APM Project Management Glossary Flashcards

Terms Definitions
The formal process of accepting delivery of a product or a deliverable.
Acceptance criteria
Performance requirements and essential conditions that have to be achieved before project deliverables are accepted.
Acceptance test
Formal, predefined test conducted to determine the compliance of the deliverable item(s) with the acceptance criteria.
Accrued cost
Costs that are earmarked for the project and for which payment is due, but has not been made.
A task, job, operation or process consuming time and possibly other resources. The smallest self contained unit of work used to define the logic of a project.
Activity duration
The length of time (hours, days, weeks, months) that it takes to complete an activity.
Precedence diagram — a network diagram in which the nodes symbolise the activities.
Actual cost
The incurred costs that are charged to the project budget and for which payment is made or accrued.
Actual dates (start or finish)
The dates on which activities started and finished, as opposed to planned or forecast dates.
Actual expenditure
The money that has already been paid.
Actual time expended
The elapsed time from the beginning of an activity to date.
Approval to proceed
Approval given to the project at initiation or prior to the beginning of the next stage.
Statements that will be taken for granted as fact and upon which the project business case will be justified.
Systematic retrospective examination of the whole, or part, of a project or function to measure conformance with predetermined standards. Note: audit is usually qualified, for example, financial audit, quality audit, design audit, project audit, and health and safety audit.
A response to a threat that eliminates its probability or impact on the project.
Backward pass
A procedure whereby the latest event times or the latest finish and start times for the activities of a network are calculated.
Balanced matrix
An organisational matrix where functions and projects have the same priority.
Bar chart
A chart on which activities and their durations are represented by lines drawn to a common time scale. See Gantt chart.
Reference levels against which the project is monitored and controlled.
Baseline cost(s)
The amount of money that a project or activity was intended to cost when the project plan was baselined.
Baseline date(s)
The original planned start and finish dates for a project or an activity when the schedule was baselined.
Baseline schedule
The baseline schedule is a fixed project schedule. It is the standard by which project performance is measured.
The quantifiable and measurable improvement resulting from completion of project deliverables that is perceived as positive by a stakeholder. It will normally have a tangible value and be expressed in monetary terms that will justify the investment.
Benefits management
The identification of the benefits (of a project or programme) at an organisational level and the tracking and realisation of those benefits.
Benefits management plan
A plan that specifies who is responsible for achieving the benefits set out in the benefits profiles and how achievement of the benefits is to be measured, managed and monitored.
Benefits realisation
The practice of ensuring that the outcome of a project produces the projected benefits.
Bottom up cost estimating
An estimating technique based on making estimates for every work package (or activity) in the work breakdown structure and summarising them to provide a total estimate of cost or effort required.
The agreed cost of the project or a quantification of resources needed to achieve an activity by a time, within which the activity owners are required to work.
Budget estimate
An approximate estimate prepared in the early stages of a project to establish financial viability or secure resources.
Time phased financial requirements.
Business as usual
An organisation’s normal day to day operations.
Business case
Provides justification for undertaking a project in terms of evaluating the benefits, cost and risk of alternative options and the rationale for the preferred solution. Its purpose is to obtain management commitment and approval for investment in the project. The business case is owned by the sponsor.
Cash flow
Cash receipts and payments in a specified period.
Cash flow forecast
A prediction of the difference between cash received and payments made during a specific period or for the duration of the project.
Change control
A process that ensures all changes to the project’s baseline scope, cost, time or quality objectives are identified, evaluated, approved, rejected or deferred.
Change control board
A formally constituted group of stakeholders responsible for approving or rejecting changes to the project baselines.
Change log
A record of all project changes, proposed, authorised, rejected or deferred.
Change request
A request to obtain formal approval for changes to the scope, design, methods, costs or planned aspects of a project.
The party to a contract who commissions the work and pays for it on completion.
The process of finalising all project matters, carrying out final project reviews, archiving project information and redeploying the remaining project team. See
The formal end point of a project, either because it has been completed or because it has been terminated early.
The advancement of an installation from the stage of static completion to full working order and achievement of the specified operational requirements.
A binding financial obligation, typically in the form of a purchase order or contract. The amount of money removed from the budget by this obligation.
Committed costs
Costs that are legally committed even if delivery has not taken place with invoices neither raised nor paid.
The giving, receiving, processing and interpretation of information. Information can be conveyed verbally, non-verbally, actively, passively, formally, informally, conciously or unconciously.
Communications planning
The establishment of project stakeholders’ communication and information needs.
Concept (phase)
Concept is the first phase in the project life cycle. During this phase the need, opportunity or problem is confirmed, the overall feasibility of the project is considered and a preferred solution identified.
Functional and physical characteristics of a deliverable (product) as defined in technical documents and achieved in the product.
Configuration audit
A check to ensure that all deliverables (products) in a project conform with one another and to the current specification. It ensures that relevant quality assurance procedures have been implemented and that there is consistency throughout project documentation.
Configuration control
A system to ensure that all changes to configuration items are controlled. An important aspect is being able to identify the interrelationships between configuration items.
Configuration identification
The unique identification of all items within the configuration. It involved breaking down the project into component parts or configuration items, and creating a unique numbering or referencing system for each item, and establishing configuration baselines.
Configuration item
A part a of configuration that has a set function and is designated for configuration management. It identifies uniquely all items within the configuration.
Configuration management
Technical and administrative activities concerned with the creation, maintenance and controlled change of configuration throughout the life of the product. See BS EN ISO 10007 for guidance on configuration management, including specialist terminology.
Configuration status accounting
A record and report of the current status and history of all changes to the configuration. Provides a complete record of what happened to the configuration to date.
Conflict management
The process of identifying and addressing differences that if unmanaged would affect project objectives. Effective conflict management prevents differences becoming destructive elements in a project.
Things that should be considered as fixed or must happen. Restrictions that will affect the project.
The planned allotment of time and cost or other resources for unforseeable risks within a project. Something held in reserve for the unknown.
Contingency plan
Alternative course(s) of action to cope with project risks or if expected results fail to materialise.
A mutually binding agreement in which the contractor is obligated to provide services or products and the buyer is obligated to provide payment for them.
A person, company or firm who holds a contract for carrying out the works and/or the supply of goods in connection with the project.
Cost benefit analysis
An analysis of the relationship between the costs of undertaking a task or project, initial and recurrent, and the benefits likely to arise from the changed situation, initially and recurrently.
Cost breakdown structure (CBS)
The hierarchical breakdown of a project into cost elements.
Cost code
A unique identity for a specified element of work. A code assigned to activities that allow costs to be consolidated according to the elements of a code structure.
Cost estimating
The process of predicting the costs of a project.
Cost performance index (CPI)
A term used in earned value management. A measure, expressed as a percentage or other ration of actual cost to budget plan. The ratio of work accomplished versus work cost incurred for a specified time period. The CPI is an efficiency rating for work accomplished for resources expended.
Cost variance
A term used in earned value management. The difference (positive or negative) between the actual expenditure and the planned/budgeted expenditure.
Critical activity
An activity is termed critical when it has zero or negative float. Alternatively, the activity that has the lowest float on the project.
Critical path
A sequence of activities through a project network from start to finish, the sum of whose durations determines the overall project duration. There may be more than one such path. The path through a series of activites taking into account interdependencies, in which the late completion of activities will have an impact on the project end date or delay a key milestone.
Critical path analysis
The procedure for calculating the critical path and floats in a network.
Definition (phase)
Definition is the second phase of the project life cycle. During this phase the preferred solution is further evaluated and optimised. Often an iteritive process, definition can affect requirements and the project’s scope, time, cost and quality objectives.
The practice of getting others to perform work effectively which one chooses not to do oneself. The process by which authority and responsibility is distributed from project manager to subordinates.
The end products of a project or the measurable results of intermediate activities within the project organisation. See Products.
Something on which successful delivery of the project critically depends, which may often be outside the sphere of influence of the project manager, for example, another project. Alternatively, dependency; a precedence relationship, a restriction that means that one activity has to precede, either in part or in total, another activity.
Design (stage)
A stage within the implementation phase where the design of project deliverables is finalised.
Duration is the length of time needed to complete an activity.
Early finish date
The earliest pssible date by which an activity can finish, within the logical and imposed constraints of the network.
Early start date
The earliest possible date when an activity can start, within the logical and imposed constraints of the network.
Earned value
The value of the useful work done at any point in a project. The value of completed work expressed in terms of the budget assigned to that work. A measure of project progress. Note: the budget may be expressed in cost or labour hours.
Earned value analysis
An analysis of project progress where the actual money, hours (or other measure) budgeted and spent is compared to the value of the work achieved.
The number of labour units necessary to complete the work. Effort is usually expressed in person hours, weeks and days, and should not be confused with duration.
Estimate at completion
The final estimated cost at completion (derived from the earned value calculations).
The use of a range of tools and techniques to produce estimates.
Extended life cycle
A life cycle model that includes the operational life and termination, including disposal and the project deliverables.
Fitness for purpose
The degree to which the project management process and project deliverables satisfy stakeholders’ needs.
Finish date
The actual or estimated time associated with an activity’s completion.
Fixed price contract
A generic category of contracts based on the establishment of firm legal commitments to complete the requried work. A performing contractor is legally obliged to finish the job, no matter how much it costs to complete.
Forward pass
A procedure whereby the earliest event times or the earliest start and finish for the activities of a network are calculated.
Free float
Time by which an activity may be delayed or extended without affecting the start of any succeeding activity.
Functional organisation (structure)
A functional management structure where specific functions of a business are grouped into specialist departments that provide a dedicated service to the whole of the organisation, for example, accounts department, production department, marketing department or IT.
Gantt chart
A particular type of bar chart used in project management showing planned activity against time. A Gantt chart is a time-phased graphic display of activity durations. Activities are listed with other tabular information on the left side with time intervals over the bars. Activity durations are shown in the form of horizontal lines.
Gate review
A formal point in a project where its expected worth, progress, cost and execution plan are reviewed and a decision is made whether to continue with the next phase or stage of the project.
Governance of project management (GoPM)
GoPM concerns those areas of corporate governance that are specifically related to project activities. Effective governance of project management ensures that an organisation’s project portfolio is aligned to the organisation’s objectives, is delivered efficiently and is sustainable
The point in the life cycle where deliverables are handed over to the sponsor and users. See Handover and closeout.
Handover and closeout (phase)
Handover and closeout is the fourth and final phase in the project life cycle. During this phase final project deliverables are handed over to the sponsor and users. Closeout is the process of finalising all project matters, carrying out final project reviews, archiving project information and redeploying the project team.
A graphic display of planned and/or actual resource usage over a period of time. It is in the form of a vertical bar chart, the height of each bar representing the quantity of resource usage in a given time unit. Bars may be single, multiple or show stacked resources.
The assessment of the adverse effects of a risk occuring.
Impact analysis
An assesment of the merits of pursuing a particular course of action or of the potential impact of a requested change.
Implementation (phase)
Implementation is the third phase of the project life cycle where the project management plan (PMP) is executed, monitored and controlled. During this phase the design is finalised and used to build the deliverables.
Incurred costs
The sum of actual and committed costs, whether invoiced/paid or not, at a specified time.
Information management
The collection, storage, dissemination, archiving and appropriate destruction of project information.
Investment appraisal
The appraisal of the value of the project.
Invitation to tender
An invitation to a supplier to tender or bid for the supply of goods or services.
A threat to the project objectives that cannot be resolved by the project manager.
Key performance indicator
Measures of success that can be used throughout the project to ensure that it is progressing towards a successful conclusion.
Latest finish
The latest possible time by which an activity has to finish within the logical activity and imposed constraints of the network, without affecting the total project duration.
Latest start
Latest possible time by which an activity has to start within the logical and imposed constraints of the network, without affecting the total project duration.
The ability to establish vision and direction, to influence and align others towards a common purpose, and to empower and inspire people to achieve project success. It enables the project to proceed in an environment of change and uncertainty.
Matrix organisation
An organisational structure where the project manager and the functional managers share the responsibility of assigning priorities and directing the work. Individuals stay in their functional departments while performing work on one or more projects.
A method provides a consistent framework within which project management is performed.
A key event. An event selected for its importance to the project.
Milestone plan
A plan containing only milestones that highlight key points of the project.
The recording, analysing and reporting of project performance as compared to the plan in order to identify and report deviations.
A search for agreement seeking acceptance, consensus and alignment of views. Negotiation in a project can take place on an informal basis throughout the project life cycle, or on a formal basis, such as during procurement and between signatories to a contract.
Network diagram
A pictorial presentation of project data in which the project logic is the main determinant of the placements of the activities in the drawing. Frequently called a flowchart, PERT chart, logic drawing, activity network or logic diagram.
The points in a network at which arrows start and finish.
Predetermined results toward which effort is directed.
Operations phase
The period during which the completed deliverable is used and maintained in service for its intended purpose.
A positive risk; a risk that if it occurs will have a beneficial effect on the project. A positive aspect of project uncertainty, it may also help to negate threats.
A single corporate entity that is undertaking a project or providing services to a project.
Organisational breakdown structure (OBS)
A hierarchical way in which the organisation may be divided into management levels and groups, for planning and control purposes.
Parametric estimate
An estimating techique that uses a statistical relationship between historic data and other variables (for example, square meterage in construction, lines of code in software development) to calculate an estimate.
Activity or an unbroken sequence of activities in a project network.
An investment appraisal technique.
Percent complete
A measure of the completion status of a partially completed activity. May be aggregated to sections of a project or the whole project.
Phase (of a project)
Part of a project during which a set of related and interlinked processes are performed to attain a designated objective. One of a series of distinct steps in carrying out a project that together constitute the project life cycle.
Phase review
A review that takes place at the end of a life cycle phase. See Gate review.
A plan is an intended future course of action. See Project management plan.
Planned cost
The estimated cost of achieving a specified objective.
The process of identifying the means, resources and actions necessary to accomplish an objective.
A grouping of an organisation’s projects, programmes and related business as usual activities, taking into account resource constraints. Portfolios can be managed at an organisational, programme or functional level.
Portfolio management
The selection and management of all an organisation’s projects, programmes and related operational activities, taking into account resource constraints.
Post project review
Undertaken after the project deliverables have been handed over and before final closeout, this review is intended to produce lessons learnt that will enable continuous improvement.
Precedence network
A multiple dependency network. An activity on node network in which a sequence arrow represents one of four forms of precedence relationship, depending on the positioning of the head and tail of the sequence arrow.
Finish to start
Start of activity depends on the finish of the preceeding activity, either immediately or after a lapse of time.
Finish to finish
Finish of activity depends on the finish of the preceeding activity, either immediately or after a lapse of time.
Start to start
Start of activity depends on the start of the preceeding activity, either immediately or after a lapse of time.
Start to finish
Finish of activity depends on the start of the preceeding activity, either immediately or after a lapse of time.
An activity that must be completed (or be partially completed) before a specified activity can begin.
A project management method created for government projects. It is an acronym for Projects In a Controlled Environment (second version). It is intended to be generic.
The likelihood of a risk occurring.
A set of interrelated resources and activities that transform inputs into outputs.
The process by which the resources (goods and services) required by a project are acquired. It includes develoment of the procurement strategy, preparation of contracts, selection and acquisition of suppliers and management of the contracts.
Product breakdown structure (PBS)
A hierarchy of deliverable products that are required to be produced on the project. This forms the base document from which the execution strategy and product-based work breakdown structure may be derived. It provides a guide for configuration control documentation.
A group of related projects, which may include related business as usual activities, that together achieve a beneficial change of a strategic nature for an organisation.
Programme management
The coordinated management of a group of related projects, which may also include related business as usual activities that together achieve a beneficial change of a strategic nature for an organisation.
Programme management office
The office responsible for the business and technical management of a specific programme.
Programme manager
The individual with responsibility for managing a programme.
Programme support office
A group that gives administrative support to the programme manager and the programme executive.
A unique, transient endeavour undertaken to achieve a desired outcome.
Project appraisal
The discipline of calculating the viability of a project. May be conducted at any time throughout the project.
Project closure
Formal termination of a project at any point during its life.
Project context
The environment within which a project is undertaken. Projects do not exist in a vacuum, and an appreciation of the context within which the project is being performed will assist those involved in project management to deliver a project.
Project evaluation review
A documented review of the project’s performance, produced at predetermined points in the project life cycle.
Project life cycle
All projects follow a life cycle and life cycles will differ across industries and business sectors. A life cycle allows the project to be considered as a sequence of distinct phases that provide the structure and approach for progressively delivering the required outputs.
Project management
The process by which projects are defined, planned, monitored, controlled and delivered, so that benefits can be realised.
Project management plan
A plan for carrying out a project, to meet specific objectives, that is prepared by or for the project manager.
Project manager
The individual responsible and accountable for the successful delivery of the project.
Project office
This serves the organisation’s project management needs. A project office can range from simple support functions for the project manager to responsibility for linking corporate strategy to project execution.
Project organisation (structure)
The project organisation structure provides the maximum authority to the project manager. It provides integration of functional capabilities within projects. However, this leads to duplication of facilities and less efficient use of resources.
Project phase
A group of related project processes and activities that come together with the completion of major deliverable(s).
Project planning
The development and maintenance of a project plan.
Project quality management
The discipline that is applied to ensure that both the outputs of the project, and the processes by which the outputs are delivered, meet the required needs of the stakeholders. Quality is broadly defined as fitness for purpose or, more narrowly, as the degree of conformance of the outputs and process.
Project risk
The exposure of stakeholders to the consequences of variability in outcome.
Project risk management
A structure process that allows individual risk events and overall project risk to be understood and managed proactively thus optimising project success by minimising threats and maximising opportunities.
Project schedule
The timetable for a project. It shows how a project’s activities and milestones are planned over a period of time. It is often shown as a milestone chart, Gantt or other bar chart, or as a tabular listing of dates.
Project sponsorship
An active senior management role, responsible for identifying the business need or problem of opportunity. The sponsor ensures the project remains a viable proposition and that benefits are realised, resolving issues outside the control of the project manager.
Project strategy
A comprehensive definition of how a project will be developed.
Project team
A set of individuals, groups and/or organisations that are responsible to the project manager for working towards a common purpose
Qualitative risk analysis
A generic term for subjective methods of assessing risks that cannot be identified accurately.
The fitness for purpose for the degree of conformance of the outputs of the process.
Quality assurance (QA)
The process of evaluating overall project performance on a regular basis to provide confidence that the project will satisfy the relevant quality standards.
Quality audit
An official examination to determine whether practices conform to specified standards or a critical analysis of whether a deliverable meets quality criteria.
Quality control (QC)
The process of monitoring specific project results to determine if they comply with relevant standards and identifying ways to eliminate causes of unsatisfactory performance.
Quality plan (for a project)
That part of the project plan that concerns quality management and quality assurance strategies.
Quality planning
The process of determining which quality standards are necessary and how to apply them.
Replenishable resource
A resource that when absent or used up, fresh supplies of which can be obtained. Raw materials and money are common examples.
Request for change (RFC)
A proposal for a change to the project.
Request for proposal (RFP)
A bid document used to request proposals from prospective sellers of products or services.
A statement of the need that a project has to satisfy. It should be comprehensive, clear, well structured, traceable and testable.
Requirements management
The process of capturing, analysing and testing the documented statements of stakeholder and user wants and needs.
Any variable capable of definition that is required for the completion of an activity and may constrain the project.
Resource aggregation
A summation of the requirements for each resource, and for each time period.
Resource availability
The level of availability of a resource, which may vary over time.
Resource constraint
A limitation due to the availability of a resource.
Resource histogram
A view of project data in which resource requirements, usage, and availability are shown using vertical bars against a horizontal time scale.
Resource levelling
Resource levelling can be applied to projects when there are resource constraints. Resource levelling forces the amount of work scheduled not to exceed the limits of resources available. This results in either activities being delayed to periods when resources are available. This often results in a longer project duration. It is also known as resource limited scheduling.
Resource planning
Evaluating what resources are needed to complete a project and determining the quantity needed.
Resource scheduling
The process of determining the dates on which activities should be performed in order to smooth the demand for resources, or to avoid exceeding stated constraints on these restraints.
Resource smoothing
A process applied to projects to ensure that resources are used as effectively as possible. It involves utilising float within the project or increasing or decreasing the resources required for specific activities, such that any peaks and troughs of resource usage are smoothed out. This does not affect the project duration. It is also known as time limited scheduling.
Risk evaluation
A process used to determine risk management priorities.
Risk event
An uncertain event or set of circumstances that should it or they occur would have an effect on the achievement of one or more of the project objectives.
Risk identification
The process of identifying project risks.
Risk management
See Project risk management
Risk management plan
A document defining how project risk management is to be implemented in the context of a particular project concerned.
Risk owner
The person who has responsibility for dealing with a particular risk on a project and for identifying and managing responses.
Risk reduction
Action taken to reduce the likelihood and impact of a risk.
Risk register
A body of information listing all the risks identified for the project, explaining the nature of each risk and recording information relevant to its assessment, possible impact and management.
Risk response
Contingency plans to manage a risk should it materialise. Action to reduce the probability of the risk arising, or to reduce the significance of its detrimental impact if it does arise.
Risk transfer
A contractual arrangement between two parties for delivery and acceptance of a product, where the liability for the costs of a risk is transferred from one party to the other.
A schedule is the timetable for a project. It shows how project activities and milestones are planned to occur over a period of time. It is often shown as a Gantt or other bar chart, or as a tabular listing of dates.
Schedule performance index (SPI)
A term used in earned value management. It is the ration of work accomplished versus the work planned, for a specified time period. The SPI is an efficiency rating for work accomplishment, comparing work achieved to what should have been achieved at any point in time.
Schedule variance
A term used in earned value management. The difference between the earned value and the planned cost at any point in time.
Scheduling is the process used to determine the overall project duration. This includes identification of activities and their logical dependencies, and estimating activity durations, taking into account requirements and availability of resources.
The scope is the sum of work content of a project.
Scope change
Any change in a project scope that requires a change in the project’s cost or schedule.
Secondary risk
The risk that may occur as a result of invoking a risk response or fallback plan.
The individual or body for whom the project is undertaken and who is the primary risk taker. The sponsor owns the business case and is ultimately responsible for the project and for delivering the benefits.
A subdivision of a project life cycle phase into a natural subsection with well defined deliverables.
The organisations or people who have an interest or role in the project or are impacted by the project.
Stakeholder analysis
The identification of stakeholder group, their interest levels and the ability to influence the project or programme.
Stakeholder grid
A matrix used as part of a stakeholder analysis to identify the relative importance of stakeholders to a project, for example, by considering their relative power.
Stakeholder identification
The process of identifying stakeholders in a project.
Stakeholder management
The systematic identification, analysis and planning of actions to communicate with and influence stakeholders.
Steering group
A group, usually comprising the sponsor, senior managers and sometimes key stakeholders, whose remit is to set the strategic direction of a project. It gives guidance to the sponsor and project manager. Often referred to as the project board.
Success criteria
The qualitative or quantitative measures by which the success of the project is judged.
Success factors (some may be critical)
Factors that when present in the project environment are most conducive to the achievement of a successful project. The success factors that if absent would cause the project to fail are sometimes termed critical success factors.
A successor is an activity whose start or finish depends on the start or finish of a predecessor activity.
A supplier is a contractor, consultant or any organisation that supplies resources to the project.
The smallest indivisible part of an activity when it is broken down to a level best understood and performed by a specific person or organisation.
A team is made up of two or more people working interdependently toward a common goal and a shared reward.
Team building
The ability to gather the right people to join a project team and get them working together for the benefit of a project.
Team development
Developing skills, as a group and individually, that enhance project performance.
A document proposing to meet a specification in a certain way and at a stated price (or on a particular financial basis). An offer of price and conditions under which the tenderer is willing to undertake work for the client.
Termination (phase)
The disposal of project deliverables at the end of their life.
Three point estimate
An estimate in which the most likely mid-range value, an optimistic value and a pessimistic worst case value are given.
Time now
A specified date from which the forward analysis is deemed to commence. The date to which progress is measured. In earned value analysis, this is the actual time expended or ATE.
Total float
Time by which an activity may be delayed or extended without affecting the total project duration or violating a target finish date.
Total quality management (TQM)
A strategic, integrated management system for customer satisfaction that guides all employees in every aspect of their work.
The group of people who are intended to benefit from the project or who will operate the deliverables.
The total number of hours, people or effort required to complete an activity.
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