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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A project in business and science is a collaborative enterprise, frequently involving research or design, that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim.[1]



The word project comes from the Latin word projectum from the Latin verb proicere, "to throw something forwards" which in turn comes from pro-, which denotes something that precedes the action of the next part of the word in time (paralleling the Greek πρό) and iacere, "to throw". The word "project" thus actually originally meant "something that comes before anything else happens".

When the English language initially adopted the word, it referred to a plan of something, not to the act of actually carrying this plan out. Something performed in accordance with a project became known as an "object".

This use of "project" changed in the 1950s[citation needed] with the introduction of several techniques for project management. Use of the word "project" evolved slightly to cover both projects and objects. However, certain projects continue to include so-called objects object leaders

Contemporary Western business — characterized by a modern matrix organization and a cooperative culture — currently particularly favors project-based approaches. Authoritarian, bureaucratic organizations with rigid, hierarchical structures show less enthusiasm about project-based work, which may not operate as expected in their environment due to conflicts between different cultures.[citation needed]

Specific uses

School and university

At school and university, a project is a research assignment given to a student which generally requires a larger amount of effort and more independent work than is involved in a normal essay assignment. It requires students to undertake their own fact-finding and analysis, either from library/internet research or from gathering data empirically. The written report that comes from the project is usually in the form of a dissertation, which will contain sections on the project's inception, methods of inquiry, analysis, findings and conclusions.[2]

Engineering project

The engineering project is a particular type of technological system, embedded in the context of technological systems in general[3]. Engineering projects are, in many countries, specifically defined by legislation, which requires that such projects should be carried out by registered engineers and/or registered engineering companies. That is, companies with license to carry out such works as design and construction of buildings, power plants, industrial facilities, installation and erection of electrical grid networks, transportation infrastructure and the like.

The scope of the project is specified on a contract between the owner and the engineering and construction parties. As a rule, an engineering project is broken down into design and construction phases. The outputs of the design process are drawings, calculations, and all other design documentation necessary to carry out the next phase.

Project management

In project management a project consists of a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.[4] Another definition is a management environment that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to a specified business case[5].

Project objectives define target status at the end of the project, reaching of which is considered necessary for the achievement of planned benefits. They can be formulated as S.M.A.R.T[6]: Specific, Measurable (or at least evaluable) achievement, Achievable (recently Acceptable is used regularly as well), realistic (given the current state of organizational resources) and Time terminated (bounded). The evaluation (measurement) occurs at the project closure. However a continuous guard on the project progress should be kept by monitoring and evaluating. It is also worth noting that SMART is best applied for incremental type innovation projects[citation needed]. For radical type projects it does not apply as well. Goals for such projects tend to be broad, qualitative, stretch/unrealistic and success driven.

Examples of notable projects

See also


  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary
  2. ^ Thomas, G: How to do your research project. Sage Publications Inc, 2009.
  3. ^ Gene Moriarty, The Engineering Project:Its Nature, Ethics, and Promise, page 7. Penn State Press, 2008.
  4. ^ A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), Third Edition, Project Management Institute.
  5. ^ - APM Group - PRINCE2
  6. ^ Carr, David, Make Sure Your Project Goals are SMART, PM Hut. Accessed 18. Oct 2009.

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Wikitravel:Project article)

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Simple English

Simple English Wiktionary has the word meaning for:

A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service.



The word project comes from the Latin word projectum from projicere, "to throw something forwards" which in turn comes from pro-, which denotes something that precedes the action of the next part of the word in time (paralleling the Greek πρό) and jacere, "to throw". The word "project" thus actually originally meant "something that comes before anything else is done". When the word was initially adopted, it referred to a plan of something, not to the act of actually carrying this plan out. Something performed in accordance with a project was called an object. This use of "project" changed in the 1950s when several techniques for project management were introduced. With this advent the word slightly changed meaning to cover both projects and objects. However in certain projects there may still exist so called objects and object leaders, reflecting the older use of the words.


  • Temporary means that any project will have a start date and end date (but it has nothing to do with short duration).
  • Project produces unique results: meaning the product or service at the end of the project should be some way different than the existing (can be an invention or an innovation.)
  • Projects are characterized by progressive elaboration: due to uniqueness and greater uncertainty projects cannot be understood entirely at or before project start, and therefore planning and execution of projects is happening many times in separate steps or phases. As project progresses, project team understands next steps, deliverables and way of execution much better. Based on this knowledge team members elaborate initial draft plans, and execute next phase of the project based on these detailed plans.

Projects differ from operations, because operations are continuous and repeating (projects are temporary), and operations deliver the same or almost the same results (project results are in contrast unique).

A project usually needs resources to deliver its results. Most of the time project execution is based on detailed plan, which considers also external factors and constraints. Planning, execution and controlling of project is the primary field of project management. For major projects it is necessary sometimes to set up a special temporary organization, consisting of a project team and one or more work teams.

Major projects can be divided into subprojects, and program denotes collection of related projects.

Project types

Projects can be categorised based on different aspects.

Based on project content

  • Construction projects
  • IT projects
  • Product development projects
  • RD projects
  • Organisation development projects
  • Logistics projects
  • Marketing projects
  • Community projects
  • Cultural projects

Based on initiating or participating organisation

  • Internal projects
    • Departmental projects
    • Cross unit projects
  • External projects (customer facing projects)

Based on complexity

  • Simple projects
  • Complex projects
  • Programs
  • Megaprojects

Notable projects

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