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Chapter 1. INTRODUCTION > What is a Project? - Pg. 5

CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION 1 1.2 What is a Project? A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. The temporary nature of projects indicates a definite beginning and end. The end is reached when the project's objectives have been achieved or when the project is terminated because its objectives will not or cannot be met, or when the need for the project no longer exists. Temporary does not necessarily mean short in duration. Temporary does not generally apply to the product, service, or result created by the project; most projects are undertaken to create a lasting outcome. For example, a project to build a national monument will create a result expected to last centuries. Projects can also have social, economic, and environmental impacts that far outlast the projects themselves. Every project creates a unique product, service, or result. Although repetitive elements may be present in some project deliverables, this repetition does not change the fundamental uniqueness of the project work. For example, office buildings are constructed with the same or similar materials or by the same team, but each location is unique--with a different design, different circumstances, different contractors, and so on. An ongoing work effort is generally a repetitive process because it follows an organization's existing procedures. In contrast, because of the unique nature of projects, there may be uncertainties about the products, services, or results that the project creates. Project tasks can be new to a project team, which necessitates more dedicated planning than other routine work. In addition, projects are undertaken at all organizational