Project (glossary)

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(1) A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. (PMI 2013)

(2) a development effort consisting of both technical and management activities for the purpose of engineering a system. (extract from (ANSI/EIA 2003))

(3) endeavour with defined start and finish criteria undertaken to create a product or service in accordance with specified resources and requirements. (ISO/IEC/IEEE 2015)


(1) PMI. 2013. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). 5th ed. Newtown Square, PA, USA: Project Management Institute (PMI).

(2) ANSI/EIA. 2003.Processes for Engineering a System. Philadelphia, PA, USA: American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/Electronic Industries Association (EIA), ANSI/EIA-632-1998.

(3) ISO/IEC/IEEE. 2015. Systems and Software Engineering -- System Life Cycle Processes. Geneva, Switzerland: International Organisation for Standardisation / International Electrotechnical Commissions / Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288:2015.


These three definitions, taken together define the essence of a project: namely, a group of coordinated work activities that utilizes resources to achieve specified objectives within a prescribed time frame. Objectives include requirements for a product, service, or enterprise endeavor but objectives may be broader than technical requirements; for example, an objective may be to develop a new product or product line or to support a new type of service for new customers. In addition to providing technical leadership, systems engineers often manage the technical aspects of projects.

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