The way I see it, most of the work we get done is either operational work or project work. This counts for whether we are talking about business, school or tasks you do when you’re home. In this article, I wanted to share my definition of what makes a project and how it differs from operational activities.
A project has a defined start and end date. When you are planning a project, you need to account for that. During the project, you need to make sure that all actions are on track without delaying the overall project completion.
The project team consists of people that might not usually work together. Based on the needs of the project, people with different skills and knowledge are assembled to join forces.
All these people work together on a common goal. All actions that are done as part of the project plan are done to reach certain milestones and achieve the project’s defined goal.
Project’s most commonly have a certain budget assigned to that allows the project manager to pay staff or technology and enable progress on the deliverables. In some instances, where the project team consists of permanent staff, the budget could be measured in workdays rather than a currency.
A project and a project’s goal is always unique. Unlike operational activities that could repeat themselves in a way, project work never repeats itself. Once the project has been completed, it will never occur again.
If you want to learn more about project management, you can check some of our other articles on this subject.
- Your Project Management Checklist
- Methodologies for IT Service Management and Project Management
- What Does an IT Project Manager Do?
- About Known Unknowns and Unknown Unknowns
- Skills You Need as a Project Manager [Video]
Photo credit: Sunghwan Yoon