Five key attributes of a project are:
Require a specific authorised business case
Seek to introduce change
Are limited by time
Seek step change and transformation
Produce one-off deliverables
Have a specified scope so we understand what the project work and products are
I will now describe these attributes further and show how they differ from business as usual.
A project requires a specific authorised business case (ie the costs vs benefits of doing the one-off project) whereas business as usual is funded from an ongoing operational budget
A project seeks to introduce change whereas business as usual seeks to maintain a stable for efficient production
A project is limited by time whereas business as usual is repetitive and continues indefinitely
A project seek step change and transformation whereas business as usual seeks continuity, consistency and slow incremental improvement
A project has specified scope, making the first few items or pieces of work, whereas a project is about then moving to mass production of those items or pieces of work, so they become business as usual.