PMP Exam Resources: Glossary

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Free PMP Exam Glossary

With so many terms and definitions it can make studying for your PMP Exam even that more difficult. With several other topics that one must know and study for, having a better understanding of specific words or phrases can make studying so much easier and stress free for you. For this reason Crosswind Project Management has made a terms and definitions glossary available to users for free! 

Framework Glossary

ArtifactSomething made by the team for the project, especially something that may be reused
Controlling PMOA project management office that provides support and requires compliance in the form of an adoption of mandated project management frameworks, governance frameworks, and/or tools and documentation.
Cost Benefit AnalysisA financial analysis approach that compares the project’s benefits (revenue) to its costs. (Sometimes called a benefit cost analysis.)
DashboardAn information radiator that contains graphical representations depicting progress, trends, and identification of potential issues
Directive PMOA project management office that directly manages projects.
EnterpriseA company, business, or other formal structure that encompasses a business function
Functional OrganizationAn entity that is arranged by department or purpose and focuses on operational work rather than project work
GovernanceA framework for policies, practices, and documentation that an organization applies to projects and operations.
Impact MappingA strategic planning method that results in a visual roadmap for the organization while doing product development.
LogDocumentation of selected items that occur during a project, typically modified to reflect the condition of the item (issue, quality control item, action, or defect)
Matrix OrganizationAn organizational framework that mandates the sharing of responsibility for the assignment of resources and priorities between the project manager and the functional manager
MethodAn approach to produce an outcome, output, result, or project deliverable
MethodologyA body of rules, practices, processes, and techniques employed within a field
OperationsThe day-to-day repeatable activities that a company performs
Organizational Process AssetsThe process-related assets of the performing organization including, but not limited to, procedures, processes, policies, knowledge bases, templates, documentation, and plans
PolicyA course of action adopted by an organization to facilitate operational and project work
PortfolioThe projects, programs, and other work that comprise the portfolio and are managed in a coordinated manner to accomplish strategic goals
Portfolio ManagementThe coordinated management of the projects, programs, and other work that comprise the portfolio for the purpose of accomplishing strategic goals
Product ManagementThe application of people, processes, data, and systems to create, maintain and update a product or service through its life cycle.
ProgramA group of related projects, subprograms, and program activities administered in a coordinated manner in order to realize benefits that would not be available if administered separately
Program ManagementThe exercise of knowledge, expertise, tools, and techniques to meet program requirements and realize benefits and control unavailable when component projects are administered individually
ProjectA temporary undertaking to produce a unique product, service, or result
Project ArchivesA set of records that correctly describe and document the history of the project
Project ArtifactAny project management document.
Project GovernanceThe alignment of project goals with the strategy established by the organization, the project sponsor, and team; must fit within the organizational governance, but is separate from that organizational governance
Project ManagementThe exercise of knowledge, expertise, tools, and techniques to meet project requirements
Project Management Body of KnowledgeThe total knowledge contained within the project management profession including its practices, both customary and groundbreaking, whether published and non published
Project Management Information System (PMIS)A system, either manual or automated, comprised of the tools and techniques used to amass, incorporate, and disseminate the results of project management processes in order to reinforce all facets of the project
Project Management Office (PMO)An organization area responsible for standardizing governance processes for projects and for making available resources, methodologies, tools and techniques
Project Management SoftwareAn application that can assist in planning, estimating, organizing, and managing resources.
Projectized OrganizationAn organizational framework that provides the project manager with the authority to establish priorities, assign resources, and direct the work of the project team
RegisterA documented record of evolving project entries such as issues, risks, stakeholders, or defects.
RegulationA requirement of local, state, or federal government that can mandate product, process, or service characteristics including any applicable administrative provisions
ResultThe consequence of completing a series of activities or process; examples include outcomes and documents
StandardAn established norm or requirement
Strategic PlanningLong-term planning by a company (usually three to five years in the future)
Strategy ArtifactDocuments started before or early into the project covering strategic, business and any other high-level information related to the project.
SystemSoftware, hardware, middleware, documentation, and installation and operational procedures
TemplatesA partially completed instrument that provides the desired format for the assemblage, ordering, and presentation of data and information
Triple Bottom LineA framework for looking at the full cost of business, with a focus on profit, people, and the planet.
ValueSomething that is viewed to be useful, have worth, or importance.
Value Delivery Office (VDO)A project delivery support group that focuses on coaching teams, building agile skills and capabilities through the organization. This also includes helping sponsors and product owners maximize their effectiveness to the organization.

Development Approach Glossary

Adaptive ApproachA development approach where requirements can be uncertain and volatile throughout the project because change is expected.
AgileAn iterative software development approach, expressed in a variety of methodologies, which embraces incremental delivery, flexibility, cross-functional and self-organizing teams, direct customer-developer communication and collaboration, and frequent inspection and adaptation
Agile Life CyclesA life cycle that can be iterative or incremental in nature. Commonly called change-driven and applied when there is a high degree of change expected, or uncertainty present.
Agile ManifestoDeclaration of values and principals for Agile development including prioritizing individuals over processes and working software over extensive documentation
Agile Project ManagementA project management framework that applies iterative or incremental development approaches, with an emphasis on value delivery and empowering the team.
Agile Release Planning The approach to determine the number of iterations or sprints needed to complete a release. Included are the features that will be in each iteration or sprint that come together to make up the release.
Approved Change Request A modification request that has been authorized as a result of undergoing the integrated change control process
BacklogAn evolving list of customer-prioritized stories, tasks, and bugs that have not been completed and are not being worked on during the current iteration
Backlog ItemAny story, task, or bug that has not been completed and is not being worked on during the current iteration
Backlog RefinementContinuously updating the prioritized product backlog to reflect any changes, including adding new items, removing items that are no longer appropriate, reprioritizing existing items as necessary, and refining/cleaning user stories to get them ready for planning and execution
Burn ChartA graphical representation of the product work in an iteration or the project.
Burndown ChartA graphical representation of the work (represented by story points for a release and hours for an iteration) remaining over time
Burnup ChartA graphical representation of the work that has been completed over time plotted against the total work
Business Case A document that attempts to prove the economic feasibility of a business idea, such as a product or service, to justify the project
Business Model CanvasCommonly used in lean startups. A one-page, visual summary of the value proposition, customers, infrastructure, customers, and finances of the environment.
Business ValueAn abstraction that includes tangible and intangible elements associated with project, program, and portfolio management that maximize the value to the organization
ChangeA modification to any deliverable, project management plan component, or project document subject to the formal change control process.
Change ControlThe process of determining, documenting, reviewing, and then approving or rejecting any proposed modifications to project documentation, deliverables, or baselines
Change Control Board (CCB)The group accountable for considering, appraising, and making decisions about (approval, postponement, or rejection) proposed project changes and for the documenting and communicating those decisions
Change Control PlanA component of the project management plan that defines the change control board (CCB), their authority, and how the change control system will be applied.
Change Control SystemThe procedures that govern modifications to project documents, deliverables, and baselines
Change LogA list of proposed project modifications and their associated details including description, date, requestor, and status
Change ManagementA proactive approach to controlling, communicating, and responding effectively to fluctuations
Change Management PlanA plan that defines the project change management process
Change RequestA formal solicitation for a project modification that relates to the approach to, or outcome of, the project. Sometimes called a change control form
Closing Process GroupThe group of activities associated with concluding the project or phase
CrystalA family of light software development methodologies
Crystal ClearA light software development methodology for small (usually 6 or 8 collocated members) teams
Crystal OrangeA light software development methodology for medium (usually 10-40 members) teams
Cumulative Flow Diagram (CFD)A chart that displays features completed over time, in various stages of development, and those in the backlog.
Daily Standup Sometimes called the daily scrum. Team meeting held on a daily basis used to share the daily reality (what you have done since the last daily scrum, what you will do until the next daily scrum, and what impediments stand in your way) and to adapt to that reality, which usually involves an immediate replanning meeting and additional meetings
Definition of Done DOD)A Scrum term representing the objective criteria used to determine if a story meets internal standards/constraints
Definition of Ready (DOR)A checklist the team uses to establish they have everything needed to start work on the project or product.
Development ApproachThe method (predictive, iterative, incremental, agile, or hybrid) utilized during the project life cycle to produce and elaborate the product, service, or result of the project.
Development Approach and Life Cycle Performance DomainThe performance domain that focuses on activities and functions for the project development approach, cadence, and life cycle phases.
DevOpsAn approach that focuses on a smooth flow of work completion from development to operations.
Executing Process Group The processes performed to achieve the work detailed in the project management plan in order to meet the requirements delineated in the project specifications per the work identified in the project management plan
Hybrid ApproachA project approach that utilizes two or more agile and non-agile elements that results in a non-agile outcome.
Ideal Days/HoursA unit of time (in days or hours) exclusively allocated to a given task, that is a unit of time where no other work is performed or interruptions occur
Ideal TimeA unit of time exclusively allocated to a given task, i.e., a unit of time where no other work is performed or interruptions occur
ImpedimentAnything that prevents the team from working efficiently and effectively
Incremental ApproachAn adaptive development approach where deliverables are created over time with functionality added until the functionality is determined complete.
Incremental Life CycleThe progression of project phases characterized by an early determination of scope, the adjustment of time and cost estimates as the team learns more about the product, and an increase in functionality resulting from incremental delivery
Information RadiatorA wall in the common workspace that contains highly visible, graphic representations of progress
Initiating Process GroupThe processes associated with the inauguration of a new project or phase; typically involves obtaining approval and identifying project stakeholders
IterationA timebox cycle to create a product or deliverable where all the work is completed.
Iteration 0 (Zero)Iteration 0 sets the stage for Iteration 1 and beyond by ensuring that the vision statements for the project and release have been prepared, the features in the product backlog have been prioritized and estimated; the stories have been decomposed, the length of the iteration has been set; the team is adequately staffed, the team is co-located, the definition of done is established, the team environment is acceptable, and the architecture has been determined
Iteration PlanThe work plan for the current iteration.
Iteration PlanningA planning meeting that includes backlog items, acceptance criteria, and work estimates to complete the iteration. In scrum, commonly called a sprint planning meeting.
Iteration ReviewA meeting held at the end of an iteration to review the work completed during that iteration. In scrum, called a retrospective.
Iterative ApproachA development approach that begins with a simple implementation, then expands by adding features until the final deliverable, or outcome is complete.
Iterative Life CycleThe progression of project phases characterized by the development of scope details one iteration at a time, the adjustment of time and cost estimates as the team learns more about the product, and an increase in functionality resulting from iterative development
Joint application development (JAD)A method that involves the product owner/customer or user in the design and development of the product
kanbanSignal cards used in manufacturing to assist flow; used to indicate when new work can be pulled into the flow and when there is a stoppage in flow
Kanban BoardA visual tool that shows work in progress to identify bottlenecks and overallocations, so that the team can optimize the workflow.
Kano AnalysisA model for customer satisfaction that categorizes features as Must Haves, Linear (the more, the better), Exciters/Delighters, or Dissatisfiers
LeanA methodology that emphasizes the elimination of waste, producing only what is valuable to the customer
Lean Startup CanvasA one-page template to communicate the business plan to key stakeholders as effectively as possible.
Life CycleThe phases of a project associated with the work of the project, as opposed to being associated with its project management
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)An approach to assess the complete environmental impact of a product, process, or system.
Lost IterationAn iteration that does not result in a deliverable
Overlapping RelationshipA relationship between project phases where one starts before the predecessor finishes.
Pair ProgrammingAn extreme programming practice that pairs two programmers at one station, typically with one programmer coding (driver) and one reviewing (navigator); an excellent cross-training device
Phase GateA review which is conducted at the end of a phase to decide if the project should continue to the next phase, if the project should continue to the next phase with modification, or if the project or program should be terminated.
Planning Process GroupThe processes required to create the management and other planning documents that comprise the project management plan
Predictive Life CycleA life cycle type that determines project scope, time, and cost during the early phases of the life cycle.
Product Life CycleThe phases of product development, typically defined as conception through delivery, expansion, maturity, and disengagement
Product RoadmapThe description of how the project will proceed from its current state to the state described in the vision statement
Progressive ElaborationThe iterative process of increasing the level of detail in accordance with the increase in information discovery and estimation accuracy
Project Life CycleThe phases, from initiation through closure, of a project associated with the work of the project, as opposed to being associated with its project management
Project Management Process GroupThe aggregation of the processes, along with their inputs, outputs, tools, and technique, that make up project management including initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing
Project PhaseAn aggregation of logically related activities that results in the completion of a deliverable or deliverables
Project Vision StatementA document that defines the goal of the project, typically referencing the target customer, the need or opportunity, and the key benefit; often includes the main alternative to the project and why the project goal is more desirable
Relative Authority The authority that the project manager has relative to the functional manager's authority over the project team and project environment.
ReleaseA deployable software package that incorporates several iterations
Release ManagementActivities performed to ensure that the software is ready for release to the customer
Release PlanA plan that defines iterations, dates and features or outcomes to be delivered over multiple iterations.
Release PlanningDefining the prioritized and estimated stories from the product backlog that will be developed in the release and determining the date of the release
RoadmapA document that contains the high-level plan of the features that will be developed during the next few releases; the product owner/customer owns and maintain the document
Rolling Wave PlanningPreparing in more detail as the project becomes clearer
ScrumAn Agile methodology that delivers finished increments of a product at the end of each Sprint (a timeboxed iteration with a duration of one to four weeks)
Scrum of ScrumsA planning forum used in multiple-team projects to coordinate resources and dependencies
Scrum ValuesOpenness, focus, commitment, courage, visibility, and humor
SprintAn abbreviated development cycle (typically 30 days) that results in potentially shippable product
Sprint BacklogThe list of stories scheduled for the current iteration
Sprint PlanningA meeting between the product owner and the team to prioritize and identify stories for the next Sprint
Sprint Retrospective MeetingA meeting held at the end of each Sprint in which the ScrumMaster and the team discuss what went well and what could be improved during the next Sprint; part of the inspect and adapt philosophy
Sprint ReviewAn informal meeting at the end of the Sprint to demonstrate to the product owner what was accomplished during the Sprint
Story MapA graphical model for the team to see all the features and functions with a product, so they know what they are building and why they are building it.
Story PointA measurement that defines the size and complexity of a story/user story relative to a previously estimated story/user story
StoryboardingA prototype method that uses graphics or images to show how a process or outcome should flow, and how the product, service, or application should work when complete.
TailoringThe determination of the conglomeration of processes, inputs, tools, techniques, outputs, and life cycle phases appropriate to the management of a project.
Task (Agile)A decomposed portion of a story/user story
Task (Predictive)An activity to be completed on the project
Task boardA surface upon which tasks written on cards are grouped under their user stories and pinned in priority order; used to track the progress of the project
Technical DebtAn obligation incurred as a result of an opportunistic design or architectural approach which results in complexity and increased costs in the long term; can also refer to code that will be difficult to maintain as a result of ignoring the definition of done, writing poor
TimeboxA fixed duration of time that cannot be expanded
User StoryA document describing a unit of functionality written in business language that is used as the basis of conversation between the product owner/customer and the team to elicit functionality details; a user story is independent, negotiable, valuable, estimable, small, and testable
Value Delivery SystemTasks associated with building, sustaining, and evolving an organization with project and product work.
Value PropositionThe reasoning behind why an organization does or should do something.
VelocityThe rate at which stories are completed during an iteration, typically measured in story points; also known as team velocity
Velocity ChartA chart that shows the rate (typically in points) that deliverables are produced, tested, and accepted within a set time interval.
Vision StatementA document that defines the goal of the project, typically referencing the target customer, the need or opportunity, and the key benefit; often includes the main alternative to the project and why the project goal is more desirable
VolatilityThe potential for unpredictable and rapid change in a project or product environment.

Uncertainty Glossary

AcceptA strategy for managing positive or negative risks where nothing is done until the risk occurs.
AmbiguityThe state of being unclear; not able to identify the cause of events or having many options to select from.
AssumptionA premise considered to be true without benefit of proof
Assumption LogA project document that tracks assumptions related to the project.
Assumptions and Constraints AnalysisThe evaluation of assumptions and constraints to ensure they are factored into the plan and related documents, and they are applied consistently.
AvoidA risk response plan for negative risks where steps are taken to eliminate the risk so that it cannot occur.
BrainstormingA group creativity session that encourages all members to spontaneously suggest ideas that will lead to a solution to a problem
Business RiskA risk that is typically uninsurable because of doing business that could result in a profit or loss.
ComplexityThe intricate arrangement of many parts or factors into a whole
Confirmation BiasA cognitive bias that validates preexisting ideas, hypothesis, or beliefs.
ContingencyA possible event that could negatively impact the project and is typically neutralized by accessing the time or cost reserve established for that purpose
Contingency Plan A risk response strategy that is pre-established and implemented if the risk occurs.
Contingency ReserveFunds set aside for unforeseen events that can negatively effect the project
Decision Tree AnalysisA technique used to assess possible responses to a threat or opportunity in order to make the best decision; it involves diagramming the options and notating the expected monetary value (EMV) potential of each option
Effect-Based Risk ClassificationAn approach to analyzing bigger project risks that could impact project success. Categories includes scope, schedule, budget, and quality.
EnhanceA risk response strategy for positive risks or opportunities that takes steps to improve the size or capacity of the risk event.
EscalateA risk response strategy that addresses risks that are bigger than the project manager authority, or outside of the project where the risk is handed off to a person with the appropriate level to address it.
Expected Monetary Value (EMV)A statistical technique, typically applied in decision tree analysis, used to determine the average outcome when contingent scenarios for future project risks must be considered
ExploitA risk response strategy that involves ensuring the success of the project opportunity.
Insurable RiskA risk (threat) where insurance can typically be purchased. Categories could include liability, personnel, and property.
Management ReserveFunds set aside for unanticipated project work and excluded from the performance measurement baseline
MitigateA risk response strategy that takes steps to attempt to minimize the negative impact of the risk.
Monte Carlo SimulationA process that simulates possible project schedule or cost outcomes; often used to estimate required reserves based on the scatter diagram or probability table that is typically the output of the process
OpportunityA risk whose occurrence will result in a positive impact on the project
Overall Project RiskThe impact that uncertainty, including the cumulative effect of individual risks, has on the project; the exposure of stakeholders to the implications of variations in project outcome, both positive and negative.
Probability and Impact MatrixAn array used in qualitative risk management to prioritize risk, typically based on each risk’s probability of occurrence and potential impact
Qualitative Risk AnalysisA technique to establish the probability and impact of project risks.
Quantitative Risk AnalysisThe process of numerically evaluating the impact of identified risks on the project
ReserveFunds set aside for risks to the budget or schedule, for example management reserves or contingency reserves, as provided for in the project management plan
Reserve AnalysisAn analysis technique used to identify the critical features and relationships of components in order to determine the amount of reserves realistically needed for the project with consideration of schedule duration, budget, and cost estimation
Residual RiskThe remaining risk following the implementation of risk responses
RiskAn unscheduled, but possible, event that may have a positive or negative impact on the project if it occurs
Risk AcceptanceA risk response strategy that involves acknowledgement only of the risk; no planned response is formulated unless the risk occurs
Risk AppetiteThe amount of uncertainty an organization or individual is willing to accept in anticipation of a reward.
Risk AuditsThe evaluation of project risk responses to determine the effectiveness of the utilized approach to risk
Risk AvoidanceA risk response strategy that involves the elimination of the threat or protection of the project from the impact of the threat
Risk Breakdown Structure (RBS)A representation of risks ranked by category
Risk CategorizationThe organization of risks by source or other criteria to increase understanding of overall project risk
Risk Data Quality AssessmentAn evaluation of risk-associated data to determine its quality
Risk EnhancementA risk response strategy that increases the probability of occurrence or impact of an opportunity as a result of deliberate team action.
Risk EscalationA risk response strategy that transfers ownership of the risk from the project team to a higher organizational level for more effectively management.
Risk ExploitingA risk response strategy that ensures the occurrence of an opportunity as a result of deliberate team action.
Risk ExposureThe calculation that determines the impact to the schedule if risks are realized: multiply the probability of each risk occurring, expressed as a percentage, by the impact to the schedule if that risk is realized, expressed in days, and total the results
Risk ImpactWhat is at stake if the risk occurs. This is commonly, but not always, measured in dollars.
Risk Management PlanThe document, part of the project or program management plan, used to describe the manner in which risk management activities will be framed and executed
Risk MitigationA risk response strategy that involves the reduction of the threat or the probability that the risk will occur
Risk OwnerThe person responsible for the monitoring of a risk and for the determination and implementation of an appropriate risk response strategy.
Risk ProbabilityThe chance that a risk will occur during the project.
Risk RegisterA document that lists each risk along with the results of its analysis and risk response planning
Risk ReportA project document that establishes the progressive development of risk management processes throughout the project, summarizes individual project risk information, and delineates the degree of overall project risk.
Risk ReviewA meeting used to examine and document the effectiveness of risk responses in relation to identified, individual project risks and to overall project risk.
Risk SharingA risk responses strategy that allocates ownership of an opportunity from the project team to a third party who is best able to capture the benefits of that opportunity.
Risk ThresholdThe degree of risk exposure that defines the upper limit of risk acceptance; risks whose level exceed the threshold must be addressed.
Risk ToleranceThe level of risk that an individual or organization is willing to permit; also known as risk utility
Risk TransferenceA risk response strategy that involves shifting the impact of a threat, as well as accountability for the response, to a third party
Risk WorkshopA special meeting to identify project risks. It can include team members and any relevant stakeholders.
Risk-Adjusted BacklogA backlog that can include product work to address any related threats and opportunities.
Risk-aversePossessing a low desire or tolerance for risk
Risk-neutralA middle ground between the risk taken and the benefit received
Secondary RiskA risk that results from a risk response implementation
Sensitivity Analysis A quantitative risk analysis and modeling technique used to identify those risks that have the greatest effect on the project
ShareA risk response strategy that involves the risk or opportunity being divided across multiple parties.
Source-Based Risk ClassificationAn approach to analyze risks based on their source.
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis A risk analysis technique that considers the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the project to facilitate a more knowledgeable risk management analysis
Threat A risk whose occurrence will result in a negative impact to the project
TransferA risk response strategy for negative risks or threats that assigns the risks to a third party.
Trigger Condition An indicator that a risk event could occur
UncertaintyUnknowns associated with tasks, issues, direction, or solutions associated with a project or product.
Uncertainty DomainThe performance domain associated with project risk and uncertainty.
Workaround A response to a risk that was unplanned or that had an ineffective planned response

Stakeholder Glossary

Active ListeningA technique that requires the listener to concentrate on the message conveyed by the speaker, then to repeat or paraphrase the message to confirm understanding.
AutocraticA group decision making technique where one party makes the decisions based on the inputs of others.
Blockers A role that interrupts information flow on the project
Communication Methods Procedures, techniques, and processes that are employed to disseminate information to project stakeholders
Communication Model A facsimile that demonstrates the manner in which project communications will be performed
Communication Requirements Analysis An approach to the determination of stakeholder communication requirements, which can include interviews, lessons learned, and analysis of previous projects
Communication Styles Assessment A technique utilized to identify the approach, format, and content preferred by each stakeholder for planned communication activities.
Communication Technology The tools, systems, and computer applications utilized in the dissemination of information to project stakeholders
Communications Management Plan The document, part of the project or program management plan, that addresses the communication flow of the project and contains a detailed description of the transmittal process, the transmittal schedule, and the administration process
Compromise A conflict resolution technique in which a solution involves (typically) a little of what everyone is proposing for a solution
Conflict Management The management of conflict within the project by applying such techniques as problem solving, collaboration, forcing, compromising, accommodation, and avoidance
Conflict of Interest A situation in which an individual or company engages in behavior that is inappropriate, but not necessarily illegal (it could be illegal)
Cultural AwarenessBeing aware of the differences and priorities of the various stakeholders, teams, and organizations, to help establish appropriate communication strategies.
Directions of InfluenceA model that groups stakeholders on their project influence and priority. Upwards are senior and executive management. Downwards are the team and any specialists.
Emotional Intelligence The ability to determine, assess, and manage the emotions of individuals or groups
Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) The capacity to acknowledge and effectively manage feelings in oneself and others
Focus GroupA focused session involving pre-qualified stakeholders, subject matter experts (SMEs), and a designated leader that is conducted to determine expectations and views regarding a potential product, service, or result
Influence/Impact GridA model that groups stakeholders by their influence and impact on the project.
Interactive CommunicationA communication type that enables an exchange of information between multiple parties and fosters a common understanding between participants.
Interpersonal SkillsThe abilities that maximize the establishment and maintenance of relationships with project stakeholders; examples include the ability to communicate clearly, to motivate others, and to effectively negotiate; also known as soft skills
Osmotic Communication The indirect absorption of information, often by being present, but not participating, during conversations
Persona A fictional character, created by the team to portray a user, used as a reference for determining the viability of a product
Political AwarenessBeing aware of the power structure and navigating relationships in an organization.
Power/Influence GridA graphical model that organizes stakeholders by their level of involvement and authority on the project.
Power/Interest GridA graphical model that organizes stakeholders by their level of interest and authority on the project.
Pull CommunicationsA communication type that requires people to access the communication if they want it.
Push CommunicationsA communication type that distributes the communication to the recipients without requiring them to access it manually.
Qualified VendorsAny vendors that have met the procurement qualification requirements.
Qualified Vendors ListA list of vendors that have met the procurement qualification requirements and can be engaged for potential agreements.
RACI ChartA type of responsibility assignment matrix that designates the status of stakeholder involvement in project activities; status designations are responsible, accountable, consult, or inform.
Salience ModelA model that organizes stakeholders with their level of authority, involvement, and needs with the project.
StakeholderAny person or entity, external to the team, that may impact, be impacted by, or perceive itself to be impacted by any decision, activity, or outcome of the project
Stakeholder AnalysisA technique by which quantitative and qualitative information is amassed and evaluated to determine whose interests should be considered throughout the project
Stakeholder CubeA 3D model that is an evolution of the earlier two-dimensional models, such as power/interest and power/influence grids.
Stakeholder EngagementWorking and communicating with stakeholders to ensure satisfaction of their legitimate needs and expectations, to resolve their issues, and to include them in appropriate decision-making
Stakeholder Engagement Assessment MatrixA matrix in which current and desired stakeholder engagement levels are listed for comparison.
Stakeholder Engagement PlanThe document, part of the project or program management plan, used to depict all processes, procedures, tools, and techniques that will be used to effectively involve stakeholders in project determinations and performance based on the stakeholders' requirements, concerns, and potential impact
Stakeholder Performance DomainThe performance domain associated with identifying and engaging stakeholders.
Stakeholder RegisterA project document that lists stakeholder information including name, role, assessment, and classification
Steering CommitteeA group of senior stakeholders who direct and support the project team and make decisions that are outside the scope of the project team's authority.
UserThe person, division, or company that will be the user or owner of the product when the project is complete

Team Glossary

CoachingActivities associated with providing guidance and reinforcement to people, so they can be more effective.
ColocationA technique for improving team effectiveness, as well as communication and collaboration among team members, by placing them in close proximity to each other
Cross-Functional Team A group whose members collectively provide the skills required to complete the project
Development Team A self-organizing, cross-functional group of individuals who do the work of the project, including analysis, design, development, testing, technical communication, and documentation
Expert Judgment The opinion of an authority on a project-related subject
Expert Power A capacity in which one uses personal knowledge and expert opinion to get others to do what is desired
Explicit Knowledge Knowledge that can be classified utilizing such symbols as words, numerals, and images.
FacilitationThe ability to direct a group event to achieve a successful conclusion.
Forcing Applying an all or nothing (win/lose) to get the desired result
Functional Manager A manager of any unit that creates a product or executes a service; also known as a line manager
Hierarchy of Needs A pyramid representation of Maslow's Theory that a person's motivation is based on needs (and where the person fits in this pyramid)
Job Shadowing To view individuals performing the tasks required by their positions
KnowledgeThe composite of experience, values and beliefs, contextual information, intuition, and insight that people employ in an attempt to make sense of new experiences and information.
Knowledge ManagementAn approach to align people to share knowledge and work/collaborate together on the project.
LeadershipThe ability to lead others to achieve desired results. Keys include experience, taking on challenges, and engaging stakeholders.
Majority The votes of more than half of the members of a group, typically used to denote agreement with a decision
Mirroring Matching behavior characteristics of another person or group
Mood ChartA chart for tracking moods or reactions to identify areas that can be improved.
MotivationAn inner drive that moves people to be engaged and want to work to meet the goal of the project.
Observations To view individuals performing the tasks required by their positions
Organization Chart A graphical representation of an organization’s hierarchical framework as well as the relationships between departments and personnel, typically delineating lines of responsibility and authority
Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS) A ranked representation of the project organization that illustrates the relationship between activities and their performing organization unit
Organizational TheoryAn approach to establish how to maximize productivity and efficiency with stakeholders on the project.
Power The possible ability to influence behavior or performance of others
Product Owner/Customer The primary business representative who manages the vision and ROI and has the authority to make decisions; also called the product champion and voice of the customer
Programmer-Coach A person, typically a senior programmer, who guides the team in applying XP practices
Project LeadA person who works with the project team to achieve project goals by helping to organize the work. They are also called a project manager.
Project Management TeamThe individuals on the project team who perform project management activities
Project Manager (PM) The person authorized by the performing organization to direct the team accountable for realizing project objectives
Project Team The individuals responsible for reinforcing the project manager in the work of the project in order to realize project objectives
RecognitionA personal approach to emphasize good behavior, effort, or other attribute instead of simply a result.
Resource Breakdown StructureA representation of resources ranked by category and type
Resource Management PlanA component of the project management plan that defines the manner in which project resources are acquired, allocated, monitored, and controlled.
Resource RequirementsThe types and quantities of resources needed for each activity that makes up a work package.
Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)A graphical representation of the project resources committed to a monitored area of the project, such as a work package; typically applies RACI (responsibly, accountable, consult, inform) indicators to depict the form of commitment
RewardA tangible item given to someone based on an achievement.
Reward and Recognition PlanA formal approach to reinforce desired performance.
RoleA person’s identity within the project such as product owner/customer, project manager, developer, or tester
ScribeThe person who documents meetings and modeling sessions
Scrum TeamA self-organizing, cross-functional group of individuals who do the work of the Scrum
ScrumMasterThe servant leader and facilitator who ensures that the Scrum process is followed, that Scrum is used in a positive way by the team, and that the team is continually improving in its use of Scrum
Self-Organizing TeamA team formation type that defines a team able to function without centralized control.
Servant LeaderA leader whose focus is on providing what the team needs, removing roadblocks, and performing tasks that will support and improve team productivity
Servant LeadershipThe approach of leading the team with a focus on the needs of the team members to attempt to maximize the highest possible team results.
Situational LeadershipThe adaptation of leadership to the task at hand and in consideration of the maturity of the team
SponsorThe person or group responsible for providing resources and reinforcement for the project and for enabling the project to realize its objectives
Subject Matter ExpertAny person who has deep, specialized knowledge of a subject
T-ShapedA general reference to a person that has deep knowledge or experience in one area, and a broad ability in other required areas needed by the team.
Tacit KnowledgeIndividual knowledge (such as beliefs, experience, and insights) that can be difficult to express and share.
Team CharterA document that delineates team values, agreements, and operating guidelines and establishes clear expectations regarding acceptable behavior by project team members.
Team DevelopmentThe creation of individual and team skills to maximize project output
Team DynamicsThe manner in which team members interact with each other
Team Management PlanA component of the resource management plan that delineates the manner and timing in which team members are acquired and released.
Team Performance DomainThe performance domain associated with the team that will create the project deliverables to realize the desired project outcomes.
Team Resource ManagementThe processes to organize, lead, and manage the project team. Processes to procure and manage physical (non-personnel) project resources are also included.
Team-Building ActivitiesFacilitated by the project manager or other leader, formal or informal steps taken to help the team evolve into a high performing group.
Theory XThe hypothesis that management’s role is to direct, and if necessary, coerce the employee in order to achieve the goals and objectives of the organization
Theory YThe hypothesis that management’s role is to develop employee potential and help them release that potential to achieve the goals and objectives of the organization
Thumb VoteAgreement (thumbs-up) or disagreement (thumbs-down) with a statement, idea, or proposal; also called a Roman Vote
UnanimityA decision with which all group members concurred
Virtual TeamA group of people with similar goals who form a team but spend little (if any) time together
War RoomA room shared by project personnel that can be used for planning and meetings, and display charts, graphs, and various other project information
Work ShadowingAn approach where someone can learn about and perform a job while learning from someone with more experience, including a mentor.
Analogous EstimateA top-down method that approximates size, cost, or scope based on the size, cost, or scope of a similar object or process
Analogy ApproachA methodology for establishing values for the current project based on those from a previous project with similar characteristics; values obtained from this method include activity duration, required resources, and estimated costs
BaselineThe agreed upon level of work (or other variable) used as a basis for comparison; once established, any changes must be authorized through formal change control procedures
Basis of EstimatesSupporting details associated with an estimate, typically time or cost, that may include assumptions, constraints, level of detail, ranges, and confidence levels
Benefits Management PlanA component of the project management plan that details the manner in which the benefits provided by a project or program are created, maximized, and sustained.
Bottom-up EstimatingAn estimating technique in which individual estimates are rolled up to create a summary estimate for the project
CharterAn instrument issued by the project sponsor or initiator that approves the existence of the project and authorizes the project manager to assign resources held by the organization to project activities
Configuration ManagementA process which verifies that the products of the project are complete and accurate
Configuration Management PlanA part of the project management plan that is used to control product features and details through change control.
Configuration Management SystemA subsystem within the project management system that is comprised of documented procedures that delineate the method by which the attributes of a product, result, service, or component of a project are determined; attribute changes are controlled via authorization rules and a tracking system; conformance requirements can be corroborated through audit
ConstraintAn internal or external limitation of the project
De Facto RegulationsRegulations that are commonly applied across the environment or organization.
De Jure RegulationsRegulations that are required by law or are deemed recognized by experts.
Decision MakingThe approach of selecting from various options.
Document AnalysisThe evaluation of current documentation related to project risk
Enterprise Environmental FactorsInternal and external variables, not under the control of the project team, that impact the project
EstimateAn approximation of an outcome, based on experience or calculation, that is typically applied to cost, effort, or duration and usually contains a modifier (e.g. preliminary) and an accuracy indication (e.g. ±%)
Estimating MethodsMethods to establish work, time, or cost estimates for a project.
ForecastThe estimation of a future state of a project based on the performance levels of the organization or a previous project; typically includes measurements associated with estimate at completion (EAC) or estimate to complete (ETC)
Hierarchy ChartA chart that shows high-level information that is broken down into more detail as needed.
InterfaceA boundary that allows two separate systems or a user and a system to interact
Kickoff MeetingA meeting used to initiate the start of the project; typically attended by all the key stakeholders; can be done when Initiating or Planning is complete depending upon the organization
MaterialAny materials used on a project; examples include equipment, tools, machinery, and supplies
Most Likely DurationThe most probable, or realistic, estimate of elapsed time for an activity based on data from previous projects or expert judgment
Multi-criteria Decision AnalysisA process that utilizes a decision matrix to systematically analyze project information such as risk levels, uncertainty, value, and prioritization
Multipoint EstimatingA method used in cost or duration estimating with an average or weighted average of optimistic, pessimistic, and most likely (realistic) values to factor in uncertainty.
Optimistic DurationThe shortest estimate of elapsed time or lowest cost for an activity based on data from previous projects or expert judgment
Parametric EstimatingA technique, effected by a calculation that employs an algorithm, used to determine cost or duration. Sometimes called parametric modeling.
PERT Weighted AverageAn estimating technique used to take the pessimistic, optimistic, and realistic (most likely) estimates to achieve a cumulative estimate
Pessimistic DurationThe longest estimate of elapsed time for an activity based on data from previous projects or expert judgment; typically used in three-point or parametric estimates
PlanningA meeting to prioritize stories and define tasks for the next iteration
Probabilistic EstimatingA method that produces a range of estimates and the associated probabilities of each estimate.
ProductAn output of the project that is quantifiable and can be described as material and goods
Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)An estimation technique, used when individual estimates are questionable, that involves applying a weighted average of optimistic, pessimistic, and most likely estimates
Project BriefA high level document with the goals, processes, and deliverables associated with the project.
Project CharterAn instrument issued by the project sponsor or initiator that approves the existence of the project and authorizes the project manager to assign resources held by the organization to project activities
Project Management PlanThe cumulative document, containing all management plans and other planning documents, that serves as the blueprint for realizing the objectives of the project
Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) EstimateA cost estimate, performed early in the project, of the completion cost of the project; the tolerance range is -25% to +75%.
SimulationA project computer model that can counterfeit project outcome when there is uncertainty associated with schedule, cost or resources
Single-Point EstimatingAn estimating method that uses data to establish a best guess estimate.
Three-Point EstimatingA technique used to evaluate the cost or duration of an activity by averaging the optimistic, pessimistic, and most likely estimates.
Wideband DelphiAn estimation technique where each team member estimates the size of a task and after a series of discussions, the team arrives at a consensus for task size estimation
Affinity Diagram A tool used to gather ideas and organize them into groupings so they can be reviewed and analyzed; typically used for ideas generated from brainstorming sessions
Affinity GroupingThe process to group similar items into the same category.
Context Diagrams A graphical representation of the scope of a business system that includes processes, equipment, and computer systems and indicates the manner in which people and other systems interact with the business system
Decomposition The process of breaking down the work of the project into smaller, more controllable components
Deliverable Any product, result, or service that must be generated to complete a process, phase, or project
Facilitated Workshop A focused session involving cross-functional stakeholders and a designated leader that is conducted to achieve a specific goal, such as the creation of project requirements
Features The characteristics that the user desires built into a product
Interviews A focused session involving individual stakeholders and a designated leader that is conducted to elicit specific information
Mind-Mapping A technique used to integrate ideas created through individual brainstorming sessions into a single map in order to highlight similarities and differences in understanding and generate new ideas.
MoSCoW A model for prioritization that categorizes features as Must Have, Should Have, Could Have, Won’t Have [we use KANO instead]
Nominal Group Technique A technique, effected by a voting process, that is used to prioritize ideas by utility for further brainstorming
Planning PackageA WBS component that has no detailed scheduled activities even though it is known to have work content
Plurality The votes of the largest block in a group when a majority is not required, typically used to denote agreement with a decision
Product Scope The features and functions of a project's product, service, or result
Project RequirementsThe conditions or capabilities that a product, service, or outcome should preform when complete.
Project ScopeThe work executed to deliver a product, service, or result that satisfies the specified features and functions
Project Scope ManagementThe processes required to ensure that all the work needed to complete the project, and only that work, is included in the project
Project Scope StatementThe document that describes the major deliverables, assumptions, constraints, and scope of the project
QuestionnairesWritten surveys designed to quickly gather information from a large number of respondents.
RequirementA condition or capability that must be made available through a product, service, or result in order to fulfill a contract or formal specification
Requirements DocumentationA document that describes requirements for creating a product or a feature of the product
Requirements Management PlanThe document, part of the project or program management plan, used to describe the evaluation, recording, and administration of project requirements
Requirements Traceability MatrixA graphical representation that illustrates the relationships between the origins of the product requirements to the deliverables that fulfill the requirements
ScopeThe products, services, and results expected to be provided by the project
Scope BaselineThe authorized scope statement, WBS, and WBS dictionary that contain only those modifications authorized through a formal change control process; used as a basis for comparison
Scope Management PlanThe document, part of the project or program management plan, used to the manner in which the project scope will be delineated, elaborated, monitored, controlled, and authenticated
TraceabilityThe practice of defining the relationships between different artifacts (e.g., documents, models, and source code)
WBS DictionaryA document that itemizes deliverable, activity, and scheduling information for each WBS component
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)A document used in traditional project management that itemizes the work decomposed from the project scope statement
ActivityA unique, scheduled segment of project work that typically has an associated cost, duration, and resources; sometimes called a task
Activity AttributesThe characteristics of an activity that include activity codes, predecessor activities, successor activities, logical relationships, leads and lags, resource requirements, imposed dates, constraints, and assumptions
Activity DependencyThe relationship between two activities or between an activity and a milestone, also known as a logical relationship
Activity Duration EstimateThe projected duration of an activity
Activity ListA listing of scheduled activities, with such details of a description, identifier, and scope of work, used to ensure that team members comprehend the work that will be performed during the project
Backward PassA network diagramming method that calculates the late start (LS) and late finish (LF) dates of each activity by working backward through the schedule from the project completion date
Bar ChartA graphical representation of schedule-related information. Typically, schedule activities or work breakdown structure components are displayed vertically on the far left of the chart, dates are displayed horizontally across the top of the chart, and activity duration's are displayed as date-placed horizontal bars. Also see Gantt chart.
CrashingA compression technique to shorten the duration of the schedule, typically by adding additional resources to critical path activities
Critical PathThe progression of activities that comprise the longest path through the project; used to ascertain the project duration
Critical Path ActivityAn activity on the critical path of a project schedule
Critical Path MethodA technique used to assess minimum project duration and ascertain any schedule adaptability that appertains to logical network paths
DependencyThe relationship between two activities or between an activity and a milestone, also known as a logical relationship
Discretionary DependencyAn activity that the project manager (or other decision maker) arbitrarily chooses to designate as a dependency; for example, making the reservation of a hotel room dependent on the purchase of a plane ticket; also known as soft logic
Duration (DU or DUR)The time, exclusive of holidays or other days in which business is not conducted and typically measured in workdays or workweeks, required to complete a specific activity or WBS component
Early Finish Date (EF)The earliest possible date for an activity to be completed based upon the schedule network logic
Early Start Date (ES)The earliest possible date for an activity to be started based upon the schedule network logic
EffortThe amount of labor (typically measured in hours, days, or weeks) required to complete an activity or WBS component
Elapsed TimeThe actual time to complete a task.
External DependencyA relationship between project activities and non-project activities
Fast TrackingA schedule compression approach that puts some activities in parallel, instead of in series to shorten pieces of, or the overall project duration.
Finish DateA point in time related to the completion of a schedule activity and typically qualified as actual, planned, estimated, scheduled, early, late, baseline, target, or current.
Finish-to-finish (FF)A dependency that requires the completion of a predecessor activity prior to the completion of the successor activity
Finish-to-start (FS)A dependency that requires the completion of a predecessor activity prior to the start of the successor activity
FloatThe amount of time an activity can be delayed without delaying successor activities or the project completion date
Forward PassA network diagramming method that calculates the early start (ES) and early finish (EF) dates of each activity by working forward through the schedule from the project inception date or a specific point in time
Free FloatThe amount of time an activity can be delayed without violating any schedule limitation and without delaying the early start date of successor activities
Gantt ChartA graphical representation that registers activities on the vertical axis and depicts the activity durations, based on their start and finish dates, on the horizontal access; also known as a bar chart
Internal DependencyA relationship between multiple project tasks.
LagThe amount of time, predicated on the start or finish of a predecessor activity, a successor activity must be delayed
Late Finish Date (LF)The latest possible date for an activity to be completed based upon the schedule network logic, the project finish date, and schedule limitations
Late Start Date (LS)The latest possible date for an activity to be started based upon the schedule network logic, the project finish date, and schedule limitations
LeadThe amount of time, predicated on the start or finish of a predecessor activity, a successor activity can be moved up
Mandatory DependencyA relationship that is necessitated by virtue of a contractual requirement or the work itself
MergeA coming together (convergence) of activities on a network diagram
MilestoneA meaningful project event typically preceded by a series of activities that lead to its completion
Milestone ChartsA summary chart that itemizes key milestones over time on the project.
Milestone ListA list of significant events in the project that may be designated as mandatory or optional
Milestone ScheduleA summary timetable that itemizes key milestones
Near-critical ActivityAny schedule network diagram activity that is close to zero slack
Network DiagramA schematic of logical relationships that make up the flow of activities on the project; always drawn from left to right
Network PathAn uninterrupted series of activities depicted in a schedule network diagram and connected by dependencies
NodeA point in a schedule network that is the juncture of some or all dependency lines
Over-allocationA situation in which a resource is applied to too many activities at the same time to accomplish them all within the acceptable timeframe
Path ConvergenceA node on a network diagram that indicates the merger of parallel paths; distinguished by an activity with multiple predecessors
Path DivergenceA dependency between a schedule activity and its multiple successors; sometimes called a burst
Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM)A technique used to create a schedule model in which activities are represented by nodes and graphically linked by one or more logical relationships in order to display the sequence in which the activities are to be performed.
Precedence RelationshipA dependency in the precedence diagramming method; also known as a logical relationship
Predecessor ActivityAn activity that logically precedes a successor activity
Project ScheduleThe document, an output of the schedule model, that depicts linked activities with their estimated dates, durations, milestones, and resources
Project Schedule Network DiagramA graphical representation of the logical relationships that exist among activities in the project schedule
Resource LevelingA technique in which resource constraints dictate start and finish date adjustments in order to balance the demand for resources with the resources available
Resource Optimization TechniquesAn approach to resource allocation that adjusts schedule start and finish dates to ensure that resource assignments do not exceed predefined capacity limits
ScheduleThe document, an output of the schedule model, that depicts linked activities with their estimated dates, durations, milestones, and resources
Schedule BaselineThe authorized version of the schedule model that is used as the basis for comparison and can only be modified through a formal change control procedure
Schedule CompressionAny technique, such as crashing or fast tracking, used to shorten the duration of the schedule while maintaining the project scope
Schedule ForecastsEstimates, based on current project information, that are associated with future schedule events
Schedule Management PlanThe document, part of the project or program management plan, that authenticates standards and activities used to produce, track, and administer the schedule
Schedule ModelA model which includes activity durations and dependencies, used to produce the project schedule
Sequential RelationshipsAn approach where one phase has to be complete before the next one starts.
Start DateThe date work begins on an activity; can include qualifiers such as actual, planned, estimated, scheduled, early, late, target, baseline, and current
Start-to-finish (SF)A dependency that requires the start of a predecessor activity prior to the completion of the successor activity
Start-to-start (SS)A dependency that requires the start of a predecessor activity prior to the start of the successor activity
Successor ActivityAn activity that logically follows its predecessor activity
Summary ActivityAn array of related schedule activities aggregated and displayed as a single activity.
Total Slack (Total Float)The amount of time an activity can slip (be delayed) from its early start date without delaying the overall finish date
Actual Cost (AC)The total cost accrued for an activity over a designated time period; also known as the actual cost of work performed (ACWP)
BudgetThe total cost of all project iterations including adjustments for change
Budget at Completion (BAC)The total project budget derived from incorporating all items from the project's individual budgets; also called the sum of all planned value (PV)
Chart of AccountsA structure used to monitor project cost that usually aligns with a company's accounting system and WBS of the project or program
Code of AccountsThe numbering system used to distinguish constituents of the WBS
Control AccountA specific point in the work breakdown structure (WBS) where the project scope, budget, actual cost, and schedule are combined and then compared to earned value in order to establish performance metrics
Cost AggregationAdding together the work package cost estimates for high-level WBS components, including control accounts, for the purpose of establishing the value of the total project or the control account work
Cost BaselineThe authorized project budget version, exclusive of management reserves, that requires a formal control process to effect changes and is used as the basis of comparison to actual costs
Cost Management PlanThe document, part of the project or program management plan, used to describe the framing, forming, observation, and control of project costs
Definitive EstimateA cost estimate that provides an accurate estimate of the project cost; the final cost estimate used before implementation; typically the range of -10% to +10%
Earned Value (EV)Represents the worth of the work completed at a specific point in time; also known as the budgeted cost of work performed (BCWP)
Earned Value AnalysisAn approach that measures scope, schedule, and cost to establish the state of the project schedule and budget.
Earned Value ManagementA technique, effected by considering actual cost (AC), time (PV) , and what has been accomplished (EV), that is used to determine project progress and performance
Funding Limit ReconciliationThe process of comparing planned project expenses to any limitations or constraints in project funding
Internal Rate of Return (IRR)In capital budgeting, the interest rate that makes the net present value of all cash flow equal to zero
Net Present Value (NPV)Comparison of the value of a dollar today versus the value of that dollar in the future taking inflation and return into account
Opportunity CostThe amount associated with bypassing one opportunity in favor of another; as an example, if the pursuit of project B with a value of $75K is elected over the pursuit of project A with a value of $50K, $50k value of project A will not be realized
Payback PeriodThe amount of time needed to recover the investment in the project
Planned Value (PV)The total value of the work scheduled as of a certain point in time; also known as the budgeted cost of work scheduled (BCWS)
Present Value (PV)The current value of a value stream at a specific point in time in the future
Return on Investment (ROI)The amount of income from an investment; income divided by the investment
Data-flow diagram (DFD)Graphical representation depicting the movement of data between processes, objects, and storage within the system
PDCA (Plan Do Check Act)An iterative, four step process used to improve quality
Quality Function Deployment (QFD)A workshop approach used in manufacturing environments to establish requirements.
Quality Management PlanThe document, part of the project or program management plan, used to describe the execution of the organization's quality policies
Quality PolicyThe organizational policies crafted to achieve quality goals.
Agreements (Predictive)A document or communication that defines the intentions of a project; examples include a contract, a memorandum of understanding (MOU), and letters of agreement
Bid DocumentsThe documentation utilized to request information, quotations, or proposals from prospective sellers.
Bidder ConferenceMeetings with potential sellers that occur before bids or proposals are prepared and which are used to ensure that all sellers have an unambiguous and common comprehension of the procurement; also known as a contractor conference, vendor conference, or pre-bid conference
Breach of ContractWhen some, or all terms of a contract (agreement) are not performed or met.
Completion ContractA general category of contract that is done when the seller delivers the product, and the buyer accepts it.
ContractA mutually binding agreement that requires, in accordance with the terms of the agreement, the seller to deliver goods or services to the purchaser and the purchaser to compensate the seller for those goods or services
Contract Change Control SystemSystem that manages contract amendments
Cost Plus Award Fee (CPAF) ContractA contract in which the seller receives payments for actual costs related to completed work plus an award that is at the discretion of the buyer; the award that typically represents seller profit
Cost Plus Fixed Fee (CPFF) ContractA contract in which the supplier receives payment for allowable costs plus a fixed fee typically based on estimated cost
Cost Plus Incentive Fee (CPIF) ContractA contract in which the supplier receives payment for allowable costs, as well as a pre-negotiated fee and an incentive fee (if incentives are met)
Cost Reimbursable (CR) ContractA mutually binding agreement that compensate the seller for goods or services on the basis of actual costs plus a fee that represents the seller's profit and typically includes an incentive if specific objectives, such as budget or schedule targets, are met
Firm Fixed Price (FFP) Contract A contract that requires the seller to provide products or services for a set price based on a well defined scope of work; the seller assumes the majority of risk
Fixed Price (FP) ContractA mutually binding agreement that compensates the seller for goods or services on the basis of a fixed amount identified in the agreement, notwithstanding the seller's costs
Fixed Price Incentive Fee (FPIF) ContractA contract in which the seller provides products or services based on a well defined scope of work for a set price, but which allow for additional payments to the seller if pre-defined performance objectives are met; the seller assumes the majority of risk
Fixed Price with Economic Price Adjustment (FP-EPA) Contract A contract that requires the seller to provide products or services for a set price based on a well defined scope of work and allows a price adjustment over time in response to a specific indicator, typically a change in the cost of labor or materials; the seller assumes the majority of risk
Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ)A contract that delivers an indefinite quantity of goods and services, with minimums/maximums in a set timeframe.
Invitation for Bid (IFB)A procurement document, typically used when requirements are complete, clear, and accurate or with governmental sealed bids, issued by the seller to request a proposal from the seller; in addition to detailed requirements, it often includes acceptability criteria
Make or Buy AnalysisThe process of determining whether specific work should be created by the project team or purchased from an external source
Make or Buy DecisionsThe result of the process of determining whether specific work should be created by the project team or purchased from an external source.
OutsourcingAn approach to procure services from a third party for a contract or short-term duration.
ProcurementThe acquisition of goods or services from an outside source (vendor)
Procurement DocumentsThe instruments used with bid and proposal activities that include the Invitation for Bid (IFB), the Invitation for Negotiation (IFN), the Request for Information (RFI), the Request for Quotation (RFQ), and the Request for Proposal (RFP)
Procurement Management PlanThe document, part of the project or program management plan, used to describe the methods that will be employed by the project team to obtain goods and services from outside the organization
Procurement Statement of WorkA description of a procurement item that is broken down to the appropriate level of detail that will allow potential sellers to determine if they are capable of providing the products or services associated with the contract scope
Request for Information (RFI)A buyer issued procurement document requesting a potential seller to provide information related to the seller's ability to deliver a product, service, or capability
Request for Proposal (RFP)A procurement document issued by the buyer to request a proposal from the seller; typically describes acceptability criteria and a description of the product, service, or capability the buyer wishes to procure
Request for Quote (RFQ)A document used to get bids or quotes from possible suppliers, usually for commodity type items, with minimal customization
Selected SellersVendors chosen to provide products or services
Seller ProposalsAn offer from a vendor who is being considered as a provider of a product or service
Source Selection CriteriaSeller attributes that will be considered by the buyer; typically includes capacity to deliver, costs, delivery dates, expertise, and contract approach
Statement of Work (SOW)A detailed description of the products, services, or results expected from a project or other initiative
Time & Materials (T&M) ContractA contract that pays the contractor the actual cost of labor, the actual cost of materials and equipment usage, and an agreed upon profit
Top-down EstimatingAn estimating technique in which the project manager estimates the cost or duration of the project based on the cost or duration of a previous project that is very similar to the current project
WaiverSurrendering a contract right, term, or condition.
Design-the-boxAn exercise in which team members create a container for the product that articulates the product’s purpose and lists its key features
Elevator StatementThe synopsis of a concept, such as the purpose of a project, which can be expressed in thirty seconds or so
EpicA large story, usually undeveloped, that needs to be decomposed into smaller stories
Fail Fast (aka Fast Failure)A strategy that consists of attempting something, obtaining feedback as soon as possible, and then inspecting and adapting rapidly to determine if the attempt represents a good decision; if not, the attempt is immediately aborted so that time and resources are not wasted on its continuance
Feature CreepThe continual increase in or unrestrained changes to software functionality
Fibonacci SequenceA series of numbers that begins with 0 and 1, and then is expanded by adding the two previous numbers together: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13…
Fixed DurationAn activity where the duration does not change, regardless of the people or resources applied to the activity.
Function PointAn estimate of the amount of business functionality in an IT system. It can be used to calculate the functional size of an application.
High-level (Gross) EstimatesAn estimate based on relative sizing
Interdependent StoriesUser stories that, considered together, solve a problem
INVESTAn acronym that stands for the rules that define a user story (Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimable, Small, and Testable)
Nebulous Units of Time (NUTs)An alternative term for story points
Planning PokerA game played with cards representing tasks that uses Delphi, a method where each team member estimates the size of a task and after a series of discussions, the team arrives at a consensus for task size estimation
Product AnalysisAn approach used to convert a business-defined product into project deliverables; typically involves asking business representatives questions about the intended uses and characteristics of the product
Product BacklogAn evolving list of customer-prioritized features, bugs, technical work, and knowledge acquisition that have not been completed and are not being worked on during the current iteration
Product Box ExerciseA technique to help facilitate product requirements gathering and understanding by building a sample box with name, features, and other relevant details.
Product Breakdown StructureA hierarchical structure that shows a product's components and deliverables.
Relative EstimationAssessing the size and complexity of a story by comparing it to previously assessed stories
SpikeA short, timeboxed research effort that is necessary to estimate the size of a specific story, usually a technical story
Alternative AnalysisA technique used to evaluate project execution approaches
CadenceThe rhythm of activities conducted throughout the project.
CapacityThe amount of work that can be completed in a defined time period taking into consideration the need to perform administrative tasks, the need to perform other work, and absence
Cease and Desist LetterA letter sent to a party demanding that they stop (cease) something, and not do it again (desist).
Checklist AnalysisAn evaluation of project checklists to determine their effectiveness
Cycle TimeThe total elapsed time to move a unit of work from the beginning to the end of the process
Cycle Time ChartA diagram that displays the average cycle period of work (features, tasks) completed over time.
Feedback LoopA control process within a process or system that uses cause and effect to improve the process or system
Flow chartGraphic representation of logic stream for business process or software operation
KaizenThe philosophy of continuous improvement
Last Responsible Moment An approach to delay a decision so the team can consider multiple options to the point that cost of any longer delay outweighs the benefit.
Minimum Business Increment (MBI)The smallest value that can be added to the product to benefit customers or the business.
Minimum Marketable Feature (MMF)The smallest unit of functionality required for the customer to realize value
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)An approach to define the initial scope of a release to customers with the fewest requirements that deliver value.
NegotiationThe art of reaching an agreement or resolving issues between two or more parties
Procurement AuditsExaminations of contracts and contract processes for legality, completeness, accuracy, and effectiveness
Project Work Performance DomainThe performance domain associated with identifying project processes, managing physical resources, and creating a learning environment.
Term ContractA contract type where the seller delivers a set amount of service, typically measured in hours over a predefined timeframe.
Theory of Constraints (also called Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints)The hypothesis that every system is negatively impacted by a small number of limitations and there is always at least one limitation; addressed by the Five Focusing Steps of determining the goal, determining the bottleneck, exploiting the bottleneck, subordinating other decisions to the bottleneck, elevating the bottleneck, and repeating the steps
Version ControlA system that keeps track of changes to a file, so that you can access older versions if needed.
Visual Data and InformationArtifacts that organize and display work data and information in a graphical format, including graphs, charts, diagrams, and matrices.
What-If Scenario AnalysisThe process of evaluating counterfeit situations to determine their impact on the project
Continuous DeliveryThe approach to deliver features immediately to the customer in small increments of work and automation technology.
Data Gathering and Analysis MethodsA method used to collect, assess, and review data and information to better understand the situation.
Delivery Performance Domain The performance domain that focuses on activities and functions to deliver project scope and quality.
Incentive FeeAn amount paid, in addition to the contract amount, for exceeding expectations, particularly in the areas of cost, schedule, or technical performance
IncrementConsecutive changes that increase the amount or value of something
IssueA disputed or unsettled condition
Issue LogA project document that tracks elements which cause stakeholder concern or dissension
Just In Time (JIT) DevelopmentThe development of something when it’s needed and not before
Lead TimeThe amount of time between a customer's request and delivery.
Lead Time ChartA chart that shows trends over time and the average lead time of completed work items.
Learning Curve TheoryA theory which states that the more of something that is produced, the lower the unit cost of it becomes due to an improvement in efficiency
ModelingThe process of evaluating counterfeit situations to determine their impact on the project
Negotiated SettlementThe resolution and finalization of any contract related issues, claims, and disputes
Observed VelocityA technique used to estimate future velocity based on the velocity achieved during one, two, or three completed iterations
OutcomeAn end result of a process or product.
Prioritization MatricesA quality management tool used to identify issues and potential alternatives related to the establishment of implementation priorities
Proof of Concept (POC)A model built to test a concept; a prototype
PrototypeA working model of the product created to obtain detailed stakeholder feedback
Quality GateA gate that occurs before a project phase. It is impacted by the previous phase. The quality gate is used to help document the transition between stages in the project life cycle as quality goals are met.
Scope CreepThe gradual increase in the scope of the project over time
Self-adaptingModification of a process as quickly as needed to bring greater efficiency and effectiveness to the project
Service Level Agreement (SLA)A contract between an internal or external service provider and the end user that delineates the level of service expected from the service provider.
SwarmThe assignment of all capable team members to a specific task with a high priority
ThroughputThe rate at which items pass through a system
Throughput ChartA chart that shows accepted deliverables over time on a project.
User interface (UI)The part of the system with which the user will interact
Value StreamThe series of activities required to analyze, design, build, and deploy a product
Value Stream MapA graphical display of the steps associated with a process, and the time with each step to identify potential waste.
Value Stream MappingThe identification of the process steps to analyze, design, build, and deploy a product; tools are available to execute this process
Voice of the Customer (VOC)The translation of customer requirements into requisite technical requirements in a manner that ensures the results of the project will meet the requirements of the customer
WarrantyA commitment from the organization providing it, that the product, service, or outcome will perform at a predefined standard.
WasteAnything that does not add value for the customer
Work in Progress (WIP)Software that is in the process of development, but has not yet been deployed; calculated by multiplying throughput (rate at which items pass through the system) by lead time (time between two successive deliveries)
Work PackageThe smallest level of WBS work for which cost and time can be assessed and administered
80/20 RuleA rule of thumb that has many applications, but generally implies that 80% of problems or defects come from a small number (20%) of causes.
A/B TestingA marketing tool where users are given two different options with one independent variable, to see which they prefer.
Acceptance CriteriaCustomer identified functionality written in enough detail to validate product performance; objective criteria that determines if the story achieves the value it represents
Acceptance TestActivities that validate that the features perform in accordance with customer defined functionality
AccuracyThe degree of correctness within a quality system
Administrative ClosureTask associated with the verification and documentation of project results, to formally close the project or phase.
Attribute Sampling DataData that is counted to analyze, create charts/graphs, and support decision making.
AuditingA formal review of the project's characteristics including purpose, results, metrics, and documentation, among other parameters.
BenchmarkingTechnique of measuring performance against the best-in-class; often involves determining the processes used by best-in-class to achieve that status and applying those processes to effect improvement
Cause and Effect DiagramA decomposition approach used to identify the root cause of a problem; also known as a fishbone or Ishakawa diagram
ChecksheetsA sheet that can be used as a checklist when gathering data
Close Project or PhaseThe process of completing each activity across all process groups in order to finalize a project or phase
Close-Out MeetingsMeetings held at the end of the project to review project work, and to capture lessons learned. (Sometimes called lessonsn learned or retrospectives.)
ConformanceWithin the quality management system, the delivery of a product or result that falls within the acceptable tolerance levels of quality requirements
Continuous Improvement (CI)Daily inspection and adaption performed to bring greater efficiency and effectiveness to the workplace
ControlThe process of contrasting actual performance to planned performance, assessing the resulting variances, and determining the actions that will improve performance levels
Control ChartA graphic representation of process data over time that is set against documented control limits and has a center line (mean) to assist in identifying trends
Cost of ConformanceA proactive approach, spending money on quality with a project to attempt to design out defects before they arise. Any type of proactive spending can be included to eliminate potential defects and maximize the customer experience with the product.
Cost of NonconformanceCost associated with not meeting quality expectations of the project or product
Cost of QualityThe total cost of achieving or failing to achieve desired quality: specifically the costs of achievement are those associated with planning, controlling, and assuring quality and the costs of failure are those associated with reworking, warranty, waste, and negative reputation
Cost Performance Index (CPI)The ratio indicating the cost efficiency of resources, calculated by dividing earned value (EV) by actual cost (AC): a CPI of 1.0 indicates the project is proceeding as planned; a CPI greater than 1.0 more indicates the project is proceeding better than planned; and a CPI less than 1.0 indicates the project is not proceeding as well as planned
Cost Variance (CV)The difference between the value of what was built (earned value) and the cost of what was built (actual cost)
CriteriaStandards applied to a product, service, result, or process in order to make a decision or render a judgment about that product, service, result or process
DebriefingA more casual approach to lessons learned on a project to help the organization evolve and improve future projects.
End-to-End TestInvestigation of the entire software environment under conditions that replicate actual usage, such as any interactions with databases, other applications, and/or other systems
Estimate at Completion (EAC)The estimated cost of all the project work based on the actual cost of work done plus the estimated costs of work remaining
Estimate at Completion (EAC)The estimated cost of all the project work based on the actual cost of work done plus the estimated costs of work remaining
Estimate to Complete (ETC)The expected monetary resources required to complete the remaining work of the project; calculated by subtracting actual cost (AC) from the estimate at completion (EAC)
Estimate to Complete (ETC)The expected monetary resources required to complete the remaining work of the project; calculated by subtracting actual cost (AC) from the estimate at completion (EAC)
Five Whys ActivityThe practice of asking a series of questions as a method of uncovering the source of an issue
Formal AcceptanceAttaining signature for a piece of the project or the complete project, where the signature represents completion or closure of the project or that piece of the project
GradeA ranking to classify products that have different functions or features
HistogramA graphical representation, in the format of bar chart, that depicts the central tendency, dispersal, and shape of a statistical distribution
Influence DiagramA graphical representation of relationship between variables and outcomes including situations with causal influence and event time sequences
Key Performance Indicator (KPI)A metric or measurement used to compare a team's performance to the project's vision and goals.
Lessons LearnedThe knowledge of what worked and what didn't work during a project
Lessons Learned RegisterA project document utilized to record knowledge gained, both positive and negative, during the project; the information contained in register can be used in the current project and entered into the lessons learned repository for use with future projects.
Matrix DiagramsA quality management tool that analyzes data by showing relationships between the data
Measurement Performance Domain The performance domain associated with project performance including assessing performance and maintaining acceptable performance levels.
Measures of PerformanceMeasures that show physical or functional attributes related to system or application operation.
Net Promotor Score (NPS)An index that measures a customer's willingness to recommend the organization's products or services to others.
Normal DistributionA bell-shaped curve that is in sync with the mean of the population
Pareto ChartA bar chart, ordered by occurrence frequency, depicting the number of outcomes for each identified cause. Sometimes called a Pareto diagram.
Percent CompleteThe completed work estimate of an activity or WBS component expressed as a percentage
PerformanceThe level of success at which a product performs its intended use
Performance Measurement Baseline (PMB)The comparison of project execution to the approved and integrated scope, schedule, and budget (exclusive of management reserves, but inclusive of contingency reserves) for the purpose of gauging and administering performance
PopulationThe entire group of similar criteria (Ex: All Americans, all owners of a particular product)
PrecisionThe accuracy of the measurements used by the quality management system
Probability DistributionThe scattering of values associated with a dataset. They can be represented in a probability distribution function.
Project ReviewA meeting at the end of a phase or project to review the current state, what was produced, if value was delivered, and if the project can move to the next stage or transition to operations.
QualityThe degree to which a group of fundamental characteristics satisfies requirements
Quality Assurance (QA)Activities that assure product integrity and prevents product defects
Quality AuditsA formal, independent process that assesses whether project activities are in compliance with organizational and project policies, processes, and procedures
Quality Control MeasurementsThe documented outcome of quality control functions
Quality MetricsThe description of a project or product attribute and the measurements that must be applied to the attribute within the quality control process examples of metrics include failure rate, defect frequency, cost control, reliability, and availability
Quality ReportA project document that addresses quality management issues, recommendations for corrective actions, and a recap of findings from quality control activities; the report may include advice related to the improvement of process, project, and product.
Regression AnalysisAn analytical technique that examines a series of input variables in relation to their corresponding output results for the purpose of establishing a mathematical or statistical relationship.
RetrospectiveA meeting held at the end of each iteration in which the team discusses what worked, what didn’t, and what could be improved
ReworkAction taken to bring any component that is flawed or out of conformance into compliance with specifications or requirements
Root Cause Analysis (RCA)An analytical technique used to ascertain the fundamental reason a problem or defect exists
S-curveGraphic representation of costs, work, and other quantities over time so that the planned value, earned value, and actual cost of the work can be seen
Scatter DiagramA graphical representation that shows the relationship between two variables by putting one on an x axis, the other on a y axis, and analyzing the intersecting points; typically used to determine root causes or the presence of a cause and effect relationship
Schedule Performance Index (SPI)A measure of project schedule efficiency calculated by dividing the earned value (EV) by the planned value (PV): a value of 1.0 indicates the work is being performed as expected, a value greater than 1.0 means the work is being performed ahead of schedule, and a value of less than 1.0 means the work is being performed behind schedule
Schedule Variance (SV)A determination of schedule performance calculated by subtracting the planned value (PV) from the earned value (EV): if the result is zero, the project is performing as expected; if the result is positive, the project is ahead of schedule; if the result is negative, the project is behind schedule
Seven Basic Quality ToolsA group of devises used by quality management for quality planning and for monitoring and controlling
SigmaA measurement of acceptability of a product or process
Six SigmaA highly structured methodology focused on accelerating process performance and diminishing process variations in order to improve quality and profits, while reducing defects
SMART Goals ActivityObjectives that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely
SpecificationAn instrument that effectively defines the requirements, design, characteristics, and other attributes of a system, component, product, result or service and typically provides for procedures to determine that the provisions of the instrument have been met
Statistical SamplingThe selection of a part of a population for examination rather than using the entire population
Status MeetingA regularly scheduled meeting that facilitates updating the team and relevant stakeholders on the current state of progress on the project.
Status ReportA report that states the current shape or state of the project to date
Technical Performance MeasuresMeasurable performance criteria established to ensure system components fulfill the technical requirements.
Test Plan A document that describes what deliverables will be tested, what tests will be performed, and any related processes associated with testing.
ThresholdAny value (typically applied to cost, time, quality, technical, or resource) that is used as a parameter; typically crossing the threshold results in a triggered action
To Complete Performance Index (TCPI)The ratio that represents the cost performance required to complete the work of the project given the remaining resources; calculated by dividing the remaining project work by the remaining budget (BAC - EV/BAC - AC)
ToleranceThe measure of acceptable variation
Total Quality Management (TQM)A quality management philosophy that approaches quality management proactively and applies statistical sampling to help document improvements.
Trend AnalysisAn analytical technique that uses mathematical paradigms to predict future outcomes based on historical data
Unique Identification CodeA subset of the code of accounts that allows assignment of a unique number to pieces of the WBS or other work decomposition.
Unit TestActivities that validate the smallest testable parts of the system
Use CaseA document that defines how the user will interact with the product and how the product will respond to the user
User Acceptance Test (UAT)Activities that validate that the product behaves in accordance with the user stories
Validate ScopeThe process in which the customer or sponsor reviews and accepts project deliverables as being complete and correct in accordance with the requirements
ValidationThe process of determining that the results of the project are in compliance with requirements imposed by the customer and appropriate stakeholders and typically involving acceptance by them
Vanity MetricA metric that appears to show some kind of outcome, but is not really helpful in making decisions.
Variable Sampling DataSample data that is measured continuously, such as duration, temperature, length, and weight.
VarianceAny difference between a planned value or baseline and an actual result
Variance AnalysisThe assessment of the level and reasons for a variance from planned value or baseline
Variance At Completion (VAC)The projected amount the project will be over or under budget based on the difference between the budget at completion (BAC) and the estimate at completion (EAC)
VerificationThe process, typically internal, of determining that the results of the project are in compliance with appropriate specifications, requirements, regulatory requirements, and imposed conditions
Verified DeliverablesCompleted project deliverables that have been reviewed and confirmed for correctness through the Control Quality Process.
Work Performance DataMeasurements or statistics related to the execution of project work
Work Performance InformationThe evaluation and integration of project execution statistics and measurements gathered from control processes
Work Performance ReportsProject status and performance data utilized to produce communications and advance discussion
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