Project Management Glossary


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There are currently 17 terms in this directory beginning with the letter M.
Management process
The act of planning and executing a project or process to meet a defined set of objectives or goals. Management processes may be carried out at multiple levels within organizations, with the scale and scope of activities typically increasing up the organizational hierarchy.

Management reserve
An allocation of money or time (or both) to address unforeseeable circumstances that might delay or increase the costs of a project. A management reserve is not the same as a contingency reserve which is an allocation made for known possibilities. The senior management must typically approve any release of funds from a management reserve.

Management science (MS)
A field of study that seeks to improve organizational decision making through the use of quantitative and scientific research methods. It evaluates management decisions and outcomes to find optimal solutions to problems, and thus enables better decision making. (See also operations research)

Master project
A master project file comprises a number of smaller projects, called subprojects, arranged hierarchically.

Matrix organization
Employees in a matrix organization report to more than one boss, with different lines of reporting representing different organizational projects or functions. A matrix structure can boost employee engagement and cross-field approaches to problem solving, but it can also create ambiguity over an employee’s role.

Maturity model
Maturity is the extent to which an organization’s methods, processes, and decisions are standardized and optimized. A maturity model assesses one or more of these aspects against a set of external benchmarks to determine an organization’s maturity level. Maturity models allow organizations to assess themselves according to management best practices. They typically offer recommendations for improvement.

A complex, large-scale, and high-investment project. Only hard projects may be termed megaprojects.

Merge point
A point in a network diagram at which multiple predecessor activities culminate in a single successor activity. The successor activity may not start until all the predecessor activities have finished.

Milestones indicate specific progress points or events in project timelines. They mark progress needed to complete projects successfully.

Milestone schedule
A milestone schedule details the time relationships associated with project milestones.

Mission statement
A concise enunciation of the goals of an activity or organization. Mission statements are usually a short paragraph, and can be created for entire organizations or for individual projects. They are designed to provide direction and guidance.

Modern project management
An umbrella term for a number of contemporary management strategies. In contrast to traditional management, modern project management: features more recognition of quality and scope variation; refines processes more frequently; stresses collective, interdisciplinary knowledge and team consensus over individual leadership. It is also less based on traditional hierarchies- modern project teams draw from a range of organizational levels and functional areas.

Monte Carlo simulation/technique
Monte Carlo simulation is a computer-based technique that performs probabilistic forecasting of possible outcomes to facilitate decision making. For each possible decision — from the most high-risk to the most conservative — a Monte Carlo simulation provides decision makers with a range of possible outcomes and the likelihood that each will occur.

The MoSCoW prioritization method allows project managers to communicate with stakeholders on the importance of delivering specific requirements. The acronym indicates four categories of priority and importance for project requirements. Each requirement is prioritized as a 'must have,' a 'should have,' a 'could have,' or a 'won’t have.'

Most Likely Duration
An estimate of the most probable length of time needed to complete an activity. It may be used to compute expected activity duration through a technique called three-point estimation.

A reason or stimulus that makes a person behave in a certain manner. In management, motivation refers to the desire to pursue personal or organizational goals and is positively associated with productivity.

Murphy’s Law
Murphy’s Law — 'What can go wrong will go wrong.' — is cited in project management as a reason to plan adequately for contingencies.
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