undertake a number of tasks; when all the tasks are completed you’ve completed the project and (hopefully!) met the objectives that were defined at the start.

What is a project?
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To deliver a project you need resources. In the ‘bake a cake’ project below, the resources are

  • materials
  • equipment
  • people

The recipe will show the tasks to be done in a specific order, if you do these as instructed you’ll end up with your cake (the ‘product’).

Not every project will be rigid about the order of the tasks to be done; in some projects you may be able to change the order of these, or do some tasks in parallel to save time.

What is a project?
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Projects differ from day-to-day operational or ‘BAU’ (business – as – usual) activities which are ongoing and repetitive (e.g. regular equipment maintenance).