Project Definition

Definition of a project - A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result (PMBOK, Fourth Edition). Guidance on whether an activity is a project or operational activity*: A core distinction is whether or not the activity is unique. In general, unique activities are not repeated and thus not routine or operational in nature. Although operational activities do not fall under the project management framework, the tools and techniques may and often do prove useful in performing those activities. The following table helps demonstrate the differences between projects and operations.
IT Project Routine Operational Activity
Installing a new software application or a full version upgrade Installing maintenance patches of .x ("point") releases
Redoing the campus network infrastructure Replacing failed network equipment
Creating a new technology-enabled classroom Adding or removing a software application from the classroom software build
*The information was derived from George Mason University's definition of a project.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT COMPLEXITY TOOL
The Project Management Complexity Tool is a tool to provide a roadmap for your project.
Will the work to be accomplished require more than 80 hours of combined work effort?
Will the work require effort from a department external to the CIO Area or significant work from another department within the CIO Area?
Will the project have a significant impact on one or more departments internal or external to the CIO Area?