The paper "Business Operation and System Management" is a perfect example of a Management Assignment. Many organizations and people have attempted to define what a project is or what should be. In all these definitions, not all of them are authoritative. In defining a project, one important thing should be noted. Project is different from activities that are ‘ business as usual’ in nature as it is characterized by various distinguishing features. These characteristics include the ability of a project to bring change, having unknown elements which consequently create risk and it offers investment opportunities (Oxford Brookes University 2014).
Activities of the business that are undertaken every day are different from a project as they are known procedures, policies or processes that are followed; they offer no change; these activities are repeated (but are not infrequent manner) and are not new, and they virtually have no risk (as compared to project which involve problems such as the meeting of deadlines). ‘ Business as usual’ activity example in a business setup is annual budgeting process. An authoritative and widely used definition of the project is that a project is a process that is unique and which consists of a set of activities that are controlled and coordinated having a start and end dates, carried out in achievement of objectives that conforms to specific requirements, which includes time, resources and cost constraints (Lester 2013, p.
1). In this definition, it is apparent that a project is very much different from the normal operations of the business in many ways. Project is different from other organization activities because it is a unique process having various stages such as initiation and termination stages which normally does not occur in everyday business functions.
Project is unique because it is an operation that is not routine, but it is a specific range of operations intended to accomplish one goal. So in essence, a project team in most cases consists of people who are not usually working together but rather from different organizations or across multiple geographies in some cases. Secondly, a project is carried out in conformity with available time, costs and resources. Thirdly, the project has objectives that must be achieved at the end of the time period allocated for its execution.
Construction of new offices, bridge or building, expanding sales into new geographical market areas, developing software for improving business process are all examples of projects. All these must be managed in an expert manner in order for delivery of on-budget, on-time results, integration and learning to be achieved that organizations needs. A project can be also defined as a group activity that is temporary in nature and intended to generate a unique service, result or product (Bender 2009, p. 19).
In this case, temporary means it has a time frame: a starting point and endpoint. Unique means that the project is different from earlier activities. Lastly, product, result or service is well defined. In the above two formal definitions of a project, both of them precludes size distinction in their definition. A project is an activity that can be undertaken in an hour or 8 years, as long as it has objectives that meet the following three fundamental criteria: one, the project must be completed on time, accomplished within budgeted cost; and it must attain the prescribed quality requirements (Lester 2013, p.
Bender, M. B. 2009. A manager's guide to project management: learn how to apply best practices. FT Press, Upper Saddle River, N.J.
Brewer, J. L. & Dittman, K. C. 2013, Methods of IT project management, 2nd edn. Purdue University Press, Indiana.
Camilleri, E. 2011, Project success: critical factors and behaviors. Gower Publishers, Burlington.
Frigenti, E & Comninos, D. 2002. The practice of project management: a guide to the business-focused approach. Kogan Page, London.
Hill, G. M. 2009. The complete project management methodology and toolkit. CRC Press, New York, N.Y.
Lester, A 2013. Project management, planning and control: managing engineering, construction and manufacturing projects to PMI, APM and BSI standards 6th edn. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.
Oxford Brookes University. 2014. Definition of a project, accessed 08 July 2014, https://www.brookes.ac.uk/services/hr/project/pm_at_brookes/definition.html>.