A project is a collaborative exercise with structured sequence of tasks designed with a specific end goal in mind. A project is generally characterised by the following:
- a project will have a start date and end date
- it aims to reach a specific end goal, like building a structure or a new piece of software or system
- a project team will implement the project
- there will be a project plan
- the project will have a defined budget or cost
- there will be risks associated with the project
- a project manager or program manager will manage the project]
Projects are usually not part of the day to day operations of a business but seek to produce a unique product, service or result. A project can be part of a bigger initiative called a program.
Some examples of projects would be building a stadium, organising an event, programming an App or building a new IT system for customer service.
Projects will generally have different stakeholders who are interested in the successful outcome of the project. Stakeholders can be external or internal and include users, sponsors, product owners and subject specialists. Project stakeholders can drive the success of the project, but may also inhibit progress if they have conflicting agendas.
The project manager plays a key role in bringing all the technical, logistical and human elements of a project together and is usually responsible for the delivery of the finished product, in time and on budget.