Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York
 



Glossary

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A
Accountability Matrix
A tool used to relate each project activity in the WBS with a responsible organization unit or individual. Its purpose is to ensure that every activity is assigned to one or more individuals (only one with primary responsibility), and that the individuals are aware of their responsibilities.
Accountable
Obliged to take responsibility for one's actions, assigned tasks, and work products.
Action Item
A task or activity assigned for a specific purpose.
Activity
Any work performed on a project. May be synonymous with task, but in some cases it may be a specific level in the Work Breakdown Structure (for example, a phase is broken down into a set of activities, activities into a set of tasks). An activity must have duration, and will result in one or more deliverables. An activity will generally have cost and resource requirements.
Activity Definition
The process of identifying the specific schedule activities that need to be performed to produce the various project deliverables.
Activity Description
A short phrase or label for each schedule activity used in conjunction with an activity identifier to differentiate that project schedule activity from other schedule activities. The activity description normally describes the scope of work of the schedule activity.
Activity Duration Estimating
Estimating the number of work periods which will be needed to complete individual activities.
Actual Completion Date
The cost oreffort incurred in the performance of tasks as computed after the work has been done. Actuals can also refer to the date a task was started or completed, and the dates milestones were reached.
Actual Cost of Work Performed
Total costs actually incurred and recorded in accomplishing workperformed during a given time period for a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Actual cost can sometimes be direct labor hours alone, direct costs alone, or all costs including indirect costs.
Actual Finish Date
The point in time that work actually ended on a schedule activity. (Note: In some application areas, the schedule activity is considered “finished” when work is “substantially complete.”)
Actual Start Date
The point in time that work actually started on an activity.
Actuals
The cost or effort incurred in the performance of tasks as computed after the work has been done. Actuals can also refer to the date a task was started or completed, and the dates milestones were reached.
ACWP
Total costs actually incurred and recorded in accomplishing work performed during a given time period for a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Actual cost can sometimes be direct labor hours alone, direct costs alone, or all costs including indirect costs.
AD
A short phrase or label for each schedule activity used in conjunction with an activity identifier to differentiate that project schedule activity from other schedule activities. The activity description normally describes the scope of work of the schedule activity.
Administrative Closure
Generating, gathering, and disseminating information to formalize project completion.
AF
The point in time that work actually ended on a schedule activity. (Note: In some application areas, the schedule activity is considered “finished” when work is “substantially complete.”)
Application Area
A category of projects that have common components significant in such projects, but are not needed or present in all projects. Application areas are usually defined in terms of either the product (for example, by similar technologies or production methods) or the type of customer (for example, internal versus external, government versus commercial) or industry sector (for example, utilities, automotive, aerospace, information technologies). Application areas can overlap.
AS
The point in time that work actually started on an activity.
As-of Date
Also called "As-of Date." The point in time that separates actual (historical) data from future (scheduled) data.
Assignment
Activities, tasks, or deliverables given to an individual or team.
Assumption
Something taken as true without proof. In planning, assumptions regarding staffing, complexity, learning curves, and many other factors are made to create plan scenarios. These provide the basis for estimating. Remember, assumptions are not facts. Making alternative assumptions to get a sense of what might happen in your project is a useful management technique.
Audit
A process designed to ensure that the Quality Assurance activities defined in Project Planning are being implemented, and to determine whether quality standards are being met.


B
BAC
The sum of all the budget values established for the work to be performed on a project or a work breakdown structure component or a schedule activity. The total planned value for the project.
Backward Pass
The calculation of late finish dates and late start dates for the uncompleted portions of all schedule activities. Determined by working backwards through the schedule network logic from the project’s end date. The end date may be calculated in a forward pass or set by the customer or sponsor.
Bar Chart
A graphic display of schedule-related information. In the typical bar chart, schedule activities or work breakdown structure components are listed down the left side of the chart, dates are shown across the top, and activity durations are shown as date-placed horizontal bars. Also called a Gantt Chart.
Baseline
A version of the project that is recognized as the agreed upon schedule, budget, and scope for the project. The baseline is used as the comparison point for project control reporting. There are three baselines in a project:
  • schedule baseline
  • budget baseline
  • product (scope) baseline
The combination of these is referred toas the performance measurement baseline.
Baseline Finish Date
Also referred to as Scheduled Finish Date (SF)

The point in time that work was scheduled to finish on a schedule activity. The scheduled finish date is normally within the range of dates delimited by the early finish date and the late finish date. It may reflect resource leveling of scarce resources. Sometimes called planned finish date.
Baseline Start Date
Also referred to as Scheduled Start Date (SS)

The point in time that work was scheduled to start on a schedule activity. The scheduled start date is normally within the range of dates delimited by the early start date and the late start date. It may reflect resource leveling of scarce resources. Sometimes called planned start date.
BCWP
The sum of the approved cost estimates (including any overhead allocation) for activities (or portions of activities) completed during a given period (usually project-to-date).
BCWS
The sum of the approved cost estimates (including any overhead allocation) for activities (or portions of activities) scheduled to be performed during a given period (usually project-to-date).
Benchmark
A standard against which measurements or comparisons can be made.
Benefits
Contributions to an improvement in a situation. Examples could be a reduction in cost of a work process, or improved productivity.
Best Practices
Certain procedures recognized during the course of the project by the Project Manager, Project Sponsor, or Project Team that, when exercised, improved the production of a deliverable, streamlined a process, improved standardized templates, etc. Documentation of best practices can (and should) be shared with other Project Managers.
Bottom-up Estimating
Approximating the size (duration and cost) and risk of a project (or phase) by
  • breaking it down into its smallest work components;
  • estimating the effort, duration, and cost of each; and
  • aggregating them into a full estimate.
Determining duration through a bottom-up approach requires sequencing and resource leveling to be done as part of the scheduling process.
Brainstorming
A technique used to stimulate creative thinking and overcome impasses to problems. Ideas should not be rejected during brainstorming. Often a practical solution surfaces and a decision is reached by group consensus.
Budget
The resources (funds and people resources) allocated to a Project Manager for the accomplishment of agreed-upon work products.
Budget at Completion
The sum of all the budget values established for the work to be performed on a project or a work breakdown structure component or a schedule activity. The total planned value for the project.
Budgeted Cost of Work Performed
The sum of the approved cost estimates (including any overhead allocation) for activities (or portions of activities) completed during a given period (usually project-to-date).
Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled
The sum of the approved cost estimates (including any overhead allocation) for activities (or portions of activities) scheduled to be performed during a given period (usually project-to-date).
Budget Estimate
A quantitative assessment of the likely amount or outcome. Usually applied to project costs, resources, effort, and durations and is usually preceded by a modifier (for example, preliminary, conceptual, feasibility, order-of-magnitude, definitive). It should always include some indication of accuracy (for example, ± x percent).
Business Case
A written justification for a project. Business cases are often complex and may require financial analysis, technical analysis, organization impact analysis, and a feasibility study.


C
Calendar Unit
The smallest unit of time used in scheduling the project. Calendar units are generally in hours, days, or weeks, but can also be in quarter years, months, shifts, or even in minutes.
Change
To cause to become different; an anticipated or requested variance in an expected value or event. Within a project, changes are usually described as a variance from the baseline project plan.
Change Control
The process of requesting and authorizing (or rejecting) a change to scope, schedule, or budget of a project plan.
Change in Scope
Any change in the definition of the project baseline scope. Scope change can result from changes in client needs, discovery of defects or omissions, regulatory changes, etc.
Change Management Board
A formally constituted group of stakeholders responsible for reviewing, evaluating, approving, delaying, or rejecting changes to the project, with all decisions and recommendations being recorded.
Change Order
A documented request for a change in scope, schedule, budget, or other critical aspects of a plan.
Change Request
A documented request for a change in scope, schedule, budget, or other critical aspects of a plan.
Chart of Accounts
Any numbering system used to monitor project costs by category (e.g., labor, supplies, materials, and equipment). The project chart of accounts is usually based upon the corporate chart of accounts of the primary performing organization.
Charter
A document issued by the project initiator or sponsor that formally authorizes the existence of a project, and provides the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities.
Client
The person or organization that is the principal beneficiary of the project. Generally the client has a significant authority regarding scope definition and whether the project should be initiated and/or continued.
Closing
The process of gaining formal acceptance for the results of a project or phase, and appropriate transition to a post-project situation, including the archiving of project information and post-project review.
CMB
A formally constituted group of stakeholders responsible for reviewing, evaluating, approving, delaying, or rejecting changes to the project, with all decisions and recommendations being recorded.
Code of Accounts
Any numbering system used to uniquely identify each component of the work breakdown structure.
Communications Planning
The process of determining the information and communications needs of the project stakeholders: who they are, what is their level of interest and influence on the project, who needs what information, when will they need it, and how it will be given to them.
Consensus
A unanimous agreement among a group that each group member can accept the proposed decision, action, solution, etc.
Constraint
Something that establishes boundaries, or restricts, limits, or obstructs any aspect of the project.
Content Expert
Also referred to as Subject Matter Expert (SME)

An expert in some aspect of the project's content expected to provide input to the project team regarding business, scientific, engineering, or other subjects. Input may be in the form of requirements, planning, resolutions to issues, and/or review of project results.
Contingency
Something whose occurrence depends on chance or uncertain conditions.
Contingency Allowance
A provision in the project management plan to mitigate cost and/or schedule risk. Often used with a modifier (for example, management reserve, contingency reserve) to provide further detail on what types of risk are meant to be mitigated. The specific meaning of the modified term varies by application area.
Contingency Planning
The development of a management plan that identifies alternative strategies to be used to ensure project success if specified risk events occur.
Contingency Reserve
The amount of funds, budget, or time needed above the estimate to reduce the risk of overruns of project objectives to a level acceptable to the organization.
Contract
A contract is a mutually binding agreement that obligates the seller to provide the specified product or service or result and obligates the buyer to pay for it.
Contract Administration
The process of managing the contract and the relationship between the buyer and seller, reviewing and documenting how a seller is performing or has performed to establish required corrective actions and provide a basis for future relationships with the seller, managing contract related changes and, when appropriate, managing the contractual relationship with the outside buyer of the project.
Contract Close-out
The process of completing and settlingthe contract, including resolution of any open items and closing each contract.
Control
Comparing actual performance with planned performance, analyzing variances, assessing trends to effect process improvements, evaluating possible alternatives, and recommending appropriate corrective action as needed.
Control Charts
A graphic display of process data over time and against established control limits, and that has a centerline that assists in detecting a trend of plotted values toward either control limit.
Corrective Action
Changes made to bring expected future performance of the project into line with the plan.
Cost/Benefit Analysis
A comparison of the cost of the project to the benefits to be realized by successfully completing a proposed project.
Cost Budgeting
The process of aggregating the estimated costs of individual activities or work packages to establish a cost baseline.
Cost Control
The process of influencing the factors that create variances, and controlling changes to the project budget.
Cost Estimating
The process of developing an approximation of the cost of the resources needed to complete project activities.
Cost of Quality
Determining the costs incurred to ensure quality. Prevention and appraisal costs (cost of conformance) include costs for quality planning, quality control (QC), and quality assurance to ensure compliance to requirements (for example, training, QC systems, etc.). Failure costs (cost of non-conformance) include costs to rework products, components, or processes that are non-compliant, costs of warranty work and waste, and loss of reputation.
Cost Performance Index
A measure of cost efficiency on a project. It is the ratio of earned value (EV) to actual cost of work performed (ACWP).

CPI = EV divided by ACWP.

A value equal to or greater than one indicates a favorable condition and a value less than one indicates an unfavorable condition.

See also Earned Value and Actual Cost of Work Performed
Cost Plus Fixed Fee Contract
A type of cost-reimbursable contract where the buyer reimburses the seller for the seller’s allowable costs (allowable costs are defined by the contract) plus a fixed amount of profit (fee).
Cost Plus Incentive Fee Contract
A type of cost-reimbursable contract where the buyer reimburses the seller for the seller’s allowable costs (allowable costs are defined by the contract), and theseller earns its profit if it meets defined performance criteria.
Cost Variance
A measure of cost performance on a project. It is the algebraic difference between earned value (EV) and actual cost of work performed (ACWP).

CV = EV minus ACWP.

A positive value indicates a favorable condition and a negative value indicates an unfavorable condition.
CPFF
A type of cost-reimbursable contract where the buyer reimburses the seller for the seller’s allowable costs (allowable costs are defined by the contract) plus a fixed amount of profit (fee).
CPI
A measure of cost efficiency on a project. It is the ratio of earned value (EV) to actual cost of work performed (ACWP).

CPI = EV divided by ACWP.

A value equal to or greater than one indicates a favorable condition and a value less than one indicates an unfavorable condition.

See also Earned Value and Actual Cost of Work Performed
CPIF
A type of cost-reimbursable contract where the buyer reimburses the seller for the seller’s allowable costs (allowable costs are defined by the contract), and the seller earns its profit if it meets defined performance criteria.
CPM
A schedule network analysis technique used to determine the amount of scheduling flexibility (the amount of float) on various logical network paths in the project schedule network, and to determine the minimum total project duration. Early start and finish dates are calculated by means of a forward pass, using a specified start date. Late start and finish dates are calculated by means of a backward pass, starting from a specified completion date, which sometimes is the project early finish date determined during the forward pass calculation.
Crashing
A specific type of project schedule compression technique performed by taking action to decrease the total project schedule duration after analyzing a number ofalternatives to determine how to get the maximum schedule durationcompression for the least additional cost. Typical approaches forcrashing a schedule include reducing schedule activity durations and increasing the assignment of resources on schedule activities.
Critical Activity
Any schedule activity on a critical path in a project schedule. Most commonly determined by using the critical path method. Although some activities are “critical,” in the dictionary sense, without being on the critical path, this meaning is seldom used in the project context.
Critical Issue
A point, matter, or question that, if not addressed, will have a negative impact on the cost, schedule, or scope of a project.
Critical Path
Generally, but not always, the sequence of schedule activities that determines the duration of the project. Generally, it is the longest path through the project. However, a critical path can end, as an example, on a schedule milestone that is in the middle of the project schedule and that has a finish-no-later-than imposed date schedule constraint.
Critical Path Method
A schedule network analysis technique used to determine the amount of scheduling flexibility (the amount of float) on various logical network paths in the project schedule network, and to determine the minimum total project duration. Early start and finish dates are calculated by means of a forward pass, using a specified start date. Late start and finish dates are calculated by means of a backward pass, starting from a specified completion date, which sometimes is the project early finish date determined during the forward pass calculation.
Critical Success Factor Interviewing
A process in which a series of strategic questions are asked to identify what objectives and goals need to be met in order for the project to demonstrate success.
CSF
A process in which a series of strategic questions are asked to identify what objectives and goals need to be met in order for the project to demonstrate success.
Current Finish Date
The current estimate of the point in time when a schedule activity will be completed, where the estimate reflects any reported work progress.
Current Forecast
A prediction made at the present moment in time.
Current Start Date
The current estimate of the point in time when a schedule activity will begin, where the estimate reflects any reported work progress. See also scheduled start date and baseline start date.
CV
A measure of cost performance on a project. It is the algebraic difference between earned value (EV) and actual cost of work performed (ACWP).

CV = EV minus ACWP.

A positive value indicates a favorable condition and a negative value indicates an unfavorable condition.


D
Data Date
Also called "As-of Date." The point in time that separates actual (historical) data from future (scheduled) data.
DD
Also called "As-of Date." The point in time that separates actual (historical) data from future (scheduled) data.
Debate
A discussion in which participants exchange information for the purpose of supporting or refuting one another’s position. Debates are win-lose discussions, as opposed to dialogues, which are win-win discussions.
Defect
A flaw in a system or system component that causes the system or component to fail to perform to its specifications.
Defect Tracking
The process of listing defects in a system and updating that list as appropriate.
Definitive Estimate
A quantitative assessment of the likely amount or outcome. Usually applied to project costs, resources, effort, and durations and is usually preceded by a modifier (for example, preliminary, conceptual, feasibility, order-of-magnitude, definitive). It should always include some indication of accuracy (for example, ± x percent).
Deliverable
A tangible work product produced as the outcome of a project or any part of a project.
Dependency
A relationship among tasks in which one or more task is influenced or determined by the outcome of one or more other task. A dependency may be logical (see Logical Relationship) or resource based (see Resource dependency).
Dialogue
A discussion in which the participants share their thoughts, gain a better understanding of the subject, and, possibly, reach consensus. Dialogues are win-win discussions, as opposed to debates, which are win-lose discussions.
DU
The total number of work periods (not including holidays or other nonworking periods) required to complete a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Usually expressed as workdays or workweeks. Sometimes incorrectly equated with elapsed time.
Duration
The total number of work periods (not including holidays or other nonworking periods) required to complete a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Usually expressed as workdays or workweeks. Sometimes incorrectly equated with elapsed time.
Duration Compression
Shortening the project schedule without reducing the project scope. Duration compression is not always possible and often requires an increase in project cost.
E
EAC
The expected total cost of a schedule activity, a work breakdown structure component, or the project when the defined scope of work will be completed. EAC is equal to the actual cost of work performed (ACWP) plus the estimate to complete (ETC) for all of the remaining work.

EAC = ACWP plus ETC

The EAC may be calculated based on performance to date or estimated by the project team based on other factors, in which case it is often referred to as the latest revised estimate.

See also ACWP and Estimate to Complete
Early Finish Date
In the critical path method, the earliest possible point in time on which the uncompleted portions of a schedule activity (or the project) can finish, based on the schedule network logic, the data date, and any schedule constraints. Early finish dates can change as the project progresses and as changes are made to the project management plan.
Early Start Date
In the critical path method, the earliest possible point in time on which the uncompleted portions of a schedule activity (or the project) can start, based on the schedule network logic, the data date, and any schedule constraints. Early start dates can change as the project progresses and as changes are made to the project management plan.
Earned Value
The value of completed work expressed in terms of the approved budget assigned to that work for a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Also referred to as the budgeted cost of work performed (BCWP).
EF
In the critical path method, the earliest possible point in time on which the uncompleted portions of a schedule activity (or the project) can finish, based on the schedule network logic, the data date, and any schedule constraints. Early finish dates can change as the project progresses and as changes are made to the project management plan.
Effort
The number of labor units required to complete a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Usually expressed as staff hours, staff days, or staff weeks. Should not be confused with Duration.
Effort Estimate
An estimate of the amount of effort necessary to perform each project task.
EMP
Event Management Process
EMV
A statistical technique that calculates the average outcome when the future includes scenarios that may or may not happen. A common use of this technique is within decision tree analysis. Modeling and simulation are recommended for cost and schedule risk analysis because it is more powerful and less subject to misapplication than expected monetary value analysis.
ES
In the critical path method, the earliest possible point in time on which the uncompleted portions of a schedule activity (or the project) can start, based on the schedule network logic, the data date, and any schedule constraints. Early start dates can change as the project progresses and as changes are made to the project management plan.
Estimate
A quantitative assessment of the likely amount or outcome. Usually applied to project costs, resources, effort, and durations and is usually preceded by a modifier (for example, preliminary, conceptual, feasibility, order-of-magnitude, definitive). It should always include some indication of accuracy (for example, ± x percent).
Estimate at Completion
The expected total cost of a schedule activity, a work breakdown structure component, or the project when the defined scope of work will be completed. EAC is equal to the actual cost of work performed (ACWP) plus the estimate to complete (ETC) for all of the remaining work.

EAC = ACWP plus ETC

The EAC may be calculated based on performance to date or estimated by the project team based on other factors, in which case it is often referred to as the latest revised estimate.

See also ACWP and Estimate to Complete
Estimate to Complete
The expectedcost needed to complete all the remaining work for a schedule activity, work breakdown structure component, or the project. See also Earned Value and Estimate at Completion
ETC
The expected cost needed to complete all the remaining work for a schedule activity, work breakdown structure component, or the project. See also Earned Value and Estimate at Completion
EV
The value of completed work expressed in terms of the approved budget assigned to that work for a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Also referred to as the budgeted cost of work performed (BCWP).
Event-on-Node
A network diagramming technique in which events are represented by boxes (or nodes) connected by arrows to show the sequence in which the events are to occur. Used in the original Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT).
Exception Reporting
A document that includes only major variations from plan (rather than all variations).
Executing
The process of coordinating people and other resources in the performance of the project or the actual performance of the project.
Executive Sponsor
Usually a Vice President or Dean who is supporting the mission of a given project.
Expected Monetary Value
A statistical technique that calculates the average outcome when the future includes scenarios that may or may not happen. A common use ofthis technique is within decision tree analysis. Modeling and simulation are recommended for cost and schedule risk analysis becauseit is more powerful and less subject to misapplication than expected monetary value analysis.
External Factor
An influence or event that is beyond the control of the project team.


F-G
Fast Tracking
A specific project schedule compression technique that changes network logic to overlap phases that would normally be done in sequence, such as the design phase and construction phase, or to perform schedule activities in parallel. See also Crashing
FFP
A type of fixed price contract where the buyer pays the seller a set amount (as defined by the contract), regardless of the seller’s costs.
Finish-to-Finish
A type of Logical Relationship.
Finish-to-Start
A type of Logical Relationship.
Finish Date
A point in time associated with a schedule activity’s completion. Usually qualified by one of the following: actual, planned, estimated, scheduled, early, late, baseline, target, or current.
Firm Fixed Price Contract
A type of fixed price contract where the buyer pays the seller a set amount (as defined by the contract), regardless of the seller’s costs.
Fixed Price Incentive Fee Contract
A type of contract where the buyer pays the seller a set amount (as defined by the contract), and the seller can earn an additional amount if it meets defined performance criteria.
Float
Also called slack. See total float and free float.
Flowchart
A graphical representation of the flow and interaction of a process or system.
Forward Pass
The calculation of the early start and early finish dates for the uncompleted portions of all network activities. See also Network Analysis and Backward Pass
FPIF
A type of contract where the buyer pays the seller a set amount (as defined by the contract), and the seller can earn an additional amount if it meets defined performance criteria.
FPMF
Fordham Project Management Framework
Free Float
The amount of time that a schedule activity can be delayed without delaying the early start of any immediately following schedule activities. See also total float. Also called float, slack, or total float.
Functional Group
An organizational unit that performs a specialized business function (for example, Student Admissions, Bursar, Human Resource Management, etc.) and may provide staff, products, or servicesto a project.
Functional Manager
Someone with management authority over an organizational unit within a functional organization. The manager of any group that actually makes a product or performs a service. Sometimes called a line manager.
Functional Organization
A hierarchical organization where each employee has one clear superior, staff are grouped by areas of specialization, and managed by a person with expertise in that area.
Functional Team
The functional subject matter experts who are assigned to work on the functional aspects of the project. This team is generally responsible for the business requirements, and are the subject matter experts on the business processes, policies, regulations, etc.
Gantt Chart
A bar chart that depicts a schedule of activities and milestones. Generally activities (which may be projects, operational activities, project activities, tasks, etc.) are listed along the left side of the chart and the time line is shown along the top or bottom. The activities are shown as horizontal bars of a length equivalent to the duration of the activity. Gantt Charts may be annotated with dependency relationships and other schedule-related information. Also referred to as a Bar Chart.
GERT
Graphical Evaluation and Review Technique

A network analysis technique that allows for conditional and probabilistic treatment of logical relationships (that is, some activities may not be performed).
Goal
A desired end result, often synonymous with objective. May be a high-level objective that has less-than-complete definition. See also Objective
Graphical Evaluation & Review Technique
A network analysis technique that allows for conditional and probabilistic treatment of logical relationships (that is, some activities may not be performed).

Achronym: GERT


I
IFB
Generally, this term is equivalent to request for proposal. However, in some application areas, it may have a narrower or more specific meaning.
Implementation
A phase in the project lifecycle in which a product is put into use.
In-house Projects
Projects performed primarily by performers who are part of the same organization as the client. If an outside supplier developed the same product, the project would be termed "externally sourced." Note that suppliers might be used in in-house projects depending on the degree to which they are responsible.
Incremental Delivery
A project lifecycle strategy used to reduce risk of project failure by dividing projects into smaller, more manageable pieces. The resulting sub-projects may deliver parts of the full product, or product versions. These will be enhanced to increase functionality or improve product quality in subsequent sub-projects.
Information Distribution
Making needed information available to project stakeholders in a timely manner.
Initiating
The process of describing and deciding to begin a project (or phase) and authorizing the Project Manager to expend resources, effort, and money for those that are initiated.
Initiation
Committing the organization to begin a project phase.
Invitation for Bid
Generally, this term is equivalent to request for proposal. However, in some application areas, it may have a narrower or more specific meaning.
Issue
Anything that will impact one or more program/project objectives that requires action to be taken. A situation that cannot be resolved internally by team members and needs escalation.
Or,
An Issue is a Risk that has come to fruition, 100% likelihood or probability rating for the Risk.


K
KPI
Key Performance Indicator


M
MS Project
Microsoft Project Management Solution being used by Fordham IT to manage projects.
MS EPM
Microsoft Enterprise Project Management solution has been chosen by Fordham IT to unify project and portfolio management. Read More...


P
Product Life Cycle
The period of time from the delivery of a product until the product iswithdrawn from use or sale. There may be many projects during the product life cycle.
Program
A group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits and control not available from managing them individually. Programs may include elements of related work outside of the scope of the discrete projects in the program.
Program Evaluation and Review Technique
Program Evaluation Review Technique

An event-oriented network analysis technique used to estimate project duration when there is a high degree of uncertainty with the individual activity duration estimates. PERT applies the critical path method to a weighted average duration estimate. In PERT, task durations are computed as

(Optimistic + ( 4 x Most likely ) + Pessimistic ) / 6
Project
A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.
Project Audit
A process designed to ensure that the Quality Assurance activities defined in Project Planning are being implemented, and to determine whether quality standards are being met.
Project Charter
A document issued by the project initiator or sponsor that formally authorizes the existence of a project, and provides the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities.
Project Communications Management
A subset of project management that includes the processes required to ensure proper collection and dissemination of project information. It consists of
  • communications planning
  • information distribution
  • performance reporting
  • administrative closure
Project Cost Management
A subset of project management that includes the processes required to ensure that the project is completed within the approved budget. It consists of
  • resource planning
  • cost estimating
  • cost budgeting
  • cost control
Project Human Resource Management
A subset of project management that includes the processes required to make the most effective use of the people involved with the project. It consists of
  • organizational planning
  • staff acquisition
  • team development
Project Initiation Plan
A high level summary plan that includes the business case, overall goal and specific objectives, success criteria, scope, high level schedule and assumptions, stakeholder accountabilities, communication plan, governance and resourcing, benefits and budget, management plans, and risk plan. This sets the overall parameters for the project. This high level plan should be approved by sponsors before execution of the project begins.
Project Integration Management
A subset of project management that includes the processes required to ensure that the various elements of the project are properly coordinated. It consists of
  • project plan development
  • project plan execution
  • overall change control
Project Life Cycle
A description of processes, phases, and deliverables typically used for a specific type of project. For example, the lifecycle followed to build a house is very different from the lifecycle followed to develop a software package. See also Project Management Lifecycle
PMBOK
Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) is an inclusive term that describes the sum of knowledge within the profession of project management. The complete project management body of knowledge includes proven traditional practices that are widely applied and innovative practices that are emerging in the profession.The body of knowledge includes both published and unpublished works. This body of knowledge is constantly evolving
PMI
Project Management Institute
PMO
The group that defines and maintaines the standards of process. Using industry standards and best practices, PMO strives to bring projects in on time and within budget.
Project Management
The application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.
Project Management Lifecycle
A description of processes, phases, and deliverables used to successfully manage a project of any kind. It is independent of any specific project life cycle.
Project Management Professional
An individual certified as such by the Project Management Institute (PMI).
Project Management Software
A class of computer software applications specifically designed to aid the project management team with planning, monitoring, and controlling the project, including: cost estimating, scheduling, communications, collaboration, configuration management, document control, records management, and risk analysis.
Project Management Team
The members of the project team who are directly involved in project management activities. On some smaller projects, the project management team may include virtually all of the project team members.
Project Manager
The person assigned by the performing organization to achieve the project objectives.
Project Network Diagram
Any schematic display of the logical relationships of project activities. Always drawn from left to right to reflect project chronology. Often incorrectly referred to as a PERT chart.
Project Plan
A detailed, refined version of the Project Initiation Plan. The Project Plan includes the detailed baseline project schedule. This is a formal, approved document used to guide both project execution and project control. All scope, budget, or schedule changes should go through a change management process once the baseline plan is approved. This plan will continually be refined during the project.
Project Plan Development
Taking the results of other planning processes and putting them into a consistent, coherent document.
Project Plan Execution
Carrying out the project plan by performing the activities included therein.
Project Planning
The development and maintenance of the project initiation plan (high level) and the project plan (detail level).
Project Procurement Management
A subset of project management that includes the processes required to acquire goods and services from outside the performing organization. It consists of
  • procurement planning
  • solicitation planning
  • solicitation
  • source selection
  • contract administration
  • contract close-out
Project Quality Management
A subset of project management that includes the processes required to ensure that the project will satisfy the needs for which it was undertaken. It consists of
  • quality planning
  • quality assurance
  • quality control
Project Repository
A collection or archive of all information and documents from the project.
Project Risk Management
A subset of project management that includes the processes concerned with identifying, analyzing, and responding to project risk. It consists of
  • risk identification
  • risk quantification
  • risk response development
  • risk response control
Project Schedule
The planned dates for performing activities and achieving milestones.
Project Scope Management
A subset of project management that includes the processes required to ensure that the project includes all of the work required, and only the work required, to complete the project successfully.
Project Sponsor
Usually a Vice President or Dean who is supporting the mission of a given project.
Project Team
A collection of individuals assigned to work together on a specific project.
Project Team Members
The persons who report either directly or indirectly to the project manager, and who are responsible for performing project work as a regular part of their assigned duties.
Project Time Management
A subset of project management that includes the processes required to ensure timely completion of the project. It consists of
  • activity definition
  • activity sequencing
  • activity duration estimating
  • schedule development
  • schedule control
Projectized Organization
Any organizational structure in which the project manager has full authority to assign priorities, apply resources, and direct the work of persons assigned to the project.
Proof-of-Concept
A technique used to confirm the feasibility of one or more components of the technical solution. A Proof-of-Concept approach helps to minimize cost by "testing the waters" on an idea or a design.
Prototyping
The process of building a small working version of a system design as a means of hedging risk, and attaining Customer buy-in. Prototyping can provide a better understanding of Customer requirements, validate those requirements, and sometimes perform as a proof-of-concept tool.
Q-R
Quality Assurance
Evaluation of project performance on a regular basis to ensure that the project will satisfy the established quality standards.
Quality Control
Monitoring of project results to ensure compliance with the appropriate established quality standards and to eliminate causes of non-compliance.
Quality Planning
The process of identifying which quality standards are relevant to the project and determining how to satisfy them.
Quality Standards
Criteria established to ensure that each deliverable created meets a certain level of quality agreed to by the Customer and Project Manager.
RAM
A tool used to relate each project activity in the WBS with a responsible organization unit or individual. Its purpose is to ensure that every activity is assigned to one or more individuals (only one with primary responsibility), and that the individuals are aware of their responsibilities.
Ramp Down
The effort required to close or suspend a task. It may consist of filing away information, making notes, clean-up, etc. Ramp down can be significant, depending on the task. For tasks that are suspended, the degree of ramp down (for example, notes and filing away information) performed will reduce the ramp up effort when the task is resumed.
Ramp Up
Ramp up is the work required to get ready to do a task. It consists of assembling materials, learning about the task (including new tools and techniques), and the time required getting into an optimum work pace. Initial ramp up can be significant, depending on the task. Each time a task is interrupted there is an additional ramp up getting back to that optimal work pace.
RDU
The time in calendar units, between the data date of the project schedule and the finish date of a schedule activity that has an actual start date. This represents the time needed to complete a schedule activity where the work is in progress.
Remaining Duration
The time in calendar units, between the data date of the project schedule and the finish date of a schedule activity that has an actual start date. This represents the time needed to complete a schedule activity where the work is in progress.
Request for Proposal
A type of procurement document used to request proposals from prospective sellers of products or services. In some application areas, it may have a narrower or more specific meaning.
Request for Quotation
A type of procurement document used to request price quotations from prospective sellers of common or standard products or services. Sometimes used in place of request for proposal and in some application areas, it may have a narrower or more specific meaning.
Requirements
The statement of detailed product objectives that describes the features, functions, and performance constraints to be delivered in the product. The requirements provide the basis for accepting the product.
Reserve
A provision in the project management plan to mitigate cost and/or schedule risk. Often used with a modifier (for example, management reserve, contingency reserve) to provide further detail on what types of risk are meant to be mitigated. The specific meaning of the modified term varies by application area.
Resource
Any tangible support such as, a person, tool, supply item, or facility used in the performance of a project.
Resource Dependency
A dependency between tasks in which the tasks share the same resources and therefore cannot be worked on simultaneously. Resource dependent tasks can be scheduled at the same time, but are limited by the availability of the shared resources.
Resource Leveling
The part of the scheduling process in which the start and end dates of tasks are driven by resource availability. Resources should not be overloaded and (as much as possible) a plan should avoid significant peaks and valleys in the resource schedule.
Resource Loading
The process of assigning resources (people, facilities, and equipment) to a project, usually activity by activity.
Resource Planning
The process of estimating the types and quantities of resources required to perform each schedule activity.
Responsibility
The obligation to perform or take care of something, usually with the liability to be accountable for loss or failure. Responsibility may be delegated to others but the delegation does not eliminate the responsibility.
Responsibility Assignment Matrix
A tool used to relate each project activity in the WBS with a responsible organization unit or individual. Its purpose is to ensure that every activity is assigned to one or more individuals (only one with primary responsibility), and that the individuals are aware of their responsibilities.
Retainage
A portion of a contract payment that is withheld until contract completion to ensure full performance of the contract terms.
RFP
A type of procurement document used to request proposals from prospective sellers of products or services. In some application areas, it may have a narrower or more specific meaning.
RFQ
A type of procurement document used to request price quotations from prospective sellers of common or standard products or services. Sometimes used in place of request for proposal and in some application areas, it may have a narrower or more specific meaning.
Risk
The likelihood of the occurrence of an event. Generally, the event is a negative one like project failure, but may also be a positive event, like the early completion of a task.
Risk Assessment
A process to identify which risks are likely to affect a project, documenting them, and determining the probability of occurrence and potential impact.
Risk Event
A discrete occurrence that may affect the project for better or worse.
Risk Identification
The process of determining which risks might affect the project and documenting their characteristics.
Risk Quantification
The process of evaluating the probability of risk event occurrence and effect.
Risk Response
Action that can be taken to address the occurrence of a risk event. Contingency plans are collections of risk responses. Sometimes called risk mitigation.
Risk Response Control
Responding to risk events throughout the project life cycle. Taking corrective action is an aspect of risk response control.
Risk Response Development
A part of risk management in which planners identify and define actions to be taken in case a risk (positive or negative) occurs.


S
S-Curve
Graphic display of cumulative costs, labor hours, percentage of work, or other quantities, plotted against time. The name derives from the S-like shape of the curve (flatter at the beginning and end, steeper in the middle) produced on a project that starts slowly, accelerates, and then tails off. Also a term for the cumulative likelihood distribution that is a result of a simulation, a tool of quantitative risk analysis.
Schedule
The planned dates for performing activities and achieving milestones.
Schedule Control
The process of controlling changes to the project schedule.
Schedule Development
The process of analyzing schedule activity sequences, schedule activity durations, resource requirements, and schedule constraints to create the project schedule.
Schedule Performance Index
A measure of schedule efficiency on a project. It is the ratio of earned value (EV) to planned value (PV).

SPI = EV divided by PV.

An SPI equal to orgreater than one indicates a favorable condition and a value of less than one indicates an unfavorable condition.
Schedule Variance
A measure of schedule performance on a project. It is the algebraic difference between the earned value (EV) and the planned value (PV).

SV = EV minus PV.
Scheduled Finish Date
The point in time that work was scheduled to finish on a schedule activity. The scheduled finish date is normally within the range of dates delimited by the early finish date and the late finish date. It may reflect resource leveling of scarce resources. Sometimes called planned finish date.
Scheduled Start Date
The point in time that work was scheduled to start on a schedule activity. The scheduled start date is normally within the range of dates delimited by the early start date and the late start date. It may reflect resource leveling of scarce resources. Sometimes called planned start date.
Scope
Scope is defined in terms of three dimensions:
  • Product scope is the full set of features and functions to be provided as a result of the project.
  • Project scope is the work that has to be done to deliver the product.
  • Impact scope is the depth and breadth of involvement by, and effect on, the performing and client organizations.
(In technology projects scope we further define scope in these areas: functional scope, system scope, project interdependencies, data scope, technology scope, and organizational scope.)
Scope Baseline
A version of the project that is recognized as the agreed upon schedule, budget, and scope for the project. The baseline is used as the comparison point for project control reporting. There are three baselines in a project:
  • schedule baseline
  • budget baseline
  • product (scope) baseline
The combination of these is referred to as the performance measurement baseline.
Scope Change
Any change in the definition of the project baseline scope. Scope change can result from changes in client needs, discovery of defects or omissions, regulatory changes, etc.
Scope Change Control
The process of requesting and authorizing (or rejecting) a change to scope, schedule, or budget of a project plan.
Scope Creep
The growth of the project’s scope resulting from uncontrolled changes to requirements.
Scope Definition
Breaking down the project's major deliverables into small, more manageable components to make verification, development, and project control easier. This may be part of requirements definition and/or design.
Scope Planning
The process of creating a project scope management plan.
Scope Verification
A process to ensure that all project deliverables have been completed satisfactorily. It is associated with acceptance of the product by clients and sponsors.
Sequencing Tasks
A part of the scheduling process in which the tasks are positioned serially or parallel to one another based on dependencies among them. Sequencing results in a task network.
SF
The point in time that work was scheduled to finish on a schedule activity. The scheduled finish date is normally within the range of dates delimited by the early finish date and the late finish date. It may reflect resource leveling of scarce resources. Sometimes called planned finish date.
Skills Inventory
A record of the skills learned and used on the project by the Project Team.
Slack
Term used in PERT for float.
SME
An expert in some aspect of the project's content expected to provide input to the project team regarding business, scientific, engineering, or other subjects. Input may be in the form of requirements, planning, resolutions to issues, and/or review of project results.
Source Selection
The process of choosing from among potential contractors.
SOW
A narrative description of products, services, or results to be supplied.
Specifications
Detailed descriptions of project deliverables that result from requirements definition and design. Specifications generally describe the deliverables in terms of appearance, operational constraints, and quality attributes. Specifications are the basis for acceptance criteria used in scope verification and quality control. In some organizations and industries, specifications may be further segmented into requirements specifications and design specifications. See also Requirements
SPI
A measure of schedule efficiency on a project. It is the ratio of earned value (EV) to planned value (PV).

SPI = EV divided by PV.

An SPI equal to or greater than one indicates a favorable condition and a value of less than one indicates an unfavorable condition.
Sponsor
Usually a Vice President or Dean who is supporting the mission of a given project.
SS
The point in time that work was scheduled to start on a schedule activity. The scheduled start date is normally within the range of dates delimited by the early start date and the late start date. It may reflect resource leveling of scarce resources. Sometimes called planned start date.
Staff Acquisition
The process of getting the human resources needed assigned to and working on the project.
Stakeholder
A group, unit, individual, or organization which are impacted by, or can impact, the outcomes of the project.
Start-to-Finish
The logical relationship where completion of the successor schedule activity is dependent upon the initiation of the predecessor schedule activity.
Start-to-Start
The logical relationship where initiation of the work of the successor schedule activity depends upon the initiation of the work of the predecessor schedule activity.
Start Date
A point in time associated with a schedule activity’s start, usually qualified by one of the following: actual, planned, estimated, scheduled, early, late, target, baseline, or current.
Statement of Work
A narrative description of products, services, or results to be supplied.
Strategic Plan
A formal document produced by the Performing Organization outlining organizational goals and direction over a designated period of time. See also Mission
Sub-contractor
A group or individual providing products or services to the project. Commonly, sub-contractors are considered to be suppliers. However there is a growing understanding that any internal group that provides products or services (for example, an internal technical writing department) is a sub-contractor to the project manager. Of course in this broader usage, the agreement between the parties is not a legally binding contract, but it is a contract nonetheless.
Sub-task
A breakdown of a task into the work elements that make it up. A task must be broken down into at least two sub-tasks for a meaningful decomposition.
Subject Matter Expert
An expert in some aspect of the project's content expected to provide input to the project team regarding business, scientific, engineering, or other subjects. Input may be in the form of requirements, planning, resolutions to issues, and/or review of project results.
Subnet
A subdivision (fragment) of a project schedule network diagram, usually representing a subproject or a work package. Often used to illustrate or study some potential or proposed schedule condition, such as changes in preferential schedule logic or project scope. Also called subnetwork.
Subnetwork
A subdivision (fragment) of a project schedule network diagram, usually representing a subproject or a work package. Often used to illustrate or study some potential or proposed schedule condition, such as changes in preferential schedule logic or project scope. Also called subnetwork.
Successor Task
A task or milestone that is logically linked to one or more predecessor tasks.
Supplier
An organization or individuals providing products or services under contract to the client or to the project performance group. Sometimes called outside contractors or sub-contractors.
SV
A measure of schedule performance on a project. It is the algebraic difference between the earned value (EV) and the planned value (PV).

SV = EV minus PV.


T
Target Completion Date
An imposed date that constrains or otherwise modifies the schedule network analysis.
Target Finish Date
The date that work is planned (targeted) to finish on a schedule activity.
Target Schedule
A schedule adopted for comparison purposes during schedule network analysis, which can be different from the baseline schedule. See also Baseline.
Target Start Date
The date that work is planned (targeted) to start on a schedule activity.
Task
A term for work whose meaning and placement within a structured plan for project work varies by the application area, industry, and brand of project management software.
Task Dependency
A relationship in which a task or milestone relies on other tasks to be performed (completely or partially) before it can be performed. Sometimes called a logical relationship.
TC
An imposed date that constrains or otherwise modifies the schedule network analysis.
Team Development
The process of developing individual and group skills to enhance project performance.
Team Members
The persons who report either directly or indirectly to the project manager, and who are responsible for performing project work as a regular part of their assigned duties.
Test Plan
A series of test cases that, when compiled into a whole, constitute a testing plan for the Project Team to follow. A well-formulated test plan should ensure that all internal components and system interfaces operate as they should according to the Functional and Technical Specifications.
TF
An acronym that, depending on context, may stand for Target Finish Date or Total Float
Top-down Estimating
Approximating the size (duration and cost) and risk of a project (or phase) by looking at the project as a whole and comparing it to previously performed similar projects. The comparison may be made directly using “analogous estimating,” through an algorithm as in “parametric estimating,” or from the memory of estimating experts.
Total Quality Management
Both a philosophy and a set of guiding principles that represent the foundation of a continuously improving organization. The application of quantitative methods and human resources to improve the materials and services supplied to an organization, all the processes within an organization, and the degree to which the needs of the Customer are met, now and in the future.
Total Float
The total amount of time that a schedule activity may be delayed from its early start date without delaying the project finish date, or violating a schedule constraint. Calculated using the critical path method technique and determining the difference between the early finish dates and late finish dates. See also Free Float
TQM
Both a philosophy and a set of guiding principles that represent the foundation of a continuously improving organization. The application of quantitative methods and human resources to improve the materials and services supplied to an organization, all the processes within an organization, and the degree to which the needs of the Customer are met, now and in the future.
TS
The date that work is planned (targeted) to start on a schedule activity.


V-W
Variance
The difference between estimated cost, duration, or effort and the actual performance metrics. In addition, it can be the difference between the baseline product scope and the actual product delivered.
Walkthroughs
A technique for performing a formal review which takes place at review and inspection points throughout the lifecycle being utilized, to observe and verify what has been accomplished.
WBS
A document that decomposes a project’s high level deliverables into component activities, tasks, and sub-tasks. A WBS is deliverable-oriented and each descending level represents an increasingly detailed definition of a component.
Work Breakdown Structure
A document that decomposes a project’s high level deliverables into component activities, tasks, and sub-tasks. A WBS is deliverable-oriented and each descending level represents an increasingly detailed definition of a component.
Work Item
A deliverable or project work component at the lowest level of each branch of the work breakdown structure. The work package includes the schedule activities and schedule milestones required to complete the work package deliverable or project work component.
Workaround
A response to a negative risk that has occurred. Distinguished from contingency plan in that a workaround is not planned in advance of the occurrence of the risk event.

If you have any questions please send an e-mail to: spo@fordham.edu


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