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.