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PMP Exam Resources: Planning General Glossary

Free PMP Terms and Definitions

Understanding common project management terms can be a challenge for all project managers. To help you understand those terms and definitions Crosswind Project Management has created a free to use glossary to help in your pmp training. In this page you will find the terms and definitions associated within the component areas of framework to get a better understanding of how this process works and relates to project management.

In project management, planning involves cost, scope, and schedule. It lays out exactly what activities and tasks will be required, as well as the resources needed, from personnel to equipment, to financing, and where they can be aquired.

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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.
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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
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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.
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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
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