Project Management Terminology and Abbreviations

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Project Management “Jargon” Explained

Project management, like many professions, has a lot of terminology, abbreviations and ‘jargon’ unique to the industry. This can be pretty daunting if you’re new to the industry and trying to work out what everything means! Try this list of common terminology and abbreviations:

Agile software: a set of fundamental principles about how software should be developed based on an agile way of working.

Allocation: assignment of available resources in an economic way.

BCWP: Measures the budgeted cost of work that has actually been performed, rather than the cost of work scheduled.

BCWS: Approved budget that has been allocated to complete a scheduled task during a specific time period.

Business model: A profit-producing system that has an important degree of independence from the other systems with an enterprise.

Change control: Process to ensure changes are introduced in a controlled and coordinated manner – this is a major aspect of the broader discipline of change management.

CPM: Critical path method is a maths based modeling technique for scheduling a set of project activities used in project management.

DSDM: Dynamic systems development method is a software development methodology and an incremental approach that emphasizes continuous user involvement.

Earned value management: project management technique for measuring project progress in an objective manner with a combination of measuring scope, schedule and cost in a single integrated system.

Event chain diagram: diagram that shows the relationships between events and tasks and how the events affect each other.

Event chain methodology: uncertainty modeling and schedule network analysis technique that is focused on identifying and managing events and event chains that affect project schedules.

Float: a project networks amount of time that a task in the network can be delayed without causing delay to subsequent tasks and the project completion date.

GPM: Certified Green Project Manager.

Hammock activity: a grouping of sub-tasks that “hangs” between two end dates it is tied to (or the two end-events it is fixed to)

Integrated Master Plan: is an event-based, top level plan, consisting of a hierarchy of Program Events.

Lean manufacturing: also known as lean production is a practice of a theory of production that considers the expenditure of resources for any means other than the creation of value for the presumed customer to be wasteful and thus a target for elimination.

Management: a human organisation activity that is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and comprises of planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing and controlling an organisation or effort for the purpose of accomplishing a goal.

Management science: the discipline of using mathematical modeling and other analytical methods to help make better business management decisions.

PRINCE2: a project management methodology. The planning, monitoring and control of all aspects of the project and the motivation of all those involved in it to achieve the project objectives on time and to the specified cost, quality and performance.

PRiSM: a sustainability based project management methodology AKA “Green Project Management”. PRiSM is a sustainable delivery methodology used to plan and execute all of the aspects of a project while decreasing the negative impacts on the environment by taking into account the delivery itself and the project deliverable cradle to cradle impact.

Project Cost Management: this is a method of managing a project in real-time from the estimating stage to project control; through the use of technology cost, schedule and productivity is monitored.

Project management: The complete set of tasks, techniques, tools applied during project execution’.

Project Management Body of Knowledge: PMBOK is the sum of knowledge within the profession of project management that is standardized by ISO.

Project management office: The Project management office in a business or professional enterprise is the department or group that defines and maintains the standards of process, generally related to project management, within the organization. The PMO strives to standardize and introduce economies of repetition in the execution of projects. The PMO is the source of documentation, guidance and metrics on the practice of project management and execution.

Project management process: is the management process of planning and controlling the performance or execution of a project.

Project Management Professional: is a certificated professional in project management who has usually completed project management training at a project management institute or through an endorsed training provider.

Project management software: is a type of software, including scheduling, cost control and budget management, resource allocation, collaboration software, communication, quality management and documentation or administration systems, which are used to deal with the complexity of large projects.

Project manager: a professional in the field of project management. Project managers can have the responsibility of the planning, execution, and closing of any project, typically relating to construction industry, architecture, computer networking, telecommunications or software development.

Project stakeholders: those entities within or without an organization which sponsor a project or, have an interest or a gain upon a successful completion of a project.

Project team: is the management team leading the project, and provide services to the project. Projects often bring together a variety number of problems. Stakeholders have important issues with others.

Work Breakdown Structure: WBS is a tool that defines a project and groups the project’s discrete work elements in a way that helps organize and define the total work scope of the project. A Work breakdown structure element may be a product, data, a service, or any combination. WBS also provides the necessary framework for detailed cost estimating and control along with providing guidance for schedule development and control.

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