PROJECT MANAGEMENT KEY TERMS

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balanced matrix
a matrix structure in which the project manager and functional managers share roughly equal authority over the project. The project manager decides what needs to be done; functional managers are concerned with how it will be accomplished
dedicated project team
an organizational structure in which all of the resources needed to accomplish a project are assigned full time to the project
matrix
any organizational structure in which the project manager shares responsibility with the functional managers for assigning priorities and for directing the work of individuals assigned to the project
organizational culture
a system of shared norms, beliefs, values, and assumptions held by an organizations members
projectitis
a social phenomenon in which project members exhibit inappropriately intense loyalty to the project
projectized organization
a multi project organization in which project managers have full authority to assign priorities and direct the work of persons assigned to their project
project office
a centralized unit within an organization or department that oversees and improves the management of projects
strong matrix
a matrix structure in which the project manager has primary control over project activities and functional managers support project work
weak matrix
a matrix structure in which functional managers have primary control over project activities and the project manager coordinates project work
emotional intelligence
the ability or skill to perceive, assess, and manage the emotions of ones self and others
inspiration related currencies
influence based on inspiration
law of reciprocity
people are obligated to grant a favor comparable to the one they received
leading by example
exhibiting the behaviors you want to see in others
management by wandering around
a management style in which managers spend the majority of their time outside their offices interacting with key people
personal related currencies
influence based on enhancing another persons self esteem
position related currencies
influence based on the ability to enhance someone else position within an organization
proactive
working within your sphere of influence to accomplish something
relationship related currencies
influence based on friendship
social network building
the process of identifying and building cooperative relationships with key people
stakeholder
individuals and organizations that are actively involved in the project, or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected as a result of project execution or completion. They may also exert influence over the project and its results
systems thinking
a holistic approach to viewing problems that emphasizes understanding the interactions among different problem factors
task related currencies
influence based, helping someone else do their work
culture
the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought characteristic of a community or country
culture shock
a natural psychological disorientation that most people suffer when they move to a culture different from their own
infrastructure
basic services needed to support project completion
activity
tasks of the project that consumes time while people/equipment either work or wait
activity on arrow
method for drawing project networks. the activity is shown as an arrow
activity on node
method for drawing project networks. the activity is on the node
burst activity
an activity that has more than one activity immediately following it
concurrent engineering
cross functional teamwork in new product development projects that provides product design, quality engineering, and manufacturing process engineering all at the same time
critical path
the longest activity path through the network. The critical path can be distinguished by identifying the collection of activities that all have the same minimum slack
hammock activity
a special purpose, aggregate activity that identifies the use of fixed resources or costs over a segment of the project
lag relationship
the relationship between the start/and or finish of a project activity and the start and/or finish of another activity. The most common are (1) finish-to-start, (2) finish-to-finish, (3) start-to-start, and (4) start-to-finish
merge activity
an activity that has more than one activity immediately preceding it
parallel activity
one or more activities that can be carried on concurrently or simultaneously
sensitivity
the likelihood that the critical path will change once the project begins to be implemented
project
a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result
project life cycle
the stages found in all-projects – definition, planning, execution and delivery
project management professional
an individual who has met specific education and experience requirements set forth by the project management institute, has agreed to adhere to a code of professional conduct, and has passed an examination designed to objectively assess and measure project management knowledge
implementation gap
the lack of consensus between the goals set by top management and those independently set by lower levels of management. This lack of consensus leads to confusion and poor allocation of organization resources
net present value
a minimum desired rate of return discount is used to compute present value of all future cash inflows and outflows
organization politics
actions by individuals or groups of individuals to acquire, develop, and use power and other resources to obtain preferred outcomes when there is uncertainty or disagreement over choices
payback
the time it takes to pay back the project investment. The method does not consider the time value of money or the life of the investment
priority system
the process used to select projects. The system uses selected criteria for evaluating and selecting projects that are strongly linked to higher-level strategies and objectives
priority team
the group (sometimes the project office) responsible for selecting, overseeing, and updating project priority selection criteria
project portfolio
group of projects that have been selected for implementation balanced by project type, risk, and ranking by selected criteria
project screening matrix
a matrix used to assess and compare the relative value of projects being considered for implementation
sacred cow
a project that is a favorite of a powerful management figure who is usually the champion for the project
scenario planning
a structured process of thinking about future possible environments that would have potential high impact to disrupt the way you do business, and then developing potential strategies to compete in these altered environments
cost account
a control point of one or more work packages used to plan, schedule, and control the project. The sum of all the project costs accounts represents the total cost of the project
milestone
an event that represents significant, identifiable accomplishment toward the projects completion
organization breakdown structure
a structure used to assign responsibility for work packages
priority matrix
a matrix that is set up before the project begins that establishes which criterion among cost, time, and scope will be enhanced, constrained, or accepted
project charter
a document that authorizes the project manager to initiate and lead a project
responsibility matrix
a matrix whose intersection point shows the relationship between an activity (work package) and the person/group responsible for its completion
scope creep
the tendency for the scope of a project to expand once it has started
scope statement
a definition of the end result or mission of a project. Scope statements typically include project objectives, deliverables, milestones, specifications, and limits and exclusions
work breakdown structure
a hierarchical method that successively subdivides the work of the project into smaller detail
work package
a task at the lowest level of the WBS. Responsibility for the package should be assigned to one person and, if posssible, limited to 80 hours of work
avoiding risk
elimination of the risk cause before the project begins
budget reserve
reserve setup to cover identified risks that may occur and influence baseline tasks or costs. These reserves are typically controlled by the project manager and the project team
change management system
a defined process for authorizing and documenting changes in the scope of a project
contingency plan
a plan that covers possible identified project risks that may materialize over the life of the project
management reserve
a percentage of the total project budget reserved for contingencies. This fund exists to cover unforeseen, new problems-not necessary over-runs. The reserve is designed to reduce the risk of project delays. Management reserves are typically controlled by the project owner or project manager
mitigating risk
action taken to either reduce the likelihood that a risk will occur and/or the impact the risk will have on the project
risk
the chance that an undesirable project event will occur and the consequences of all its possible outcomes
risk breakdown structure
a hierarchical depiction of the identified project risks arranged by risk category and subcategory that identifies the various areas and causes of potential risks
risk profile
a list of questions that addresses traditional areas of uncertainty on a project
risk severity matrix
a tool used to assess the impact of risks on a project
time buffer
a contingency amount of time for an activity to cover uncertainty – for example, availability of a key resource or merge event
transferring risk
shifting responsibility for a risk to another party
heuristic
a rule of thumb used to make decisions. Frequently found in scheduling projects. For example, schedule critical activities first, then schedule activities with the shortest duration
leveling
techniques used to examine a project for an unbalanced use of resources, and for resolving resource over allocations
planned value
the planned time phased baseline of the value of the work scheduled. Previously this was called budgeted cost of work scheduled
resource constrained projects
a project that assumes resources are limited (fixed) and therefore time is variable
splitting
a scheduling technique in which work is interrupted on one activity for a period of time, then reassigned to work on the original activity
time-constrained projects
a project that assumes time is fixed and, if resources are needed, they will be added
time-phased budget baseline
planned costs that are broken down by distinct time periods for a work package, as opposed to a budget for a whole job/project. Time phasing allows better most control by measuring the actual rate of expenditure versus the planned expenditure rate over small pieces of the project
crashing
shortening an activity or project
crash point
the most a project activity time can be realistically compressed with the resources available to the organization
crash time
the shortest time an activity can be completed
fast-tracking
accelerating project completion typically be rearranging the network schedule and using start to start lags
indirect costs
costs that cannot be traced to a particular project or work package
outsourcing
contracting for the use of external sources (skills) to assist in implementing a project
project cost-duration graph
a graph that plots project against time; it includes direct, indirect, and total cost for a project over a relevant range of time
apportionment
costs allocated to a specific segment of a project by using a percentage of planned total cost – for example, framing a house might use 25 percent of the total cost, or coding a teaching module 40 percent of total cost
bottom up estimates
detailed estimates of work packages usually made by those who are most familiar with the task
delphi method
a group method to predict future events
direct costs
costs that are clearly charged to a specific work package-usually labor, materials, or equipment
function points
points derived from past software projects to estimate project time and cost, given specific features of the project
learning curves
a mathematiccal curve used to predict a pattern of time reduction as a task is performed over and over
overhead costs
typically organization costs that are not directly linked to a specific project. These costs cover general expenses such as upper management, legal, market promotion, and accounting. Overhead costs are usually charged per unit of time or as a percentage of labor or material costs
padding estimates
adding a safety factor to a time or cost estimate to ensure the estimate is met when the project is executed
phase estimating
this estimating method begins with a macro estimate for the project and then refines estimates for phases of the project as it is implemented
ratio methods
uses the ratio of past actual costs for similar work to estimate the cost for a potential project. This macro method of forecasting cost does not provide a sound basis for project cost control since it does not recognize differences among projects
template method
use of a prepared form to develop project networks, costs, and time estimates
time and cost databases
collection of actual versus estimated times and costs of work packages over many projects that are used for estimating new project tasks and their expected possible error
top down estimates
rough estimates that use surrogates to estimate project time and cost
baseline budget
a concrete document and commitment; it represents the first real plan with cost, schedule, and resource allocation. The planned cost and schedule performance are used to measure actual cost and schedule performance. Serves as an anchor point for measuring performance
budget at completion
budgeted cost at completion. The total budgeted cost of the baseline or project cost accounts
cost performance index
the ratio of work performed to actual costs
cost variance
the difference between EV and AC. Tells if the work accomplished cost more or less than was planned at any point over the life of the project
earned value
the physical work accomplished plus the authorized budget for this work. Previously this was called the budgeted cost of work performed
estimated cost at completion
the sum of actual costs to date plus revised estimated costs for the work remaining in the WBS. The text uses EACre to represent revisions made by experts and practitioners associated with the project. A second method is used in large projects where the original budget is less reliable. This method uses the actual costs to date plus an efficiency index applied to the remaining project work. When the estimate for completion uses the CPI as the basis for forecasting cost at completion, we use the acronym EACf, where EACf = estimated costs at completion. Includes costs to date plus revised estimated costs for the work remaingin.
schedule performance index
the ratio of work performed to work scheduled
schedule variance
the difference between the planned dollar value of the work actually completed and the value of the work scheduled to be completed at a given point in time. Schedule variance contains no critical path information
tracking gantt chart
a gantt chart that compares planned versus actual schedule information
variance at completion
indicates expected actual cost-overor under at completion
brainstorming
generating as many ideas/solutions as possible without critical judgement
dysfunctional conflict
disagreement that does not improve project performance
functional conflict
disagreement that contributes to the objectives of the project
groupthink
a tendency of members in highly cohesive groups to lose their critical evaluative capabilities
nominal group technique
a structured problem solving process in which members privately rank order preferred solutions
positive synergy
a characteristic of high performance teams in which group performance is greater than the sum of individual contributions
project kick off meeting
typically the first meeting of the project team
project vision
an image of what the project will accomplish
team building
a process designed to improve the performance of a team
team rituals
ceremonial actions that reinforce team identity and values
virtual project team
spatially separated project team whose members are unable to communicate face to face
BATNA
best alternative to a negotiated agreement. Strong or weak BATNA indicates your power to negotiate with the other party
co-location
a situation in which project members including those from different organizations work together in the same location
escalation
a control mechanism for resolving problems in which people at the lowest appropriate level attempt to resolve a problem within a set time limit or the problem is “escalated” to the next level of management
met expectations model
customer satisfaction is a function of the extent to which perceived performance exceeds expectations
partnering charter
a formal document that states common goals as well as cooperative procedures used to achieved these goals which is signed by all parties working on a project
balanced scorecard
model that measures the long-run results of major program activities in four areas-customer, internal, innovation and learning, and financial
oversight
a set of principles and processes to guide and improve the management of projects. The intent is to ensure projects meet the needs of the organization through standards, procedures, accountability, efficient allocation of resources, and continuous improvement in the management of projects
phase gating
a structured process to review, evaluate, and document outcomes at each project phase and to provide management with information to guide resource deployment toward strategic goals
portfolio management
centralized selection and management of a portfolio of projects to ensure that allocation of resources is directed and balanced toward the strategic focus of the organization
agile project management
a family of incremental, iterative development methods for completing projects
feature
a piece of a product that delivers some useful functionality to a customer
iterative incremental development
a cyclical development process in which a project gradually evolves over time
product backlog
a prioritized list of project requirements with estimated time to turn them into complete product functionality
product owner
the person responsible for managing the product backlog in Scrum so as to maximize the value of the project. The product owner represents all stakeholders
scaling
adapting agile PM to large, multi team projects
scrum master
the person responsible for the Scrum process and its correct application
scrum
an incremental, iterative development approach to managing projects with a well defined set of roles and processes
self-organizing team
a semi-autonomous team that manages itself
sprint backlog
a list of tasks that defines a Scrum teams work for a sprint. Each task identifies those responsible for doing the work and the estimated amount of work remaining on the tasks on any given day during the sprint
mentor
typically a more experienced manager who acts as a personal coach and champions a persons ambitions
performance review
in general, all review methods of individual performance center on the technical and social skills brought to the project and team. These reviews stress personal improvement and are frequently used for salary and promotion decisions
project closure
all of the activities of shutting down a project. The major activities are evaluation of project goals and performance, developing a lessons learned, releasing resources, and preparing a final report
project evaluation
the process of assessing, verifying, and documenting project results
retrospective
a methodology that analyzes a past project event to determine what worked and what didn’t, develops lessons learned, and creates an action plan that ensures lessons learned are used to improve management of future projects
team evaluation
evaluating the performance of the project team using a minimum core of conditions in place before the project began. Evaluation practices should emphasize the team as a whole, while minimizing individual performance
360 degree review
a multirater appraisal system based on performance information that is gathered from multiple sources (superiors, peers, subordinates, customers)
Categories: Project Management