What do you mean by Project? What are its characteristics?

A project is a temporary group effort undertaken to create a unique product, result or service.

  • it is group effort as many people are involved
  • temporary because, it has defined beginning and end
A project is always uniqe in that it is not an ongoing operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular specific purpose or to  meet a stated goal.

Characterisics of Project

  1. Time Pressure and constraint
  2. Uncertainty
  3. Ambiguity
  4. Complexity

Characteristics of projects

  • Projects have a purpose: Projects have clearly-defined aims and set out to produce clearly-defined results. Their purpose is to solve a "problem”, and this involves analysing needs beforehand. Suggesting one or more solutions, a project aims at lasting social change.
  • Projects are realistic: Their aims must be achievable, and this means taking account both of requirements and of the financial and human resources available.
  • Projects are limited in time and space: They have a beginning and an end and are implemented in (a) specific place(s) and context.
  • Projects are complex: Projects call on various planning and implementation skills and involve various partners and players.
  • Projects are collective: Projects are the product of collective endeavours. They involve teamwork and various partners and cater for the needs of others.
  • Projects are unique: Projects stem from new ideas. They provide a specific response to a need (problem) in a specific context. They are innovative.
  • Projects are an adventure: Every project is different and ground-breaking; they always involve some uncertainty and risk.
  • Projects can be assessed: Projects are planned and broken down into measurable aims, which must be open to evaluation.
  • Projects are made up of stages: Projects have distinct, identifiable stages (see Project cycle).
T-Kit Project Management published by the Council of Europe in cooperation with the European Union


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