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The following definitions come from:

J. LeRoy Ward. Project Management Terms: A Working Glossary 2ed. ESI International, 2000.


Acceptance Criteria
-Requirements that a project or system must demonstrably meet before clients accept delivery

Acceptance Testing
-Applying performance and capability measurements to project deliverables to ensure that they meet specifications and requirements and satisfy the client

Acceptance Testing Procedure
-Step-by-step set of instructions for the preparation and operation of the Acceptance Test, and the evaluation of the Acceptance Test results

-Element of work that is required by the project, uses resources, and takes time to complete. Activities have expected durations, costs, and resource requirements and may be subdivided into tasks

Activity Description
-Identification of specific activities that must be performed to produce the project deliverables

Actual Finish Date
-Point in time when work ended on an activity

Actual Start Date
-Point in time when work started on an activity

-Methodical examination of the project, either in whole or in part, usually conducted according to a pre-established schedule, to assess overall progress performance

Audit Trail
-Record of documentation describing actions taken, decisions made, and funds expended and earned on a project. Used to reconstruct the project after the fact for lessons learned and other purposes



Backward Pass
-Calculation of late start finish and late start dates for uncompleted portions of all network activities. Determined by working backward through the network logic from the project's end date.

Balanced Scorecard
-Approach used to measure business performance. It measures Financial Performance, Customer Value, Internal Business Processes, Innovation, and Employee Performance. It is implemented by translating the organization's vision and strategy statements into a comprehensive and quantifiable set of objectives and performance measures. Performance measures are then collected, analyzed, and acted upon

-Original plan for a project or activity to which deviations can be compared. For example, cost baseline, schedule baseline, performance measurement baseline).

-Measured point of reference used to make comparisons

-Comparing project practices to those of similar projects to provide a standard by which to measure performance



-Increase or decrease in any project characteristics: time, cost, or technical requirements. Deviation from agreed-upon specifications, definition, functionality, or plans; or an alternate approach to project work accomplishments

Change Control
Process of monitoring and dealing with changes to the schedule, cost, or scope of a project, or its overall objectives. Defined process and procedure for change management during the project lifecycle

Change Management Plan
-Document that describes the approach to implementing Change Control

Change Request
-Request of modification to the terms of the project. Formal written statement asking to make a modification to a deliverable

-Customer, principal, owner, promoter, buyer or end-user of the product or service created by the project

Closing Phase
-The fourth phase in a generic project lifecycle where all outstanding project issues are completed and documented in preparation for turning the product or service over to the client

Closing Processes
-Activities associated with formal acceptance of the phase or project and bringing it to an orderly end

-Agreeing to consign or reserve the necessary resources to fulfill a requirement, until an expenditure occurs

Communication Plan
-Document that describes the methods for gathering, distributing, and storing various types of information provides a production schedule showing when each type of information will be produced, and incorporates procedures for updating and refining the communication plan. Generally, a part of the overall project plan.

-Adhering to any standards, procedures, or processes established as necessary for operational effectiveness.

-Taking action to decrease the total project duration by adding resources to the project schedule without altering he sequence of activities. The objective of crashing is to obtain the maximum duration compression for the least cost

-Objectives, guidelines, procedures, and standards to be used for project development, design, or implementation

Critical Activity
-Activity on the critical path, commonly determined by using the Critical Path Method

Critical Path Method(CPM)
-Network analysis technique used to predict project duration by analyzing the sequence of activities (path) that has the least amount of scheduling flexibility (the least amount of float). Early dates are calculated by a forward pass using a specified start date. Late dates are calculated by a backward pass starting from a specified completion date (usually the forward pass' calculated early finish date for the project) See Also Backward Pass, Forward Pass

-Process of moving from one system to another. Generally refers to a method in which no parallel use of two systems occurs, making the cutover process a high-risk event should the target system fail to work properly the first time. Also, the point of moving from a project to an ongoing operation (usually after acceptance and sign-off)




-Nonconformance of a characteristic with specified requirements, or a deficiency in something necessary for an item's intended, proper use

-Measurable, tangible, verifiable outcome, result, or item that must be produced to complete a project or part of a project. Often used more narrowly in reference to an external deliverable, which is a deliverable that is subject to approval by the project sponsor or client

-Logical relationship between and among tasks of a project's Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), which can be graphically depicted on a network diagram

Dependent Tasks
-Tasks that are related such that the beginnings or end of one task is contingent on the beginning or end of another

-Collection of reports, information, records, references, and other project data for distribution and archival purposes



Early Finish Date (EF)
-Earliest possible point in time when the uncompleted portions of an activity (or the project) can end based on network logic and any schedule constraints. May change as the project progresses or as changes are made to the project plan. Used in the Critical Path Method

Early Start Date (ES)
-Earliest possible point in time when the uncompleted portions of an activity (or the project) can start based on network logic and any schedule constraints. May change as the project progresses or as changes are made to the project plan. Used in the Critical Path Method

Elapsed Time
-Conventional concept of time with a 60-minute hour and 365-day year which accounts for all time, not just time spent on the project

-Person or group from whom the project's product or service is developed



-Person external to a group whose purpose is to help the group work more effectively

-Compressing the project schedule by overlapping activities normally performed in sequence, such as design and construction.

-Assessment of the capability for successful implementation

Feasibility Study
-Examination of technical and cost data to determine the economic potential and practicality of project applications.

Finish Date
-Point in time associated with an activity's or project's completion.

-Amount of time that an activity may be delayed from its early start without delaying the project end date. Derived by subtracting the early start from the late start or early finish from the late finish, and may change as the project progresses and as changes are made to the project plan. Also called

Flow Diagram
-Graphic representation of work flow and the logical sequence of the work elements without regard to a time scale. Used to show the logic associated with a process rather than a duration for completion of work

-Diagram consisting of symbols depicting a physical process, a thought process, or an algorithm. Shows how the various elements of a system or process relate and can be used for continuous process improvement

Formal Acceptance
-Documentation signifying that the client or sponsor has accepted the product of the project or phase. May also be conditional if the acceptance is for a phase of the project.

Forward Pass
-Calculation of the early start and early finish dates for the uncompleted portions of all network activities. Used in the Critical Path Method.

Full Audit
-Audit that includes all elements of the project

Functional Department
-Specialized department within an organization that performs a particular function, such as HR, payroll, etc

Functional Manager
-Manager of a group that makes a product or performs a service

Functional Requirements
-Characteristics of the deliverable described in ordinary, non technical language that is understandable to the client. Client plays a major, direct role in their development



Gantt Chart
-Graphic display of schedule-related information. Generally, activities or other project elements are listed down the left side of the chart, dates across the top, and activity durations displayed against the x and y axis as date-placed horizontal bars.

Gap Analysis
-Examination of the difference between the current state and desired or optimum state

General Requirements
-Non technical specifications defining the scope of work, procedures, implementation, constraints, and other non technical requirements concerning the project

General Sequencing
-Overview of the order in which activities are performed

Go / No Go
-Major decision point in the project lifecycle. Measure that allows a for the decision of whether to continue, change, or end and activity or project

-Basic component for measuring progress in attaining project objectives

-Providing more than the client or specifications require and thus spending more time, resources, and money than necessary to achieve quality




-Estimate of the effect that a risk will have on schedule, costs, product quality, safety, and performance Impact Analysis Qualitative or quantitative assessment of the magnitude of loss or gain to be realized should a specific risk, event, or series or interdependent events, occur

Implementation Phase
-Third of four sequential phases in a generic project lifecycle in which the project plan is executed, monitored, and controlled.

-Work performed by one's own employees as opposed to an outside contractor

Initial Project Plan
-Top-down, high-level plan used to document the early approach to a project - usually contains resource manager commitments and a preliminary technical solution

-Process of formally recognizing that a project or phase should begin and committing to start it

Initiation Phase
-First of four sequential phases in a generic project lifecycle in which the project is formally recognized, defined, and started.


-Formally identified item related to a project, that if not addressed, may affect its schedule, change its direction, diminish its quality, or increase its cost. Distinguished from a Risk in that it is a current problem whereas a Risk is a future event

Issue Management
-A structured, documented, and formal process or set of procedures used by an organization or project to identify, categorize, and resolve issues



Just-In-Time (JIT)
-Approach used to manage resources, requirements, and production so that the right material arrives at the right place at the right time, just in time for use



Kai zen
-Japanese term for continuous improvement

Kickoff Meeting
-Meeting held to acquaint stakeholders with the project and each other. Presumes the presence of the client and serves as an initial review of project scope and activities. Usually used to initiate a project

Knowledge Transfer
-Flow of knowledge, skills, information, and competencies from one person to another. Can happen through any number of methods such as: coaching, mentoring, training, and on-the-job experience



-Modification of a logical relationship in a schedule such that there is a delay in the successor task. For example, in a finish-to-start dependency with a 5-day lag, the successor activity cannot start until 5 days after the predecessor has finished. See Also Lead

Late Finish Date (LF)
-Latest possible point in time that an activity may end without a delay in the project finish date. Used in the Critical Path Method. See Also

Late Start Date (LS)
-Latest possible point in time that an activity may begin without a delay in the project finish date. Used in the Critical Path Method. See Also

-Modification of a logical relationship in a schedule such that there is an acceleration of the successor task. For example, in a finish-to-start dependency with a 5-day lag, the successor activity can start 5 days before the predecessor has finished. See Also Lag

Lead Time
-The time required to wait for a product, service, material, or resources, after ordering or making a request for such things

Learning Curve Theory
-Parametric model that says that each time we double the number of times we have performed a task, the time it takes to perform the task will decrease in a regular pattern

Lessons Learned
-Documented information, usually collected through meetings, discussions, or written reports, to show how both common and uncommon project events were addressed. This information can be used by other project managers as a reference for subsequent project efforts

Lessons-learned Review
-Audit or evaluation conducted immediately upon project completion by the project team to learn from the successes and failures recently experienced. The results of the review are documented for the use by project team members and other interested parties as a reference and guide for future project activities
Number of labor units required to complete an activity or other project element. May be expressed as staff hours, days, or weeks. Not to be confused with Duration

Life Cycle
-The entire useful life of a product or service, usually divided into sequential phases, which include initiation, development, execution, operation, maintenance, and disposal or termination.



Matrix Organization
-Project organizational structure in which the project manager shares responsibility with the functional managers to assign priorities and direct the work of individuals assigned to the project. In a strong matrix organization, the balance of power over the resources is in favor of the project manager. In a weak matrix organization, functional managers retain most of the control over project resources

Maturity Level
-A defined position in an achievement scale that establishes the attainment of certain capabilities

-Movement of files and data between software applications

-Event with zero duration and requiring no resources. Used to measure the progress of a project and signifies completion or start of a major deliverable or other significant metric







-Trial apparatus or operation used to validate a proposed solution in a live environment

-Project Management Body of Knowledge - Totality of knowledge within the project management profession. As in other professions, such as law, medicine, and accounting, the body of knowledge rests with the practitioners and academics involved in its application and advancement. The PMBOK includes practices that have been widely applied and proven, as well as innovative and advanced practices with more limited use and application

-Project Management Institute - International, nonprofit professional organization dedicated to advancing the discipline of project management and state-of-the-art project management practices

-Project Management Office - Organizational entity established to assist project managers throughout the organization in implementing project management principals, practices, methodologies, tools, and techniques.

-Project Management Professional - Professional certification awarded by the Project Management Institute (PMI) to individuals who have met the established minimum requirements in knowledge, education, experience, and service in the discipline of project management

Predecessor Activity
-Activity or task that must begin or end before another activity or task can begin or end

-Series of actions, steps, or procedures leading to a result. High-level sequence or flow of tasks performed during production of a product or delivery of a service

Process Analysis
-Structured approach used to identify and understand what an organization does - defines business processes and the necessary data used through specific diagramming techniques

Process Definition
-Dividing a process into its component parts so that it may be described in detail

Process Flowchart
-Diagram showing how various elements of a system relate. See Also Flowchart

-Temporary undertaking to create a unique product or service with a defined start and end point and specific objectives that, when attained, signify completion

Project Baseline
-Project management form of reference established based on the detailed project plan and incorporating the project's cost, schedule, and quality objectives to serve as the basis for measuring progress, comparing planned and actual events and expenditures, and identifying and executing changes to the project's scope of work

Project Calendar
-Calendar identifying the specific work periods during the project lifecycle when resources will be consumed

Project Charter
-Document issued by senior management that gives the project manager authority to apply organizational resources to project activities and formally recognizes the existence of a project. Includes a description of the business need that the project was undertaken to address and a description of the product or service to be delivered by the project

Project Closeout
-Process to provide for project acceptance by the project sponsor, completion of various project records, final revision and issue of documentation to reflect the 'as built' condition, and retention of essential project documentation

Project Communications Management
-Part of project management that includes the processes needed to ensure proper collection, dissemination, storage, and disposition of project information. Consists of communication planning, information distribution, performance reporting, and administrative closure

Project Duration
-Elapsed time from the project start date to the project finish date

Project Finish Date
-Last calendar finish date of all activities on the project, based on network or resource allocation process calculations

Project Justification
-Use of the business need or purpose that the project was undertaken to address to provide the basis for evaluating future investment trade-offs

Project Leader
-Synonymous with 'Project Manager'

Project Life Cycle
-Collection of generally sequential project phases whose specific name and number are determined by the organization or organizations involved in the project. Generally includes major steps involved in conceptualizing, designing, developing, and putting into operation the project's technical performance deliverables

Project Management
-Application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet or exceed stakeholder needs and expectation from a project

Project Management Methodology
-Highly detailed description of the procedures to be followed in a project lifecycle. Often includes forms, charts, checklists, and templates to ensure structure and consistency

Project Management Software
-Specific computer applications designed to aid in planning and controlling project costs and schedules

Project Management Team
-Members of the project team who are directly involved in project management activities

Project Manager
-Individual responsible for managing the overall project and its deliverables. Acts as the client's single point of contact for the project. Controls planning and execution of the project's activities and resources to ensure that established cost, time, and quality goals are met

Project Phase
-Collection of logically related project activities, usually resulting in the completion of a major deliverable. Collectively, the project phases compose the project lifecycle

Project Plan
-Formal, approved document, in summarized or detailed form, used to guide both project execution and control. Documents planning assumptions, and decision, facilitates communication among the stakeholders, and documents approved scope, cost, and schedule baselines

Project Planning
-Developing and maintaining the project plan, identifying the project objectives, activities needed to complete the project, and resources and quantities required to carry out each activity or task within the project

Project Portfolio
-Collection of projects to be managed concurrently - each project may be related to or independent of each other but falls under a single management umbrella

Project Sponsor
-Person in an organization whose support and approval is required for a project to start and continue

Project Stakeholder
-Individual or organization who is actively involved in the project or whose interests may be affected, either positively or negatively, as a result of project execution or successful project completion

Project Team
-Group of people with complementary skills, a common purpose, shared goals, and mutual accountability who share responsibility for accomplishing project goals and who report either full or part time to the project manager

-Small or full-scale, an d usually functioning, form of a newly developed product, which is used to evaluate the product design



-Conformance to requirements or specifications - fitness for use

Quality Assurance
-Process of regularly evaluating overall project performance to provide confidence that the project will satisfy relevant quality standards. Organizational unit responsible for quality assurance efforts



Requirements Analysis
-Process of evaluating the client's stated needs and validating them against specific organizational requirements and plans

Requirements Traceability-

Process of understanding, documenting, approving, and auditing the relationships between a system's components and functions and the requirements from which the system was developed. Each function and component of a system should be directly traceable to a requirement identified by the user, client, or stakeholder

Resource Allocation
-Process of assigning resources to the activities in a network while recognizing any resource constraints and requirements. Also, adjusting activity level start and finish dates to conform to resource availability and use

Resource Availability Date
-Calendar date when a given resource or resource pool becomes available

Resource Availability Pool
-Number of resources available for a given allocation period

Resource Calendar
-Calendar denoting when a resource or resource pool is available to work on a project

-Widespread, phased introduction of a project's product or service into the organization



-Time-sequenced plan of activities or tasks used to direct and control project execution. Usually shown as a milestone chart, Gantt, or other bar chart, or tabular listing of dates

Schedule Baseline
-Approved project schedule that serves as the basis for measuring and reporting schedule performance

Scheduled Finish Date
-Point in time when work is scheduled to finish on an activity - normally between the early and late finish dates

Scheduled Start Date
-Point in time when work is scheduled to start on an activity - normally between the early and late finish dates

-Sum of the products and services to be provided by the project

Scope Change
-Modifications to the agreed-upon project scope as defined by the approved Project Charter and/or Work Breakdown Structure

Scope Change Control System
-Procedures used to change the scope of a project, including paperwork, tracking systems, and the approval levels needed to authorize change

Scope Creep
-Gradual progressive increase of the project's scope such that it is not noticed by the project management team or the client. Occurs when the client identifies additional, sometimes minor, requirements that, when added together, may collectively result in a significant scope change and cause cost and schedule overruns

-Anyone, individuals or organizations, who has an interest in the project that are actively involved, or whose interests may be affected as a result of project execution or project completion. These parties may also exert influence over the project's objectives and outcomes.

Start Date
-Point in time associated with an activity's start.

Statement of Work (SOW)
-Narrative description of products or services t be supplied under contract that states the specifications or other minimum requirements, quantities, performance dates, times, locations, and quality requirements. Serves as a baseline against which the progress and subsequent changes are measured during contract performance

-Condition of the project at a specified point in time, relative to time, cost, or performance

Status Report
-Description of where the project currently stands - part of the performance reporting process.



Target Date
-Date an activity is planned to start or finish

-Well-defined component of project work - a discrete work item. There are usually multiple tasks for one activity

Technical Requirements
-Description of the features of the deliverable in detailed technical terms to provide project team members with crucial guidance on what needs to be done on the project





Work Breakdown Structure
-A hierarchically-structured grouping of project elements that organizes and defines the total scope of the project. Each descending level is an increasing detailed definition of a project component.

-Unplanned response to a negative risk event. Distinguished from a contingency plan because it is not planned in advance of the occurrence of the risk event