Middle English projecte, from Medieval Latin projectum, from Latin, neuter of projectus, past participle of proicere to throw forward, from pro- + jacere to throw
(parallels the Greek πρό) and iacere, "to throw". The word "project" thus actually originally meant "something that comes before anything else happens".
When the English language initially adopted the word, it referred to a plan of something, not to the act of actually carrying this plan out. Something performed in accordance with a project became known as an "object".
This use of "project" changed in the 1950s with the introduction of several techniques for project management. Use of the word "project" evolved slightly to cover both projects and objects. However, certain projects continue to include so-called objects
- Date: 15th century
- 1 : a specific plan or design : scheme
- 2 obsolete : idea
- 3 : a planned undertaking: as a : a definitely formulated piece of research
- b : a large usually government-supported undertaking
- c : a task or problem engaged in usually by a group of students to supplement and apply classroom studies
- 4 : a usually public housing development consisting of houses or apartments built and arranged according to a single plan
A project in business and science is a collaborative enterprise, frequently involving research or design, that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim.
Contemporary Western business — characterized by a modern matrix organization and a cooperative culture — currently particularly favors project-based approaches. Authoritarian, bureaucratic organizations with rigid, hierarchical structures show less enthusiasm about project-based work, which may not operate as expected in their environment due to conflicts between different cultures.