PMI Lexicon of Project Management Terms

question

Acceptance Criteria
answer

A set of conditions that is required to be met before deliverables are accepted.
question

Activity
answer

A distinct, scheduled portion of work performed during the course of a project.
question

Actual Cost
answer

The realized cost incurred for the work performed on an activity during a specific time period.
question

Analogous Estimating
answer

A technique for estimating the duration or cost of an activity or a project, using historical data from a similar activity or project.
question

Apportioned Effort
answer

An activity where effort is allotted proportionately across certain discrete efforts and not divisible into discrete efforts. (Note: Apportioned effort is one of three earned value management [EVM] types of activities used to measure work performance.)
question

Assumption
answer

A factor in the planning process that is considered to be true, real, or certain, without proof or demonstration.
question

Backward Pass
answer

A critical path method technique for calculating the late start and late finish dates by working backward through the schedule model from the project end date.
question

Baseline
answer

The approved version of a work product that can be changed only through formal change control procedures and is used as a basis for comparison.
question

Bottom-up Estimating
answer

A method of estimating project duration or cost by aggregating the estimates of the lower-level components of the work breakdown structure (WBS).
question

Budget at Completion
answer

The sum of all budgets established for the work to be performed.
question

Change Control
answer

A process whereby modifications to documents, deliverables, or baselines associated with the project are identified, documented, approved, or rejected.
question

Change Control Board
answer

A formally chartered group responsible for reviewing, evaluating, approving, delaying, or rejecting changes to the project and for recording and communicating such decisions.
question

Change Control System
answer

A set of procedures that describes how modifications to the project deliverables and documentation are managed and controlled.
question

Change Request
answer

A formal proposal to modify any document, deliverable, or baseline.
question

Code of Accounts
answer

A numbering system used to uniquely identify each component of the work breakdown structure.
question

Communication Management Plan
answer

A component of the project, program, or portfolio management plan that describes how, when, and by whom information will be administered and disseminated.
question

Constraint
answer

A limiting factor that affects the execution of a project, program, portfolio, or process.
question

Control Account
answer

A management control point where scope, budget, actual cost, and schedule are integrated and compared to earned value for performance measurement.
question

Corrective Action
answer

An intentional activity that realigns the performance of the project work with the project management plan.
question

Cost Management Plan
answer

A component of a project or program management plan that describes how costs will be planned, structured, and controlled.
question

Cost Performance Index
answer

A measure of the cost efficiency of budgeted resources expressed as the ratio of earned value to actual cost.
question

Cost Variance
answer

The amount of budget deficit or surplus at a given point in time, expressed as the difference between the earned value and the actual cost.
question

Crashing
answer

A technique used to shorten the schedule duration for the least incremental cost by adding resources.
question

Critical Chain Method
answer

A schedule method that allows the project team to place buffers on any project schedule path to account for limited resources and project uncertainties.
question

Critical Path
answer

The sequence of activities that represents the longest path through a project, which determines the shortest possible duration.
question

Critical Path Activity
answer

Any activity on the critical path in a project schedule.
question

Critical Path Method
answer

A method used to estimate the minimum project duration and determine the amount of scheduling flexibility on the logical network paths within the schedule model.
question

Data Date
answer

A point in time when the status of the project is recorded.
question

Decision Tree Analysis
answer

A diagramming and calculation technique for evaluating the implications of a chain of multiple options in the presence of uncertainty.
question

Decomposition
answer

A technique used for dividing and sub-dividing the project scope and project deliverables into smaller, more manageable parts.
question

Defect Repair
answer

An intentional activity to modify a nonconforming product or product component.
question

Deliverable
answer

Any unique and verifiable product, result, or capability to perform a service that is required to be produced to complete a process, phase, or project.
question

Discrete Effort
answer

An activity that can be planned and measured and that yields a specific output. (Note: Discrete effort is one of three earned value management [EVM] types of activities used to measure work performance.)
question

Early Finish Date
answer

In the critical path method, the earliest possible point in time when the uncompleted portions of a schedule activity can finish based on the schedule network logic, the data date, and any schedule constraints.
question

Early Start Date
answer

In the critical path method, the earliest possible point in time when the uncompleted portions of a schedule activity can start based on the schedule network logic, the data date, and any schedule constraints.
question

Earned Value
answer

The measure of work performed expressed in terms of the budget authorized for that work.
question

Earned Value Management
answer

A methodology that combines scope, schedule, and resource measurements to assess project performance and progress.
question

Effort
answer

The number of labor units required to complete a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component, often expressed in hours, days, or weeks.
question

Enterprise Environmental Factors
answer

Conditions, not under the immediate control of the team, that influence, constrain, or direct the project, program, or portfolio.
question

Estimate at Completion
answer

The expected total cost of completing all work expressed as the sum of the actual cost to date and the estimate to complete.
question

Estimate to Complete
answer

The expected cost to finish all the remaining project work.
question

Fast Tracking
answer

A schedule compression technique in which activities or phases normally done in sequence are performed in parallel for at least a portion of their duration.
question

Finish-to-Finish
answer

A logical relationship in which a successor activity cannot finish until a predecessor activity has finished.
question

Finish-to-Start
answer

A logical relationship in which a successor activity cannot start until a predecessor activity has finished.
question

Forward Pass
answer

A critical path method technique for calculating the early start and early finish dates by working forward through the schedule model from the project start date or a given point in time.
question

Free Float
answer

The amount of time that a schedule activity can be delayed without delaying the early start date of any successor or violating a schedule constraint.
question

Gantt Chart
answer

A bar chart of schedule information where activities are listed on the vertical axis, dates are shown on the horizontal axis, and activity durations are shown as horizontal bars placed according to start and finish dates.
question

Human Resource Plan
answer

A component of the project or program management plan that describes how the roles and responsibilities, reporting relationships, and staff management will be addressed and structured.
question

Lag
answer

The amount of time whereby a successor activity is required to be delayed with respect to a predecessor activity.
question

Late Finish Date
answer

In the critical path method, the latest possible point in time when the uncompleted portions of a schedule activity can finish based on the schedule network logic, the project completion date, and any schedule constraints.
question

Late Start Date
answer

In the critical path method, the latest possible point in time when the uncompleted portions of a schedule activity can start based on the schedule network logic, the project completion date, and any schedule constraints.
question

Lead
answer

The amount of time whereby a successor activity can be advanced with respect to a predecessor activity.
question

Lessons Learned
answer

The knowledge gained during a project which shows how project events were addressed or should be addressed in the future for the purpose of improving future performance
question

Level of Effort
answer

An activity that does not produce definitive end products and is measured by the passage of time. (Note: Level of effort is one of three earned value management [EVM] types of activities used to measure work performance.)
question

Logical Relationship
answer

A dependency between two activities, or between an activity and a milestone.
question

Milestone
answer

A significant point or event in a project, program, or portfolio.
question

Most Likely Duration
answer

An estimate of the most probable activity duration that takes into account all of the known variables that could affect performance.
question

Opportunity
answer

A risk that would have a positive effect on one or more project objectives.
question

Optimistic Duration
answer

An estimate of the shortest activity duration that takes into account all of the known variables that could affect performance.
question

Organizational Breakdown Structure
answer

A hierarchical representation of the project organization, which illustrates the relationship between project activities and the organizational units that will perform those activities.
question

Organizational Process Assets
answer

Plans, processes, policies, procedures and knowledge bases specific to and used by the performing organization.
question

Organizational Project Management Maturity
answer

The level of an organization’s ability to deliver the desired strategic outcomes in a predictable, controllable, and reliable manner.
question

Parametric Estimating
answer

An estimating technique in which an algorithm is used to calculate cost or duration based on historical data and project parameters.
question

Path Convergence
answer

A relationship in which a schedule activity has more than one predecessor.
question

Path Divergence
answer

A relationship in which a schedule activity has more than one successor.
question

Percent Complete
answer

An estimate expressed as a percent of the amount of work that has been completed on an activity or a work breakdown structure component.
question

Performing Organization
answer

An enterprise whose personnel are the most directly involved in doing the work of the project or program.
question

Pessimistic Duration
answer

An estimate of the longest activity duration, which takes into account all of the known variables that could affect performance.
question

Phase Gate
answer

A review at the end of a phase in which a decision is made to continue to the next phase, to continue with modification, or to end a project or program.
question

Planned Value
answer

The authorized budget assigned to scheduled work.
question

Portfolio
answer

Projects, programs, subportfolios, and operations managed as a group to achieve strategic objectives.
question

Portfolio Balancing
answer

The process of optimizing the mix of portfolio components to further the strategic objectives of the organization.
question

Portfolio Management
answer

The centralized management of one or more portfolios to achieve strategic objectives.
question

Precedence Diagramming Method
answer

A technique used for constructing a schedule model in which activities are represented by nodes and are graphically linked by one or more logical relationships to show the sequence in which the activities are to be performed.
question

Predecessor Activity
answer

An activity that logically comes before a dependent activity in a schedule.
question

Preventive Action
answer

An intentional activity that ensures the future performance of the project work is aligned with the project management plan.
question

Probability and Impact Matrix
answer

A grid for mapping the probability of each risk occurrence and its impact on project objectives if that risk occurs.
question

Procurement Management Plan
answer

A component of the project or program management plan that describes how a team will acquire goods and services from outside of the performing organization.
question

Product Life Cycle
answer

The series of phases that represent the evolution of a product, from concept through delivery, growth, maturity, and to retirement.
question

Program
answer

A group of related projects, subprograms and program activities that are managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually.
question

Program Management
answer

The application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to a program to meet the program requirements and to obtain benefits and control not available by managing projects individually.
question

Program Management Office
answer

A management structure that standardizes the program-related governance processes and facilitates the sharing of resources, methodologies, tools, and techniques.
question

Progressive Elaboration
answer

The iterative process of increasing the level of detail in a project management plan as greater amounts of information and more accurate estimates become available.
question

Project
answer

A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.
question

Project Calendar
answer

A calendar that identifies working days and shifts that are available for scheduled activities.
question

Project Charter
answer

A document issued by the project initiator or sponsor that formally authorizes the existence of a project and provides the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities.
question

Project Life Cycle
answer

The series of phases that a project passes through from its initiation to its closure.
question

Project Management
answer

The application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.
question

Project Management Office
answer

A management structure that standardizes the project-related governance processes and facilitates the sharing of resources, methodologies, tools, and techniques.
question

Project Management Plan
answer

The document that describes how the project will be executed, monitored, and controlled.
question

Project Manager
answer

The person assigned by the performing organization to lead the team that is responsible for achieving the project objectives.
question

Project Phase
answer

A collection of logically related project activities that culminates in the completion of one or more deliverables.
question

Project Schedule
answer

An output of a schedule model that presents linked activities with planned dates, durations, milestones, and resources.
question

Project Schedule Network Diagram
answer

A graphical representation of the logical relationships among the project schedule activities.
question

Project Scope
answer

The work performed to deliver a product, service, or result with the specified features and functions.
question

Project Scope Statement
answer

The description of the project scope, major deliverables, assumptions, and constraints.
question

Quality Management Plan
answer

A component of the project or program management plan that describes how an organization’s quality policies will be implemented.
question

Requirement
answer

A condition or capability that is required to be present in a product, service, or result to satisfy a contract or other formally imposed specification.
question

Requirements Management Plan
answer

A component of the project or program management plan that describes how requirements will be analyzed, documented and managed.
question

Requirements Traceability Matrix
answer

A grid that links product requirements from their origin to the deliverables that satisfy them.
question

Resource Breakdown Structure
answer

A hierarchical representation of resources by category and type.
question

Resource Calendar
answer

A calendar that identifies the working days and shifts upon which each specific resource is available.
question

Resource Leveling
answer

A technique in which start and finish dates are adjusted based on resource constraints with the goal of balancing demand for resources with the available supply.
question

Responsibility Assignment Matrix
answer

A grid that shows the project resources assigned to each work package.
question

Risk
answer

An uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on one or more project objectives.
question

Risk Acceptance
answer

A risk response strategy whereby the project team decides to acknowledge the risk and not take any action unless the risk occurs.
question

Risk Avoidance
answer

A risk response strategy whereby the project team acts to eliminate the threat or protect the project from its impact.
question

Risk Breakdown Structure
answer

A hierarchical representation of risks that is organized according to risk categories.
question

Risk Category
answer

A group of potential causes of risk.
question

Risk Management Plan
answer

A component of the project, program, or portfolio management plan that describes how risk management activities will be structured and performed.
question

Risk Mitigation
answer

A risk response strategy whereby the project team acts to reduce the probability of occurrence or impact of a risk.
question

Risk Register
answer

A document in which the results of risk analysis and risk response planning are recorded.
question

Risk Transference
answer

A risk response strategy whereby the project team shifts the impact of a threat to a third party, together with ownership of the response.
question

Rolling Wave Planning
answer

An iterative planning technique in which the work to be accomplished in the near term is planned in detail, while the work in the future is planned at a higher level.
question

Schedule Baseline
answer

The approved version of a schedule model that can be changed only through formal change control procedures and is used as a basis for comparison to actual results.
question

Schedule Compression
answer

A technique used to shorten the schedule duration without reducing the project scope.
question

Schedule Management Plan
answer

A component of the project or program management plan that establishes the activities for developing, monitoring, and controlling the project or program.
question

Schedule Model
answer

A representation of the plan for executing the project’s activities including durations, dependencies and other planning information, used to produce a project schedule along with other scheduling artifacts.
question

Schedule Model Analysis
answer

A process used to investigate or analyze the output of the schedule model in order to optimize the schedule
question

Schedule Performance Index
answer

A measure of schedule efficiency expressed as the ratio of earned value to planned value.
question

Schedule Variance
answer

A measure of schedule performance expressed as the difference between the earned value and the planned value.
question

Scope Baseline
answer

The approved version of a scope statement, work breakdown structure (WBS), and its associated WBS dictionary, which can be changed only through formal change control procedures and is used as a basis for comparison.
question

Scope Creep
answer

The uncontrolled expansion to product or project scope without adjustments to time, cost, and resources.
question

Scope Management Plan
answer

A component of the project or program management plan that describes how the scope will be defined, developed, monitored, controlled, and verified.
question

S-Curve Analysis
answer

An earned value management technique used to indicate performance trends by using a graph that displays cumulative costs over a specific time period.
question

Secondary Risk
answer

A risk that arises as a direct result of implementing a risk response.
question

Sponsor
answer

A person or group who provides resources and support for the project, program, or portfolio, and is accountable for enabling success.
question

Staffing Management Plan
answer

A component of the human resource plan that describes when and how team members will be acquired and how long they will be needed.
question

Stakeholder
answer

An individual, group, or organization who may affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a decision, activity, or outcome of a project, program, or portfolio.
question

Start-to-Finish
answer

A logical relationship in which a successor activity cannot finish until a predecessor activity has started.
question

Start-to-Start
answer

A logical relationship in which a successor activity cannot start until a predecessor activity has started.
question

Successor Activity
answer

A dependent activity that logically comes after another activity in a schedule.
question

Summary Activity
answer

A group of related schedule activities aggregated and displayed as a single activity.
question

Threat
answer

A risk that would have a negative effect on one or more project objectives.
question

Three-Point Estimate
answer

A technique used to estimate cost or duration by applying an average of optimistic, pessimistic, and most likely estimates when there is uncertainty with the individual activity estimates.
question

To-Complete Performance Index
answer

A measure of the cost performance that is required to be achieved with the remaining resources in order to meet a specified management goal, expressed as the ratio of the cost to finish the outstanding work to the remaining budget.
question

Total Float
answer

The amount of time that a schedule activity can be delayed or extended from its early start date without delaying the project finish date or violating a schedule constraint.
question

Trigger Condition
answer

An event or situation that indicates that a risk is about to occur.
question

Variance Analysis
answer

A technique for determining the cause and degree of difference between the baseline and actual performance.
question

Variance at Completion
answer

A projection of the amount of budget deficit or surplus, expressed as the difference between the budget at completion and the estimate at completion.
question

WBS Dictionary
answer

A document that provides detailed deliverable, activity, and scheduling information about each component in the work breakdown structure.
question

What-If Scenario Analysis
answer

The process of evaluating scenarios in order to predict their effect on project objectives.
question

Work Breakdown Structure
answer

A hierarchical decomposition of the total scope of work to be carried out by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables.
question

Work Package
answer

The work defined at the lowest level of the work breakdown structure for which cost and duration can be estimated and managed.
question

Workaround
answer

A response to a threat that has occurred, for which a prior response had not been planned or was not effective.

Get instant access to
all materials

Become a Member