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 37 terms in this directory beginning with the letter A.
Accept
A decision to take no action against a threat. Project teams typically accept risks when they fall below risk thresholds or when the team thinks it best to act only if and when a threat occurs. (See also risk acceptance)

Acceptance Criteria
The specific requirements expected of project deliverables. To be formally accepted, deliverables must meet all acceptance criteria.

Acceptance test
A test in which a team of end users runs a product through its full range of use to identify potential problems.

Acquisition process
This process obtains the personnel and resources necessary for project work. Acquisitions are closely coordinated with project budgets and schedules.

Action item
An activity or task that must be completed.

Action item status
This tracks an action item’s progress from creation to closure. Since work packages comprise multiple action items keeping action item statuses updated is important for project progress.

Activity
The smallest unit of work necessary to complete a project work package (which includes multiple activities). Time, resources, and finances are required to complete each activity.

Activity code
An alphanumeric value by which activities can be grouped and filtered. A code is assigned to each activity.

Activity identifier
A unique alphanumeric value by which an individual activity can be distinguished. An activity identifier is assigned to each activity.

Activity label
A short descriptor for an activity. Activity labels may be placed below arrows representing activities in activity-on-arrow (AOA) diagrams.

Activity list
This documents all the activities necessary to complete a project. Each activity is accompanied by its activity identifier and a description of the work it entails.

Activity-On-Arrow (AOA)
In this network diagram arrows represent activities and nodes represent events or milestones. AOA diagrams can only indicate finish-to-start relationships.

Activity-On-Node (AON)
In a network diagram of this nature nodes represent activities and arrows illustrate logical relationships between activities. AON diagrams can illustrate four relationship types: start-to-start

Actual cost of work performed (ACWP)
This represents the total cost incurred for work done in a given period of time.

Actual duration
The length of time taken to complete an activity.

Actual effort
The amount of labor performed to complete an activity. It is expressed in person-hours or similar units of work.

Actual expenditure
The sum of costs paid from a budget.

Actual progress
This measures the amount of work completed on a project. It is used to assess the comparison between project progress and project baselines and is usually stated as a percentage.

Administrative closure
This refers to the set of formal requirements fulfilled to end a project. Among other things it involves documenting the formal acceptance of deliverables and ensuring that all relevant information is sent to a project’s sponsor and stakeholders.

Aggregate planning
This strategy uses demand forecasts to manage scheduling and planning for project activities between three and 18 months in advance so that the necessary resources and personnel can be efficiently acquired or assigned.

Agile
The Agile family of methodologies is a superset of iterative development approaches aimed at meeting ever-changing customer requirements. Agile development proceeds as a series of iterations or sprints

Agile project management
Agile project management draws from concepts of agile software development. Agile approaches focus on teamwork collaboration

Agile software development
Agile software development originates from the Agile Manifesto a set of principles that emphasizes meeting changing requirements through collaborative development and making ongoing improvements through iteration. It stresses the importance of being reactive to rapid changes in external environments.

Allocation
The assigning of resources for scheduled activities in the most efficient way possible. (See also resource allocation)

Alternative analysis
The evaluation of possible courses of action for project work in order to find the most suitable course of action.

Analogous estimating
This technique uses historical project data to prepare time and cost estimates. It is considered the most inaccurate estimation technique. (See also top-down estimating)

Analytical estimating
This technique computes total project time and cost estimates by preparing estimates for each project activity and adding them together. Analytical estimating is considered the most accurate estimation technique. (See also bottom-up estimating)

Application area
The specific project category of which the project is a part. Application areas can be defined on the basis of project products’ characteristics or applications or by the projects’ customers or stakeholders.

Apportioned effort
Project work associated with components of a work breakdown structure and performed in proportion with discrete effort. Since the amount of apportioned effort (which includes activities such as quality assurance) depends directly on the amount of discrete effort

Approach analysis
During the project planning phase this type of analysis is used to examine the various methods by which a project’s goals may be achieved.

Arrow diagramming method (ADM)
A method of constructing a network diagram that uses arrows to represent activities and nodes to represent events or milestones. The ADM is used to construct activity-on-arrow (AOA) diagrams.

Artifact
Items that support software development. Artifacts include both items associated with the process of development such as project plans

Assignment contouring
The process of assigning people to project work for changing numbers of hours per day as the project moves through different stages. Assignment contouring is typically done using project management software.

Assumption
Factors deemed to be true during the project planning process though proof of their validity is not available. A project’s assumptions can affect its risks and outcomes

Authorization
In general authorization is the power to make decisions that the management grants. The specific remit for authorization varies on a case-by-case basis.

Authorized work
Work that management or others in authority approve.

Avoid
A response to a negative risk that seeks to ensure the risk does not occur or (if the risk cannot be eliminated) seeks to protect the project objectives from the negative risk’s impact. (See also risk avoidance)