It is self evident that projects need people capable of understanding a project's requirements, if those people are to produce a product that satisfies the project's client. This relationship between people, their requirements, and the proposed product's attributes clearly requires first class communication. By the same token, successful projects require successful communication; and successful communication requires a shared vocabulary; one that is relevant, focused and succinct.
Put another way, using the right terminology for a particular type of project is key to running a smooth operation that produces a successful outcome. Conversely, failure to adopt a glossary of terms relevant to the work at hand puts your project at high risk of miscommunication. Such misunderstandings lead to incorrect work that then requires unnecessary, and costly, rework.
From this it is clear that there is a need for glossaries containing terms that are specific to the occasion. In this version 6.1 of our Wideman Comparative Glossary, we have attempted to offer a solution to this problem by creating a number of distinct glossaries out of sets of terms selectively extracted from our master list.
Our extensive work in pursuit of this goal has convinced us that not all terms and their definitions fit all circumstances. Indeed, to think that all project management terms can be boiled down to one generally agreed definition for each is a happy delusion!
Our last Glossary update was Version 5.5 issued in 2012. Based on a whole long list of some 6,000 project management terms, it was produced through a custom database process to establish links to other relevant terms to give each definition more depth. This time, with over 7,000 entries, our idea is to see if it could prove beneficial to collect different terms into different groupings. If so, can we also say that it is unreasonable to expect one glossary to serve all?
Time will tell if this concept catches on.
Accordingly, and in pursuit of the goal of "usefulness", we have decided to break the glossary entries up into different segments that are more specific for potential users. This has not been easy, but the outcome is that Glossary v6.1 now offers a number of different collections to choose from. We'll explain all of this in a moment, but first a little background.