Glossary of Project Management Terms
Project Management Institute : A non-profit organization dedicated to
advancing the state-of-the-art in the profession of project management located
in Pennsylvania, USA.
Project Management: the art of directing and coordinating human and
material resources throughout the life of a project by using modern management
techniques to achieve predetermined objectives of scope, cost, time, quality
and participant satisfaction.
Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK): all those topics, subject
areas and intellectual processes which are involved in the application of sound
management principles to the collective execution of any types of effort which
qualify as projects.
Project Management Framework: The idea of setting out to achieve certain
predetermined objectives in several concurrent areas pre supposes the application
of discipline and control through sound management practices. This in turn requires
delegation of effort to various specialized "functional" management
areas in which the separate objectives are to be achieved.
Scope Management: the function of controlling a project in terms of
its goals and objectives through the processes of conceptual development, full
definition or scope statement, execution and termination.
Quality Management: Quality itself is the composite of material attributes
(including performance features and characteristics) of the product or service
which are required to satisfy the need for which the project is launched. Quality
standards may be attained through the sub-functions of Quality Assurance and
Quality Assurance (Management): the development of a broad program which
includes the processes of identifying objectives and strategies, of client interfacing,
and of organizing and coordinating planned and systematic controls for maintaining
established standards. This in turn involves measuring and evaluating performance
to these standards, reporting results and taking appropriate action to deal with
Quality Control (Technical): the planned process of identifying project
established system requirements and exercising influence through the collection
of specific (usually highly technical and itself standardized) data. The basis
for decision on any necessary corrective action is provided by analyzing the
data and reporting it comparatively to system standards.
Time Management: the function required to maintain appropriate allocation
of time to the overall conduct of the project through the successive stages of
its natural life-cycle, (i.e. concept, development, execution, and finishing)
by means of the processes of time planning, time estimating, time scheduling,
and schedule control.
Cost Management: the function required to maintain effective financial
control of the project through the processes of evaluating, estimating, budgeting,
monitoring, analyzing, forecasting, and reporting the cost information.
Human Resources Management: the function of directing and coordinating
human resources throughout the life of the project by applying the art and science
of behavioral and administrative knowledge to achieve the predetermined project
objectives of scope, cost, time, quality and participant satisfaction.
Communications Management: the proper organization and control of information
transmitted by whatever means to satisfy the needs of the project. It includes
the processes of transmitting, filtering, receiving and interpreting or understanding
information using appropriate skills according to the application in the project
Contract-Procurement Management: the function through which resources
(including people, plant, equipment and materials) are acquired for the project
(usually through some form of formal contract) in order to produce the end product.
It includes the processes of establishing strategy, instituting information systems,
identifying sources, selection, conducting proposal or tender invitation and
award, and administering the resulting contract.
Risk Management: the art and science of identifying, analyzing and responding
to risk factors throughout the life of a project and in the best interests of
Other Useful Definitions
Control: The exercise of corrective action as necessary to yield a required
outcome consequent upon monitoring performance.
Control Functions: Scope, Quality, Time and Cost are the basic or core
functions of project management.
Effort: The application of human energy to accomplish an objective.
Environment (Project Environment): The combined internal and external
forces, both individual and collective which assist or restrict the attainment
of the project objectives. These could be business or project related or may
be due to political, economic, technological, environmental or regulatory conditions.
Feedback: Information (data) extracted from a process or situation and
used in controlling (directly) or in planning or modifying immediate or future
inputs (actions or decisions) into the process or situation.
Integrative Functions: Risk, Human Resources, Contract/Procurement and
Communications are the essential "people oriented" functions of project
Matrix Organization: A two dimensional organizational structure in which
the horizontal and vertical intersections represent different staffing positions
with responsibility divided between the horizontal and vertical authorities.
Project: Any undertaking with a defined starting point and defined objectives
by which completion is identified. In practice, most projects depend on finite
or limited resources by which the objectives are to be accomplished.
Project Life Cycle: The four sequential phases in time through which
any project passes, namely: Concept; Development; Execution (implementation or
operation); and Finishing (termination or close out). Note that these phases
may be further broken down into stages depending on the area of project application.
Project Manager: The individual appointed with responsibility for project
management of the project.
Project Phase: The division of a project time frame (or project life
cycle) into the largest logical collection of related activities.
Project Stage: A sub-set of Project Phase.
Project Team: The central management group headed by a project manager
and responsible for the management and successful outcome of the project.
Scope: The bounded set of verifiable end products, or outputs, which
the project team undertakes to provide to the project sponsor. The required set
of end results or products with specified physical or functional characteristics. A statement of scope should be introduced
by a brief background to the project, or component, and the general objective(s).
Work Breakdown Structure: A task-oriented "family tree" of
activities which organizes, defines and graphically displays the total work to
be accomplished in order to achieve the final objectives of the project.