I’ve been meditating on the definition of the word project, and how that applies on my work days. I’m getting to the conclusion that the english definition doesn’t fit the real word, at least not on the web development field.
Project – an enterprise carefully planned to achieve a particular aim
I disagree on that one, part of the project usually is to find the particular aim of that project :).
A project in business and science is a collaborative enterprise, frequently involving research or design, that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim.
Let’s take the carefully planned and change it to planned only, just to make it more compatible with the majority of the projects out there. I agree with the guys from 37 signals that planning is 100% guessing, and saying that you carefully guessed how long the project will take to be done is kind of nonsense.
The free online dictionary
An undertaking requiring concerted effort.
Ok, this is good, but it still lacks on some details.
First, let’s see what we can learn about the characteristics of the majority of projects.
- Urgent – I strongly believe I never worked on a project that wasn’t urgent. This characteristic can also be spotted when the phrase “it’s for tomorrow” is used.
- Confidencial – I still don’t know why my clients still tell me their project is confidential. Every project is confidential, you can’t go telling everyone what you are developing for another client.
- Low budget – Ok, the key to successful business is earn more than you spend, so basically every normal business will have a low budget for the project, that’s just life. You don’t expect someone coming to you and saying: “I want this and I want to pay the highest amount possible”. That would be charity, not business.
- High quality – Who seeks to develop a low quality project on the web?
So, what I tried to do is get all of those characteristics and create a definition:
Project – A huge and urgent amount of confidential work load with a impossible deadline (often tomorrow), with the goal of realizing its goals and achieving them with high quality solutions and a low budget.
Ta da! If we go by this definition using the words project, urgent, confidential, high quality and low budget on the same sentence would be considered redundancy. So from now on clients, just tell me you have a project and don’t worry because I know what you mean with that.