PMBOK Glossary

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PMBOK, 4th Edition

acceptance criteria

those criteria, including performance requirements and essential conditions which must be met before project deliverables are accepted

acquire project team

PROCESS. the process of confirming human resource availability and obtaining team necessary to complete project assignments

activity

a component of work performed during the course of a project

activity attributes

OUTPUT/INPUT. multiple attributes associated with each schedule activity that can be included within the activity list. activity attributes include activity codes, predecessor activities, successor activities, logical relationships, leads and lags, resource requirements, imposed dates, constraints and assumptions

activity code

one or more numerical or text values that identify characteristics of the work or in some way categorize the schedule activity that allows filtering and ordering of activities within reports

activity duration

the time in calendar units between the start and finish of a schedule activity

activity identifier

a short unique numeric or text identification assigned to each schedule activity to differentiate that project activity from other project activities. typically unique within any one project schedule network diagram

activity list

OUTPUT/INPUT. a documented tabulation of schedule activities that shows the activity description, activity identifier, and a sufficiently detailed scope of work description so project team members understand what work is to be performed

actual cost (AC)

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. also referred to as actual cost of work performed (ACWP)

actual cost of work performed

ACWP

actual duration

the time in calendar units between the actual start date of the schedule activity and either the data date of the project schedule if the schedule activity is in progress or the actual finish date if the schedule activity is complete

administer procurements

PROCESS. the process of managing procurement relationships, monitoring contract performance, and making changes and corrections as needed

analogous estimating

TECHNIQUE. an estimating technique that uses the values of parameters, such as scope, cost, budget, and duration or measures of scale such as size, weight, and complexity from a previous similar activity as the basis of estimating the same parameter or measure for a future activity

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 or the type of customer or industry sector

approved change request

OUTPUT/INPUT. a change request that has been processed through the integrated change control process and approved

assumptions

assumptions are factors that, for planning purposes, are considered to be true, real, or certain without proof or demonstration

assumptions analysis

TECHNIQUE. a technique that explores the accuracy of assumptions and identifies risks to the project from inaccuracy, inconsistency, or incompleteness of assumptions

authority

the right to apply project resources, expend funds, make decisions or give approvals

backward pass

the calculation of late finish dates and late start dates for uncompleted portions of all schedule activities. determined by working backward through the schedule network logic from the projects end date

baseline

an approved plan for a project, plus or minus approved changes. it is compared to actual performance to determine if performance is within acceptable variance thresholds. generally refers to the current baseline, but may refer to the original or some other baseline

bottom-up estimating

TECHNIQUE. a method of estimating a component of work. the work is decomposed into more detail. an estimate is prepared of what is needed to meet the requirements of each of the lower, more detailed pieces of work, and these estimates are then aggregated into a total quantity for the component of work

brainstorming

TECHNIQUE. a general data gathering and creativity technique that can be used to identify risks, ideas or solutions to issues by using a group of team members or subject matter experts

budget

the approved estimate for the project or any work breakdown structure component or any schedule activity

budget at completion (BAC)

the sum of all budgets 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

BCWP

budgeted cost of work performed

BCWS

budgeted cost of work scheduled

buffer

reserve

buyer

the acquirer of products, services or results for an organization

calendar unit

the smallest unit of time used in scheduling a project. calendar units are generally in hours, days, or weeks, but can also be in quarters years, months, shifts, or even minutes

change control

identifying, documenting, approving or rejecting and controlling changes to the project baselines

change control board (CCB)

a formally constituted group of stakeholders responsible for reviewing, evaluating, approving, delaying or rejecting changes to a project, with all the decisions and recommendations being recorded

change control system

TOOL. a collection of formal documented procedures that define how project deliverables and documentation will be controlled, changed and approved. in most application areas, the change control system is a subset of the configuration management system

change requests

requests to expand or reduce the project scope, modify policies, processes, plans or procedures, modify costs or budgets, or revise schedules

claim

a request, demand or assertion of rights by a seller against a buyer or vice versa for consideration, compensation, or payment under the terms of a legally binding contract (such as for a disputed change)

close procurements

PROCESS. the process of completing each project procurement

close project or phase

PROCESS. the process of finalizing all activities across all of the project management process groups to formally complete the project or phase

closing processes

PROCESS GROUP. those processes performed to finalize all activities across all project management process groups to formally close the project or phase

code of accounts

TOOL. any numbering system used to uniquely identify each component of the work breakdown structure

collect requirements

PROCESS. the process of defining and documenting stakeholder needs to meet project objectives

co-location

TECHNIQUE. an organizational placement strategy where the project team members are physically located close to one another in order to improve communication, working relationships and productivity

common cause

a source of variation that is inherent in the system and predictable. on a control chart, it appears as part of the random process variation and is indicated by random pattern of points within the control limits. also referred to as random cause

communications management plan

OUTPUT/INPUT. the document that describes the communications needs and expectations for the project; how and in what format information will be communicated; when and where each communication will be made; wan who is responsible for providing each type of communication. is a subsidiary of the project management plan

conduct procurements

PROCESS. the process of obtaining seller responses, selecting a seller and awarding a contract

configuration management system

TOOL. a subsystem of the overall project management system. it is a collection of formal documented procedures used to apply technical and administrative direction and surveillance to identify and document the functional and physical characteristics of a product, result, service or component; control any changes to such characteristics; record and report each change and its implementation status; and support the audit of the products, results or components to verify conformance to requirements.

constraint

INPUT. the statue, quality or sense of being restricted to a given course of action or inaction. an applicable restriction or limitation, either internal or external to a project, which will affect the performance of the project or a process.

contingency reserve

OUTPUT/INPUT. the amount of funds, budget, or time needed above the estimate to reduce the risk of overruns of project objectives to a level acceptance to the organization

Is this accurate? other places specifies reserve used when a known risk is triggered... I.e to cover the contingency plan. Not used in risk avoidance, mitigation, transferring. These risk response costs are built into base estimate.

contract

OUTPUT/INPUT. 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

data date

the date up to or through which the project's reporting system has provided actual status and accomplishments. also called as-of date and time-now date.

decision tree analysis

TECHNIQUE. a diagram that describes a decision under consideration and the implications of choosing one or another of the available alternatives. it is used when some future scenarios or outcomes of actions are uncertain. it incorporates probabilities and costs or rewards of each logical path or events and future decisions and uses expected monetary value analysis to help the organization identify the relative values of alternate actions.

decomposition

TECHNIQUE. a planning technique that subdivides the project scope and project deliverables into smaller, more manageable components, until the project work associated with accomplishing the project scope and providing the deliverables is defined in sufficient detail to support executing, monitoring and controlling the work

defect

an imperfection or deficiency in a project component where that component does not meet requirements or specifications and needs to be either repaired or replaced

defect repair

the formally documented identification of a defect in a project component with a recommendation to either repair the defect or completely replace the component

define activities

PROCESS. identifying the specific actions to be performed to produce the project deliverables

define scope

PROCESS. developing a detailed description of the project and product

deliverable

OUTPUT/INPUT. any unique and verifiable product, result, or capability to perform a service that must be produced to complete a process, phase or project.

external deliverable

deliverable that is subject to approval by the project sponsor or customer

Delphi technique

TECHNIQUE. an information gathering technique used as a way to reach a consensus of experts on a subject. experts on the subject participate in the technique anonymously. a facilitator uses a questionnaire to solicit ideas about the important project points related to the subject. the responses are summarized and are then recirculated to the experts for further comment. consensus maybe reached in an few rounds of this process. Helps reduce bias in the data and keeps any one person from having influence on the outcome

determine budget

PROCESS. aggregating the estimated costs of individual activities or work packages to establish an authorized cost baseline

develop human resource plan

PROCESS. identifying and documenting project roles, responsibilities, and required skills, reporting relationships and creating a staffing management plan.

develop project charter

PROCESS. developing a document that formally authorizes a project or phase and documenting initial requirement that satisfy the stakeholders needs and expectations

develop project management plan

PROCESS. documenting the actions necessary to define, prepare, integrate and coordinate all subsidiary plans

develop project team

PROCESS. improving the competencies, team interaction, and the overall team environment to enhance project performance

develop schedule

PROCESS. analyzing activity sequences, durations, resource requirements and schedule constraints to create the project schedule

direct and manage project execution

PROCESS. performing the work defined in the project management plan to achieve the project's objectives

distribute information

PROCESS. making relevant information available to project stakeholders

duration (DU or DUR)

total number of work periods required to complete a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component.

early finish date (EF)

the earliest 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 start date (ES)

the earliest point in time on which the uncompleted portions of a schedule activity can start, based on the schedule network logic, the data date and any schedule constraints.

earned value (EV)

the value of work performed expressed in terms of the approved budget assigned to that work for a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. ALSO BCWP.

earned value management (EVM)

management methodology for integrating scope, schedule and resources and for objectively measuring project performance and progress. performance is measured by determining the budgeted cost of work performed (earned value) and comparing it to the actual cost of work performed (actual cost)

earned value technique (EVT)

TECHNIQUE. a specific technique for measuring the performance of work and used to establish the performance measurement baseline

effort

number of labor units required to complete a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component

enterprise environmental factors

INPUT/OUTPUT. any of all external environmental factors and internal organizational environmental factors that surround or influence the projects success. these factors are from any or all of the enterprises involved in the project and include organizational culture and structure, infrastructure, existing resources, commercial databases, market conditions and project management software

estimate

OUTPUT/INPUT. a quantitative assessment of the likely amount or outcome. usually applied to project costs, resources, effort and durations.

estimate activity durations

PROCESS. approximating the number of work periods needed to complete individual activities with estimated resources

estimate activity resources

PROCESS. estimating the type and quantities of material, people, equipment or supplies required to perform the activity

estimate at completion (EAC)

OUTPUT/INPUT. 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. Calculated based on performance to date or estimated by the project team based on other factors

estimate costs

PROCESS. developing an approximation of the monetary resources needed to complete project activities

estimate to complete (ETC)

OUTPUT/INPUT. expected cost needed to complete all the remaining work for a schedule activity, work breakdown structure component or project.

execute

directing, managing, performing and accomplishing the project work, providing the deliverables and providing work performance information

executing processes

PROCESS GROUP. those processes performed to complete the work defined in the project management plan to satisfy project objectives

expected monetary value (EMV)

analysis. a statistical technique that calculates the average outcome when the future includes scenarios that may or may not happen. used in decision tree analysis.

expert judgment

TECHNIQUE. judgment provided based upon expertise in an application area, knowledge area, discipline, industry, etc. as appropriate for the activity being performed.

failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA)

TECHNIQUE. analytical procedure in which each potential failure mode in every component of a product is analyzed to determine its effect on the reliability of that component and, by itself or in combination with other possible failure modes, on the reliability of the product or system and on the required function of the component; or the examination of a product for all was that a failure may occur. for each potential failure, an estimate is made of its effect on the total system and item impact.

fast tracking

TECHNIQUE. project schedule compression that changes network logic to overlap phases that would normally be done in sequence

finish date

a point in time associated with schedule activity's completion.

finish to finish (FF)

logical relationship where completion of work of the successor activity cannot finish until the completion of work of the predecessor activity.

finish to start (FS)

logical relationship where initiation of work of the successor activity depends on the completion of work of the predecessor activity

firm fixed price contract (FFP)

fixed price contract where the buyer pays the seller a set amount regardless of the sellers costs

fixed price incentive fee contract (FPIF)

buyer pays the seller a set amount (as defined by the contract) and the seller can earn an additional amount if the seller meets defined performance criteria

float

slack. total amount of time that a schedule activity maybe delayed from its early start date without delaying the project finish date or violating a schedule constraint.

flowcharting

TECHNIQUE. depiction in a diagram format of the inputs, process actions, and outputs of one or more processes within a system

forecast

estimate or prediction of conditions and events in the projects future based on information and knowledge available at the time of the forecast. information is based on the project's past performance and expected future performance

forward pass

calculation of the early start and early finish dates for the uncompleted portions of all network activities

free float

amount of time that a schedule activity can be delayed without delaying the early start date of any immediately following schedule activities.

functional manager

someone with management authority over an organizational unit within a functional organization.

functional organization

hierarchal organization where each employee has one clear superior and staff are grouped by areas of specialization and managed by a person with expertise in that area.

Gantt chart

TOOL. graphic display of schedule related information.

grade

category or rank used to distinguish items that have the same functional use but do not share the same requirements for quality

hammock activity

group of related schedule activities aggregated at some summary level and displayed as a single activity at that summary level. same as summary activity.

historical information

documents and data on prior project including project files, records, correspondence, closed contracts, and closed projects

human resource plan

document describing how roles and responsibilities, reporting relationships and staffing management will be addressed and structured for the project

identify risks

PROCESS. determining which risks may affect the project and documenting their characteristics

identify stakeholders

PROCESS. identifying all people or organizations impacted by the project and documenting relevant information regarding their interest, involvement and impact on project success

imposed date

fixed date imposed on a schedule activity or schedule milestone. usually - start no earlier than, finish no later than

influence diagram

TOOL. graphical representation of situations showing causal influences, time ordering of events and other relationships among variables and outcomes

initiating processes

PROCESS GROUP. performed to defined a new project or a new phase of an existing project by obtaining authorization to start the project or phase

input

PROCESS input. any item, internal or external, that is required by a process before that process proceeds

inspection

TECHNIQUE. examining or measuring to verify whether an activity, component, product, result of service conforms to specified requirements.

invitation for bid (IFB)

request for proposal, but may have a narrower or more specific meaning

issue

point or matter in question or dispute. a point that is not settled or is under discussion or over which there are opposing views or disagreements

lag

TECHNIQUE. modification of a logical relationship that directs a delay in the successor activity. activity with a 10 day lag, cannot start until 10 days after an activity is finished

late finish date (LF)

the latest possible point in time that a schedule activity maybe completed based upon schedule network logic, the completion date and any constraints assigned to the schedule activities without violating a schedule constraint or delaying the project completion date. determined during the backward pass

late start date (LS)

the latest possible point in time that a schedule activity may begin based upon the schedule network logic, the project completion date and any constraints assigned to schedule activities without violating schedule constraint or delaying project completion date.

lead

TECHNIQUE. modification that allows an acceleration of the successor activity.

lessons learned

OUTPUT/INPUT. learning gained from the process of performing the project

lessons learned knowledge base

store of historical information and lessons learned about both the outcomes of previous project selection decisions and previous project performance

log

document used to record and describe or denote selected items identified during execution of a process or activity

logical relationship

dependency between two project schedule activities or between project schedule activity and schedule milestone.

manage project team

PROCESS. tracking team member performance, providing feedback, resolving issues and managing changes to optimize project performance

manage stakeholder expectations

PROCESS. communicating and working with stakeholders to meet their needs and address issues as they occur

master schedule

TOOL. summary level project schedule that identifies the major deliverables and work breakdown structure components and key schedule milestones

material

the aggregate of things used by an organization in any undertaking such as equipment, apparatus, tools, machinery, gear, material.

matrix organization

structure in which the project manager shares responsibility with the functional managers for assigning priorities and directing the work of persons assigned to the project

methodology

system of practices, techniques, procedures and rules used by those who work in a discipline

milestone

significant point or event in the project

milestone schedule

TOOL. summary level schedule that identifies the major schedule milestone

monitor

collect project performance data with respect to a plan, produce performance measures and report and disseminate performance information

monitor and control project work

PROCESS. tracking, reviewing, regulating the progress to meet the performance objectives defined in the project management plan

monitor and control risks

PROCESS. implementing risk response plans, tracking identified risks, monitoring residual risks, identifying new risks and evaluating risk process throughout the project

monitor and controlling processes

PROCESS GROUP. processes required to track, review and regulate the progress and performance of the project, identify any areas in which changes to the plan are required and initiate the corresponding changes.

Monte Carlo analysis

technique that computes or iterates the project cost or project schedule many times using input values selected at random from probability distributions of possible costs or durations, to calculate a distribution of total project costs or completion dates

Monte Carlo simulation

process which generates hundreds or thousands of probable performance outcomes based on probability distributions for cost and schedule on individual tasks. the outcomes are used to generate a probability distribution for a project as a whole.

near critical activity

schedule activity that has a low total float.

network logic

collection of schedule activity dependencies that makes up a project schedule network diagram

network path

any continuous series of schedule activities connected with logical relationships in a project schedule network diagram

node

one of the defining points of a schedule network; a junction point joined to some or all of the other dependency lines

objective

something toward which work is to be directed, a strategic position to be attained, or a purpose to be achieved, a result to be obtained, a product to produced or a service to be performed

opportunity

a condition or situation favorable to the project, a positive set of circumstances, a positive set of events, a risk that will have a positive impact.

organizational breakdown structure (OBS)

TOOL. hierarchically organized depiction of the project organization arranged so as to relate the work packages to the performing organizational units

organizational process assets

OUTPUT/INPUT. any of all process related assets, from any or all of the organizations involved in the project that are or can be used to influence the project's success. these process assets include formal or informal plans, policies, procedures and guidelines. include organizations knowledge bases such as lessons learned and historical information

output

PROCESS OUTPUT. a product, result or service generated by a process

parametric estimating

TECHNIQUE. an estimating technique that uses a statistical relationship between historical data and other variables (sq. foot in construction, lines of code in software development) to calculate an estimate for activity parameters such as scope, cost, budget, and duration

pareto chart

TOOL. a histogram, ordered by frequency of occurrence, that shows how many results were generated by each identified cause

path convergence

the merging or joining of parallel schedule network paths into the same node in a project schedule network diagram. characterized by a schedule activity with more than one predecessor activity

path divergence

extending or generating parallel schedule network paths from the same node in a project schedule network diagram. characterized by schedule activity with more than one successor activity

percent complete

estimate of the amount of work that has been completed on an activity or a work breakdown structure component

perform integrated change control

PROCESS. reviewing all change requests, approving changes, and managing changes to the deliverables, organizational process assets, project documents and project management plan

performance measurement baseline

approved integrated scope-schedule-cost plan for the project work against which project execution is compared to measure and manage performance

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