PMI Terms and Definitions


Based on a Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)

– A

Accept. The act of formally receiving or acknowledging something and regarding it as being true, sound, suitable, or complete.

Acceptance. See accept.

Acceptance Criteria. Those criteria, including performance requirements and essential conditions, which must be met before project deliverables are accepted.

Acquire Project Team [Process]. The process of obtaining the human resources needed to complete the project.

Activity. component of work performed during the course of a project. See also schedule activityActivity Attributes [Output/Input]. Multiple attributes associated with each schedule activity that can be included within the activity list. Activity attributes include activity codespredecessor activitiessuccessor activitieslogical relationshipsleads and lagsresource requirements, imposed dates, constraints, and assumptions.

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

Activity Definition [Process]. The process of identifying the specific schedule activities that need to be performed to produce the various project deliverables.

Activity Description (AD). A short phrase or label for each schedule activity used in conjunction with an activity identifier to differentiate that project schedule activity from other schedule activities. The activity description normally describes the scope of work of the schedule activity.

Activity Duration. The time in calendar units between the start and finish of a schedule activity. See also actual durationoriginal duration, and remaining duration.

Activity Duration Estimating [Process]. The process of estimating the number of work periods that will be needed to complete individual schedule activities.

Activity Identifier. A short unique numeric or text identification assigned to each schedule activity to differentiate that project activity* from other activities. Typically unique within any one project schedule network diagram.

Activity List [Output/Input]. A documented tabulation of schedule activities that shows the activity descriptionactivity identifier, and a sufficiently detailed scope of work description so project team members understand what work is to be performed.

Activity-on-Arrow (AOA). See arrow diagramming method.

Activity-on-Node (AON). See precedence diagramming method.

Activity Resource Estimating [Process]. The process of estimating the types and quantities of resources required to perform each schedule activity.

Activity Sequencing [Process]. The process of identifying and documenting dependencies among schedule activities.

Actual Cost (AC). Total costs actually incurred and recorded in accomplishing work performed during a given time period for a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Actual cost can sometimes be direct labor hours alone, direct costs alone, or all costs including indirect costs. Also referred to as the actual cost of work performed (ACWP). See also earned value management and earned value technique.

Actual Cost of Work Performed (ACWP). See actual cost (AC).

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

Actual Finish Date (AF). The point in time that work actually ended on a schedule activity. (Note: In some application areas, the schedule activity is considered “finished” when work is “substantially complete.”)

Actual Start Date (AS). The point in time that work actually started on a schedule activity.

Analogous Estimating [Technique]. An estimating technique that uses the values of parameters, such as scopecostbudget, 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. It is frequently used to estimate a parameter when there is a limited amount of detailed information about the project (e.g., in the early phases). Analogous estimating is a form of expert judgment. Analogous estimating is most reliable when the previous activities are similar in fact and not just in appearance, and the project team members preparing the estimates have the needed expertise.

Application Area. A category of projects that have common components significant in such projects, but are not needed or present in all projects. Application areas are usually defined  in terms of either the product (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). Application areas can overlap.

Apportioned Effort (AE). Effort applied to project work that is not readily divisible into discrete efforts for that work, but which is related in direct proportion to measurable discrete work efforts. Contrast with discrete effort.

Approval. See approve.

Approve. The act of formally confirming, sanctioning, ratifying, or agreeing to something.

Approved Change Request [Output/Input]. A change request that has been processed through the integrated change control process and approved. Contrast with requested change.

Arrow. The graphic presentation of a schedule activity in the arrow diagramming method or a logical relationship between schedule activities in the precedence diagramming method.

Arrow Diagramming Method (ADM) [Technique]. A schedule network diagramming technique in which schedule activities are represented by arrows. The tail of the arrow represents the start, and the head represents the finish of the schedule activity. (The length of the arrow does not represent the expected duration of the schedule activity.) Schedule activities are connected at points called nodes (usually drawn as small circles) to illustrate the sequence in which the schedule activities are expected to be performed. See also precedence diagramming method.

As-of Date. See data date.

Assumptions [Output/Input]. Assumptions are factors that, for planning purposes, are considered to be true, real, or certain without proof or demonstration. Assumptions affect all aspects of project planning, and are part of the progressive elaboration of the project. Project teams frequently identify, document, and validate assumptions as part of their planning process. Assumptions generally involve a degree of risk.

Assumptions Analysis [Technique]. A technique that explores the accuracy of assumptionsand identifies risks to the project from inaccuracy, inconsistency, or incompleteness of assumptions.

Authority. The right to apply project resources*, expend funds, make decisions, or give approvals.

– B

Backward Pass. The calculation of late finish dates and late start dates for the uncompleted portions of all schedule activities. Determined by working backwards through the schedule network logic from the project’s end date. The end date may be calculated in a forward passor set by the customer or sponsor. See also schedule network analysis.

Bar Chart [Tool]. A graphic display of schedule-related information. In the typical bar chart, schedule activities or work breakdown structure components are listed down the left side of the chart, dates are shown across the top, and activity durations are shown as date-placed horizontal bars. Also called a Gantt chart.

Baseline. The approved time phased plan (for a project, a work breakdown structure component, a work package, or a schedule activity), plus or minus approved project scopecost, schedule, and technical changes. Generally refers to the current baseline, but may refer to the original or some other baseline. Usually used with a modifier (e.g., cost baseline, schedule baseline, performance measurement baseline, technical baseline). See also performance measurement baseline.

Baseline Finish Date. The finish date of a schedule activity in the approved schedule baseline. See also scheduled finish date.

Baseline Start Date. The start date of a schedule activity in the approved schedule baseline. See also scheduled start date.

Bill of Materials (BOM). A documented formal hierarchical tabulation of the physical assemblies, subassemblies, and components needed to fabricate a product.

Bottom-up Estimating [Technique]. A method of estimating a component of work. Th 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. Generally smaller work scopes increase the accuracy of the estimates.

Brainstorming [Technique]. A general data gathering and creativity technique that can be used to identify risks, ideas, or solutions to issues by using a group of team members or subject-matter experts. Typically, a brainstorming session is structured so that each participant’s ideas are recorded for later analysis.

Budget. The approved estimate for the project or any work breakdown structure component or any schedule activity. See also estimate.

Budget at Completion (BAC). The sum of all the budget values established for the work to be performed on a project or a work breakdown structure component or a schedule activity. The total planned value for the project.

Budgeted Cost of Work Performed (BCWP). See earned value (EV).

Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled (BCWS). See planned value (PV).

Buffer. See reserve.

Buyer. The acquirer of productsservices, or results for an organization.

– C

Calendar Unit. The smallest unit of time used in scheduling the project. Calendar units are generally in hours, days, or weeks, but can also be in quarter years, months, shifts, or even in minutes. Change Control. Identifying, documenting, approving or rejecting, and controlling changes to the project baselines*.

Change Control Board (CCB). A formally constituted group of stakeholders responsible for reviewing, evaluating, approving, delaying, or rejecting changes to the project, with all decisions and recommendations being recorded.

Change Control System [Tool]. A collection of formal documented procedures that define how project deliverables and documentation will be controlled, changed, and approved. In most application areas the change control system is a subset of the configuration management system.

Change Request. Requests to expand or reduce the project scope, modify policies, processes, plans, or procedures, modify costs or budgets, or revise schedules. Requests for a change can be direct or indirect, externally or internally initiated, and legally or contractually mandated or optional. Only formally documented requested changes are processed and only approved change requests are implemented.

Chart of Accounts [Tool]. Any numbering system used to monitor project costs* by category (e.g., labor, supplies, materials, and equipment). The project chart of accounts is usually based upon the corporate chart of accounts of the primary performing organization. Contrast with code of accounts.

Charter. See project charter.

Checklist [Output/Input]. Items listed together for convenience of comparison, or to ensure the actions associated with them are managed appropriately and not forgotten. An example is a list of items to be inspected that is created during quality planning and applied during quality control.

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

Close Project [Process]. The process of finalizing all activities across all of the project process groups to formally close the project or phase.

Closing Processes [Process Group]. Those processes performed to formally terminate all activities of a project or phase, and transfer the completed product to others or close a cancelled project.

Code of Accounts [Tool]. Any numbering system used to uniquely identify each component of the work breakdown structure. Contrast with chart of accounts.

Co-location [Technique]. An organizational placement strategy where the project team members are physically located close to one another in order to improve communication, working relationships, and productivity.

Common Cause. A source of variation that is inherent in the system and predictable. On a control chart, it appears as part of the random process variation (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. Also referred to as random cause. Contrast with special cause.

Communication. process through which information is exchanged among persons using a common system of symbols, signs, or behaviors.

Communication Management Plan [Output/Input]. The document that describes: the communications needs and expectations for the project; how and in what format information will be communicated; when and where each communication will be made; and who is responsible for providing each type of communication. A communication management plan can be formal or informal, highly detailed or broadly framed, based on the requirements of the project stakeholders. The communication management plan is contained in, or is a subsidiary plan of, the project management plan.

Communications Planning [Process]. The process of determining the information and communications needs of the project stakeholders: who they are, what is their level of interest and influence on the project, who needs what information, when will they need it, and how it will be given to them.

Compensation. Something given or received, a payment or recompense, usually something monetary or in kind for productsservices, or results provided or received. Component. A constituent part, element, or piece of a complex whole.

Configuration Management System [Tool]. A subsystem of the overall project management system. It is a collection of formal documented procedures used to apply technical and administrative direction and surveillance to: identify and document the functional and physical characteristics of a product, result, service, or component; control any changes to such characteristics; record and report each change and its implementation status; and support the audit of the products, results, or components to verify conformance to requirements. It includes the documentation, tracking systems, and defined approval levels necessary for authorizing and controlling changes. In most application areas, the configuration management system includes the change control system.

Constraint [Input]. The state, quality, or sense of being restricted to a given course of action or inaction. An applicable restriction or limitation, either internal or external to the project, that 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. A cost constraint is any limitation or restraint placed on the project budget such as funds available over time. A project resource constraint is any limitation or restraint placed on resource usage, such as what resource skills or disciplines are available and the amount of a given resource available during a specified time frame.

Contingency. See reserve.

Contingency Allowance. See reserve.

Contingency Reserve [Output/Input]. The amount of fundsbudget, or time needed above the estimate to reduce the risk of overruns of project objectives to a level acceptable to the organization.

Contract [Output/Input]. A contract is a mutually binding agreement that obligates the seller to provide the specified product or service or result and obligates the buyer to pay for it.

Contract Administration [Process]. The process of managing the contract and the relationship between the buyer and seller, reviewing and documenting how a seller is performing or has performed to establish required corrective actions and provide a basis for future relationships with the seller, managing contract related changes and, when appropriate, managing the contractual relationship with the outside buyer of the project.

Contract Closure [Process]. The process of completing and settling the contract, including resolution of any open items and closing each contract.

Contract Management Plan [Output/Input]. The document that describes how a specific contract will be administered and can include items such as required documentation delivery and performance requirements. A contract management plan can be formal or informal, highly detailed or broadly framed, based on the requirements in the contract. Each contract management plan is a subsidiary plan of the project management plan.

Contract Statement of Work (SOW) [Output/Input]. A narrative description of products, services, or results to be supplied under contract.

Contract Work Breakdown Structure (CWBS) [Output/Input]. A portion of the work breakdown structure for the project developed and maintained by a seller contracting to provide a subproject or project component.

Control [Technique]. 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 (CA) [Tool]. A management control point where the integration of scope, budget, actual cost, and schedule takes place, and where the measurement of performance will occur. Control accounts are placed at selected management points (specific componentsat selected levels) of the work breakdown structure. Each control account may include one or more work packages, but each work package may be associated with only one control account. Each control account is associated with a specific single organizational component in the organizational breakdown structure (OBS). Previously called a Cost Account. See also work package.

Control Account Plan (CAP) [Tool]. A plan for all the work and effort to be performed in a control account. Each CAP has a definitive statement of workschedule, and time-phased budget. Previously called a Cost Account Plan.

Control Chart [Tool]. 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 Limits. 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.

Controlling. See control.

Corrective Action. Documented direction for executing the project work to bring expected future performance of the project work in line with the project management plan.

Cost. The monetary value or price of a project activity* or component that includes the monetary worth of the resources required to perform and complete the activity or component, or to produce the component. A specific cost can be composed of a combination of cost components including direct labor hours, other direct costs, indirect labor hours, other indirect costs, and purchased price. (However, in the earned value management methodology, in some instances, the term cost can represent only labor hours without conversion to monetary worth.) See also actual cost and estimate.

Cost Baseline. See baseline.

Cost Budgeting [Process]. The process of aggregating the estimated costs of individual activities or work packages to establish a cost baseline.

Cost Control [Process]. The process of influencing the factors that create variances, and controlling changes to the project budget.

Cost Estimating [Process]. The process of developing an approximation of the cost of the resources needed to complete project activities*.

Cost Management Plan [Output/Input]. The document that sets out the format and establishes the activities and criteria for planning, structuring, and controlling the project costs. A cost management plan can be formal or informal, highly detailed or broadly framed, based on the requirements of the project stakeholders. The cost management plan is contained in, or is a subsidiary plan, of the project management plan.

Cost of Quality (COQ) [Technique]. Determining the costs incurred to ensure quality. Prevention and appraisal costs (cost of conformance) include costs for quality planning, quality control (QC), and quality assurance to ensure compliance to requirements (i.e., training, QC systems, etc.). Failure costs (cost of non-conformance) include costs to rework productscomponents, or processes that are non-compliant, costs of warranty work and waste, and loss of reputation.

Cost Performance Index (CPI). 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. A value equal to or greater than one indicates a favorable condition and a value less than one indicates an unfavorable condition.

Cost-Plus-Fee (CPF). A type of cost reimbursable contract where the buyer reimburses the seller for seller’s allowable costs for performing the contract work and seller also receives a fee calculated as an agreed upon percentage of the costs. The fee varies with the actual cost.

Cost-Plus-Fixed-Fee (CPFF) Contract. A type of cost-reimbursable contract where the buyer reimburses the seller for the seller’s allowable costs (allowable costs are define by the contract) plus a fixed amount of profit (fee).

Cost-Plus-Incentive-Fee (CPIF) Contract. A type of cost-reimbursable contract where the buyer reimburses the seller for the seller’s allowable costs (allowable costs are defined by the contract), and the seller earns its profit if it meets defined performance criteria.

Cost-Plus-Percentage of Cost (CPPC). See cost-plus-fee.

Cost-Reimbursable Contract. A type of contract involving payment (reimbursement) by the buyer to the seller for the seller’s actual costs, plus a fee typically representing seller’s profit. Costs are usually classified as direct costs or indirect costs. Direct costs are costs incurred for the exclusive benefit of the project, such as salaries of full-time project staff. Indirect costs, also called overhead and general and administrative cost, are costs allocated to the project by the performing organization as a cost of doing business, such as salaries of management indirectly involved in the project, and cost of electric utilities for the office. Indirect costs are usually calculated as a percentage of direct costs. 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.

Cost Variance (CV). A measure of cost performance on a project. It is the algebraic difference between earned value (EV) and actual cost (AC). CV = EV minus AC. A positive value indicates a favorable condition and a negative value indicates an unfavorable condition.

Crashing [Technique]. 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 schedule compression and see also fast tracking.

Create WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) [Process]. The process of subdividing the major project deliverables and project work into smaller, more manageable componentsCriteria. Standards, rules, or tests on which a judgment or decision can be based, or by which a productserviceresult, or process can be evaluated.

Critical Activity. Any schedule activity on a critical path in a project schedule. Most commonly determined by using the critical path method. Although some activities are “critical,” in the dictionary sense, without being on the critical path, this meaning is seldom used in the project context.

Critical Chain Method [Technique]. A schedule network analysis technique* that modifies the project schedule to account for limited resources. The critical chain method mixes deterministic and probabilistic approaches to schedule network analysis.

Critical Path [Output/Input]. Generally, but not always, the sequence of schedule activities that determines the duration of the project. Generally, it is the longest path through the project. However, a critical path can end, as an example, on a schedule milestone that is in the middle of the project schedule and that has a finish-no-later-than imposed date schedule constraint. See also critical path method.

Critical Path Method (CPM) [Technique]. 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 durationEarly start and finish dates* are calculated by means of a forward pass, using a specified start dateLate 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.

Current Finish Date. The current estimate of the point in time when a schedule activity will be completed, where the estimate reflects any reported work progress. See also scheduled finish date and baseline finish date.

Current Start Date. The current estimate of the point in time when a schedule activity will begin, where the estimate reflects any reported work progress. See also scheduled start date and baseline start date.

Customer. The person or organization that will use the project’s product or service or result. (See also user).

– D

Data Date (DD). The date up to or through which the project’s reporting system has provided actual status and accomplishments. In some reporting systems, the status information for the data date is included in the past and in some systems the status information is in the future. Also called as-of date and time-now date.

Date. A term representing the day, month, and year of a calendar, and, in some instances, the time of day.

Decision Tree Analysis [Technique]. The decision tree is a diagram that describes a decision under consideration and the implications of choosing one or another of the available alternatives. It is used when some future scenarios or outcomes of actions are uncertain. It incorporates probabilities and the costs or rewards of each logical path of events and future decisions, and uses expected monetary value analysis to help the organization identify the relative values of alternate actions. See also expected monetary value analysis.

Decompose. See decomposition.

Decomposition [Technique]. A planning technique that subdivides the project scope and project deliverables into smaller, more manageable components, until the project work associated with accomplishing the project scope and providing the deliverables is defined in sufficient detail to support executingmonitoring, and controlling the work.

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

Defect Repair. Formally documented identification of a defect in a project component with a recommendation to either repair the defect or completely replace the component.

Deliverable [Output/Input]. Any unique and verifiable productresult, or capability to perform a service that must be produced to complete a process, phase, or project. Often used more narrowly in reference to an external deliverable, which is a deliverable that is subject to approval by the project sponsor or customer. See also product, service, and result.

Delphi Technique [Technique]. An information gathering technique used as a way to reach a consensus of experts on a subject. Experts on the subject participate in this technique anonymously. A facilitator uses a questionnaire to solicit ideas about the important project points related to the subject. The responses are summarized and are then recirculated to the experts for further comment. Consensus may be reached in a few rounds of this process. The Delphi technique helps reduce bias in the data and keeps any one person from having undue influence on the outcome.

Dependency. See logical relationship.

Design Review [Technique]. A management technique used for evaluating a proposed design to ensure that the design of the system or product meets the customer requirements, or to assure that the design will perform successfully, can be produced, and can be maintained.

Develop Project Charter [Process]. The process of developing the project charter that formally authorizes a project.

Develop Project Management Plan [Process]. The process of documenting the actions necessary to define, prepare, integrate, and coordinate all subsidiary plans into a project management plan.

Develop Project Scope Statement (Preliminary) [Process]. The process of developing the preliminary project scope statement that provides a high level scope narrative.

Develop Project Team [Process]. The process of improving the competencies and interaction of team members to enhance project performance.

Direct and Manage Project Execution [Process]. The process of executing the work defined in the project management plan to achieve the project’s requirements defined in the project scope statement.

Discipline. A field of work requiring specific knowledge and that has a set of rules governing work conduct (e.g., mechanical engineering, computer programming, cost estimating, etc.).

Discrete Effort. Work effort that is directly identifiable to the completion of specific work breakdown structure components and deliverables, and that can be directly planned and measured. Contrast with apportioned effort.

Document. A medium and the information recorded thereon, that generally has permanence and can be read by a person or a machine. Examples include project management plansspecificationsprocedures, studies, and manuals

Documented Procedure. A formalized written description of how to carry out an activityprocesstechnique, or methodology.

Dummy Activity. schedule activity of zero duration used to show a logical relationship in the arrow diagramming method. Dummy activities are used when logical relationships cannot be completely or correctly described with schedule activity arrows. Dummy activities are generally shown graphically as a dashed line headed by an arrow.

Duration (DU or DUR). The total number of work periods (not including holidays or other nonworking periods) required to complete a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Usually expressed as workdays or workweeks. Sometimes incorrectly equated with elapsed time. Contrast with effort. See also original durationremaining duration, and actual duration.

– E

Early Finish Date (EF). In the critical path method, the earliest possible point in time on which the uncompleted portions of a schedule activity (or the project) can finish, based on the schedule network logic, the data date, and any schedule constraints. Early finish dates can change as the project progresses and as changes are made to the project management plan.

Early Start Date (ES). In the critical path method, the earliest possible point in time on which the uncompleted portions of a schedule activity (or the project) can start, based on the schedule network logic, the data date, and any schedule constraints. Early start dates can change as the project progresses and as changes are made to the project management plan.

Earned Value (EV). The value of completed work expressed in terms of the approved budget assigned to that work for a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Also referred to as the budgeted cost of work performed (BCWP).

Earned Value Management (EVM). A management methodology for integrating scope, schedule, and resources, and for objectively measuring project performance and progress. Performance is measured by determining the budgeted cost of work performed (i.e., earned value) and comparing it to the actual cost of work performed (i.e., actual cost). Progress is measured by comparing the earned value to the planned value.

Earned Value Technique (EVT) [Technique]. A specific technique for measuring the performance of work for a work breakdown structure componentcontrol account, or project. Also referred to as the earning rules and crediting method.

Effort. The number of labor units required to complete a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Usually expressed as staff hours, staff days, or staff weeks. Contrast with duration.

Enterprise. A company, business, firm, partnership, corporation, or governmental agency.

Enterprise Environmental Factors [Output/Input]. Any or all external environmental factors and internal organizational environmental factors that surround or influence the project’s success. These factors are from any or all of the enterprises involved in the project, and include organizational culture and structure, infrastructure, existing resources, commercial databases, market conditions, and project management software.

Estimate [Output/Input]. A quantitative assessment of the likely amount or outcome. Usually applied to project costs, resources, effort, and durations and is usually preceded by a modifier (i.e., preliminary, conceptual, feasibility, order-of-magnitude, definitive). It should always include some indication of accuracy (e.g., ±x percent).

Estimate at Completion (EAC) [Output/Input]. The expected total cost of a schedule activity, a work breakdown structure component, or the project when the defined scope of work will be completed. EAC is equal to the actual cost (AC) plus the estimate to complete(ETC) for all of the remaining work. EAC = AC plus ETC. The EAC may be calculated based on performance to date or estimated by the project team based on other factors, in which case it is often referred to as the latest revised estimate. See also earned value technique and estimate to complete.

Estimate to Complete (ETC) [Output/Input]. The expected cost needed to complete all the remaining work for a schedule activitywork breakdown structure component, or the project. See also earned value technique and estimate at completion.

Event. Something that happens, an occurrence, an outcome.

Exception Report. Document that includes only major variations from the plan (rather than all variations).

Execute. Directing, managing, performing, and accomplishing the project work, providing the deliverables, and providing work performance information.

Executing. See execute.

Executing Processes [Process Group]. Those processes performed to complete the workdefined in the project management plan to accomplish the project’s objectives defined in the project scope statement.

Execution. See execute.

Expected Monetary Value (EMV) Analysis. A statistical technique that calculates the average outcome when the future includes scenarios that may or may not happen. A common use of this technique is within decision tree analysis. Modeling and simulation are recommended for cost and schedule risk analysis because it is more powerful and less subject to misapplication than expected monetary value analysis.

Expert Judgment [Technique]. Judgment provided based upon expertise in an application areaknowledge areadiscipline, industry, etc. as appropriate for the activity being performed. Such expertise may be provided by any group or person with specialized education, knowledgeskill, experience, or training, and is available from many sources, including: other units within the performing organization; consultants; stakeholders, including customers; professional and technical associations; and industry groups.

– F

Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) [Technique]. An analytical procedure in which each potential failure mode in every component of a product is analyzed to determine its effect on the reliability of that component and, by itself or in combination with other possible failure modes, on the reliability of the product or system and on the required function of the component; or the examination of a product (at the system and/or lower levels) for all ways that a failure may occur. For each potential failure, an estimate is made of its effect on the total system and of its impact. In addition, a review is undertaken of the action planned to minimize the probability of failure and to minimize its effects.

Fast Tracking [Technique]. A specific project schedule compression technique that changes network logic to overlap phases that would normally be done in sequence, such as the design phase and construction phase, or to perform schedule activities in parallel. See schedule compression and see also crashing.

Finish Date. A point in time associated with a schedule activity’s completion. Usually qualified by one of the following: actual, planned, estimated, scheduled, early, late, baseline, target, or current.

Finish-to-Finish (FF). The logical relationship where completion of work of the successor activity cannot finish until the completion of work of the predecessor activity. See also logical relationship.

Finish-to-Start (FS). The logical relationship where initiation of work of the successor activity depends upon the completion of work of the predecessor activity. See also logical relationship.

Firm-Fixed-Price (FFP) ContractA type of fixed price contract where the buyer pays the seller a set amount (as defined by the contract), regardless of the seller’s costs.

Fixed-Price-Incentive-Fee (FPIF) Contract. A type of contract where the buyer pays the seller a set amount (as defined by the contract), and the seller can earn an additional amount if the seller meets defined performance criteria.

Fixed-Price or Lump-Sum Contract. A type of contract involving a fixed total price for a well-defined product. Fixed-price contracts may also include incentives for meeting or exceeding selected project objectives, such as schedule targets. The simplest form of a fixed price contract is a purchase order.

Float. Also called slack. See total float and see also free float.

Flowcharting [Technique]. The depiction in a diagram format of the inputsprocess actions, and outputs of one or more processes within a system.

Forecasts. Estimates or predictions of conditions and events in the project’s future based on information and knowledge available at the time of the forecast. Forecasts are updated and reissued based on work performance information provided as the project is executed. The information is based on the project’s past performance and expected future performance, and includes information that could impact the project in the future, such as estimate at completion and estimate to complete.

Forward Pass. The calculation of the early start and early finish dates for the uncompleted portions of all network activities. See also schedule network analysis and backward pass.

Free Float (FF). The amount of time that a schedule activity can be delayed without delaying the early start of any immediately following schedule activities. See also total float.

Functional Manager. Someone with management authority over an organizational unit within a functional organization. The manager of any group that actually makes a product or performs a service. Sometimes called a line manager.

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

Funds. A supply of money or pecuniary resources immediately available.

– G

Gantt Chart. See bar chart.

Goods. Commodities, wares, merchandise.

Grade. A category or rank used to distinguish items that have the same functional use (e.g., “hammer”), but do not share the same requirements for quality (e.g., different hammers may need to withstand different amounts of force). Ground Rules [Tool]. A list of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors adopted by a project team to improve working relationships, effectiveness, and communication.

– H

Hammock Activity. See summary activity.

Historical Information. Documents and data on prior projects including project files,records, correspondence, closed contracts, and closed projects.

Human Resource Planning [Process]. The process of identifying and documenting project roles, responsibilities and reporting relationships, as well as creating the staffing management plan.

– I

Imposed Date. A fixed date imposed on a schedule activity or schedule milestone, usually in the form of a “start no earlier than” and “finish no later than” date.

Influence Diagram [Tool]. Graphical representation of situations showing causal influences, time ordering of events, and other relationships among variables and outcomes.

Influencer. Persons or groups that are not directly related to the acquisition or use of the project’s product, but, due to their position in the customer organization*, can influence, positively or negatively, the course of the project.

Information Distribution [Process]. The process of making needed information available to project stakeholders in a timely manner.

Initiating Processes [Process Group]. Those processes performed to authorize and define the scope of a new phase or project or that can result in the continuation of halted project work. A large number of the initiating processes are typically done outside the project’s scope of control by the organizationprogram, or portfolio processes and those processes provide input to the project’s initiating processes group.

Initiator. A person or organization that has both the ability and authority to start a project.

Input [Process Input]. Any item, whether internal or external to the project that is required by a process before that process proceeds. May be an output from a predecessor process.

Inspection [Technique]. Examining or measuring to verify whether an activitycomponent productresult or service conforms to specified requirements.

Integral. Essential to completeness; requisite; constituent with; formed as a unit with another


Integrated. Interrelated, interconnected, interlocked, or meshed components blended and unified into a functioning or unified whole.

Integrated Change Control [Process]. The process of reviewing all change requests, approving changes and controlling changes to deliverables and organizational process assets.

Invitation for Bid (IFB). Generally, this term is equivalent to request for proposal. However, in some application areas, it may have a narrower or more specific meaning.

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

– K

Knowledge. Knowing something with the familiarity gained through experience, education, observation, or investigation, it is understanding a processpractice, or technique, or how to use a tool.

Knowledge Area Process. An identifiable project management process within a knowledge area.

Knowledge Area, Project Management. See Project Management Knowledge Area.

– L

Lag [Technique]. A modification of a logical relationship that directs a delay in the successoactivity. For example, in a finish-to-start dependency with a ten-day lag, the successor activity cannot start until ten days after the predecessor activity has finished. See also lead.

Late Finish Date (LF). In the critical path method, the latest possible point in time that a schedule activity may be completed based upon the schedule network logic, the project completion date, and any constraints assigned to the schedule activities without violating a schedule constraint or delaying the project completion date. The late finish dates are determined during the backward pass calculation of the project schedule network.

Late Start Date (LS). In the critical path method, the latest possible point in time that a schedule activity may begin based upon the schedule network logic, the project completion date, and any constraints assigned to the schedule activities without violating a schedule constraint or delaying the project completion date. The late start dates are determined during the backward pass calculation of the project schedule network.

Latest Revised Estimate. See estimate at completion.

Lead [Technique]. A modification of a logical relationship that allows an acceleration of the successor activity. For example, in a finish-to-start dependency with a ten-day lead, the successor activity can start ten days before the predecessor activity has finished. See also lag. A negative lead is equivalent to a positive lag.

Lessons Learned [Output/Input]. The learning gained from the process of performing the project. Lessons learned may be identified at any point. Also considered a project record, to be included in the lessons learned knowledge base.

Lessons Learned Knowledge Base. A store of historical information and lessons learnedabout both the outcomes of previous project selection decisions and previous project performance.

Level of Effort (LOE). Support-type activity (e.g., seller or customer liaison, project cost accounting, project management, etc.) that does not readily lend itself to measurement of discrete accomplishment. It is generally characterized by a uniform rate of work performance over a period of time determined by the activities supported.

Leveling. See resource leveling.

Life Cycle. See project life cycle.

Log. A document used to record and describe or denote selected items identified during execution of a process or activity. Usually used with a modifier, such as issue, quality control, action, or defect.

Logic. See network logic.

Logic Diagram. See project schedule network diagram.

Logical Relationship. dependency between two project schedule activities, or between a project schedule activity and a schedule milestone. See also precedence relationship. The four possible types of logical relationships are: Finish-to-StartFinish-to-FinishStartto- Start; and Start-to-Finish.

– M

Manage Project Team [Process]. The process of tracking team member performance,  providing feedback, resolving issues, and coordinating changes to enhance project performance.

Manage Stakeholders [Process]. The process of managing communications to satisfy the requirements of, and resolve issues with, project stakeholders.

Master Schedule [Tool]. A summary-level project schedule that identifies the major deliverables and work breakdown structure components and key schedule milestones. See also milestone schedule.

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

Matrix Organization. Any organizational structure in which the project manager shares responsibility with the functional managers for assigning priorities and for directing the workof persons assigned to the project.

Methodology. system of practicestechniquesprocedures, and rules used by those who work in a discipline.

Milestone. A significant point or event in the project. See also schedule milestone.

Milestone Schedule [Tool]. A summary-level schedule that identifies the major schedule milestones. See also master schedule.

Monitor. Collect project performance data with respect to a plan, produce performance measures, and report and disseminate performance information.

Monitor and Control Project Work [Process]. The process of monitoring and controlling the processes required to initiate, plan, execute, and close a project to meet the performance objectives defined in the project management plan and project scope statement.

Monitoring. See monitor.

Monitoring and Controlling Processes [Process Group]. Those processes performed to measure and monitor project execution* so that corrective action can be taken when necessary to control the execution of the phase or project.

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


Near-Critical Activity. schedule activity that has low total float. The concept of near critical is equally applicable to a schedule activity or schedule network path. The limit below which total float is considered near critical is subject to expert judgment and varies from project to project.

Network. See project schedule network diagram.

Network Analysis. See schedule network analysis.

Network Logic. The collection of schedule activity dependencies that makes up a project schedule network diagram.

Network Loop. A schedule network path that passes the same node twice. Network loops cannot be analyzed using traditional schedule network analysis techniques such as critical path method.

Network Open Endschedule activity without any predecessor activities or successor activities creating an unintended break in a schedule network path. Network open ends are usually caused by missing logical relationships.

Network Path. Any continuous series of schedule activities connected with logical relationships in a project schedule network diagram.

Networking [Technique]. Developing relationships with persons who may be able to assist in the achievement of objectives and responsibilities.

Node. One of the defining points of a schedule network; a junction point joined to some or all of the other dependency lines. See also arrow diagramming method and precedence diagramming method.

– O

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

Operations. An organizational function performing the ongoing execution of activities that produce the same product or provide a repetitive service. Examples are: production operations, manufacturing operations, and accounting operations.

Opportunity. A condition or situation favorable to the project, a positive set of circumstances, a positive set of events, a risk that will have a positive impact on project objectives, or a possibility for positive changes. Contrast with threat.

Organization. A group of persons organized for some purpose or to perform some type of work within an enterprise.

Organization Chart [Tool]. A method for depicting interrelationships among a group of persons working together toward a common objective.

Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS) [Tool]. A hierarchically organized depiction of the project organization arranged so as to relate the work packages to the performing organizational units. (Sometimes OBS is written as Organization Breakdown Structure with the same definition.)

Organizational Process Assets [Output/Input]. Any or all process related assets, from any or all of the organizations involved in the project that are or can be used to influence the project’s success. These process assets include formal and informal plans, policies, procedures, and guidelines. The process assets also include the organizations’ knowledge bases such as lessons learned and historical information.

Original Duration (OD). The activity duration originally assigned to a schedule activity and not updated as progress is reported on the activity. Typically used for comparison with actual duration and remaining duration when reporting schedule progress.

Output [Process Output]. A productresult, or service generated by a process. May be an input to a successor process.

– P

Parametric Estimating [Technique]. An estimating technique that uses a statistical relationship between historical data and other variables (e.g., square footage in construction, lines of code in software development) to calculate an estimate for activity parameters, such as scope, cost, budget, and duration. This technique can produce higher levels of accuracy depending upon the sophistication and the underlying data built into the model. An example for the cost parameter is multiplying the planned quantity of work to be performed by the historical cost per unit to obtain the estimated cost.

Pareto Chart [Tool]. A histogram, ordered by frequency of occurrence, that shows how many results were generated by each identified cause.

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

Path Divergence. Extending or generating parallel schedule network paths from the same node in a project schedule network diagram. Path divergence is characterized by aschedule activity with more than one successor activity.

Percent Complete (PC or PCT). An estimate, expressed as a percent, of the amount of workthat has been completed on an activity or a work breakdown structure component.

Perform Quality Assurance (QA) [Process]. The process of applying the planned, systematic quality activities (such as audits or peer reviews) to ensure that the project employs all processes needed to meet requirements.

Perform Quality Control (QC) [Process]. The process of monitoring specific project results* to determine whether they comply with relevant quality standards and identifying ways to eliminate causes of unsatisfactory performance.

Performance Measurement Baseline. An approved plan for the project work against which project execution is compared and deviations are measured for management control. The performance measurement baseline typically integrates scope, schedule, and cost parameters of a project, but may also include technical and quality parameters.

Performance Reporting [Process]. The process of collecting and distributing performance information. This includes status reporting, progress measurement, and forecasting.

Performance Reports [Output/Input]. Documents and presentations that provide organized and summarized work performance information, earned value management parameters and calculations, and analyses of project work progress and status. Common formats for performance reports include bar chartsS-curveshistograms, tables, and project schedule network diagram showing current schedule status.

Performing Organization. The enterprise whose personnel are most directly involved in doing the work of the project.

Phase. See project phase.

Plan Contracting [Process]. The process of documenting the productsservices, and resultsrequirements and identifying potential sellers.

Plan Purchases and Acquisitions [Process]. The process of determining what to purchase or acquire, and determining when and how to do so.

Planned Finish Date (PF). See scheduled finish date.

Planned Start Date (PS). See scheduled start date.

Planned Value (PV). The authorized budget assigned to the scheduled work to be accomplished for a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Also referred to as the budgeted cost of work scheduled (BCWS).

Planning Package. A WBS component below the control account with known work content but without detailed schedule activities. See also control account.

Planning Processes [Process Group]. Those processes performed to define and mature the project scope, develop the project management plan, and identify and schedule the project activities* that occur within the project.

Portfolio. A collection of projects or programs and other work that are grouped together to facilitate effective management of that work to meet strategic business objectives. The projects or programs of the portfolio may not necessarily be interdependent or directly related.

Portfolio Management [Technique]. The centralized management of one or more portfolios, which includes identifying, prioritizing, authorizing, managing, and controlling projectsprograms, and other related work, to achieve specific strategic business objectives.

Position Description [Tool]. An explanation of a project team member’s roles and responsibilities.

Practice. A specific type of professional or management activity that contributes to the execution of a process and that may employ one or more techniques and tools.

Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM) [Technique]. A schedule network diagramming technique in which schedule activities are represented by boxes (or nodes). Schedule activities are graphically linked by one or more logical relationships to show the sequence in which the activities are to be performed.

Precedence Relationship. The term used in the precedence diagramming method for a logical relationship. In current usage, however, precedence relationship, logical relationship, and dependency are widely used interchangeably, regardless of the diagramming method used.

Predecessor Activity. The schedule activity that determines when the logical successor activity can begin or end.

Preventive Action. Documented direction to perform an activity that can reduce the probability of negative consequences associated with project risks*.

Probability and Impact Matrix [Tool]. A common way to determine whether a risk is considered low, moderate, or high by combining the two dimensions of a risk: its probability of occurrence, and its impact on objectives if it occurs.

Procedure. A series of steps followed in a regular definitive order to accomplish something.

Process. A set of interrelated actions and activities performed to achieve a specified set of productsresults, or services.

Process Group. See Project Management Process Groups.

Procurement Documents [Output/Input]. Those documents utilized in bid and proposal activities, which include buyer’s Invitation for Bid, Invitation for Negotiations, Request for Information, Request for Quotation, Request for Proposal and seller’s responses.

Procurement Management Plan [Output/Input]. The document that describes how procurement processes from developing procurement documentation through contract closurewill be managed.

Product. An artifact that is produced, is quantifiable, and can be either an end item in itself or a component item. Additional words for products are materiel and goods. Contrast with result and service. See also deliverable.

Product Life Cycle. A collection of generally sequential, non-overlapping product phases* whose name and number are determined by the manufacturing and control needs of the organization. The last product life cycle phase for a product is generally the product’s product life cycles.

Product Scope. The features and functions that characterize a productservice or result.

Product Scope Description. The documented narrative description of the product scope.

Program. A group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits and control not available from managing them individually. Programs may include elements of related work outside of the scope of the discrete projects in the program.

Program Management. The centralized coordinated management of a program to achieve the program’s strategic objectives and benefits.

Program Management Office (PMO). The centralized management of a particular programor programs such that corporate benefit is realized by the sharing of resourcesmethodologiestools, and techniques, and related high-level project management focus. See also project management office.

Progressive Elaboration [Technique]. Continuously improving and detailing a plan as more detailed and specific information and more accurate estimates become available as the project progresses, and thereby producing more accurate and complete plans that result from the successive iterations of the planning process.

Project. A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique productservice, or result.

Project Calendar. A calendar of working days or shifts that establishes those dates on which schedule activities are worked and nonworking days that determine those dates on which schedule activities are idle. Typically defines holidays, weekends and shift hours. See also resource calendar.

Project Charter [Output/Input]. A document issued by the project initiator or sponsor that formally authorizes the existence of a project, and provides the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities.

Project Communications Management [Knowledge Area]. See Appendix F.

Project Cost Management [Knowledge Area]. See Appendix F.

Project Human Resource Management [Knowledge Area]. See Appendix F.

Project Initiation. Launching a process that can result in the authorization and scope definition of a new project.

Project Integration Management [Knowledge Area]. See Appendix F.

Project Life Cycle. A collection of generally sequential project phases whose name and number are determined by the control needs of the organization or organizations involved in the project. A life cycle can be documented with a methodology.

Project Management (PM). The application of knowledgeskillstools, and techniques to project activities* to meet the project requirements.

Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®). An inclusive term that describes the sum of knowledge within the profession of project management. As with other professions such as law, medicine, and accounting, the body of knowledge rests with the practitioners and academics that apply and advance it. The complete project management body of knowledge includes proven traditional practices that are widely applied and innovative practices that are emerging in the profession. The body of knowledge includes both published and unpublished material. The PMBOK is constantly evolving.

Project Management Information System (PMIS) [Tool]. An information system consisting of the tools and techniques used to gather, integrate, and disseminate the outputs of project management processes. It is used to support all aspects of the project from initiating through closing, and can include both manual and automated systems.

Project Management Knowledge Area. An identified area of project management defined by its knowledge requirements and described in terms of its component processespracticesinputsoutputstools, and techniques.

Project Management Office (PMO). An organizational body or entity assigned various responsibilities related to the centralized and coordinated management of those projects under its domain. The responsibilities of a PMO can range from providing project management support functions to actually being responsible for the direct management of a project. See also program management office.

Project Management Plan [Output/Input]. A formal, approved document that defines how the projected is executed, monitored and controlled. It may be summary or detailed and may be composed of one or more subsidiary management plans and other planning  documents.

Project Management Process. One of the 44 processes, unique to project management and described in the PMBOK® Guide.

Project Management Process Group. A logical grouping of the project management processes described in the PMBOK® Guide. The project management process groups include initiating processesplanning processesexecuting processesmonitoring and controlling processes, and closing processes. Collectively, these five groups are required for any project, have clear internal dependencies, and must be performed in the same sequence on each project, independent of the application area or the specifics of the applied project life cycle. Project management process groups are not project phases.

Project Management Professional (PMP®). A person certified as a PMP® by the Project Management Institute (PMI®).

Project Management Software [Tool]. A class of computer software applications specifically designed to aid the project management team with planning, monitoring, and controlling the project, including: cost estimating, scheduling, communications, collaboration, configuration management, document control, records management, and risk analysis.

Project Management System [Tool]. The aggregation of the processestoolstechniquesmethodologiesresources, and procedures to manage a project. The system is documented in the project management plan and its content will vary depending upon the application area, organizational influence, complexity of the project, and the availability of existing systems. A project management system, which can be formal or informal, aids a project manager in effectively guiding a project to completion. A project management system is a set of processesand the related monitoring and control functions that are consolidated and combined into a functioning, unified whole.

Project Management Team. The members of the project team who are directly involved in project management activities. On some smaller projects, the project management team may include virtually all of the project team members.

Project Manager (PM). The person assigned by the performing organization to achieve the project objectives*.

Project Organization Chart [Output/Input]. A document that graphically depicts the project team members and their interrelationships for a specific project.

Project Phase. A collection of logically related project activities*, usually culminating in the completion of a major deliverable. Project phases (also called phases) are mainly completed sequentially, but can overlap in some project situations. Phases can be subdivided into subphases and then components; this hierarchy, if the project or portions of the project are divided into phases, is contained in the work breakdown structure. A project phase is a component of a project life cycle. A project phase is not a project management process group*.

Project Process Groups. The five process groups required for any project that have clear dependencies and that are required to be performed in the same sequence on each project, independent of the application area or the specifics of the applied project life cycle. The process groups are initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.

Project Procurement Management [Knowledge Area]. See Appendix F.

Project Quality Management [Knowledge Area]. See Appendix F.

Project Risk Management [Knowledge Area]. See Appendix F.

Project Schedule [Output/Input]. The planned dates for performing schedule activities and the planned dates for meeting schedule milestones.

Project Schedule Network Diagram [Output/Input]. Any schematic display of the logical relationships among the project schedule activities. Always drawn from left to right to reflect project work chronology.

Project Scope. The work that must be performed to deliver a product, service, or result with the specified features and functions.

Project Scope Management [Knowledge Area]. See Appendix F.

Project Scope Management Plan [Output/Input]. The document that describes how the project scope will be defined, developed, and verified and how the work breakdown structurewill be created and defined, and that provides guidance on how the project scope will be managed and controlled by the project management team. It is contained in or is a subsidiary plan of the project management plan. The project scope management plan can be informal and broadly framed, or formal and highly detailed, based on the needs of the project.

Project Scope Statement [Output/Input]. The narrative description of the project scope, including major deliverables, project objectives, project assumptions, project constraints, and a statement of work, that provides a documented basis for making future project decisions and for confirming or developing a common understanding of project scope among the stakeholders. The definition of the project scope – what needs to be accomplished.

Project Sponsor. See sponsor.

Project Stakeholder. See stakeholder.

Project Summary Work Breakdown Structure (PSWBS) [Tool]. A work breakdown structurefor the project that is only developed down to the subproject level of detail within some legs of the WBS, and where the detail of those subprojects are provided by use of contract work breakdown structures.

Project Team. All the project team members, including the project management team, the project manager and, for some projects, the project sponsor.

Project Team Directory. A documented list of project team members, their project roles and communication information.

Project Team Members. The persons who report either directly or indirectly to the project manager, and who are responsible for performing project work as a regular part of their assigned duties.

Project Time Management [Knowledge Area]. See Appendix F.

Project Work. See work.

Projectized Organization. Any organizational structure in which the project manager has full authority to assign priorities, apply resources, and direct the work of persons assigned to the project.

– Q

Qualitative Risk Analysis [Process]. The process of prioritizing risks for subsequent further analysis or action by assessing and combining their probability of occurrence and impact.

Quality. The degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfills requirements.

Quality Management Plan [Output/Input]. The quality management plan describes how the project management team will implement the performing organization’s quality policy. The quality management plan is a component or a subsidiary plan of the project management plan. The quality management plan may be formal or informal, highly detailed, or broadly framed, based on the requirements of the project.

Quality Planning [Process]. The process of identifying which quality standards are relevant to the project and determining how to satisfy them.

Quantitative Risk Analysis [Process]. The process of numerically analyzing the effect on overall project objectives of identified risks.

– R

Regulation. Requirements imposed by a governmental body. These requirements can establish productprocess or service characteristics—including applicable administrative provisions—that have government-mandated compliance.

Reliability. The probability of a product performing its intended function under specific conditions for a given period of time.

Remaining Duration (RD). The time in calendar units, between the data date of the project schedule and the finish date of a schedule activity that has an actual start date. This represents the time needed to complete a schedule activity where the work is in progress.

Request for Information. A type of procurement document whereby the buyer requests a potential seller to provide various pieces of information related to a product or service or seller capability.

Request for Proposal (RFP). A type of procurement document used to request proposals from prospective sellers of products or services. In some application areas, it may have a narrower or more specific meaning.

Request for Quotation (RFQ). A type of procurement document used to request price quotations from prospective sellers of common or standard products or services. Sometimes used in place of request for proposal and in some application areas, it may have a narrower or more specific meaning.

Request Seller Responses [Process]. The process of obtaining information, quotations, bids, offers, or proposals, as appropriate.

Requested Change [Output/Input]. A formally documented change request that is submitted for approval to the integrated change control process. Contrast with approved change request


Requirement. A condition or capability that must be met or possessed by a systemproductserviceresult, or component to satisfy a contractstandardspecification, or other formally imposed documents. Requirements include the quantified and documented needs, wants, and expectations of the sponsorcustomer, and other stakeholders.

Reserve. A provision in the project management plan to mitigate cost and/or schedule risk. Often used with a modifier (e.g., management reserve, contingency reserve) to provide further detail on what types of risk are meant to be mitigated. The specific meaning of the modified term varies by application area.

Reserve Analysis [Technique]. An analytical technique to determine the essential features and relationships of components in the project management plan to establish a reserve for the schedule durationbudget, estimated cost, or funds for a project.

Residual Risk. risk that remains after risk responses have been implemented.

Resource. Skilled human resources (specific disciplines either individually or in crews or teams), equipment, services, supplies, commoditiesmaterielbudgets, or funds.

Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS). A hierarchical structure of resources by resource category and resource type used in resource leveling schedules and to develop resource limited schedules, and which may be used to identify and analyze project human resource assignments.

Resource Calendar. A calendar of working days and nonworking days that determines those dates on which each specific resource is idle or can be active. Typically defines resource specific holidays and resource availability periods. See also project calendar.

Resource-Constrained Schedule. See resource-limited schedule.

Resource Histogram. bar chart showing the amount of time that a resource is scheduled to work over a series of time periods. Resource availability may be depicted as a line for comparison purposes. Contrasting bars may show actual amounts of resource used as the project progresses.

Resource Leveling [Technique]. Any form of schedule network analysis in which scheduling decisions (start and finish dates) are driven by resource constraints (e.g., limited resource availability or difficult-to-manage changes in resource availability levels).

Resource-Limited Schedule. project schedule whose schedule activityscheduled start dates and scheduled finish dates reflect expected resource availability. A resourcelimited schedule does not have any early or late start or finish dates. The resource-limited schedule total float is determined by calculating the difference between the critical path method late finish date* and the resource-limited scheduled finish date. Sometimes called resource-constrained schedule. See also resource leveling.

Resource Planning. See activity resource estimating.

Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) [Tool]. A structure that relates the project organizational breakdown structure to the work breakdown structure to help ensure that each component of the project’s scope of work is assigned to a responsible person.

Result. An output from performing project management processes and activities. Results include outcomes (e.g., integrated systems, revised process, restructured organization, tests, trained personnel, etc.) and documents (e.g., policies, plans, studies, proceduresspecifications, reports, etc.). Contrast with product and service. See also deliverable.

Retainage. A portion of a contract payment that is withheld until contract completion to ensure full performance of the contract terms.

Rework. Action taken to bring a defective or nonconforming component into compliance

with requirements or specifications.

Risk. An uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on a project’s objectives. See also risk category and risk breakdown structure.

Risk Acceptance [Technique]. A risk response planning technique* that indicates that the project team has decided not to change the project management plan to deal with a risk, or is unable to identify any other suitable response strategy.

Risk Avoidance [Technique]. A risk response planning technique* for a threat that creates changes to the project management plan that are meant to either eliminate the risk or to protect the project objectives from its impact. Generally, risk avoidance involves relaxing the time, cost, scope, or quality objectives.

Risk Breakdown Structure (RBS) [Tool]. A hierarchically organized depiction of the identified project risks* arranged by risk category and subcategory that identifies the various areas and causes of potential risks. The risk breakdown structure is often tailored to specific project types.

Risk Category. A group of potential causes of risk. Risk causes may be grouped into categories such as technical, external, organizational, environmental, or project management. A category may include subcategories such as technical maturity, weather, or aggressive estimating. See also risk breakdown structure.

Risk Database. A repository that provides for collection, maintenance, and analysis of data gathered and used in the risk management processes.

Risk Identification [Process]. The process of determining which risks might affect the project and documenting their characteristics.

Risk Management Plan [Output/Input]. The document describing how project risk management will be structured and performed on the project. It is contained in or is a subsidiary plan of the project management plan. The risk management plan can be informal and broadly framed, or formal and highly detailed, based on the needs of the project. Information in the risk management plan varies by application area and project size. The risk management plan is different from the risk register that contains the list of project risks, the results of risk analysis, and the risk responses.

Risk Management Planning [Process]. The process of deciding how to approach, plan, and execute risk management activities for a project.

Risk Mitigation [Technique]. A risk response planning technique* associated with threatsthat seeks to reduce the probability of occurrence or impact of a risk to below an acceptable threshold.

Risk Monitoring and Control [Process]. The process of tracking identified risks, monitoring residual risks, identifying new risks, executing risk response plans, and evaluating their effectiveness throughout the project life cycle.

Risk Register [Output/Input]. The document containing the results of the qualitative risk analysisquantitative risk analysis, and risk response planning. The risk register details all identified risks, including description, category, cause, probability of occurring, impact(s) on objectives, proposed responses, owners, and current status. The risk register is a component of the project management plan.

Risk Response Planning [Process]. The process of developing options and actions to enhance opportunities and to reduce threats to project objectives.

Risk Transference [Technique]. A risk response planning technique* that shifts the impact of a threat to a third party, together with ownership of the response.

Role. A defined function to be performed by a project team member, such as testing, filing, inspecting, coding.

Rolling Wave Planning [Technique]. A form of progressive elaboration planning where the work to be accomplished in the near term is planned in detail at a low level of the work breakdown structure, while the work far in the future is planned at a relatively high level of the work breakdown structure, but the detailed planning of the work to be performed within another one or two periods in the near future is done as work is being completed during the current period.

Root Cause Analysis [Technique]. An analytical technique used to determine the basic underlying reason that causes a variance or a defect or a risk. A root cause may underlie more than one variance or defect or risk.

– S

Schedule. See project schedule and see also schedule model.

Schedule Activity. A discrete scheduled component of work performed during the course of a project. A schedule activity normally has an estimated duration, an estimated cost, and estimated resource requirements. Schedule activities are connected to other schedule activities or schedule milestones with logical relationships, and are decomposed from work packages.

Schedule Analysis. See schedule network analysis.

Schedule Compression [Technique]. Shortening the project schedule duration without reducing the project scope. See also crashing and fast tracking.

Schedule Control [Process]. The process of controlling changes to the project schedule.

Schedule Development [Process]. The process of analyzing schedule activity sequences, schedule activity durationsresource requirements, and schedule constraints to create the project schedule.

Schedule Management Plan [Output/Input]. The document that establishes criteria and the activities for developing and controlling the project schedule. It is contained in, or is a subsidiary plan of, the project management plan. The schedule management plan may be formal or informal, highly detailed or broadly framed, based on the needs of the project.

Schedule Milestone. A significant event in the project schedule, such as an event restraining future work or marking the completion of a major deliverable. A schedule milestone has zero duration. Sometimes called a milestone activity. See also milestone.

Schedule Model [Tool]. A model used in conjunction with manual methods or project management software to perform schedule network analysis to generate the project schedule for use in managing the execution of a project. See also project schedule.

Schedule Network Analysis [Technique]. The technique of identifying early and late start dates*, as well as early and late finish dates*, for the uncompleted portions of project schedule activities. See also critical path method, critical chain method, what-if analysis, and resource leveling.

Schedule Performance Index (SPI). A measure of schedule efficiency on a project. It is the ratio of earned value (EV) to planned value (PV). The SPI = EV divided by PV. An SPI equal to or greater than one indicates a favorable condition and a value of less than one indicates an unfavorable condition. See also earned value management.

Schedule Variance (SV). A measure of schedule performance on a project. It is the algebraic difference between the earned value (EV) and the planned value (PV). SV = EV minus PV. See also earned value management.

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

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

Scope. The sum of the productsservices, and results to be provided as a project. See also project scope and product scope.

Scope Baseline. See baseline.

Scope Change. Any change to the project scope. A scope change almost always requires anadjustment to the project cost or schedule.

Scope Control [Process]. The process of controlling changes to the project scope.

Scope Creep. Adding features and functionality (project scope) without addressing the effects on time, costs, and resources, or without customer approval.

Scope Definition [Process]. The process of developing a detailed project scope statement as the basis for future project decisions.

Scope Planning [Process]. The process of creating a project scope management plan.

Scope Verification [Process]. The process of formalizing acceptance of the completed project deliverables.

S-Curve. Graphic display of cumulative costs, labor hours, percentage of work, or other quantities, plotted against time. The name derives from the S-like shape of the curve (flatter at the beginning and end, steeper in the middle) produced on a project that starts slowly, accelerates, and then tails off. Also a term for the cumulative likelihood distribution that is a result of a simulation, a tool of quantitative risk analysis.

Secondary Risk. risk that arises as a direct result of implementing a risk response.

Select Sellers [Process]. The process of reviewing offers, choosing from among potential sellers, and negotiating a written contract with a seller.

Seller. A provider or supplier of productsservices, or results to an organization.

Sensitivity Analysis. quantitative risk analysis and modeling technique used to help determine which risks have the most potential impact on the project. It examines the extent to which the uncertainty of each project element affects the objective being examined when all other uncertain elements are held at their baseline values. The typical display of results is in the form of a tornado diagram.

Service. Useful work performed that does not produce a tangible product or result, such as performing any of the business functions supporting production or distribution. Contrast with product and result. See also deliverable.

Should-Cost Estimate. An estimate of the cost of a product or service used to provide an assessment of the reasonableness of a prospective seller’s proposed cost.

Simulation. A simulation uses a project model that translates the uncertainties specified at a detailed level into their potential impact on objectives that are expressed at the level of the total project. Project simulations use computer models and estimates of risk, usually expressed as a probability distribution of possible costs or durations at a detailed work level, and are typically performed using Monte Carlo analysis.

Skill. Ability to use knowledge, a developed aptitude, and/or a capability to effectively and readily execute or perform an activity.

Slack. See total float and free float.

Special Cause. A source of variation that is not inherent in the system, is not predictable, and is intermittent. It can be assigned to a defect in the system. On a control chart, points beyond the control limits, or non-random patterns within the control limits, indicate it. Also referred to as assignable cause. Contrast with common cause.

Specification. document that specifies, in a complete, precise, verifiable manner, the requirements, design, behavior, or other characteristics of a systemcomponentproductresult, or service and, often, the procedures for determining whether these provisions have been satisfied. Examples are: requirement specification, design specification, product specification, and test specification.

Specification Limits. The area, on either side of the centerline, or mean, of data plotted on a control chart that meets the customer’s requirements for a product or service. This area may be greater than or less than the area defined by the control limits. See also control


Sponsor. The person or group that provides the financial resources, in cash or in kind, for the project.

Staffing Management Plan [Process]. The document that describes when and how human resource requirements will be met. It is contained in, or is a subsidiary plan of, the project management plan. The staffing management plan can be informal and broadly framed, or formal and highly detailed, based on the needs of the project. Information in the staffing management plan varies by application area and project size.

Stakeholder. Persons and organizations such as customerssponsorsperforming organization and the public, that are actively involved in the project, or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected by execution or completion of the project. They may also exert influence over the project and its deliverables.

Standard. document established by consensus and approved by a recognized body that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context.

Start Date. A point in time associated with a schedule activity’s start, usually qualified by one of the following: actual, planned, estimated, scheduled, early, late, target, baseline, or current.

Start-to-Finish (SF). The logical relationship where completion of the successor schedule activity is dependent upon the initiation of the predecessor schedule activity. See also logical relationship.

Start-to-Start (SS). The logical relationship where initiation of the work of the successor schedule activity depends upon the initiation of the work of the predecessor schedule activity. See also logical relationship.

Statement of Work (SOW). A narrative description of products, services, or results to be supplied.

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis. This information gathering technique examines the project from the perspective of each project’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to increase the breadth of the risks considered by risk management.

Subnetwork. A subdivision (fragment) of a project schedule network diagram, usually representing a subproject or a work package. Often used to illustrate or study some potential or proposed schedule condition, such as changes in preferential schedule logic or project scope.

Subphase. A subdivision of a phase.

Subproject. A smaller portion of the overall project created when a project is subdivided into more manageable components or pieces. Subprojects are usually represented in the work breakdown structure. A subproject can be referred to as a project, managed as a project, and acquired from a seller. May be referred to as a subnetwork in a project schedule network diagram.

Successor. See successor activity.

Successor Activity. The schedule activity that follows a predecessor activity, as determined by their logical relationship.

Summary Activity. A group of related schedule activities aggregated at some summary level, and displayed/reported as a single activity at that summary level. See also subproject and subnetwork.

System. An integrated set of regularly interacting or interdependent components created to accomplish a defined objective, with defined and maintained relationships among its components, and the whole producing or operating better than the simple sum of its components. Systems may be either physically process based or management process based, or more commonly a combination of both. Systems for project management are composed of project management processestechniquesmethodologies, and tools operated by the project management team.

– T

Target Completion Date (TC). An imposed date that constrains or otherwise modifies the schedule network analysis.

Target Finish Date (TF). The date that work is planned (targeted) to finish on a schedule activity.

Target Schedule. schedule adopted for comparison purposes during schedule network analysis, which can be different from the baseline schedule. See also baseline.

Target Start Date (TS). The date that work is planned (targeted) to start on a schedule activity.

Task. A term for work whose meaning and placement within a structured plan for project work varies by the application area, industry, and brand of project management software.

Team Members. See project team members.

Technical Performance Measurement [Technique]. A performance measurement techniquethat compares technical accomplishments during project execution to the project management plan’s schedule of planned technical achievements. It may use key technical parameters of the product produced by the project as a quality metric. The achieved metric values are part of the work performance information.

Technique. A defined systematic procedure employed by a human resource to perform an activity to produce a product or result or deliver a service, and that may employ one or more tools.

Template. A partially complete document in a predefined format that provides a defined structure for collecting, organizing and presenting information and data. Templates are often based upon documents created during prior projects. Templates can reduce the effort needed to perform work and increase the consistency of results.

Threat. A condition or situation unfavorable to the project, a negative set of circumstances, a negative set of events, a risk that will have a negative impact on a project objective if it occurs, or a possibility for negative changes. Contrast with opportunity.

Three-Point Estimate [Technique]. An analytical technique that uses three cost or duration estimates to represent the optimistic, most likely, and pessimistic scenarios. This technique is applied to improve the accuracy of the estimates of cost or duration when the underlying activity or cost component is uncertain.

Threshold. cost, time, quality, technical, or resource value used as a parameter, and which may be included in product specifications. Crossing the threshold should trigger some action, such as generating an exception report.

Time and Material (T&M) Contract. A type of contract that is a hybrid contractual arrangement containing aspects of both cost-reimbursable and fixed-price contracts. Time and material contracts resemble cost-reimbursable type arrangements in that they have no definitive end, because the full value of the arrangement is not defined at the time of the award. Thus, time and material contracts can grow in contract value as if they were cost-reimbursable-type arrangements. Conversely, time and material arrangements can also resemble fixed-price arrangements. For example, the unit rates are preset by the buyer and seller, when both parties agree on the rates for the category of senior engineers.

Time-Now Date. See data date.

Time-Scaled Schedule Network Diagram [Tool]. Any project schedule network diagramdrawn in such a way that the positioning and length of the schedule activity represents its duration. Essentially, it is a bar chart that includes schedule network logic.

Tool. Something tangible, such as a template or software program, used in performing an activity to produce a product or result.

Total Float (TF). The total amount of time that a schedule activity may be delayed from its early start date without delaying the project finish date, or violating a schedule constraint. Calculated using the critical path method technique and determining the difference between the early finish dates and late finish dates. See also free float.

Total Quality Management (TQM) [Technique]. A common approach to implementing a quality improvement program within an organization.

Trend Analysis [Technique]. An analytical technique that uses mathematical models to forecast future outcomes based on historical results. It is a method of determining the variance from a baseline of a budgetcostschedule, or scope parameter by using prior progress reporting periods’ data and projecting how much that parameter’s variance from baseline might be at some future point in the project if no changes are made in executing the project.

Triggers. Indications that a risk has occurred or is about to occur. Triggers may be discovered in the risk identification process and watched in the risk monitoring and control process. Triggers are sometimes called risk symptoms or warning signs.

Triple Constraint. A framework for evaluating competing demands. The triple constraint is often depicted as a triangle where one of the sides or one of the corners represent one of the parameters being managed by the project team.

– U

User. The person or organization that will use the project’s product or service. See also customer.

– V

Validation [Technique]. The technique of evaluating a component or product during or at the end of a phase or project to ensure it complies with the specified requirements. Contrast with verification.

Value Engineering (VE). A creative approach used to optimize project life cycle costs, save time, increase profits, improve quality, expand market share, solve problems, and/or use resources more effectively.

Variance. A quantifiable deviation, departure, or divergence away from a known baseline or expected value.

Variance Analysis [Technique]. A method for resolving the total variance in the set of scopecost, and schedule variables into specific component variances that are associated with defined factors affecting the scope, cost, and schedule variables.

Verification [Technique]. The technique of evaluating a component or product at the end of a phase or project to assure or confirm it satisfies the conditions imposed. Contrast with validation.

Virtual Team. A group of persons with a shared objective who fulfill their roles with little or no time spent meeting face to face. Various forms of technology are often used to facilitate communication among team members. Virtual teams can be comprised of persons separated by great distances.

Voice of the Customer. A planning technique used to provide productsservices, and results that truly reflect customer requirements by translating those customer requirements into the appropriate technical requirements for each phase of project product development.

– W

War Room. A room used for project conferences and planning, often displaying charts of costschedule status, and other key project data.

Work. Sustained physical or mental effort, exertion, or exercise of skill to overcome obstacles and achieve an objective.

Work Authorization [Technique]. A permission and direction, typically written, to begin work on a specific schedule activity or work package or control account. It is a method for sanctioning project work to ensure that the work is done by the identified organization, at the right time, and in the proper sequence.

Work Authorization System [Tool]. A subsystem of the overall project management system. It is a collection of formal documented procedures that defines how project work will be authorized (committed) to ensure that the work is done by the identified organization, at the right time, and in the proper sequence. It includes the steps, documents, tracking system, and defined approval levels needed to issue work authorizations.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) [Output/Input]. A deliverable-oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables. It organizes and defines the total scope of the project. Each descending level represents an increasingly detailed definition of the project work. The WBS is decomposed into work packages. The deliverable orientation of the hierarchy includes both internal and external deliverables. See also work packagecontrol accountcontract work breakdown structure, and project summary work

breakdown structure.

Work Breakdown Structure Component. An entry in the work breakdown structure that can be at any level.

Work Breakdown Structure Dictionary [Output/Input]. A document that describes each component in the work breakdown structure (WBS). For each WBS component, the WBS dictionary includes a brief definition of the scope or statement of work, defined deliverable(s), a list of associated activities, and a list of milestones. Other information may include: responsible organization, start and end dates, resources required, an estimate of cost, charge number, contract information, quality requirements, and technical references to facilitate performance of the work.

Work Item. Term no longer in common usage. See activity and schedule activity.

Work Package. deliverable or project work component at the lowest level of each branch of the work breakdown structure. The work package includes the schedule activities and schedule milestones required to complete the work package deliverable or project work component. See also control account.

Work Performance Information [Output/Input]. Information and data, on the status of the project schedule activities being performed to accomplish the project work, collected as part of the direct and manage project execution processes*. Information includes: status of deliverables; implementation status for change requestscorrective actionspreventive actions, and defect repairs; forecasted estimates to complete; reported percent of work physically completed; achieved value of technical performance measures; start and finish dates of schedule activities.

Workaround [Technique]. A response to a negative risk that has occurred. Distinguished from contingency plan in that a workaround is not planned in advance of the occurrence of the risk event.