Project Management Glossary


# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
There are currently 77 terms in this directory beginning with the letter P.
P3 management
P3 management refers collectively to the management of projects, programs, and portfolios.

Parallel life cycle
In a parallel life cycle, certain phases are conducted in parallel (they overlap).

Parametric estimating
A technique for estimating cost and duration based on using historical data to establish relationships between variables — for example, calculating unit costs and the number of units required to complete a similar activity.

Pareto chart
A Pareto chart is a combination bar chart and line graph where the bars represent category frequencies in descending order from left to right, and the line tracks the cumulative total as a percentage.

Path convergence
On a schedule network diagram, path convergence occurs when an activity has multiple predecessors.

Path divergence
On a schedule network diagram, path divergence occurs when an activity has multiple successors.

Percent complete
The percent complete indicates the amount of work completed on an activity as a percentage of the total amount of work required.

Performance measurement baseline
A performance measurement baseline uses the schedule, cost, and scope baselines to create a point of comparison by which project performance is assessed. Variance from the performance measurement baseline may prompt corrective action.

Performance reporting
Performance reporting is formally informing stakeholders about a project's current performance and future performance forecasts. The aspects of performance to be reported are typically laid out in a communications management plan.

Performing organization
The performing organization for a project is the one whose members and resources most directly perform the project work.

Pessimistic duration
The pessimistic duration is an estimate of the longest length of time needed to complete a specific activity or task. It may be used to compute expected activity duration through a technique called three-point estimation.

PEST analysis
A PEST analysis examines how political, economic, social, and technological factors might affect a project.

A distinct stage in a project life cycle.

Phase gate
A phase gate is an end-of-phase checkpoint where the project leadership reviews progress and decides whether to continue to the next phase, revisits work done in the phase, or ends the project.

Planned value (PV)
The budget assigned to the work it is meant to accomplish. (See also budgeted cost for work scheduled)

The development of a course of action to pursue goals or objectives.

Planning phase
In project management, planning refers specifically to a phase of the life cycle that involves creating plans for management, control, and execution, as well as for what a project is meant to accomplish.

Planning poker
A consensus-based estimation technique. It attempts to avoid the anchoring effect — where the first estimate forms a baseline for all subsequent estimates — by having project team members make estimates simultaneously and discuss their estimates until they reach agreement.

A collectively managed set of programs and projects.

Portfolio balancing
An aspect of organizational project management, portfolio balancing involves selecting and tailoring a portfolio’s components so they can be managed in line with organizational objectives.

Portfolio charter
A portfolio charter details the formal structure of a portfolio and describes what it is meant to achieve. It authorizes the creation of a portfolio and connects its management with organizational objectives.

Portfolio management
The collective management of portfolios and their components in line with concepts of organizational project management.

Portfolio manager
The individual responsible for balancing and controlling a portfolio in line with concepts of organizational project management.

Positive variance
The amount by which actual project performance is better than planned project performance. Positive variances in time and budget show the project is proceeding faster and is less expensive than planned, respectively.

Precedence diagramming method (PDM)
The process of constructing a project schedule network diagram. It illustrates the logical relationships between project activities and shows the order in which they must be performed by using nodes to represent activities and arrows to show dependencies. PDM also indicates early and late start and finish dates, as well as activity durations.

Precedence network
A precedence network visually indicates relationships between project activities. Boxes and links are used to represent activities and activity relationships. Precedence networks also detail the time relationships and constraints associated with activities.

Predecessor activity
In a schedule, a predecessor activity logically comes immediately before another activity, which is dependent on the predecessor.

Preventive action
A step taken to ensure future work does not stray from performance expectations. A preventive action, which is proactive, is not the same as a corrective action, which is reactive.

PRINCE2 is an acronym for projects in controlled environments, version 2. It is a project management methodology that emphasizes business justifications for projects. PRINCE2 management is based on clear organization of project roles and responsibilities and managing when necessary rather than by obligation. It involves planning and executing projects in a series of stages, with stipulated requirements for each work package.

PRiSM is an acronym for projects integrating sustainable methods. It is a project management methodology that focuses on minimizing negative impacts on society and the environment. PRiSM focuses on sustainability. It is essentially green project management.

Probability and impact matrix
A visual framework for categorizing risks based on their probability of occurrence and impact.

Problem statement
A problem statement concisely states and describes an issue that needs to be solved. It is used to focus and direct problem-solving efforts.

A process is a repeatable sequence of activities with known inputs and outputs. Processes consume energy.

Process architecture
The sum of structures, components, and relationships that constitute a process system, which is a complex system of processes. It refers to the overall design of a process system and comprises both infrastructure (the constituent parts and relationships) and suprastructure (the larger system of which the process system is part).

Process management
The act of planning, coordinating, and overseeing processes with a view to improving outputs, reducing inputs and energy costs, and maintaining and improving efficiency and efficacy.

Process-based project management
A methodology that views projects as means of pursuing organizational objectives. It involves using an organization's mission and values to guide the creation and pursuit of project objectives. If project objectives aren’t in alignment with the company mission statement, they are amended accordingly.

Procurement management plan
A procurement management plan explains how an organization will obtain any external resources needed for a project.

Product breakdown structure (PBS)
A product breakdown structure is used in project management to record and communicate all project deliverables in a hierarchical tree structure. It may be thought of as a comprehensive list of all project outputs and outcomes.

Product description
A product description defines and describes a project product and its purpose. (See also high-level requirements)

Product verification
Product verification involves examining a deliverable to ensure, among other things, that it meets requirements, quality benchmarks, and expectations set by the product description. It is conducted before a product is presented to a customer for acceptance.

Professional development unit (PDU)
A continuing education unit that project management professionals (PMPs) take to maintain certification.

A collectively managed set of projects.

Program charter
An approved document that authorizes the use of resources for a program and connects its management with organizational objectives.

Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)
PERT is a statistical method used to analyze activity and project durations. PERT networks are typically illustrated with activity-on-arrow diagrams. The method makes use of optimistic, pessimistic, and most likely durations to estimate expected durations for project activities and to determine float times, early and late start dates, and critical paths. (See also three-point estimating)

Program management
The collective management of programs and their components in line with concepts of organizational project management.

Program manager
A program manager has formal authority to manage a program and is responsible for meeting its objectives as part of organizational project management methods. They oversee, at a high level, all projects within a program.

Progress analysis
The measurement of progress against performance baselines. Progress analysis collects information about the status of an activity that may prompt corrective action.

Progressive elaboration
The practice of adding and updating details in a project management plan. It aims at managing to increase levels of detail as estimates are revised, and more up-to-date information becomes available.

A temporary, goal-driven effort to create a unique output. A project has clearly defined phases, and its success is measured by whether it meets its stated objectives.

Project accounting
In project management, project accounting deals with reporting on the financial status of projects. It measures financial performance and actual costs against budgets or baselines. Therefore, it complements project management while providing financial information to the sponsor. Project accounting may also be referred to as job cost accounting.

Project baseline
A project baseline comprises the budget and schedule allocations set during the initiation and planning phases of a project. Assuming the scope of the project remains unchanged, it may be used to determine variance from budget or schedule.

Project calendar
A project calendar indicates periods of time for scheduled project work.

Project charter
A Project charter is a document that details the scope, organization, and objectives of a project. It is typically created by a project manager and formally approved by the sponsor. A project charter authorizes the project manager’s use of organizational resources for the project and is understood to be an agreement between the sponsor, stakeholders, and project manager. (See also project)

Project cost management (PCM)
The use of an information system to estimate, measure, and control costs through the project life cycle. It aims at completing projects within budgets.

Project definition
A project definition or project charter is a document created by a project manager and approved by a project sponsor that details the scope, organization, and objectives of a project. It authorizes a project manager’s use of resources for a project and constitutes an agreement between the sponsor, stakeholders, and project manager (See also project charter)

Project management body of knowledge (PMBOK)
The PMBOK is a collection of project management-related knowledge maintained by the Project Management Institute.

Project management office
An organizational unit that oversees project management-related activities within an organization. It seeks to facilitate and expedite project work through the use of standard procedures. A project management office also functions as a repository of general, project-related knowledge and resources.

Project management process
A management process that encompasses all phases of a project, from initiation to the meeting of objectives.

Project management professional (PMP)
A Project management professional (PMP) is a person certified by the Project Management Institute upon completion of a course of formal education, an examination, and a certain number of hours managing projects. The certification is considered the gold standard in project management.

Project management simulators
Software training tools that teach project management skills via interactive learning and provide real-time feedback by which project management trainees can practice and reassess their decision making. Some simulators, such as the Monte Carlo simulator, are used to support and complement decision making in real projects.

Project management software
Project management software is a family of tools typically used in the management of complex projects. They provide the ability to: calculate estimates; create and manage schedules and budgets; track and oversee project activities and progress; assign and allocate resources; optimize decision making; and communicate and collaborate with members of a project team.

Project management triangle
A visual metaphor that illustrates relationships between scope, cost, and schedule. It expresses the idea that none of the three aspects can be amended without affecting the others.

Project manager
The person tasked with initiating, planning, executing, and closing a project, and with managing all aspects of project performance through these phases. The term is typically used for a project management professional. Project managers are able to use organizational resources for projects. They serve as contact points for sponsors, program managers, and other stakeholders.

Project network
A visual representation of the activities and dependencies involved in the successful completion of a project.

Project performance indicators
Measures used to assess project performance, usually with reference to project or performance baselines. These typically include cost, schedule, and scope statuses.

Project phase
A distinct stage in a project management life cycle. Each phase comprises a set of project-related activities.

Project plan
A document formally approved by the project manager, sponsor, and other stakeholders which states the approved cost, schedule, and scope baselines. It guides project execution, control, and quality and performance assessment. The project plan also forms the basis for communication between parties involved in a project. Project plans can vary in their levels of detail.

Project planning
Project planning is usually the longest phase of the project management life cycle. It involves determining cost, schedule, and scope baselines and using these to create a detailed roadmap for executing project activities and producing deliverables.

Project portfolio management (PPM)
A method of collectively managing a portfolio’s constituent programs and projects to pursue organizational objectives. It involves optimizing the mix and scheduling of projects to pursue objectives as effectively as possible. Project portfolio management is closely related to organizational project management.

Project schedule network diagram
A diagram is a visual representation of how scheduled project activities are ordered and related. Depending on the type of network diagram, boxes represent activities or events, and arrows indicate activities or dependencies, typically with expected durations.

Project scope statement
A project scope statement details what a project is meant to achieve and describes the deliverables expected. It forms the basis of measurable objectives by which the success of a project will be assessed. Project scope statements are typically part of project plans.

Project stakeholders
Broadly, a Stakeholder is any party which may be affected by a project. In project management, the term usually refers to parties with an interest in the successful completion of a project.

Project team
A project team is responsible for leading and collectively managing a project and its related activities through the project’s life cycle. Project teams may contain members from several different functional groups within an organization. Depending on the nature of the project, a project team may be disbanded upon completion of a project.

Project tiers
Project sizing categorizes projects into project tiers based on staff power or time required for completion to determine the most appropriate project management practices.

Projectized organization
A projectized organization arranges all its activities into a collection of projects, programs, and portfolios. Projects are typically completed for external clients or customers. The prioritization of project work means the project manager can utilize resources and assign work as they see fit.

Proof of concept
A proof of concept is derived from a pilot project or experiment that examines whether an activity can be completed, or a concept can be realized. It shows the feasibility of an idea.

The term proport is used to define the sum of unique skills that team members bring to a project. These skills can be harnessed for collective benefit.
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