The Major Projects Association uses the term “Major Project”, for simplicity, to cover project and programme but whenever the term “programme” is used it is used with a specific meaning. Therefore, and following the original Morris and Hough (1987) definition: 

A major project is one that may have singly or in combination the following: 

High monetary value. Time and schedule urgency. Organisational and managerial complexity – the extent to which there are a significant number of managerial interfaces to be managed; and/or a significant number of hierarchical layers either within the organisation or project structure to be managed, and/or significant number of stakeholders to be managed. Technological complexity or high level of innovation. 

We will adopt the Infrastructure and Projects Authority definition of project and programme: 

A project is a temporary organisation that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products, according to an agreed Business Case. 

A programme is a temporary flexible organisation structure created to coordinate, direct and oversee the implementation of a set of related projects and activities in order to deliver outcomes and benefits related to the organisation’s strategic objectives. A programme is likely to have a life that spans several years.