Sample Solution from
Project Management: The Managerial Process (Mcgraw-hill Series Operations and Decision Sciences)
7th Edition
ISBN: 9781259666094
Chapter 1
Problem 1RQ
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Summary Introduction

To determine:Meaning of the term project and its characteristics to differentiate the project from any other work.


Project management is defined as a practice in which projects are planned, controlled and executed in a well-defined manner over a stipulated timeperiod.

Explanation of Solution

A project is a task that is to be completed in a stipulated time period under certain guidelines. It pertains to some ideas or themes which help in the completion of the task.

A project has five characteristics. These are:

  1. A recognized objective.
  2. Contribution of several professionals and departments.
  3. Doing something that has never been performed before.
  4. Specific cost, performance and time requirements.
  5. A defined life span with an end and a beginning.

Along with these characteristics the others are as follows:

  • Change
  • Temporary
  • Cross-functional
  • Unique
  • Uncertainty

Change: A project is a task that modifies the existing process. It is generally done to modify the on-going process. The project involves cost and time duration under which all activities are to be done.

For example, a project is undertaken to improve the automated-teller machine to withdraw cash. This can only be done when the machine working is modified.

Temporary: A project is temporary in nature. It implies it is done to achieve specific tasks or goals. It is to be completed in a certain time period.

For example, a project is to make changes in existing software. This project is completed in a time-period, thereby temporary in nature.

Cross-functional: A project involves various departments of the same company. It requires various inputs from different departments leading to the completion of a project.

For example, a project to make a website requires IT-department, research and development department, cost and accounting department, etc.

Unique: Every project is different from another. The name project itself leads to the uniqueness of achieving a specific goal. No two projects can be similar; else it could be under the same sub-head.

Uncertainty: Every project has an uncertainty associated with it. No project is guaranteed to achieve the objective for which it was formulated. Thus, uncertainty is the inherent characteristic of every project.

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