Project means a planned activity requiring a set of non-routine tasks for completion in a time-limited effort. To complete a project, we need to plan, organize, direct, and control the organization’s resources for a relatively short-term objective established to complete specific goals and objectives. Though it sounds similar to what we do in daily life, the significant difference between a project and what we do in our routine life is that we don’t need to make extra efforts for what we do in daily life. Similarly, a project signifies the completion of a set of planned activities, while in our daily lives, we keep doing the same things repeatedly.
There’s also a distinction between ‘projects,’ ‘programs,’ and ‘portfolios.’ But this distinction is more in terms of logistics and expression. While a program is more often used to signify organizing events, a portfolio signifies the holdings of a company or an individual. In the software industry, the term ‘program’ implies a set of instructions coded to let the computer do a task. This task could also form part of a ‘project.’ ‘Programs’ and ‘projects’ can be parts of a portfolio in general, with several programs within a portfolio and several projects in a program. ‘Project Portfolio Management’ involves the setting of priorities through an appropriate value optimization process (Reiling, 2008). To manage a project, we need to do a set of independent and interdependent activities to:
- Complete the planned activities according to a stated schedule;
- Deliver the completed project or product on time;
- Manage the costs of the process to ensure the attainment or reduction of budgetary projections;
- Monitor the process results to ensure that the purpose and benefits of the systems or project have been accomplished.