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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Glossary of Terms used by PMBOK for PMP

This is going to be a very important article because, we have summarized all the important terms that you would have learnt as part of preparing for the PMP Certification. You can even take a print out of the table below and use it for revision the day before your actual exam.

Good Luck!!!

Term/Definition Explanation
360 degree survey A form of feedback from all around the entity being evaluated.
Abusive manner Conduct that hurts another person either physically or emotionally, such as creating feelings of exploitation, manipulation, fear, or humiliation.
Activity A component of project work.
Activity definition The process of identifying the specific schedule activities that need to be performed to produce the project deliverables.
Activity duration The time measured in calendar units between the start and finish of a schedule activity.
Activity duration estimating The process of estimating the time in work periods individually for each schedule activity required for its completion. A work period is a measurement of time when the work is in progress; it is measured in hours, days, or months depending upon the size of the activity.
Activity resource estimating The process of estimating the types and amounts of resources that will be required to perform each schedule activity.
Activity sequencing The process of identifying and documenting the dependencies among schedule activities.
Actual cost (AC) The total cost actually incurred until a specific point on the timescale in performing the work for a project or a project activity.
Alternatives identification A technique used to apply nonstandard approaches, such as brainstorming and lateral thinking, to perform project work.
Analogous estimating A technique used to estimate the duration of an activity based on the duration of a similar activity in a previous project.
Assumption A factor that you consider to be true without any proof or verification. Assumptions can appear in both the input and the output of various processes.
Assumptions analysis A technique used to examine the validity of an assumption and thereby identify the risk resulting from the inaccuracy, inconsistency, or incompleteness of each assumption.
Asynchronous communication A communication in which the two communicating entities do not have to be present on both ends of the communication line at the same time. E-mail is an example of asynchronous communication because when the sender of the E-mail pushes the send button, the intended recipient of the E-mail message does not have to be logged on to the E-mail server.
Baseline A reference plan for components, such as schedule, scope, and cost, against which performance deviations are measured. The reference plan can be the original or the modified plan.
Benchmarking Comparing practices, products, or services of a project with those of some reference projects for the purposes of learning, improvement, and creating the basis for measuring performance.
Brainstorming A creative technique generally used in a group environment to gather ideas as candidates for a solution to a problem or an issue without any immediate evaluation of these ideas. The evaluation and analysis of these ideas happens later.
Budget Aggregation of cost estimates with a timeline assigned to it.
Budget at completion (BAC) The total budget authorized for performing the project work. This is the planned budget for the project, the cost that you originally estimated for the project.
Cause and effect diagram A diagram used to explore all the potential causes (inputs) that result in a single effect (output), such as a problem or a defect.
Change control board A formal group of stakeholders with the authority to process change requests, which includes reviewing, approving, rejecting, and delaying change requests.
Change control system A collection of formal documented procedures that specifies how the project deliverables and documents will be changed, controlled, and approved.
Change request A request for deviating from the project plan or related policies or procedures, such as modifying scope, schedule, or cost. Change requests may include recommendations for corrective and preventive actions.
Claim An assertion, demand, or request made by a buyer against the seller or vice versa for consideration or compensation under the terms of a legal contract.
Close procurements The process used to complete and settle each contract, which includes resolving any open item and closing each contract applicable to the project.
Close project or phase A process used to finalize all activities across all of the process groups to formally close the project or a phase of it. It’s also used to establish the procedures for administrative and contract closures.
Code of accounts A numbering system used to uniquely identify each component of a WBS.
Communication management plan A document that describes the communications needs and expectations of the project and how these needs and expectations will be met.
Confidence level A statistical term that refers to the certainty attached to an estimate and is often represented in percentage form, such as a 95% confidence level.
Configuration management Refers to controlling the characteristics of a product, a service, or a result of a project. It includes documenting the features of a product or a service, controlling and documenting changes to the features, and providing support for auditing the products for conformance to requirements.
Constraint A restriction (or a limitation) that can affect the performance of the project. Assumptions can appear in both the input and the output of various processes.
Contingency A future event or condition that is possible but cannot be predicted with certainty. In this case, an action will be contingent upon the condition—that is, the action will be executed only if the condition happens.
Contingency reserve Funds or time reserved in addition to the calculated estimates to deal with the uncertainties in the duration used in the schedule and the cost used in the budget and to deal with overruns of the project objectives to meet the stakeholder expectations.
Contract A mutually binding agreement between a buyer and a seller that obligates the seller to provide the specified product, service, or result and obligates the buyer to make the payment for it.
Control To analyze the performance and make and implement recommendations for corrective actions or other changes to bring the project back on track.
Control account A node in the WBS that acts as a management control point where scope, schedule, and actual cost are integrated and compared to the earned value to measure the project performance.
Control chart A chart or diagram used to monitor whether the variance of a specified variable is within the acceptable limits dictated by quality control.
COQ Cost of quality; the total cost of quality related efforts throughout the product lifecycle.
Corrective actions Actions recommended for execution in the future in order to bring project performance back in line with the project management plan.
Cost baseline The planned budget for the project over a time period, used as a basis against which to monitor, control, and measure the cost performance of the project. The cost performance is measured by comparing the actual cost to the planned cost over a time period.
Cost performance index (CPI) A measure of the cost efficiency of a project calculated by dividing earned value (EV) by actual cost (AC).
Cost variance (CV) A measure of cost performance obtained by subtracting actual value (AC) from earned value (EV). A positive result indicates good performance, whereas a negative result indicates bad performance.
CPFF Cost plus fixed fee; a contract type.
CPIF Cost plus incentive fee; a contract type.
CPPC Cost plus percentage of cost; a contract type.
Crashing A project schedule compression technique used to decrease the project duration with minimal additional cost. A number of alternatives are analyzed, including the assignment of additional resources.
Critical path The longest path (sequence of activities) in a project schedule network diagram. Because it is the longest path, it determines the duration of the project.
Critical path method (CPM) A schedule network analysis technique used to identify the schedule flexibility and the critical path of the project schedule network diagram.
Decision tree analysis A technique that uses a decision tree diagram to choose from different options available; each option is represented by a branch of the tree. EMV analysis is done along each branch, which helps to make a decision about which option to choose.
Decode To convert the received message from the media back into useful ideas and thoughts.
Decomposition A planning technique to subdivide the project scope, including deliverables, into smaller, manageable tasks called work packages.
Defect An imperfection or deficiency that keeps a component from meeting its requirements or specifications. A defect is caused by an error (problem) and can be repaired by fixing the error.
Deliverable A unique and verifiable product, a capability to provide a service, or a result that must be produced to complete a project or a process or phase of the project.
Delphi technique An information gathering technique used for experts to reach a consensus while sharing their ideas and preferences anonymously.
Distribute information The process of making information available to stakeholders according to the project management plan. Earned value (EV) or budgeted cost of work performed (BCWP). The value of the actually performed work expressed in terms of the approved budget for a project or a project activity for a given time period.
Earned value management (EVM) or earned value technique (EVT) A management methodology and a technique to measure project progress by comparing integrated measures of scope, schedule, and cost with the planned performance baseline.
Encode To convert thoughts and ideas into a message that could be transmitted through the media.
Enterprise environmental factors Factors internal or external to the performing organization that can influence the project’s success, such as the organization’s culture, infrastructure, existing skill set, market conditions, and project management software. These are input to both the project charter and the preliminary project scope statement.
Estimate at completion (EAC) at budgeted rate The estimate from the current point in time of how much it will cost to complete the entire project or an entire project activity for which the BAC is given. The value of EAC is obtained by adding the value of ETC at the budgeted rate to AC.
Estimate at completion (EAC) at current CPI The estimate from the current point in time of how much it will cost to complete the entire project or an entire project activity for which the BAC is given. The value of EAC is obtained by adding the value of ETC at the current CPI to AC
Estimate to complete (ETC) at budgeted rate The expected cost, estimated by assuming the future performance will be at the budgeted rate, to complete the remaining work for the project or for a project activity.
Estimate to complete (ETC) at present CPI The expected cost, estimated by assuming the future performance will be at the current CPI, to complete the remaining work for the project or for a project activity.
Expected Monetary Value (EMV) analysis A statistical technique used to calculate the expected outcome when there are multiple possible outcome values with probabilities assigned to them.
Experiment design A statistical method that can be used to identify the factors that can influence a set of specific variables of a product or a process under development or in production.
Fairness An act of making decisions and behaving impartially and objectively, free from favoritism, competing self interest, and prejudice.
Fast tracking A project schedule compression technique used to decrease the project duration by performing project phases or some schedule activities within a phase simultaneously, when they would normally be performed in sequence.
Float time The positive difference between the late start date and the early start date of a schedule activity.
Flowchart A diagram that depicts inputs, actions, and outputs of one or more processes in a system.
FP Fixed price; a contract type.
Histogram A bar chart that shows a distribution of variables.
Honesty The policy of understanding the truth based on facts and acting in a truthful manner both in communication and in conduct.
Human resource plan A document that describes roles and responsibilities, reporting relationships among the roles, and staffing management.
Initiating process group A process group that contains two processes: develop project charter and develop preliminary project scope statement.
Inspection A technique to examine whether an activity, component, product, service, or result conforms to specific requirements.
Issue An item or a matter that is under discussion or dispute and for which there are most likely opposing views and disagreements among the stakeholders.
Issue log A tool used to manage issues that includes opening, modifying, tracking, documenting, and resolving issues.
Knowledge area A knowledge area in project management is defined by its knowledge requirements related to managing a specific aspect of a project, such as cost, by using a set of processes. PMI recognizes a total of nine knowledge areas, such as cost management and human resource management.
Lag A technique to modify a dependency relationship by delaying the successor activity. For example, a lag of five days in a finish to start relationship means the successor activity cannot start until five days after the predecessor activity has ended.
Lateral thinking Thinking outside the box, beyond the realm of your experience, to search for new solutions and methods, rather than only better uses of the current solutions and methods.
Lead A technique to modify a dependency relationship by accelerating the successor activity. For example, a lead of five days in a finish to start relationship means the successor activity can start up until five days before the finish date of the predecessor activity.
Logical relationship A dependency between two project schedule activities or between a schedule activity and a schedule milestone.
Managing stakeholder expectations A process used for communicating and working with stakeholders to stay on the same page with them on the project requirements by addressing their needs and issues as they arise.
Methodology A system of procedures and techniques practiced in a discipline to accomplish a task. For example, risk management methodology is used in the discipline of project management to determine how risk management processes will be performed.
Milestone A significant point (or event) in the life of a project.
Mitigation The process of taking actions to reduce or prevent the impact of a disaster that is expected to occur.
Model A set of rules to describe how something works, which takes input and makes predictions as output.
Monitor To collect project performance information/data as planned, convert the information to performance measurements, and report the performance.
Monitor and control risks To track identified risks, identify new risks, monitor residual risks, implement risk response plans, and evaluate risk management processes.
Monte Carlo simulation An analysis technique that randomly generates values for uncertain elements (that is, variables) and takes them as input to a model to generate output. In other words, it simulates a model by feeding randomly selected input values.
Organization A group of individuals organized to work for some purpose or mission.
Organizational process assets The processes and process related assets of the organizations participating in the project that can be used to perform the project successfully, such as templates, guidelines, knowledge base, and policies and procedures.
Parametric estimating A quantitative technique used to calculate the activity duration when the productivity rate of the resource performing the activity is available.
Pareto diagram A diagram used to rank the importance of each error (problem) based on the frequency of its occurrence over time in the form of defects.
Perform quality assurance A process used for ensuring that quality requirements are met.
Performance measurement baseline An approved integrated plan for the project specifying some parameters to be included in the performance measurements, such as scope, schedule, and cost. The performance of the project is measured against this baseline. Some technical and quality parameters can also become part of this baseline.
Performance report A document or a presentation that presents the project progress in terms of some parameters, such as earned value management parameters, based on the analysis of performance information/data.
Performing organization The organization that is performing the project.
Planning component A WBS component at the bottom level of a branch of the WBS hierarchy for which some planning can be performed.
Planning package A WBS component that is below the control account that has well defined work content but does not yet have a detailed schedule.
Portfolio A set of projects, programs, and related work that is managed in a coordinated fashion to obtain business objectives in the strategic plan of the organization.
Portfolio management The centralized management of one or more portfolios, which includes identifying, authorizing, prioritizing, managing, and controlling projects, programs, and other related work in order to obtain specific business objectives in the strategic plan of the organization.
Precedence diagramming method (PDM) A technique used to construct a project schedule network diagram in which a node (a box) represents an activity and an arrow represents the dependency relationship.
Preventive actions Directions to perform an activity that will reduce the probability of negative consequences associated with project risks. These preventive actions are recommended by the QA process during process analysis.
Process A set of interrelated activities performed to obtain a specified set of products, results, or services.
Process analysis A technique used to identify the needed improvements in a process by following the steps outlined in the process improvement plan.
Process improvement An iterative method for improving the quality of all processes.
Procurement Refers to obtaining (purchasing or renting) products, services, or results from outside the project team to complete the project.
Procurements Purchases and acquisitions that are needed to complete the project but that cannot be produced by the in house project team.
Procurement audit A structured review of the procurement process with the purpose of identifying successes and failures from the planning through the executing stage of the project.
Procurement management An execution of a set of processes used to obtain products, services, or results from outside the project team to complete the project.
Procurement management plan A document that describes how procurements will be managed.
Product scope Features and functions that characterize a product, service, or result to be delivered by the project.
Program A set of related projects managed in a coordinated fashion to improve overall efficiency and effectiveness that may not be obtained by managing the projects individually.
Program management The centralized coordinated management of a specific program to achieve its strategic goals, objectives, and benefits.
Program management office (PMO) An entity in an organization that is responsible for providing centralized coordinated support to the program managers managing programs and unrelated projects.
Progressive elaboration A technique used to continuously improving a plan by working out more details and better accuracy as more detailed and specific information becomes available as the project progresses.
Project calendar A calendar of working days or shifts used to establish when a schedule activity can be performed. A calendar typically specifies holidays and weekends when a schedule activity cannot be performed.
Project charter A document that states the initial requirements to satisfy the stakeholders’ needs and expectations and also formally authorizes the project.
Project interfaces The formal and informal boundaries and relationships among team members, departments, organizations, or functions. An example might be how the development department and the QA department interact with each other while working on the same project.
Project Management Information System (PMIS) An information system that consists of tools used to store, integrate, and retrieve the outputs of the project management processes. This can be used to support all stages of the project from initiating to closing.
Project management plan An approved document that describes how the project will be executed, monitored and controlled, and closed.
Project management practitioner Any individual who, as part of the project management profession, participates in an activity that contributes to the management of a project, program, or portfolio.
Project performance Measure of actual project progress against planned progress.
Project/product transition Handing over of the project output to the appropriate party.
Project schedule A schedule that consists of planned dates for performing schedule activities and meeting schedule milestones.
Project schedule network diagram A schematic display of logical relationships among the project schedule activities. The time flow in these diagrams is from left to right.
Project scope The work that must be performed (and only that work) to deliver products, services, or results with specified features that were promised by the project. The project scope draws the boundaries around the project—what is included and what is not.
Project scope creep Changes applied to the project scope without going through the approval process, such as the integrated change control process.
Project scope statement A document that defines the scope of a project by stating what needs to be accomplished by the project.
Qualitative risk analysis A process used to prioritize risks by estimating the probability of their occurrence and their impact on the project.
Quality The degree to which a set of characteristics of project deliverables and objectives fulfills the project requirements.
Quality audit A structured and independent review to determine whether project activities comply with the policies, processes, and procedures of the project and the performing organization. It verifies the implementation of approved change requests, corrective actions, defect repairs, and preventive actions.
Quality baseline A criterion that specifies the quality objectives for the project and thereby makes the basis for measuring and reporting the quality performance.
Quality control Monitoring results of executing quality related activities and recommending necessary changes and actions to conform with the quality plans.
Quality management plan A management plan that describes how the project management team will implement the quality policy of the performing organization for the specific project.
Quality metrics An operational criterion that defines in specific terms what something (such as a characteristic or a feature) is and how the quality control process measures it.
Quality planning The process of identifying the quality standards relevant to the project at hand and determining how to satisfy these standards.
Quality policy Overall intentions and high level direction of an organization with respect to quality, established by management at the executive level.
Quantitative risk analysis A process used to perform numerical analysis to estimate the effect of each identified risk on the overall project objectives and deliverables.
RAM Responsibility assignment matrix; a matrix used to specify the relationships between schedule activities, roles to perform those activities, and team members assigned to the roles.
Requirement A condition, characteristic, or capability that a specific outcome of the project must have.
Residual risk A risk that remains after the risk response has been performed.
Resource breakdown structure (RBS) A hierarchical structure of resource types required to complete the schedule activities of a project.
Respect A behavior of showing high regard for yourself, the people you are dealing with, and the resources entrusted to you.
Responsibility An act of taking ownership for the decisions you make or fail to make, the actions you take or fail to take, and the consequences that result.
Risk An uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on meeting the project objectives.
Risk breakdown structure (RBS) A hierarchical structure that breaks down the identified risk categories into subcategories. In developing this structure, you will end up identifying various areas and causes of potential risks.
Risk identification A process used to identify the risks for a given project and record their characteristics in a document called the risk register.
Risk management plan A document that describes how risk management will be structured and performed for the project at hand. It becomes part of the project management plan.
Risk management planning A process used to determine how to approach, plan, and execute risk management activities for a given project. This process produces the risk management plan.
Risk register A document that contains the results of risk analysis and risk response planning.
Risk trigger An alert that indicates a risk event has occurred or is about to occur.
Role A defined function that contains a set of responsibilities to be performed by a team member, such as a programmer or a tester.
Rolling wave planning A case of progressive elaboration in which the deliverables about which full information is available are decomposed to the lowest level, whereas the deliverables for which full information is not available are left at higher levels until the information becomes available.
Run chart A chart that shows the history and pattern of variations.
Scatter diagram A diagram used to show the pattern of the relationship between two variables—an independent variable and another variable that depends on the independent variable.
Schedule activity A scheduled task (component of work) performed during the lifecycle of a project.
Schedule baseline A specific version of the project schedule developed from the schedule network analysis and the schedule model data. This is the approved version of the schedule with a start date and an end date, and it is used as a basis against which the project schedule performance is measured.
Schedule development The process of creating the project schedule by analyzing schedule activity sequences, schedule activity durations, resource requirements, and schedule constraints.
Schedule milestone A significant event in the project schedule, such as the completion of a major deliverable.
Schedule network analysis A technique used to generate a project schedule by identifying the early and late start and finish dates for the project.
Schedule performance index (SPI) A measure of the schedule efficiency of a project calculated by dividing earned value (EV) by planned value (PV).
Schedule revision An update to the project schedule that includes changing the project start date, end date, or both.
Scope baseline The approved project scope, which includes the approved project scope statement, the WBS based on the approved project scope statement, and the corresponding WBS dictionary.
Scope definition The process used to develop the detailed project scope statement.
Scope planning The process of developing the project scope management plan.
Secondary risk A risk that arises as a result of implementing a risk response.
Simulation Any analytical method used to imitate a real life system.
SOX compliance Compliance with the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002, also called the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002.
Staff management plan A document that describes when and how human resource requirements for a project will be met.
Stakeholder management strategy The approach developed to deal with the stakeholders in the best interests of the project.
Stakeholder register A document that identifies the project stakeholders and the relevant information about them.
Statement of work (SOW) A document that describes the products or services to be delivered by the project. It is an input to developing the project charter and the preliminary project scope statement.
Statistical sampling Randomly selecting a part of the population for study.
Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis A technique used to gather information for risk identification by examining a given project from the perspectives of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Subprojects Parts of the main projects that are independent enough that each can be performed by separate project teams.
Synchronous communication Communication in which both the sender and the receiver have to be present at the same time, such as face to face project meetings and teleconferencing.
T&M Time and material; a contract type.
Variance A measurable deviation in the value of a project variable, such as cost from a known baseline or expected value.
Variance analysis A technique used to assess the magnitude of variation in the value of a variable (such as cost from the baseline or expected value), determine the cause of the variance, and decide whether a corrective action is required.
Verify scope The process of formally accepting the completed project deliverables.
Virtual team A team of members working on the same project with few or no face to face meetings. Various technologies, such as E-mail, video conferencing, and the World Wide Web, are used to facilitate communication among team members.
War room A conference room used for project team meetings.
Work breakdown structure (WBS) A deliverable oriented hierarchical structure that displays the decomposition of deliverables into work, which must be performed to accomplish the project objectives and create the project deliverables.
Work package A deliverable or a task at the lowest level of each branch of the WBS.
Workaround A response to a negative risk that has occurred. A workaround is based on a quick solution and is not planned in advance of the risk occurrence event.

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