project management What is a project?




Definition of a project


projectPeople often say to a job at hand that they will make a special project out of it. But sometimes the job that has to be done doesn't really qualify as a project. The problem could be that those kind of self proclaimed 'projects' are never really ending and can go on and on and on in an organisation.

Project management is not a label you have to put on all kinds of work processes, to just get people fully behind it. The main focus of a project has to have a specific goal or result you want to reach. The road to this result is reasonably know, but has to have more elements in it than just a routine job.


The charactaristics of a project

Doing a job or getting an order or commission from someone doesn't always mean you really need to organize a full scaled project. Sometimes it;s just routine work and you do not want to over organize. If you want to check if the job your about to start really needs projectmanagement for the best result, you really should check if it is in line with the main charastaristics of a project, whitch are as follow:


  1. It has to be temporary (no on going proces)
  2. It has a defined startpoint
  3. It has a defined endpoint
  4. It serves a specific goal
  5. It focusus on specific results
  6. It has a client or topmanager who gives the order for the project
  7. It has a specific budget
  8. It contains multiple disiplines of work


definition of a projectIf one or a few of the above definitions are not present at your 'project', you should re-evaluate if the job really is a project in the first place. It could be that you just have some loose things to do, or just a simple or repeating activity that really should not be handled the same way as a project.

And it's not just building projects that are the most obvious to be labled a real project. It can be anything from event organisation to software engineering and restructuring a business unit.



Speaking the same language

It is very important in an organisation to speak the same language as it comes to project management. The understanding of the elements of a project is the first step, but all other project management subjects should be shared with project-teams and supporting personel. There are many teachings on projectmanagement. Sometimes with a different angle and different language, but the essense of projectmanagement is the same for the most part of these teachings.


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