« Back to Glossary Index


A project can be defined as a series of steps needed to accomplish a specific goal. There are some deliverables of each project. The deliverables refer to the outcomes that are achieved when a project is completed. They can be a product, a service, or just a feature. Each project has a specified timeline, and it has to be completed within that time. A project can either be small or large and can be divided into multiple sub-projects. It is always temporary and must end at some time.


A project can be defined as a way to accomplish or achieve defined outcomes. It defines a series of small steps that lead to a particular product or a service. A project can not be completed in a single step and must be broken down into smaller tasks. It can be either large or small based on its size and scope. Furthermore, a project can be completed by a single person or hundreds of people according to its size.

The cost, time, and scope of the project are depended upon each other. There is a trade-off between three of these. If a project has a large scope, it will take more time to complete and cost more. If a project is small, it will take less time to complete and will cost less. The time and cost of a project are increased with scope.

Characteristics of a Project

A project has the following characteristics:

A pre-defined timeline:

Before a project team starts working on a project, all the timelines must be specified. These timelines include when a project starts, what tasks will be completed, how much time is needed, and when the project is expected to end. In a nutshell, there should be a project plan that specifies the starting and ending dates and timeline for a project. If a company fails to deliver the project within the specified time, it can lose it to another company.

A Unique Deliverable:

Every project must deliver something unique, no matter what it delivers. It should offer something new to its users or the customers.

A defined scope, time, and cost:

Each project has a defined scope. The scope refers to the range within which the deliverables of a project will be applicable. Similarly, it has a defined period within which it should be completed and a defined budget. If the budget of a project is low, the scope will become smaller.

Project Life Cycle

A project has a life cycle. There are five stages in a project’s lifecycle, which are as follows:

  1. Project Initiation
  2. Project Planning
  3. Project Execution
  4. Project Monitoring and Controlling
  5. Project Closure

Let’s have a look at each phase briefly:

Project Initiation

Project Initiation is the initial stage of a project. In this phase, the project manager launches the project while proving its importance and value. The project manager also ensures that the project is feasible, i.e., it is possible to achieve the desired outcomes within the given time and cost.

The deliverable of this phase is a project charter. It is a document that explains what a project is going to deliver. When a project is in this phase, a kick-off meeting is held where the project team and all the stakeholders are called out to specify the project goals, timelines, processes, and the chain of communication.

Project Planning

In this stage, a Project Plan is created that defines how the project will be executed, the deliverable, how much effort would be needed, how much time is required, etc. Simply put, this stage defines the scope, cost, and timeline of a project.

Project Execution

When the project plan is ready, the project team starts working on the project according to the project plan. The milestones and deliverables are achieved. While the project team works on the project, the manager keeps reallocating the resources to keep the team working.

Project Monitoring and Controlling

The project manager monitors the project team’s activities and makes sure that the team is working on the project correctly. It includes monitoring the schedule and progress of the project to ensure that the project is completed within the given time and budget. During this phase, some quality assurance procedures are also applied to create a quality product or service.

Project Closure

The last stage of the project life cycle is project closure, in which the final deliverables are handed over to the clients or the stakeholders. If they accept the delivery, the project is signed off, the documentation is completed, and resources are released. Now, the project team can move to another project.

Scroll to top