Discuss the distinguishing features of a project and describe the project life cycle

A project is a temporary endeavor with a defined scope, objectives, and constraints, aimed at delivering a unique output or result.

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Distinguishing features of a project include:

**Temporary Nature:** Projects have a defined beginning and end, with a specific duration.

**Unique Objectives:** Each project has a unique set of goals and objectives, which differentiate it from ongoing operations.

**Defined Scope:** Projects have well-defined boundaries, outlining what is included and what is not.

**Resource Constraints:** Projects operate within constraints like time, budget, and resources.

**Cross-Functional:** Projects often involve team members from different functional areas working together.

The project life cycle typically consists of phases, which can vary depending on the methodology used, but a common framework includes:

**Initiation:** This is the starting phase, where the project’s feasibility is assessed, and objectives and stakeholders are identified.

**Planning:** In this phase, detailed plans for scope, schedule, cost, quality, and resources are developed.

**Execution:** This is where the project plan is put into action, and the project team performs the work outlined in the plan.

**Monitoring and Controlling:** Throughout the project, progress is monitored, and adjustments are made to keep it on track. This phase includes quality control, risk management, and change control.

**Closing:** The project is formally completed, and the final deliverables are handed over to the stakeholders. This phase also involves lessons learned and project closure activities.

These phases represent the project’s life cycle, with distinct activities and deliverables associated with each. Various project management methodologies (e.g., Waterfall, Agile) adapt and combine these phases to suit specific project needs.

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