A project will:
- Produce a unique result.
- Have a start and end date.
- Have resources that are dedicated to the work. When the project is over, the resources are dedicated elsewhere.
- Will result in a change to something when it is complete. It will have produced a service, product or some other end effect.
- Requires specific authorization to begin and to end. The results must be accepted or authorized as complete by the person who is the dedicated funder. (Often referred to as the sponsor.)
- Repeats over and over again to produce something that looks as close to the previous result as possible.
- It can be improved every time it is run. Improvements build on what was learned the last time the process was executed.
- It could be described as a series of steps.
- Starts with input from somewhere (for example, a cheque that comes from a customer.)
- It ends with an output somewhere. (For example, a receipt for the revenue received, and a bank deposit.)
Projects and processes are different.
When you start a project, it is like you are starting at a new school.
When you start a process, it is like starting your next year at the same school.