Program, Project, And Sub-Project Definitions


Establishing definitions is one of the critical factors for effective communication between people and the proper functioning of organizations. Otherwise, people will understand the subject under discussion differently. In the case of any large-scale work, such moments become even more crucial. In this context, first of all, it is necessary to understand the principles and goals of the activities carried out. Consequently, this essay aims to explore the definitions of program, project, and sub-project and identify their differences.

Program, Project, and Sub-Project

Although the first two words are often interchangeable, they denote activities that are different in structure and characteristics. The program or program is a massive undertaking with a common direction but no explicit goals (Brewitt, 2019). An example of this definition would be, for example, a Public Works Infrastructure program that maintains the province’s infrastructure and equipment (“Our programs,” n.d.). This enterprise has a clear direction but does not set clear goals. It also has an extremely long implementation period since infrastructure support must be carried out constantly.

To implement any actions within the framework of this program, it is necessary to refer to the projects that are their constituent parts. They, in turn, are much more specific, with clear goals, components, and timelines that are often much shorter than those of programs (Brewitt, 2019). An example of such an activity would be a project to construct a new building. Finally, the sub-project is the easiest to understand since it is an integral part of a larger project. Like a regular project, their goals and objectives are clearly defined and focused on one of the components of a larger project. For example, in the described example, as a sub-project, one can consider the task of bringing water communications to a new house under construction.


Thus, the program, project, and sub-project can be considered interrelated elements. The program has a general direction and consists of many projects designed to achieve specific goals. Although these projects may differ, they are united by the need to complete the expected outcomes within a more global program. In turn, each project can be divided into smaller components, sub-projects that solve even more minor tasks. Such a division is necessary for the most efficient management and distribution of resources.


Brewitt, M. (2019). The difference between a project and a program. APMG International. Web.

Our programmes. (n.d.). Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport – Mpumalanga Province. Web.