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52 Project Management Terms Every Project Manager Should Know

Project management terminology is a list of common terms in project management.

We have listed below project management terms that you should be familiar of:


Project Management Terms / Glossary

Project: An activity that creates a unique product, service or result. It has clear start and finish dates (not linked to the completion of other projects), defined scope, identified customers and can be assigned to one Project Manager.

Project management: A systematic approach to achieving a desired result by applying the appropriate combination of people, materials, equipment, tools, supplies and money against identified risks. It involves planning, organizing and managing resources to achieve specific goals under constraints such as limited time and other limitations on cost, scope, quality and performance.

Project management

Scope: The what the project intends to deliver.

Scope statement: A statement of the need for a new product, service or result.

Project plan: An expression of the total scope, schedule, resources, budget and assumptions related to a project.

Risk register: A list of project risks that will be identified, documented on likelihood of occurrence and impact if it occurs.

Milestone: A significant event in a project, which usually triggers a review of progress to date and an assessment of whether the planned work has been completed.

Milestone schedule: A list of significant events in the project together with timing and deliverables.

Investment: Money spent on activities that create value for the customer, employee, investor, and community.

Gantt chart: A graphical representation of the life cycle of a project by focusing on one activity at a time and showing how they interact with one another over time.

Probability and impact matrix: A grid showing possible risks and their possible outcomes.

Management reserve: Any unspent budget at the end of the year is carried over to next year’s budget as management reserve. This can be spent on any purpose for which there was no budget provision in the current budget.

Risk: Uncertainty about achieving objectives.

Assumptions: Factors that must be true in order for a particular course of action to be valid.

Stakeholder: Any person, group or organization who has interests in the project and can affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by the achievement of an objective.

Project management plan (PM plan): A component of the project management process. It is a document that includes the major components of a project and describes how they will be executed, controlled, and monitored to ensure that they come together to form a whole project.

Escalation: The identification of problems and the transfer of knowledge about their solutions from one part of an organization to another, especially from a specialist group to the person who has the authority and ability to implement them.

Work package: The work required to bring a deliverable asset into a condition for transfer or acceptance. A work package is considered complete when all planned tasks have been completed and all resultant deliverables meet their acceptance criteria. Typically, a work package consists only of the tasks required to produce one or more deliverables, but it can also include other items such as review meetings and staff training.

Project management office (PMO): A centralized resource that manages the governance processes’ framework for an organization’s projects, program, portfolio and operations.

Contract: An agreement between two or more parties creating obligations that are enforceable or otherwise recognizable at law, absolving one party of responsibility is the other fails to fulfill their obligations. A contract between two projects can be defined as any commitment that requires both funding and performance over some period of time.

Project charter: A formal statement of project scope, objectives, and participants. It describes the business need that is being addressed and summarizes why a project is being undertaken. It also provides the project manager with authority to apply organizational resources, if needed.

RACI chart: A matrix used to assign responsibilities for each task within a job function. Responsibilities are assigned to individuals rather than groups.

Earned value management (EVM): Earned value management is a technique to measure project performance and progress. It uses the actual cost of work performed so far and the actual schedule for that work to determine whether a project is on schedule or behind schedule, and the degree by which it is ahead of its forecast spending, referred to as ‘ float ‘.

Critical path: The sequence of activities that represents the shortest time duration to complete a project.

Deliverable: An output of a project that is produced for or delivered to a stakeholder and that is required as part of the work performed by the project.

Project management methodology: A set of principles, policies, processes, and practices applied on a consistent basis to create an appropriate approach to define, plan, execute, monitor and control a set of activities to meet specific project requirements.

Scope creep: When the tasks in a project expand due to unanticipated requirements that were not included in the initial work breakdown structure (WBS).

Quality management plan: A quality management plan describes how an organization will manage its product or service. It includes all of the elements required by ISO 9001:2015 and addresses how the deliverables will meet the needs of its customers.

Initiating process group: In Project Management, the initiating process group is where you establish a project, get approval for it and obtain formal authorization to begin work.

Intellectual property (IP): Intellectual property includes creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.

Risk management plan: A risk management plan defines how an organization plans to identify, analyze, respond and monitor risks throughout the duration of a project.

Close Project or Phase: The formal acceptance of completed project deliverables and release to operations.

Executing process group: The executing process group is where you execute the work defined in the project management plan to meet the objectives.

Scope management plan: A scope management plan defines the processes, tools and techniques used to control the boundaries of a project or product. It describes how work will be defined, documented and reviewed throughout a project.

Project schedule: A Gantt chart that shows how activities are related in time to achieve a particular goal or determine when something will be delivered.

Work breakdown structure (WBS): The work to be performed in a project broken down into smaller, more manageable pieces. It is the tasks and subtasks needed to complete the project’s objectives including all dependencies, assumptions and constraints.

Earned Value Management System (EVMS): Is a project management technique used to assess project performance and progress in terms of schedule, cost and milestones.

Project communication plan: A project communication plan is a component of the overall project management plan. It documents the methods, tools and techniques that will be used to communicate status within the team and with other stakeholders throughout the duration of a project.

Status report: A document that describes where the project stands in regards to its original objectives, what has been accomplished toward those objectives since the last report and what is expected to be accomplished in the near future.

Procurement documents: A document used by an organization’s procurement department that describes all the requirements a vendor must meet in order to be considered for a contract. It includes the terms and conditions of the proposed agreement between the organization and the supplier, along with all specifications that need to be met.

Project team: The group of individuals responsible for delivering the project’s objectives.

Stakeholder management plan: A stakeholder management plan is a component of the overall project management plan. It describes how to identify, engage with and manage stakeholders throughout the project’s lifecycle.

SOW: A statement of work is an advertisement for bids from subcontractors or vendors to supply products or services required for a project. It describes what will be done (scope) in terms that can be understood by potential bidders and it describes how the work will be done (methods, resources etc.).

Executing phase of the project lifecycle: The period of time during which work is performed to complete the tasks or activities that achieve the project’s objectives.

Customer: An individual or organization that receives the product or service from a supplier and is ultimately accountable for its satisfactory quality and performance.

Procurement management plan: A document that describes how contract management activities will be conducted, the records needed and how to monitor vendor performance. It also identifies a procurement manager’s authority and responsibility within their organization’s purchasing process.

Sponsor: An individual or group who provides support for a project without participating in the work being done.

Risk identification: The process of identifying and analyzing potential problems, threats and opportunities that could impede a project’s success.

Project life cycle: A process for planning and executing projects according to their degree of novelty and importance, from initial concept through final delivery or transition into operations. It is characterized by stages that repeat throughout the life cycle and includes the initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing phases.

Conditions of satisfaction: A document that defines the requirements for a product or service based on a customer’s needs. With a conditions of satisfaction statement in hand, buyers can develop their request for proposal (RFP) to solicit bids from potential suppliers.

Work performance data: A document that describes the work performed and key accomplishments during a specific period of time. In an employee performance review, it consists of information about an individual’s behavior as well as objective results achieved during a determined period.

Integration plan: The documentation describing the processes for integrating each part or system within a larger product or service.

So this ends our list of the terms related to project management.


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