What Are the Characteristics of a Project?

The characteristics of a project are:

  • Uniqueness: Projects are unique, there are no 2 projects that are exactly the same. Even if 2 projects have the same goals, many aspects can be different, for example, the project plan can be different, the project team can be different, even the resulting product and service can never be exactly the same.
  • Temporary: Projects are never permanent (as opposed to processes/operations, which are permanent), they are temporary, with a defined start date and end date.
  • Goal Oriented: A project revolves around the primary goal and is considered done when that primary goal is achieved.
  • Satisfying Stakeholders: Projects must meet or exceed the stakeholders expectations in order to survive.
  • Risky: Projects are often risky with lots of uncertainties, hence the importance of Risk Management when managing projects.

There are other characteristics of a project but of lesser importance such as being instruments of change in the organization, and executed by people that don’t usually work together, and consisting of inter-dependencies (tasks that depend on each other).

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