PMP Vocabulary

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Terms in this set (280)
An activity is a task that must be performed in order to complete work on the project. Activities are created by further decomposing work packages. The primary difference between a work package and an activity is that a work package is a component of the scope and describes some aspect of the deliverable, while an activity describes the work that must be done in order to complete the work package.
The monitoring and controlling process performed by the buyer to ensure compliance by the seller or other party. Administer Procurements compares performance against terms and conditions specified in the contract to make certain that the seller meets his or her contractual obligations. The seller's performance is typically rated or evaluated by the buyer and is communicated back to the seller.
Costs that are allowed under the terms of the contract. Typically, allowable costs become relevant under certain types of cost-reimbursable contracts where the buyer reimburses the seller's allowable costs. If there are non-allowable costs in a contract, the buyer is not obligated to reimburse the seller for these.
Analogous Estimating / Top-Down EstimatingAn estimating technique that uses the historical information from previously performed activities that are similar in nature, to estimate the effort, duration, or cost needed to complete an activity.Arrow Diagramming MethodThe method that produces activity on arrow (AOA) diagramsAssumptionAnything that is considered to be true while planning. Assumptions should always be documented and validated, and they are often closely linked to constraints.Backward PassA technique used to calculate slack, or float, that begins with the last node of a project network diagram and logically works backward to the start. Using the backward pass technique, each schedule activity's lates start and late finish dates are determined.BaselineThe original approved scope, cost, or schedule, plus all approved changes. Baselines represent the latest approved plan, and they are especially useful for measuring how actual results deviate from the plan.Bottom-Up EstimatingA technique for estimating overall project duration, effort, or costs by estimating the lowest levels of the schedule or work breakdown structure and aggregating those numbers up to the summary nodes on the WBS. Bottom-up estimating is widely considered the relatively accurate, but often tedious, technique for estimating.BrainstormingA technique to gather ideas that involves getting ideas from many participants in a rapid-fire and non-judgmental environment. Ideas are not evaluated until after they all ben gathered.Budgeted at Completion (BAC)The planned (budgeted) amount for the total project. The BAC represents what the project should cost at the point it is completed if everything proceeds according to plan.BufferExtra time or money added to the schedule or budget to allow for unanticipated overruns. Buffers are useful since they allow for some slippage without affecting the overall schedule or budget.Cause-and-Effect / Ishikawa / Fishbone DiagramCause and effect diagrams graphically show the relationships between causes and effects. They are primarily used in risk and quality to help uncover the causes of risks, problems, or issues.Change ControlDeliberately managing change to a project, whether that change is to the scope, cost, schedule, or quality baseline. In change control, changes requests go through a formal process before they are approved or rejected.Change Control BoardA group with formal responsibility for evaluating project change requests. The change control board makes up a part of the overall change control system.Change Control SystemThe procedures for evaluating and managing requested changes to the project. This system varies from project to project and from organization to organization.Change RequestAny requested change to a documented baselineCharterThe document that formally starts the project. It is created in the Develop Project Charter process. It authorizes the project manager to expend organizational resources in order to accomplish the project objective.ChecklistAny set of procedural instructions used to ensure that product or component quality is achieved. Checklists are created in the Plan Quality process and are used in the Perform Quality Control process.ClaimAn issue with performance against the contract brought by one party against another. Claims must be resolved before the contract can be properly closed out.Close ProcurementsOne of two closing processes that focuses on making sure the procurement is completed, the product or service is accepted, and the contract is closed. Even if a contract is terminated early, the process of Close Procurements should be carried out.Close Project or PhaseThe closing process that administratively closes a phase or the overall project. In Close Project or Phase, all final project documentation and project files are completed and lessons learned are documented.Closing ProcessesThe group of processes that focus on closing out the project or an individual phase. Closing processes focus on closing out the contract(s), releasing resources, delivering the product, and gaining formal stakeholder approval.Collect RequirementsA planning process in scope management that documents the stakeholders' needs for the project. The resulting requirements documentation focuses on how the requirement, once it is built, will satisfy the underlying need or meet the opportunity that drove it.Co-locationThe act of physically locating everyone on a project team in the same space or general area. Co-location is used to break down distance barriers and facilitate team-building. A war room where all project team members work together is an example of co-location.CommunicationThe act of accurately encoding, sending, receiving, accurately decoding, and verifying a message. Communication between a sender and a receiver may be formal, informal, oral, or written.Communication ChannelsThe number of possible formal or informal paths of communication on a project. The concept of communication channels is particularly helpful in understanding how the addition a small number of people to a project team can complicate the project manager's job of controlling communications. The formula for calculating communication channels is: n (n-1)/2 where n=the number of people in the communication model.Communications Management PlanThe component of the project plan that specifies communications requirements and how those requirements will be addressed by the project. The communications management plan describes what communications will be provided, to whom, in what format, and how often.Conduct ProcurementsThe executing process in procurement management, where the seller responses are gathered, a seller is selected, and the contract is awarded. Conduct Procurements will only be performed on projects that procure goods or services from outside the organization, but on those projects it may be performed multiple times as needed.ConflictDifference of opinion or agenda on a project among team members or stakeholders. While not all conflict can be resolved to everyone's satisfaction, it is primarily the project manager's job to drive conflict resolution so that the project is not jeopardized.ConsensusA group decision technique where the group agrees to support an outcome, even if the individuals do not all agree with the decision.ConstraintAny external factor that limits the ability to plan. The most common constraints are scope, time, and cost, but they could be any factor, such as the law, weather, or resource availability. Constraints and assumptions are often closely linked.ContingencyAlso known as reserve, contingency is padding time and/or money to the project's schedule or budget to help manage overruns. Contingency may or may not be communicated to project stakeholders, and it may be added at an activity level, at any node on the WBS, or even at an overall project level.Control Account / Cost AccountA node on the WBS where the scope, time, and cost are measured. Control accounts contain one or more work packages and are used to measure earned value. A project may have numerous control accounts placed ont he WBS at nodes where it would be particularly meaningful to measure the earned value of those parts of the project.Control Account ManagerThe individual accountable for the delivery of the work contained in the Control Account to the scope, budget and schedule.Control Account Plan (CAP)The plan for how a given control account will be performed and measured. Since each control account is a division of the overall project, each CAP functions essentially like a mini project plan for that division of work.Control ChartA specialized chart used in statistical process control to help determine whether or not a process is in control. Control charts are often associated with control limits, specification limits, means, standard deviations, and the rule of seven.Control CostsThe process to monitor and control project costs to ensure they align with the plan. Control Costs is proactive to anticipate change and risk factors, as well as reactive to actual factors that affect project costs.Control LimitsThe upper and lower limits, used in statistical process control, that determine whether or not a process is in control. Upper and lower control limits are set at prescribed intervals and measured in standard deviations, above and below the mean. As long as the data points fall between the control limits, the process is in control.Control ScheduleA monitoring and controlling process where the planned schedule is compared with the work performance information. If the project is ahead of schedule or behind schedule, corrective action in the form of changes requests or updates to the plan may be necessary.Control ScopeA monitoring and controlling process that ensures that changes to the scope baseline are properly controlled.Corrective ActionAny action taken to bring future results in line with the plan. Corrective action may change the plan, or the way the plan is executed.CostAny project expenditure. Costs are tracked on numerous levels, but usually tie back to a chart of accounts and nodes on the WBS.Cost Performance Baseline / BudgetThe cost performance baseline is a time-phased plan for when funds will be disbursed on a project. It helps the performing organization anticipate cash flow needs for the project life-cycle. Accuracy is dependent upon a well-defined project scope and schedule, although a summary-level cost baseline is typically supplied with the project charter before the scope and schedule are fully defined.Cost Management PlanThe plan for how project costs will be measured, monitored, and controlled. The cost management plan is created in the Develop Project Management Plan process.Cost of Quality (COQ)The sum of all project costs expended associated with achieving quality. Cost of Quality includes a complete analysis that includes planning, execution, control, the costs of potential alternatives, and the costs of quality failure.Cost Performance Index (CPI)Express as CPI = EV + AC, the CPI is an earned value calculation borrowed from the disciple of cost accounting. The CPI can be useful for predicting future performance based on previous history, as well as for plotting trends over time. Conventional wisdom dictates that a CPI greater than 1 is preferable since that indicated that the project is earning value at a cost that is better than planned.Cost-Plus-Fee (CPF) / Cost-Plus-Percentage-of-Cost (CPPC)A type of contract where the buyer pays the seller's costs for performing contractual duties plus a fee that is tied to the costs. Typically this fee is calculated as a percentage of costs. This contract type places a large portion of the risk on the buyer, as the seller stands to be financially rewarded when costs run high.Cost-Plus-Incentive-Fee Contract (CPIF)A type of contract where the buyer pays the seller's allowable costs for performing contractual duties plus an incentive fee tied to the seller's performance. The incentive is often calculated by the seller's performance at keeping costs down. This contract type distributes the risk between the buyer and the seller.Cost-Plus-Fixed-Fee (CPFF)A type of contract where the buyer pays the seller's allowable costs for performing contractual duties plus a fixed sum for performing the work. The buyer bears the burden on the seller, since the seller's profit is fixed regardless of how long or expensive the contract work is.Cost-Reimbursable Contract (CRC)A type of contract where project costs incurred by the seller are reimbursed by the buyer. In addition, the buyer typically pays the seller an additional fee for the seller's project. Cost-reimbursable contracts often include incentives to the seller to keep costs down, where the seller would share a percentage of the cost savingsCost Variance (CV)Is the earned value minus the actual costs, expressed as CV = EV-AC. Cost variance is useful to represent how project spending is tracking against the plan. A positive cost variance is generally considered to be a good thing, and a negative cost variance indicates overspending and is considered to be undesirable.CrashingApplying additional resources to one or more activities in order to complete the work more quickly. Crashing usually increases cost more than risk and can lead to the law of diminishing returns as resource allocation passes optimal levels. Compare with Fast Tracking.Create WBSThe planning process for creating the work breakdown structure. This process decomposes all of the work necessary to perform the project and organizes it into the work breakdown structure (WBS). The WBS dictionary, which provides expanded information ont he WBS, is also an output of this process.CriteriaObjective measures for acceptance or judging quality.Critical ActivityAny schedule activity that appears on the project's critical path. An activity is designated as critical if its delay would delay the overall project assuming all other activities finished as planned.Critical Chain MethodA technique for managing a project's schedule that focuses on managing the constraints caused by limited human and material resource availability. Based on the Theory of Constraints, the critical chain method manages schedule buggers and emphases flexibility and keeping all resources fully working.Critical PathOne or more combinations of activities from start to finish in a project network diagram, any one of which delayed would delay completion of the entire project.Critical Path MethodA technique of schedule analysis, where the schedule activities are evaluated to determine the float (or slack) for each activity and the overall schedule. The critical path method uses forward pass, backward pass, and float analysis to identify all network paths, including the critical path. The reason this technique is known as the critical path method is that the path of least flexibility and highest risk (ie the critical path) is identified so that it may be managed appropriately.CustomerThe individual or organization who will accept the project's deliverable. The role of customer should not be confused with the sponsor even if the same person fills both roles.Decision TreeA tool used in risk management to analyze risk and the expected monetary value of a decision or event to evaluate the outcome of certain scenarios. Decision trees are used to evaluate uncertainty.DecompositionA technique for progressively breaking down the scope into smaller and smaller components. Decomposition is performed on nodes of the work breakdown structure and typically stops when the decomposed pieces are small enough to be assigned and estimated for time and cost. These smaller nodes (work packages) are later decomposed further into schedule activities.DefectAn issue when the project's product, service, or result does not match the documented scope. Defects are often costly and require rework.Define ActivitiesThe planning process that takes work packages from the work breakdown structure and further decomposes them into schedule activities.Define scopeThe planning process that results in the project scope statement. The goal of this process is to develop a detailed understanding of the scope and to document that understanding.DeliverableA part of the product, or the product itself, that is presented to the customer or stakeholders for acceptance.Delphi TechniqueA form of expert judgment where a group of stakeholders is asked a question or opinion in a way that prevents the people being polled from knowing who the others are. The technique is often used to prevent highly-opinionated stakeholders from influencing the rest of the group.Dependency / Logical RelationshipA relationship between two or mot activities where one activity must be started or completed before another related activity may be started or completed. A Dependency may be mandatory, discretionary, or external to the organization. It is also known as a logical relationship between nodes.Determine BudgetThe planning process where the individual cost estimates are compiled into the cost performance baseline. The cost baseline is a time-phased representation of costs so that stakeholders can see what funds will be needed and when they will be needed.Develop Human Resource PlanThe planning process that determines how the project will be organized in terms of the personnel. Develop Human Resource Plan determines the project roles, the project organizational chart, and the responsibility assignment matrix. The most significant output of this process is the human resource plan, which is a primary component of the project plan.Develop Project CharterAn initiating process where the project charter is produced. This process occurs very early in the project, but also may take place at the beginning of each project phase. The output of this process formally authorizes the project to begin, names the project manager, and provides resources for the project.Develop Project Management PlanThe planning process in which all subsidiary components of the project plan are integrated into a single plan that will drive the rest of the project. The subsidiary components include: the Requirements Management Plan, the Scope Management Plan, the Schedule Management Plan, the Cost Management Plan the Quality Management Plan, the Process Improvement Plan, the Human Resource Plan, the Communications Management Plan, the Risk Management Plan, the Procurement Management Plan the Schedule Baseline, the Cost Performance Baseline, the Scope Baseline, the Change Management Plan, and the Configuration Management Plan.Develop Project TeamThe executing process of enhancing the project team. Develop Project Team focuses on improving the overall sense of teamwork and the individual skills and abilities of the project team members.Develop ScheduleThe planning process where the activities are arranged on a calendar to create a schedule. The project schedule may take several forms and have varying degrees of detail.DictatorshipA group decision technique where one person makes the decisions for the entire group. This technique is generally not viewed favorably when it comes to the exam.Direct and Manage Project ExecutionA high-level executing process as part of integration management that focuses on carrying out the project plan. Direct and Manage Project Execution is closely tied to the process Monitor and Control Project Work, where the performance and quality of the execution is measured against the plan.Direct CostA cost, usually measured and reported in Administer Procurements, that is a direct project expense. Direct costs may include salaries of project workers, materials, and other expenses that are solely for the project. They do not include overhead or shared expenses. Generally, direct cost data is collected and reported as part of the Direct and Manage Project Execution process and becomes part of the Work Performance Information.Distribute InformationThe executing process where information is distributed to the stakeholders according to the communication management plan.Dummy ActivityA part of Activity on Arrow (AOA) project network diagrams where a "false" schedule activity is assigned a duration of 0. A dummy activity, represented as a dashed line between two circular nodes, is used to create logical relationships.DurationThe amount of time needed to complete a schedule activity or work package. Duration is different from effort, since duration is concerned with calendar time, while effort is concerned with work hours. Ex: A schedule activity that takes 8 workers 5 days would require 40 days of effort, but may be possible to complete in the duration of only one workweek. Durations are estimated during the Estimate Activity Durations process.Early Finish Date (EF)Used for schedule activities on project network diagrams, the early finish date is the earliest date possible that an activity could start given all of the constraints, durations, and logical relationships that exist within the schedule.Nominal Group TechniqueBrainstormed ideas are voted upon and sorted by priorityBrainstormingWhere ideas are shared in a rapid-fire setting and are not discussed until everyone is out of ideasDelphi TechniqueA means of gathering expert judgment where the participants do not know who the others are and therefore are not able to influence each other's opinion. The Delphi Technique is designed to prevent groupthink and to find out a participants's real opinion. *Key is you get better, more honest answers from everyone when you agree on anonymityIdea and Mind MappingA technique of diagramming ideas and creating meaningful associations in a graphical format. A mind map helps the team see meaningful associates among ideas.Work PackagesLowest level sub-tasks in the work breakdown structureEarly Start Date (ES)Used for schedule activities on project network diagrams, the early start is the earliest date possible that an activity could be completed given all of the constraints, durations, and logical relationships that exist within the schedule.Earned Value (EV) / Budgeted Cost of Work Performed (BCWP)A cost accounting term representing the value of the work that has actually been completed up to a point in time. EV is different from AC because EV measures what was actually done and how much that is worth, which is different from what has been spent.Earned Value Management (EVM)The cost accounting technique of measuring work completed (earned value) against the plan (planned value). There are various calculations to show past performance and to predict future performance.EffortThe amount of work needed to complete an activityEnterprise Environmental FactorsAny factor outside of the project's control that influences the project. This could include organizational attitudes, culture, reporting relationships, government, the economy, laws, etc.EstimateA numerical representation of cost or time. Estimates should always specify the confidence and expected margin of error.Estimate Activity DurationsThe planning process that estimates how long a schedule activity should take. Activity durations are derived through a variety of methods, but are generally a function of the amount of work to be done, the resources applied to the task, expert judgment, and historical information.Estimate Activity ResourcesThe planning process that estimates the material and human resources needed to perform a schedule activity to completion. This process may be performed before, after, or in parallel with the process of Sequence Activities.Estimate at Completion (EAC)The forecasted amount a project should cost at its end, factoring in all of the performance metrics that have occurred at this point in the project. This is compared to the Budgeted at Complete (BAC).Estimate CostsThe planning process of estimating the costs of activities which have not been performed. Estimate Costs is performed after the scope has been defined, the activities have been decomposed, and the duration and resources for each activity have been estimated. The cost estimates are later mapped back to the WBS and are used to create the budget.Estimate to Complete (ETC)The forecasted amount it will take to finish a project from a point in time going forward. The Estimate to Complete (ETC) factors in known performance metrics. ETC = EAC - ACExecuting Process GroupOne of the five process groups. 8 of the 42 processes are executing. All executing processes and activities focus on carrying out some aspect of the project plan, and on most projects, the majority of project costs are expended during executing processes.Exit Gate / Kill PointA logical point at the end of a project phase, where an independent party reviews that phase's deliverables to determine whether or not thye were completed successfully and the subsequent project phase should be initiated. Exit gates are also commonly referred to as stage gates, phase gates or kill points.Expected Monetary Value (EMV)A method to calculate the value of potential future outcomes, factoring in the possible costs and probability of events. Decision tree analysis is one method that uses expected monetary value.Expert JudgmentUsing knowledgable groups or individuals to assit in project decisions. Expert judgment is a highly favored technique within project management.Fast TrackingPerforming project activities in parallel that would have been performed in sequence. It is most often the discretionary dependencies that are discarded in order to fast track activities. Fast tracking usually results in the project schedule being completed in a shorter timeframe, but it typically increases risk.Finish DateThe date that an activity is predicted (or permitted( to finish, based on the analysis of the schedule.Finish-to-Finish (FF)The successor activity cannot finish before the predecessor activity.Finish-to-Start (FS)The successor activity cannot be started until the preceding activity has finished (most common relationship).Fixed-Price-Incentive-Fee ContractA type of contract where the seller is paid a fixed price for the contract but can also earn an incentive fee, paid by the buyer, for achieving predefined targets related to the seller's contract performance.Fixed-Price Contract (aka Lump Sum)A contract that specifies a fixed price for the deliverable paid by the buter to the seller.Float (slack)The amount of time a schedule activity could be delated without impacting the finish date of the projectFlowchartingA graphical, logical representation of a sequence. In project management, flowcharts are most often used in the area of quality to determine how one set of inputs may lead to one more outcomes.Forward PassA technique for calculating the early start and early finish dates of schedule activities. The forward pass is part of the critical path method and is paired with a backward pass to determine activity and schedule float and the critical path.Free FloatThe amount of time a schedule activity may slip without impacting the start of any other activities. Free float is often confused with float, but it is different in that float is concerned with disrupting the finish date of the project and the critical path, while free float is concerned with disrupting the planed start or finish of any successor schedule activity.Functional ManagerA manager of a department or functional group within an organization.Functional OrganizationA very common type of organization that has strong (vertical) departments, organized around function or expertise. In a functional organization, the functional manager generally has more organizational power than the project manager, and project management may struggle to receive significant support, recognition, or authority.GatekeeperThe person responsible for evaluating the project deliverables between phases at the phase exit gates. The gatekeeper is preferably an impartial person from senior management who does not work directly on the project.GradeA way of evaluating the product's suitability for use. Low grade may be acceptable, depending on the application; however, low quality is never acceptable.Ground RulesRules of conduct that apply to the entire project team. Ground rules are adopted by the team to establish behavioral norms among the members.Hammock ActivityAn activity that summarizes other schedule activities. While the project execution occurs at the lower (sub) activity level, hammock activities are used for tracking and reporting purposes. Most times, a hammock activity groups activities that would not be related through the WBS.HistogramA statistical tool that uses a column chart to show frequency of occurrence of a particular item. Used in quality management to determine statistical trends and identify issues or problems.Historical InformationAny information from previous projects that has been archived by the performing organization. Historical information can be used to help evaluate future project decisions.Identify RisksThe planning process of anticipating all of the risks that could happen on the project. Common tools used to facilitate risk identification include checklist analysis, diagramming techniques, SWOT analysis, and expert judgment.Identify StakeholdersThe initiating process where all of the groups or people who will be considered on this project are identified. The resulting stakeholder register documents their names, their interest, and their involvement on the project.Imposed DateA date that is provided to the project and may not be moved. An imposed date may come from internal sources, such as senior management, or external sources, such as a government entity. Imposed dates are treated as constraints during Estimate Activity Durations and Develop Schedule.Indirect CostA cost, usually tracked as part of a contract, that is not expended directly for the project's benefit. Indirect costs include such things as overhead and management expense that may be shared by things other than a single project. How indirect costs are tracking and accounted for varies depending on the organization or the contract.Influence DiagramA chart showing how a set of influencers may affect outcomes. Influence diagrams are used as a tool in the Identify Risks process, along with flowcharting and cause and effect diagrams.InfluencerStakeholders who can positively or negatively affect the project due to their ability to influence the customer, the performing organization, or the project team.Initiating Process GroupThe processes that take place early in a project or project phase. Initiating processes are involved with starting (chartering) the project or phase and the identification of stakeholders.InputSomething needed or used by a process to create the outputs for that processInspectionReviewing the functionality or suitability of a product, service, or result against the requirements. The desired result of inspection is acceptance.Knowledge AreaOne of the competency domains within project management. The 42 processes of project management are grouped into nine knowledge areas.LagChanging the finish-to-start relationship between two schedule activities so that the dependent activity cannot start until a given amount of time after its preceding activity finishes. Lags are used to represent calendar time that must elapse when no actual work is taking place by project resources.Late Finish Date (LF)The latest possible date a schedule activity can finish without impacting the critical path, assuming all estimated durations are accurate. The late finish (LF) is calculated as follows: LF = EF + float, or by performing a backward pass on the project network diagram.Late State Date (LS)The latest possible date a schedule activity can start without impacting the critical path, assuming all estimated durations are accurate. The late start is calculated as follows: LS = ES + Float, or by performing a backward pass on the project network diagram.LeadChanging the finish-to-start relationship between two schedule activities so that the dependent activity can start before preceding activity finishes. Leads are used to efficiently manage the schedule and get a head start on certain activities where possible.Lessons LearnedThe formally documented information the team has acquired during execution of the project. Lessons learned specifically focus on variances in the project and document how the team would plan or execute differently if they had a specific component of the project to perform again.Level of Effort (LOE)Supporting work that does not produce an actual deliverable such as support or follow-up activities. Level of effort is often difficult to measure effectively and to relate back to a product or service. It is tracked and reported at a high level.MajorityA group decision technique where a simply majority of votes is enough to make a decisionManage Project TeamThe executing process of directing the project team to complete the work of the project plan, monitoring their performance, and working to improve performance and resolve issues where necessary.Manage Stakeholder ExpectationsThe executing process where the project team communicates with stakeholders to ensure their needs are addressed and their issues are resolved.Matrix OrganizationAn increasingly popular organization that is a hybrid between a functional and projectized organizationMethodologyA set of steps to manage a project. Methodologies are an organization's specific implementation of the process of project management. They typically include checklists, procedures, and document templates.MilestoneA notable event in the project. A milestone may be a date, a project deliverable, or any significant point of interest.Milestone ScheduleA high-level schedule that shows only significant schedule points. A milestone schedule is often supplied along with the project charter, where the milestones become schedule constraints.Monitor and Control RisksThe process that reviews the risks that have and have not occurred on the project and evaluates how the execution of the risk management plan lines up to the plan itself.Monitor and Control Project WorkA high-level integration process used to ensure that the project work being performed matches the plan. If the results do not line up with the plan, either the way the work is being performed is altered, or the plan is changed to reflect a more realistic scenario.Monitoring and Controlling ProcessesOne of the five process groups. Monitoring and controlling processes constitute 10 of the overall 42 processes which generally measure the work results against the plan and make adjustments or take corrective action where variances exist.Monte Carlo AnalysisThe risk management technique used to compute large numbers of possible scenarios and identify areas of high risk. Monte Carlo analysis almost always performed by computer due to the high numbers of scenarios considered. The output is a range of possible schedule due dates and costs.NetworkingThe tool used to build or leverage existing relationships to help complete the project work.NodeA point on a project network diagram. In activity on node diagrams, a node represents a schedule activity, while in activity on arrow diagrams, a node is simply a connecting point.OperationsOngoing activities needed to continue business. Operations are not considered part of a project, but they often are considered part of a program.OpportunityAnything that could have a positive impact on the project's scope, schedule or cost. Opportunities are also considered as risks to the project, as they represent uncertainty.Opportunity CostThe value of a project that was not performed so that another one could be. Opportunity cost is typically calculated by taking the value of the best alternative that was passed up.Organization ChartA chart that shows the reporting relationships among a group of people working for an organization or for a project.Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS)A chart that relates work packages to the parties in the organization responsible for their completion.Organizational Process AssetsAll historical information or knowledge that an organization has at its disposal, which may be used to help future projects. Examples of organizational process assets would include templates, forms, research results, WBS, quality standard, benchmarks, previous plans, contracts, etc.OutputSomething coming out of a processParametric EstimatingUsing organization process assets such as historical data to formulate estimates based on past performance or resultsPareto ChartA column chart, or histogram, used in quality management to show problems and help the team to know where to focus their efforts based on frequency of the problem.PathA series of schedule activities that have a relationship that carries through from the project's start to the finishPath ConvergenceA point at which two or more network paths convergePercent CompleteAn estimated or actual value showing how much of the activity's work has been completedPerform Integrated Change ControlThe monitoring and controlling process where requested and unrequested changes are reviewed according to the change control system. Perform Integrated Change Control focuses on changes to the product, service, or result as well as the organizational process assets that endure past the project.Perform Qualitative Risk AnalysisA planning process to look at non-quantifiable aspects of each risk. Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis prioritizes risks using the probability impact matrix, according to which risks have the highest factors of likelihood and potential impact.Perform Quality AssuranceThe executing process that focuses on the overall quality activities to ensure that all of the plans are being followed and that the project meets the quality requirements. Contrast with "Perform Quality Control" below.Perform Quality ControlThe monitoring and controlling process that focuses on work product quality. Perform Quality Control is different from Perform Quality Assurance in that Perform Quality Control inspects actual work products and tests them against requirements, while Perform Quality Assurance looks at the overall quality process to ensure that it is being followed and that it is working effectively.Perform Quantitative Risk AnalysisThe planning process where all risks are analyzed and assigned a value as it relates to the risk's impact on the project. Risks are typically quantified in terms of potential impact on budget or schedule so they may be weighed against the risk tolerance of the key stakeholders.Performance ReportsThe primary output of the Report Performance process. Performance reports give performance information on past, present and forecasted future performance.Performing OrganizationThe organization responsible for executing the projectPhaseA grouping of project activities. Many projects are divided into two or more phases in order to provide a point where the deliverables can be evaluated. Phases are separated by exit gates where someone who does not directly work with the project evaluates the deliverables to determine whether or not the next phase is initiated.Plan CommunicationsThe planning process that analyzes the project, the stakeholders, and the communications needs of the project and creates the communications management plan.Plan ProcurementsThe planning process where the project team performs make-or-buy analysis and decides what goods and services will be created or performed internally and what will be procured from external sources. Additionally, the procurement documents are created, and potential sellers are identified.Plan QualityThe planning process where quality targets are identified. Plan Quality also determines how these targets will be met and spells out how the other two quality processes (Perform Quality Assurance and Perform Quality Control) will be carried out.Plan Risk ManagementThe process that creates the risk management plan. Plan Risk Management focuses on planning for the five subsequent risk processes.Plan Risk ResponsesThe planning process that determines how each identified risk will be mitigated, avoided, transferred, shared, exploited, enhanced, or accepted.Planned Finish DateThe date a schedule activity should be finished if that activity's work begins on time and is completed according to plan.Planned Start DateThe date work on a schedule activity should begin according to the planPlanned Value (PV) / Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled (BCWS)An earned value management term representing the value that should have been realized on the project at a given point in the schedule. Planned Value (PV) is contrasted with Earned Value (EV).Planning ProcessesThe process group containing all of the processes associated with planning or creating a planPluralityA group decision technique where the largest block of individuals decides the outcome. Plurality differs from Majority in that plurality does not require more than 50% to be in agreement.PMBOK GuideA guide to the Project Management Body of KnowledgePortfolioA group of projects intended to achieve a business result. A portfolio usually refers to all of the projects in an organization.Position DescriptionA document describing the responsibilities of a specific project team role. For most positions, the position description should be created in advance of filling the position. This document can be a useful tool for recruiting.Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM)The technique that uses the analysis of logical relationships to create Activity on Node diagrams.Preventive ActionAction taken proactively in order to prevent or avoid anticipated future problems. Preventive action is tied to risk management.Probability and Impact MatrixA graphical risk analysis tool that plots the likelihood of each risk event on the Y axis, and the risk event's potential impact on the X axis. The X and Y values are multiplied together to give a risk score. Risks with the highest scores are prioritized higher for analysis and response.ProcedureA set of rules to be followed in order to achieve a desired resultProcessA set of inputs, tools and techniques, used together to produce one or more specific outputs for the project. There are 42 processes of project management which make up the core of the PMBOK Guide. Each process is organized so that it belongs to one knowledge area and one process group.Process GroupAn organization of the 42 processes of PM by overall overall function. Every process is assigned to a single process group according to whether its purpose is initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, or closing the project.Procurement Management PlanThe component of the project plan that is used to manage one or more contracts that exist on the project.ProductThe primary deliverable of the project. Projects may produce products, services, or results, and these must be accepted by the customer or sponsor.Product Life CycleThe different market phases of a project. Not to be confused with project life cycle.Product ScopeAll of the requirements and functionality necessary to create an acceptable product, service, or result.Product Scope DescriptionA document that describes the characteristic of the project's product. The product scope description is progressively elaborated. Its main purpose is to help create a common understanding of the product among stakeholders.ProgramA group of related projects, managed together, usually to realize some common efficiencies. Programs may also include ongoing operations, which individual projects do not have.Program ManagementCoordinated management of two or more projects in order to realize common efficiency.Program Management OfficeThe group within the performing organization responsible for establishing project standards, supporting with expert knowledge, and providing templates and a repository for organizational process assets and other historical information.Progressive ElaborationAn iterative approach where planning occurs in cycles rather than up front. Projects which use progressive elaboration typically do some planning, some execution, some monitoring and controlling, and then repeat that cycle.ProjectA time-limited undertaking to deliver a unique product, service, or outcome.Project CalendarA calendar that is specific to this project, factoring in the constraints of all participating organizations and geographical and demographic regions. Shows working days and non-working days.Project CharterThe document that creates the projectProject Life CycleA group of project phases specified by an organization's project management methodology. The project life cycle is made of up of all of the project phases, viewed as a whole.Project Management Information System (PMIS)The system used to support management of the project. It serves as a repository for information and a tool to help with communication and tracking. The PMIS supports the project from beginning to end.Project Management Office (PMO)A group within the performing organization responsible for providing standards and guidance to projects and project managersProject Management Plan / Project planThe plan for how the project will be managed. The project management plan is a formal, approved document composed of the other planning documents. Once approved, the project management plan is placed under control.Project Management SystemAll of the processes, people, tools and techniques, and methodologies used to manage the project. Same as project plan.Project Organization ChartA graphical chart depicting reporting relationships of all team members, specifically for this project. A project organization chart may differ from the standard organization chart in that it is not unusual for a project manager to have someone who ranks higher than him in the organization reporting to him on the project.Project ScheduleA central component of the project plan that prescribes when activities should take place and in what order.Project ScopeAll of the work to be performed on the project. The project scope is documented in the project scope statement and the WBS.Project Scope StatementThe document that states the project requirements by describing objectives, deliverables, boundaries, and acceptance criteria.Projectized OrganizationAn organizational structure that is arranged around projects. Gives PMs a lot of authority.QualityConformance to specificationsQuality Management PlanThe plan which specifies how the quality policy will be implemented on a projectRegulationA requirement that must be followed, issued by an authorityReport PerformanceThe monitoring and controlling process in communications management that creates the performance reports. These reports distribute information that show how the project is progressing against the plan.Request for Information (RFI)Issued by a buyer to potential sellers to supply information relevant to the procurement processRequest for Proposal (RFP)A formal document, issued by the buyer to potential sellers. Potential sellers respond to the request for proposal with a proposal for how they would satisfy the buyer's request. The response should answer all of the questions asked by the buyer in the RFP.Request for Quotation (RFQ)A formal document, issued by the buyer to potential sellers. An RFQ typically requests pricing on pre-existing products or offerings. Potential sellers respond to the request for quotation with pricing.RequirementSomething the product or service must do or satisfy in order to satisfy an underlying needReserveTime or funding that is added to the schedule or budget to protect against overrun. Reserve is used so that the project manager can deal with routine overruns without having to reformulate the cost or schedule baselines after each individual slippage.Reserve AnalysisA technique used to determine how much cost or schedule reserve is appropriate for a given activity, WBS node, or time or funding category.Residual RiskRisks that remain after planning has been completed. All projects carry some residual risks.ResourcesPeople, organizations, or materials that can be used on a project.Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS)A graphical organizational chart that groups resources together by their functionResource CalendarA calendar that shows the dates project resources will be in use on the project and days when they will not be used. This facilitates making these resources available to other projects or needs within the organization.Resource HistogramA column chart that graphically represents when a resource will be in use on the project. Resource histograms provide a good visual representation of how project resources will be used over time.Resource LevelingThe technique of making the resource requirements match up with the organizational realities. One application of resource leveling would be to try to ensure that all resources work a 40 hour week and that no overtime is incurred.Responsibility Assignment MatrixA grid where the work packages are represented in the rows, and the resources are represented in the columns.ReworkAnything done to make a product or service conform to specificationsRiskAny unknown on the project. Risks may be positive or negative.Risk AcceptanceThe decision to deal with the risk if and when it occurs. When risk acceptance is employed, no additional planning or steps will be taken before the risk event occurs.Risk AvoidanceTaking steps to eliminate the project risk. Moving a project site from a potentially hazardous location would be an example of risk avoidance.Risk Breakdown StructureA graphical chart showing risk organized into categories. The organization of a risk breakdown structure will vary from project to project.Risk DatabaseThe risk database contains all information on identified risks throughout the life of the project. The risk database will be used by future projects to assist in risk analysis.Risk EnhancementA risk management strategy for making a positive uncertainty even better for the project. Ex: Labor is cheaper overseas so move the entire project over there.Risk ExploitationA risk management strategy for making a positive uncertainty more likely to occurRisk Management PlanThe component of the project plan that shows how subsequent risk processes and activities will be performedRisk MitigationLooking to decrease either the likelihood of an identified risk's occurrence, or its impact on the project if it does occurRisk RegisterThe document containing all identified risks relevant to the project. The risk register contains information about each risk and is updated throughout the project.Risk TransferenceThe risk response technique of shifting the risk to another entity, usually a subcontractor or a vendor specializing in that type of risk. Firm fixed price contracts would be one type of risk transference, as would be purchasing an insurance policy that protected the project.RoleThe part a person will play on the projectRolling Wave PlanningA planning technique that does not seek to answer all questions or plan all project activities at the beginning. Instead, only imminent project activities are planned in detail, while activities further in the future as planned at a higher level.Root Cause AnalysisA technique that places a premium on understanding the underlying reasons behind a problem rather than focusing on the problem or symptom. Root cause analysis is used in quality management as a tool to prevent future defects.Scatter DiagramA chart that plots events against a dependent and an independent variable to identify correlation and spot trends. Scatter diagrams are most often used in quality management, specifically in the Perform Quality Control process.Schedule Management PlanThe plan for how the project schedule will be measured, monitored, and controlled. The schedule management plan is created in the Develop Project Management Plan process.Sequence ActivitiesThe planning process of Sequence Activities takes the schedule activities from the activity list and sequences them according the other in which they must be performed.SponsorThe person responsible for funding the project. The sponsor is typically someone from senior management and may or may not be the same person as the customerStart to StartA logical relationship between nodes in a project network diagram. A start-to-start relationship between two scheduled activities indicates that the successor activity cannot start until the predecessor activity starts.SystemThe rules, processes, procedures, people and other elements that support an outcome or process. Several systems are defined in project management, including the project management information system, the change control system, and the work authorization system.TaskA schedule activityTo-Complete Performance Index (TCPI)The performance the project would need to achieve to end on target. In this case, a lower index is good, since it means that you could underperform and still meet your target, while an index of greater than one is bad since you are essentially saying that you would need to overperform against the plan in order to meet your goals or targets.TeamThe entire group responsible for planning, executing, and monitoring and controlling the projectTemplateA document that serves as a starting point for a particular outputThreatAnything that potentially jeopardizes the project's planned scope, time or cost. Due to their uncertainty, threats are considered to be risks.Three-Point Estimate / PERT EstimateA technique for estimating duration or cost. The three-point estimate uses a pessimistic, optimistic, and realistic estimate to calculate. Estimate = (P + 4R + O)/6Time & Materials Contract (T&M)A type of contract where the buyer reimburses the seller for the seller's time at a predefined rate, and for material expenses the seller incurs on the project. A pure time and materials contract shifts the primary risk to the buyer, as there are no direct financial incentives for the seller to control labor or material costs.Tornado DiagramA graphical chart used in Perform Quantitative Analysis. Tornado diagrams show how sensitive the project is to risk by depicting the effect of a single variable change, while holding all other variables steady.Total FloatThe sum of all time that an individual activity can slip from its early start date without affecting the finish date of the project.Total Quality Management (TQM)A philosophy of quality management that focuses on bringing quality into the entire organization. TQM became popular in the second half of the twentieth century by expanding the view of quality beyond the product to include all people and processes within an organization. Feigenbaum, Deming, Juran, Crosby, and Ishikawa are considered to be the primary architects of TQM.Trend AnalysisA statistical forecasting technique to predict results related to scope, time or cost by plotting a trend line based on previous performance. Run charts are often used in trend analysis to create trend lines.TriggerA warning sign that a risk has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur.Triple ConstraintThe intersection of scope, time, and cost on a project. The triple constraint emphasizes that one of these cannot change without affecting at least one of the other two.UnanimityA group decision technique where everyone on the team must agree with the decision before a decision is made. A jury is a common example where unanimity is used.Value EngineeringThe practice of trying to get more out of the project in every way. The goal of value engineering is to decrease costs, increase the bottom line, improve quality, and shorten the schedule, without negatively affecting the scope.VarianceA difference between the plan and the executed results.Variance at Complete (VAC)The difference between what was budgeted and what is forecasted to have been spent. The VAC is calculated by subtracting the estimate at complete from the budgeted at completed, or VAC = BAC - EACVerify ScopeThe monitoring and controlling process of inspecting project deliverables and gaining their formal acceptance from the appropriate stakeholdersVerificationInspecting the product, service, or result to ensure that the scope is implemented completelyWar RoomA centralized room for project planning that may also be used for execution and other project activities. A common use of the war room is to co-locate the team for a period of time.Work Authorization SystemPart of the overall project management information system (PMIS), the work authorization system is used to ensure that work gets performed at the right time and in the right sequence. It may be an informal email sent by the project manager to a functional manager, or a formal system to get an assigned resource released to complete scheduled work.Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)A graphical, hierarchical chart composed of nodes that are logically organized from top to bottom. The WBS represents all of the work and only the work to be performed on the project. Each node ont he WBS has a unique number used to locate and identify it.WBS DictionaryCompanion document to the WBS that lists time and cost estimates, the person or group responsible for the deliverable, due dates, further descriptions, etc.Work PackageThe lowest hierarchical level of the work breakdown structure. Work packages represent deliverables on the project and should be small enough to estimate for cost and duration.Work Performance InformationInformation on how the work is being performed, gathered during the executing processes. Work performance information begins to flow as soon as the work is executed. Among other things, it includes the status of deliverables, how things are performing against cost and schedule goals, and how the product measures up against quality standards.WorkaroundA response to an unplanned risk event