We use a lot of terms that have a particular meaning in the context of Uncertainty Management, especially when associated with infrastructure rather than finance for example.  So I though it worthwhile to try and define what I mean when I use some of these terms:


The Oxford English Dictionary (insert hyperlink) defines a project as:

  • An individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim.

The Association for Project Management (insert link) has this definition:

  • A project is a unique, transient endeavour undertaken to achieve a desired outcome

While the Project Management Institute (insert link) uses this:

  • A project is a temporary endeavour to create a unique product, service or result

So the key aspects of a project are:

  • it is unique – this is a one of a kind endeavour
  • it is temporary – it is not intended that the project carries on for ever, it is planned to cease to exist after a certain point in time
  • it delivers (“creates” or “achieves”) something (“outcome” or “result”)

There is a vast amount of literature on Projects and Project Management, but for my purposes (discussing Uncertainty Management) this will suffice!


Commonly defined as a group of projects which have a related set of objectives, normally so that the Programme can only be successful if each of the individual projects is successful, though it may not be the case that if the Programme fails all the constituent projects have also failed.

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