What is a project?

So what is a project?

In common parlance, a project is:

noun

[n. proj-ekt, -ikt; v. pruh-jekt]

  1. an individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim.
  2. something that is contemplated, devised, or planned; plan; scheme.
  3. a large or major undertaking, especially one involving considerable money, personnel, and equipment.

In the context of this experiment – 101 projects in 101 days – a project:

  • may be part of a series, but needs to stand alone e.g. Chapter 1 in a book doesn’t stand alone and thus is not a project, whereas the first e-book in a series of e-books (which may be later packaged as a bundle) does qualify as a project;
  • is shipped when it’s finished, or is otherwise made available for consumption. (Making five Harry Potter robes for the kids in one week is not a project, nor is training for the 2015 Brisbane Colour Run);
  • is something we are happy to be associated with; there were a number of ideas that didn’t make the cut because they seemed a little sketchy, underhanded, or shady.

Projects in 101 Projects 101 Days do not need to be a particular size or scale, or result in a product that brings in money. some of the projects have a mass-market audience. Some – such as plot treatments, or book proposals – have a very narrow focussed audience.

Some of the projects have a serious goal and potential contribution to make; others are simple, throwaway gags. Most fall somewhere in between. Some of the ideas that seemed quick, disposable jokes have been seen as viable, longer term, larger scale endeavours when we’ve discussed them with friends and families. Some of the theoretical bigger ticket items have deflated when exposed to the cold light of day.

Ultimately, a Project in the 101 Projects list must be:

  • orderable;
  • consumable; or
  • publishable;

But must be in some way

Deliverable.

Considerations

What is the set up cost for the project? This is important in terms of both time and money. Some projects require up-front investment of capital or time before they can really get started. Others are quick to get rolling, but take time and effort to keep going.

What are the on-going costs for the project? Again – time and money. Some projects are largely fire-and-forget efforts, others need a sustained, continued time commitment. Some of the projects are a one-time deal. Start it, finish it, move on.

What happens next? Some projects are fully self contained. Others are the starting points for bigger things. We have defined a number of the projects as producing a pitch for an ongoing project, or writing the treatment for a future work. Putting together a solid pitch for a show, a series or an event is a significant undertaking in itself and – under our definitions – qualifies as its own project.