Projects form a large part of our personal and professional lives. Throughout history, major projects have been undertaken to fulfil the needs of man. The products of these some of these ancient projects are still visible today.
The use of the term products of the project is more than being pedantic. The Great Wall of China is not a project but the product of a project, just as the construction of the Forth Rail Bridge is the product of a project. What we usually see is the product of a project or the activity that forms part of a project.
If a project is not the physical item that we see, then what is a project? A project is a distinct entity, as much as a physical entity. In its purest form a project is a way of doing work.
One definition is that a project is
"any undertaking that has definite, final objectives representing specified values to be used in the satisfaction of some need or desire"
This definition examines the objective based problem solving power of projects.
There are a number of interesting concepts that flow from this definition.
Projects can cover a wide range of human endeavour and physical projects represent only a sub class of the types of projects that exist. Other projects may cover the implementation of a new work method, arranging a social event, writing a book, fixing a leaky tap etc.
For projects to exist by this definition there must be a visible need to be satisfied. The satisfaction raises two major issues:
the needs of the various participants (stakeholders) in a project are not the same, (in construction projects the needs of the owner are not the same as the contractor)
and the needs must be identifiable. This is...