What is a project? Webster defines a project as, "a specific plan or design, a planned undertaking, a definitely formulated piece of research, a large usually government-supported undertaking, a task or problem engaged in usually by a group of students to supplement and apply classroom studies." (www.m-w.com/dictionary)To me a project is an undertaking that starts with an idea and continues through to realization of that idea.
The project life cycle is the period of time from concept to completion. This period involves the thought or idea and moves through design, build and completion. This cycle includes the planning phase construction or working phase and completion phase.
Project planning gives direction. This allows an idea to develop and a detailed plan to accomplish the idea and make it a reality. By planning a project the person or group will follow a pretty orderly process from idea to completion. This gives the project a detailed and orderly process to follow.
This process can include many objectives such as Cost, Schedule and Performance.
A project that I worked on was the construction of a detached garage for a friend. The project started with an approximate cost of what Sal wanted to spend. We then worked with an architect to put Sal's ideas down on paper. The architect took the ideas and came up with a working idea for the garage. I reviewed this design with Sal, and we made a few modifications to better fit the property location and additional ideas Sal and I had developed. We gave the revisions back to the architect to make the changes and complete the final plans. Once the plans were completed I took them to the local town building department for review and approval. As luck would have it we passed and got the permit. I...