UMass Boston

Definition of a Project

A project is a temporary endeavor (it has a start and end date), undertaken to create a unique product, service or result within defined constraints.  A project concludes when its specific tangible and/or intangible objectives have been attained and its resources have been released to do other work. 

The UMass Boston Information Technology Project Management Methodology defines a project as:

  • A unique endeavor (not repeated)
  • Temporary, with a distinct beginning and end
  • Defined by specific deliverables
  • Conducted by a temporary team that exists for the duration of its execution
  • Having a project manager who is responsible for its success
  • Defined by identifying its starting point, the goals/objectives sought, and the route between them

Operations by contrast are ongoing and repetitive.  Operational activities may repeat daily, monthly, annually, or on an as-needed basis, e.g., financial review, standard upgrades, hiring for a new position. When operations require a major change in process, input/output, or purpose, they may become projects until the change is complete.

Information Technology Services
Healey Library, 3rd Floor