PMP Training – Project Management Terms

Image titled Project management keywords icon Tipsographic


A: accuracy levels – assumptions

  • Accuracy Levels. The rounding used when deriving activity duration estimates for different life cycle phases.
  • Activity Attributes. A complete description of the activity, such as activity codes, predecessor activities, and successor activities.
  • Activity Cost Estimates. The cost estimates for all activities in the activity list of a project.
  • Activity Duration Estimates. Quantifiable estimates expressed as the number of work periods needed to complete a schedule activity.
  • Activity list. A list of all the activities that must be accomplished to deliver the work packages.
  • Activity Resource Requirements. The resources required to complete the activities in the activity list.
  • Activity. A unique, scheduled task that must be executed to complete work on the project.
  • Adjusted Baseline. The nature of the change may require that the corresponding baseline document be revised and reissued to reflect the approved change & form the new baseline for future changes.
  • Alternative Analysis. Figuring out all the possible different ways that a potential outcome may be achieved and then making a decision about which method is best.
  • Analogous Estimating. An estimating process that bases estimates upon similar activities with similar resource category and types from a similar type of projects executed earlier.
  • Assumptions. Factors that are considered to be true, real or certain without proof or demonstration.


B: basis of estimates – bottom-up estimating

  • Basis of Estimates. The backup information to support how the estimates were developed.
  • Bottom-up Estimating. The process of breaking down the activity into smaller pieces, then rolling up the estimates upwards to the level of the original activity to arrive at a total cost.

C: change control board – critical path method

  • Change Control Board. A small group of stakeholders who will make decisions regarding the disposition and treatment of changing requirements.
  • Configuration Identification. Identifying uniquely all items within the configuration.
  • Configuration Status Accounting. Capturing, storing, and accessing configuration information needed to manage products and product information effectively.
  • Configuration Verification and Auditing. Establishing that the performance and functional requirements defined in the configuration documentation have been met.
  • Constraints. Factors that limit the project team’s options to complete the project and produce the required deliverables.
  • Context Diagrams. A visual depiction of the product’s scope by showing a business system (process, equipment, computer system, etc.), and how people and systems (actors) interact with it.
  • Control Thresholds. The level of variance the schedule can experience before taking action, typically expressed as a percentage of time.
  • Corrective Action. Anything done to bring expected future project performance into line with the project plan.
  • Corrective Action. Changes made to bring expected future performance of the project into line with the plan.
  • Cost Aggregation. The technique of summing lower level cost estimates for each work package to arrive at a total cost estimate for higher-level deliverables.
  • Cost Baseline. The total expected cost for the project. It includes the activity costs plus contingency reserves, the work package costs plus contingency reserves, and the management reserves for the cost baseline. It is time-phased and approved by the project sponsor.
  • Cost management plan. A subsidiary of the project management plan that establishes the policies and procedures to plan, execute, and control project costs.
  • Cost of Quality. The total cost to produce the product or service of the project according to the quality standards.
  • Crashing. A schedule compression technique that adds more resources to the critical path activities, from either inside or outside the organization.
  • Critical Chain Method. A critical path that accounts for limited or restricted resources, where a project manager places buffers to any schedule path.
  • Critical Path Method (CPM). A schedule network analysis method that calculates the theoretical early start, early finish, late start, and late finish for each activity on the project schedule. These theoretical numbers tell us how much flexibility we have on the schedule and also the minimum project duration.

D: decomposition – depreciation

  • Decomposition. A technique used for dividing and subdividing the project scope and project deliverables into smaller, more manageable parts.
  • Defect Repair. The action to modify a defective product or product component.
  • Defect. An imperfection or deficiency in a project component where that component does not meet its requirements or specifications and needs to be either repaired or replaced.
  • Deliverable. A unique and verifiable product, result or capability to perform a service that must be produced to complete a process, phase or project.
  • Dependency. A relationship between two or more activities where one activity must be started or completed before another related activity may be started or completed.
  • Depreciation. Accounts for the fact that assets lose value over time.

E: earned value management

  • Earned Value Management. A management methodology for integrating scope, schedule and resources and for objectively measuring project performance and progress.


Thumbnail titled Project Management Process Groups 101

Project Management Process Groups 101

A concise graphic of the 5 PMBOK Process Groups for Project Management, by processes and key outputs.

F: facilitated workshop techniques – funding limit reconciliation

  • Facilitated Workshop Techniques. Joint Application Development—improving the software development process— and Quality Function Deployment—determine critical characteristics of new product development.
  • Fast Tracking. A schedule compression technique that overlaps activities or phases that a project manager would prefer to complete in sequence.
  • Float—or Slack. The amount of time an activity may be delayed without delaying the project finish date.
  • Forecasting. A technique that takes time and cost performance to date and uses this information to estimates the future conditions or future performance of the project based on what a project manager knows when the calculation is performed.
  • Funding Limit Reconciliation. The project must reconcile funding requirements with any funding limitation or constraint originating from the company fiscal calendar.

K: kickoff meeting

  • Kickoff Meeting. First meeting with the project team and the client of the project.

L: lag – life-cycle costing

  • Lag. In a finish-to-start relationship between two scheduled activities, the amount of time a dependent activity must wait after its predecessor finishes before it can start.
  • Law of Diminishing Returns. Productivity and resources are not linked in a 1:1 relationship; at some point adding resources does not yield a corresponding increase in productivity.
  • Lead. In a finish-to-start relationship between two scheduled activities, the amount of time a dependent activity can be advanced with respect to its predecessor.
  • Lessons Learned. The learning gained from the process of performing the project.
  • Life-cycle Costing. A technique which takes account of the total cost of ownership during the whole economic life of a product. It includes initial costs, operating costs, and disposal costs.

M: milestone list – multi-criteria decision analysis

  • Milestone List. A list of significant points or events in the project.
  • Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis. A decision matrix to provide a systematic analytical approach for establishing criteria, such as risk levels, uncertainty, and valuation, to evaluate and rank ideas.

O: opportunity cost – organizational process assets

  • Opportunity Cost. The benefit ($$$$) lost by selecting another project.
  • Organizational Process Assets. Lessons learned from previous projects and formal and informal policies, procedures, plans and guidelines of any and all of the organizations involved in the project whose effects must be considered.

CONTINUE to read after the project management graphic.

Image titled PMP Certification Exam Prep — Project Management Keywords

P: parametric estimating – published estimating data

  • Parametric Estimating. An estimating technique that uses statistical techniques to calculate cost or duration values for activities based on data from similar earlier projects.
  • Percent Complete. An estimate, expressed as a percent, of the amount of work that has been completed on an activity or a work breakdown component.
  • Performance Measurement Baseline. An approved plan for the project work against which project execution is compared and deviations are measured for management control.
  • Performance Reports. Documents that provide organized and summarized work performance, earned value management parameters and calculations, and analyses of project work progress work status.
  • Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM). Also called “activity-on-node” (AON), a graphical representation of activities in the project with nodes to represent them and one or more logical relationships to graphically link them, showing the sequence in which these activities are to be performed.
  • Preventive Action. An action to ensure the future project performance does not deviate from the project management plan.
  • Product Scope. Features and functions that characterize a product, service or result.
  • Project Charter. It provides the high-level project description and product characteristics from the project statement of work.
  • Project Documents. Documents not part of the project management plan that are used to manage the project such as: Project Charter, Contracts, Agreements, Statements of Work, etc., Work Performance Reports, and Risk and Issue Logs.
  • Project Funding Requirements. The requirements for funding over the course of the project, derived from the cost baseline.
  • Project Schedule Model Development. The methodologies and tools used to develop the schedule, along with the data they contain.
  • Project Schedule Network Diagrams. A graphical representation of the logical relationships between all the activities to be completed on a project.
  • Project Schedule. The working timeframe the project will take, living document. Changeable by the project manager with no formal change control.
  • Project Scope Statement. Contains the following elements: the project’s deliverables and the work required to create them, a common understanding of Scope among Stakeholders, explicit scope exclusions, provides a basis to determine if changes in project scope are contained within or outside the project’s boundaries.
  • Project Scope. Work performed to deliver the product, service, or result with the specified features and functions.
  • Published Estimating Data. A database of known quantities or costs relating to completion of activities in the project.

R: requirements management plan – rough order of magnitude estimation

  • Requirements Management Plan. A component of the project management plan that describes how requirements will be analyzed, documented, and managed.
  • Reserve Analysis. An analytical technique that takes care of uncertainty by adding extra time—also called buffers or time reserves—to the schedule or extra cost.
  • Resource Breakdown Structure. A breakdown of the resources required to complete the project, by category and type.
  • Resource Calendars. A calendar that shows the days that a particular resource is available to be used on the project and the days when it will not be used.
  • Resource Leveling. A technique to optimize resource assignments that adjusts the start and finish dates of schedule activities based on the availability of resources. Critical path usually gets longer.
  • Resource Smoothing. A technique to optimize resources that ensures demand for resources does not exceed certain limits. Critical path is not allowed to change.
  • Resources. People, equipment, locations, or anything else that project manager needs in order to do all of the activities planned.
  • Risk Register. The documented list of all identified risks on the project and their characteristics.
  • Rolling Wave Planning. A form of progressive elaboration that focuses on planning the imminent project activities in more detail than activities further in the future.
  • Rough Order of Magnitude Estimation. Estimating with very little accuracy at the beginning of a project and then refining the estimate over time. It’s got a range of –25% to +75%.

S: schedule baseline – sunk cost

  • Schedule Baseline. The developed and approved schedule, result of several iterations. Changeable only through formal change control process.
  • Schedule Forecasts. Updated projections of future performance based on actual performance.
  • Schedule Management Plan. A component of the project or program management plan that describes how to estimate the project work, track the project progress, and report on it.
  • Schedule Network Analysis. A group of techniques that develops the project schedule, such as critical path and critical chain method, what-if analysis, and resource leveling.
  • Scope Change Control System. Procedures by which project scope may be changed: paperwork, tracking systems and approval levels necessary for authorization.
  • Scope Changes. Any modification to the agreed-upon project scope as defined by the approved WBS. Often require changes to cost, time, quality, or other project objectives.
  • Scope Management Plan. A component of the project or program management plan that describes how the scope will be defined, developed, monitored, controlled, and verified.
  • Stakeholder. Individuals and organizations involved in or affected by project activities, such as project managers, sponsors, and clients/customers.
  • Sunk Cost. Money already spent that cannot be recovered.

T: three-point estimating – tocomplete performance index

  • Three-point Estimating. A formula that takes into consideration uncertainty factor when it calculates a weighted average of the optimistic, most likely, and pessimistic estimates.
  • To-Complete Performance Index (TCPI). The projected cost performance the remaining work of the project must achieve in order to meet the original budget or a new approved one.
Thumbnail titled PMP Certification Exam Prep — Project Time Management

PMP Certification Exam Prep — Project Time Management

A concise graphic of Project Time Management, third PMBOK Knowledge Area you need to know for your PMP Certification Exam.

U: units of measure

  • Units of Measure. The rules for how estimates should be stated, such as staff hours, days, materials tons, and cubic yards.

V: value engineering – vendor bid analysis

  • Value Engineering. A project manager’s efforts to get more out of the project by any means available, for instance by decreasing costs or improving quality.
  • Vendor Bid Analysis. The technique that gathers information on bids from vendors to help a project manager figure out cost estimates.

W: work breakdown structure – working capital

  • Work Breakdown Structure – WBS. Deliverable-oriented grouping of the project elements that organizes and defines the total scope of the project: work not in WBS is not in scope.
  • Work Breakdown Structure Templates. A work breakdown structure from a previous project with similar deliverables and project life cycle.
  • Work Performance Data. Data—actual raw information—on what is occurring related to the schedule.
  • Work Performance Information. The refined work performance data that shows a comparison of the data with the schedule baseline.
  • Work Periods. The activity duration estimates, usually expressed in hours or days—smaller projects— or in weeks or months— larger projects.
  • Working Capital. The funds available for use by an organization.

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