Glossary of terms related to Project Management-Alphabet A to C
Giving below a comprehensive repository of terms/definitions and concepts as per the latest PMI PMBOK 6th Edition and presented in an alphabetically sorted order.
1) This robust database explains various terms/definitions are designed to help you prepare for the PMP exam as well as for use in your daily Software Development/Testing related Project Management activities.
2) This encyclopedia is an excellent self-study tool for all IT professionals involved in the Project Management activities.
(Alphabets J, K, U, X, Y & Z are not included yet)
Alphabet – A
Acceptance Criteria is the exit criteria which a component or system is expected to satisfy in order to be accepted by the stakeholder of the project.
Activity is a component of work performed during the course of a project.
Activity Attributes refers to multiple attributes associated with each schedule activity that can be included within the activity list. Activity attributes include activity codes, predecessor activities, successor activities, logical relationships, leads and lags, resource requirements, imposed dates, constraints, and assumptions.
Activity Code refers to one or more numerical or text values that identify characteristics of the work or in some way categorize the schedule activity that allows filtering and ordering of activities within reports.
The time in calendar units between the start and finish of a schedule activity. See also duration.
Activity Identifier is a short unique numeric or text identification assigned to each schedule activity to differentiate that project activity from other activities. It is typically unique within any one project schedule network diagram.
Activity List is a documented tabulation of schedule activities that shows the activity description, activity identifier, and a sufficiently detailed scope of work description so project team members understand what work is to be performed.
Actual Cost (AC):
Actual Cost refers to total costs actually incurred and recorded in accomplishing work performed during a given time period for a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Actual cost can sometimes be direct labor hours alone, direct costs alone, or all costs including indirect costs. It is also known as the actual cost of work performed (ACWP). Please refer earned value management and earned value technique also.
Actual Cost of Work Performed (ACWP):
Please refer to Actual Cost (AC) above
Actual Duration is the time in calendar units between the actual start date of the scheduled activity and either the data date of the project schedule if the schedule activity is in progress or the actual finish date if the schedule activity is complete.
Administer Procurements refers to the process of managing procurement relationships, monitoring contract performance, and making changes and corrections as needed.
Analogous Estimating is an estimating technique that uses the values of parameters, such as scope, cost, budget, and duration or measures of scale such as size, weight, and complexity from a previous, similar activity as the basis for estimating the same parameter or measure for a future activity.
Application Area refers to a category of projects that have common components significant in such projects but are not needed or present in all projects. Application areas are usually defined in terms of either the product (i.e., by similar technologies or production methods or the type of customer (i.e., internal versus external, government versus commercial) or industry sector (i.e., utilities, automotive, aerospace, information technologies, etc.). Application areas can overlap.
Approved Change Request:
Approved Change Request refers to a change request that has been processed through the integrated change control process approved.
Assumptions are factors that, for planning purposes, are considered to be true, real, or certain without proof or demonstration.
Assumptions Analysis is a technique that explores the accuracy of assumptions and identifies risks to the project from inaccuracy, inconsistency, or incompleteness of assumptions.
Authority refers to the right to apply project resources, expend funds, make decisions, or give approvals.
Alphabet – B
Backward Pass refers to the calculation of late finish dates and late start dates for the uncompleted portions of all scheduled activities. It is determined by working backward through the schedule network logic from the project’s end date. See also schedule network analysis.
Baseline is an approved plan for a project, plus or minus approved changes. It is compared to actual performance to determine if performance is within acceptable variance thresholds. Generally refers to the current baseline, but may refer to the original or some other baseline. Usually used with a modifier (e.g., cost performance baseline, schedule baseline, performance measurement baseline, technical baseline).
Baseline documents are the documents, which have been approved by the customer and will not have any more changes. Baseline Documents cover all the details of the project and have undergone “walkthrough” process. Once a document is Base-lined it cannot be changed unless there is a change request duly approved by the competent authority.
Bottom-up Estimating refers to a method of estimating a component of work. The work is decomposed into more detail. An estimate is prepared of what is needed to meet the requirements of each of the lower, more detailed pieces of work, and these estimates are then aggregated into a total quantity for the component of work. The accuracy of bottom-up estimating is driven by the size and complexity of the work identified at the lower levels.
Brainstorming is a general data gathering and creativity technique that can be used to identify risks, ideas, or solutions to issues by using a group of team members or subject-matter experts.
Budget is the approved estimate for the project or any work breakdown structure component or any schedule activity. See also estimate.
Budget at Completion (BAC):
Budget at Completion is the sum of all the budgets established for the work to be performed on a project or a work breakdown structure component or a schedule activity. The total planned value for the project.
Budgeted Cost of Work Performed (BCWP):
Refer Earned Value (EV)
Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled (BCWS):
Refer to Planned Value (PV)
Buyer refers to the acquirer of products, services, or results for an organization.
Alphabet – C
Calendar Unit refers to the smallest unit of time used in scheduling a project. Calendar units are generally in hours, days, or weeks, but can be in quarter years, months, shifts, or even in minutes.
Change Control refers to identifying, documenting, approving or rejecting, and controlling changes to the project baselines.
Change Control Board (CCB):
Change Control Board is a formally constituted group of stakeholders responsible for reviewing, evaluating, approving, delaying, or rejecting changes to a project, with all decisions and recommendations being recorded.
Change Control System:
Change Control System is a collection of formal documented procedures that define how project deliverables and documentation will be controlled, changed, and approved. In most application areas, the change control system is a subset of the configuration management system.
Change Request refers to the requests to expand or reduce the project scope, modify policies, processes, plans or procedures, modify costs or budgets, or revise schedules.
Refer to Project Charter.
Claim refers to a request, demand, or assertion of rights by a seller against a buyer, or vice versa, for consideration, compensation, or payment under the terms of a legally binding contract, such as for a disputed change.
Close Procurements refers to the process of completing each project procurement.
Close Project or Phase:
Close Project or Phase refers to the process of finalizing all activities across all of the Project Management Process Groups to formally complete the project or phase.
Closing Processes refers to those processes performed to finalize all activities across all Project Management Process Groups to formally close the project or phase.
Co-location refers to an organization placement strategy where the project team members are physically located close to one another in order to improve communication, working relationships, and productivity.
Code of Accounts:
Code of Accounts refers to any numbering system used to uniquely identify each component of the work breakdown structure.
Collect Requirements is the process of defining and documenting stakeholders’ needs to meet the project objectives.
Common Cause is a source of variation that is inherent in the system and predictable. On a control chart, it appears as part of the random process variation (i.e., variation from a process that would be considered normal or not unusual), and is indicated by a random pattern of points within the control limits. It is also referred as random cause. It is a contrast with special cause.
Communication Management Plan:
Communication Management Plan refers to the document that describes: the communications needs and expectations for the project; how and in what format information will be communicated; when and where each communication will be made; and who is responsible for providing each type of communication. The communication management plan is contained in or is a subsidiary plan of, the project management plan.
Conduct Procurements refers to the process of obtaining seller responses, selecting a seller, and awarding a contract.
Configuration Management System:
Configuration Management System refers to a subsystem of the overall project management system. It is a collection of formal documented procedures used to apply technical and administrative direction and surveillance to: identify and document the functional and physical characteristics of a product, result, service, or component; control any changes to such characteristics; record and report each change and its implementation status; and the support the audit of the products, results, or components to verify conformance to requirements. It includes the documentation, tracking systems, and defined approval levels necessary for authorizing and controlling changes.
Constraint is the state, quality, or sense of being restricted to a given course of action or inaction. It is an applicable restriction or limitation, either internal or external to a project, which will affect the performance of the project or a process. For example, a schedule constraint is any limitation or restraint placed on the project schedule that affects when a schedule activity can be scheduled and is usually in the form of fixed imposed dates.
Contingency Reserve refers to the amount of funds, budget, or time needed above the estimate to reduce the risk of overruns of project objectives to a level acceptable to the organization.
A contract is a mutually binding agreement that obligates the seller to provide the specified product or service or result and obligates the buyer to pay for it.
Control refers to comparing actual performance with planned performance, analyzing variances, assessing trends to effect process improvements, evaluating possible alternatives, and recommending appropriate corrective action as needed.
Control Account refers to a management control point where scope, budget (resource plans), actual cost, and schedule are integrated and compared to earned value for performance measurement. See also work package.
Control Chart refers to a graphic display of process data over time and against established control limits, and that has a centerline that assists in detecting a trend of plotted values toward either control limit.
Control Costs refers to the process of monitoring the status of the project to update the project budget and managing changes to the cost baseline.
Control Limits refers to the area composed of three standard deviations on either side of the centerline, or mean, of a normal distribution of data plotted on a control chart that reflects the expected variation in the data. See also specification limits.
Control Schedule is the process of monitoring the status of the project to update project progress and managing changes to the schedule baseline.
Control Scope is the process of monitoring the status of the project and product scope and managing changes to the scope baseline.
Corrective Action refers to documented direction for executing the project work to bring expected future performance of the project work in line with the project management plan.
Cost Management Plan:
Cost Management Plan is a document that sets out the format and establishes the activities and criteria for planning, structuring, and controlling the project costs. The cost management plan is contained in, or is a subsidiary plan of, the project management plan.
Cost of Quality (COQ):
Cost of Quality refers to a method of determining the costs incurred to ensure quality. Prevention and appraisal costs of (cost of conformance) include costs for quality planning, quality control (QC), and quality assurance to ensure compliance to requirements (i.e., training, QC systems, etc.). Failure costs (cost of non-conformance) include costs to rework products, components, or processes that are non-compliant, costs of warranty work and waste, and loss of reputation.
Cost Performance Baseline:
Cost Performance Baseline refers to a specific version of the time-phased budget used to compare actual expenditures to planned expenditures to determine if preventive or corrective action is needed to meet the project objectives.
Cost Performance Index (CPI):
Cost Performance Index is a measure of cost efficiency on a project. It is the ratio of earned value (EV) to actual costs (AC). CPI = EV divided by AC.
Cost Variance (CV):
Cost Variance is a measure of cost performance on a project. It is the difference between earned value (EV) and actual cost (AC). CV = EV minus AC.
Cost-Plus-Fixed-Fee (CPFF) Contract:
Cost-Plus-Fixed-Fee Contract is a type of cost-reimbursable contract where the buyer reimburses the seller for the seller’s allowable costs (allowable costs are defined by the contract) plus a fixed amount of profit (fee).
Cost-Plus-Incentive-Fee (CPIF) Contract:
Cost-Plus-Incentive-Fee Contract is a type of cost-reimbursable contract where the buyer reimburses the seller for the seller’s allowable costs (allowable costs are defined by the contract), and the seller earns its profit if it meets defined performance criteria.
Cost-Reimbursable Contract is a type of contract involving payment to the seller for the seller’s actual costs, plus a fee typically representing seller’s profit. Cost-reimbursable contracts often include incentive clauses where, if the seller meets or exceeds selected project objectives, such as schedule targets or total cost, then the seller receives from the buyer an incentive or bonus payment.
Crashing refers to a specific type of project schedule compression technique performed by taking action to decrease the total project schedule duration after analyzing a number of alternatives to determine how to get the maximum schedule duration compression for the least additional cost. Typical approaches for crashing a schedule include reducing schedule activity durations and increasing the assignment of resources on schedule activities. See also fast tracking and schedule compression.
Create WBS (Work Breakdown Structure):
Create WBS is the process of subdividing project deliverables and project work into smaller, more manageable components.
Criteria refers to the standards, rules, or test on which judgment or decision can be based, or by which a product, service, result, or process can be evaluated.
Critical Activity refers to any schedule activity on a critical path in a project schedule. It is most commonly determined by using the critical path method. Although some activities are “critical”, in the dictionary sense, without being on the critical path, this meaning is seldom used in the project context.
Critical Chain Method:
Critical Chain Method refers to a schedule network analysis technique that modifies the project schedule to account for limited resource.
Critical Path refers generally, but not always, to the sequence of schedule activities that determines the duration of the project. It is the longest path through the project. See also critical path methodology.
Critical Path Methodology (CPM):
Critical Path Methodology refers to a schedule network analysis technique used to determine the amount of scheduling flexibility (the amount of float) on various logical network paths in the project schedule network, and to determine the minimum total project duration. Early start and finish dates are calculated by means of a forward pass, using a specified start date. Late start and finish dates are calculated by means of a backward pass, starting from a specified completion date, which sometimes is the project early finish date determined during the forward pass calculation. See also critical path.