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The formal process of accepting delivery of a deliverable or a product. Acceptance Criteria. Those criteria, including performance requirements and essential conditions, which must be met before project deliverables are accepted. A prioritised list of criteria that the final product(s) must meet before the customer will accept them; a measurable definition of what must be done for the final product to be acceptable to the customer. They should be defined as part of the Project Brief and agreed between customer and supplier no later than the project initiation stage. They should be documented in the Project Initiation Document.

Acceptance Test

A formal, predefined test conducted to determine the compliance of the deliverable(s) with the acceptance criteria.

Accounts Payable

Accounts payable (A/P) is a file or account that contains money that a person or company owes to suppliers, but has not paid yet (a form of debt). When an invoice is received, it is added to the file, and then removed when it is paid. Thus, the A/P is a form of credit that suppliers offer to their purchasers by allowing them to pay for a product or service after it has already been received.

Accounts Receivable

Accounts receivable (A/R) is one of a series of accounting transactions dealing with the billing of a customer for goods and services he/she has ordered. In most business entities this is typically done by generating an invoice and mailing or electronically delivering it to the customer, who in turn must pay it within an established timeframe called "creditor payment terms." On a company's balance sheet, accounts receivable is the money owed to that company by entities outside of the company. The receivables owed by the company's customers are called trade receivables. Account receivables are classified as current assets assuming that they are due within one year. To record a journal entry for a sale on account, one must debit a receivable and credit a revenue account. When the customer pays off their accounts, one debits cash and credits the receivable in the journal entry. The ending balance on the trial balance sheet for accounts receivable is always debit.


Work done for which payment is due but has not been made. See also Provision.

Accrued Costs

Costs that are earmarked for the project and for which payment is due, but has not been made.

Accrued Expense

Expense is recognized before cash is paid out. It is a liability with an uncertain timing or amount, but where the uncertainty is not significant enough to qualify it as a provision. An example is a pending obligation to pay for goods or services received from a counterpart, while cash is to be paid out in a latter accounting period when the amount is deducted from accrued expenses.

Accrued Revenue

Revenue is recognized before cash is received. It is an asset, such as unpaid proceeds from a delivery of goods or services, when such income is earned and a related revenue item is recognized, while cash is to be received in a latter period, when the amount is deducted from accrued revenues.

Acquire Project Team [Process]

The process of confirming human resource availability and obtaining the team necessary to complete project assignments.

Action Owner (risk related)

Some actions may not be within the remit of the risk owner to control explicitly; in that situation there should be a nominated owner of the action to address the risk. He or she will need to keep the risk owner apprised of the situation.


A component of work performed during the course of a project. The smallest self-contained unit of work used to define the logic of a project.

Activity Attributes [Output/Input]

Multiple attributes associated with each schedule activity that can be Included within the activity list. Activity attributes include activity codes, predecessor activities, successor activities, logical relationships, leads and lags, resource requirements, imposed dates, constraints, and assumptions.

Activity Code

One or more numerical or text values that identify characteristics of the work or in some way categorize the schedule activity that allows filtering and ordering of activities within reports.

Activity Duration

The time in calendar units between the start and finish of a schedule activity. See also duration.

Activity Identifier

A short unique numeric or text identification assigned to each schedule activity to differentiate that project activity from other activities. Typically unique within any one project schedule network diagram.

Activity List (Output/Input)

A documented tabulation of schedule activities that snows the activity description, activity identifier, and a sufficiently detailed scope of work description so project team members understand what work is to be performed.

Activity Network

A flow diagram showing the activities of a plan and their interdependencies. The network shows each activity's duration, earliest start and finish times, latest start and finish times and float. Also known as 'planning network'. See also Critical path.

Activity Status

The state of completion of an activity.

Actual Cost (AC)

Total costs actually incurred and recorded in accomplishing work performed during a given time period for a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Actual cost can sometimes be direct labour hours alone, direct costs alone, or all costs including indirect costs. Also referred to as the actual cost of work performed (ACWP). See also earned value management and earned value technique. The incurred costs that are charged to the project budget and for which payment das been made, or accrued.

Actual Cost of Work Performed (ACWP)

See actual cost (AC).

Actual Dates. The dates on which activities started and finished as opposed to planned or forecasted dates.

Actual Duration

The lime in calendar units between the actual start date of the schedule activity and either the data date of the project schedule if the schedule activity is in progress or the actual finish date if the schedule activity is complete.

Actual Expenditures

The money that has already been paid.

Actual Finish

The date on which an activity was completed.

Actual Start

The date on which an activity was started.

Actual Time expended

The elapsed time from the beginning of an activity to date.

Administer Procurements [Process]

The process of managing procurement relationships, monitoring contract performance, and making changes and corrections as needed.

Analogous Estimating [Technique]

An estimating technique that uses the values of parameters, such as scope, cost, budget, and duration or measures of scale such as size, weight, and complexity from a previous, similar activity as the basis for estimating the same parameter or measure for a future activity.

Application Area

A category of projects that have common components significant in such projects, but are not needed or present in all projects. Application areas are usually defined in terms of either the product (i.e., by similar technologies or production methods) or the type of customer (i.e. internal versus external government versus commercial) or industry sector (i.e.. utilities, automotive, aerospace, information technologies, etc.). Application areas can overlap.

Approved Change Request [Output/Input]

A change request that has been processed through the integrated change control process and approved.

Associated Revenue

The part of a project cost that is of a revenue nature and therefore charged as incurred to the profit and loss account.


Assumptions are factors that, for planning purposes, are considered to be true, real, or certain without proof or demonstration.

Assumptions Analysis [Technique]

A technique that explores the accuracy of assumptions and identifies risks to the project from inaccuracy, inconsistency, or incompleteness of assumptions.


The systematic retrospective examination of the whole, or part, of a project or function to measure conformance with predetermined standards.


The process of approving, funding, and communicating the authorisation for initiating work on a component.


The right to apply project resources, expend funds, make decisions, or give approvals.


Backward Pass

The calculation of late finish dates and late start dates for the uncompleted portions of schedule activities. Determined by working backwards through the schedule network logic from the project's end date. See also schedule network analysis.

Base Cost

Base costs include salary plus ancillary labour cost (as social security, health insurance). The base costs for own products are the costs to produce the product or to buy it on the market.

Base Cost Rate

The base cost rate is calculated by dividing base cost by the number of units which are used to determine the base cost. Example: yearly base cost of an employee divided by the required yearly working hours gives the hourly base cost rate.


An approved plan for a project, plus or minus approved changes. It is compared to actual performance to determine if performance is within acceptable variance thresholds. Generally refers to the current baseline, but may refer to the original or some other baseline. Usually used with a modifier (e.g. cost performance baseline, schedule baseline, performance measurement baseline, technical baseline). A snapshot; a position or situation that is recorded. Although the position may be updated later, the baseline remains unchanged and available as a reminder of the original state and as a comparison against the current position. Products that have passed their quality checks and are approved are baselined products. Anything 'baselined' should be under version control in configuration management and 'frozen', i.e. no changes to that version are allowed.

Baseline Cost(s)

The amount of money a project or activity was intended to cost when the project plan was baselined.

Baseline Date(s)

The original planned start and finish dates for a project or an activity when the schedule was baselined.

Baseline Plan

The fixed project plan. It is the standard by which performance against project plan is measured.

Baseline Schedule

The fixed project schedule. It is the standard by which project schedule performance is measured.


The positive outcomes, quantified or unquantified, that a project is being undertaken to deliver, and that justify the investment.

Benefits Realisation

The practice of ensuring that the outcome of a project produces the projected benefits claimed in the Business Case.

Best Practice

A best practice is an optimal way currently recognised by industry to achieve a stated goal or objective. For organisational project management, this includes the ability to deliver projects successfully, consistently, and predictably to implement organisational strategies.

Bottom-up Estimating [Technique]

A method of estimating a component of work. The work is decomposed into more detail. An estimate is prepared of what is needed to meet the requirements of each of the lower, more detailed pieces of work, and these estimates are then aggregated into a total quantity for the component of work. The accuracy of bottom-up estimating is driven by the size and complexity of the work identified at the lower levels.

Brainstorming [Technique]

A general data gathering and creativity technique that can be used to identify risks, ideas, or solutions to issues by using a group of team members or subject-matter experts.


A budget represents the (time-phased) cost performance target for a specific effort for the project or any work breakdown structure component or any schedule activity. It is valid to change the budget only if you change the scope. See also estimate. The resource estimate (in money or hours) assigned for the accomplishment of a specific task or group of tasks.

Budget at Completion (BAC)

The sum of all the budgets established for the work to be performed on a project or a work breakdown structure component or a schedule activity. The total planned value for the project.

Budget Cost

The cost anticipated at the start of a project.

Budgeted Cost of Work Performed (BCWP)

See earned value (EV).

Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled (BCWS)

See planned value (PV).

Budget Element

Budget elements are the same as resources, the people, materials or other entities needed to do the work. They are typically assigned or a work package, but can also be defined at the cost account level.

Budget Estimate

An approximate estimate prepared in the early stages of a project to establish financial viability or to secure resources.


Time-phased financial requirements.


See reserve.

Business Case

Information that describes the justification for setting up and continuing a PRINCE2 project. It provides the reasons (and answers the question 'Why?') for the project. It is updated at key points throughout the project.


The acquirer of products, services, or results for an organization.



A project calendar lists time intervals in which activities or resources can or cannot be scheduled. A project usually has one default calendar for the normal workweek, but many have other calendars as well. Each calendar can be customised with its own holidays and extra work days. Resources and activities can be attached to any of the calendars that are defined.

Calendar Unit

The smallest unit of time used in scheduling a project. Calendar units are generally in hours, days, or weeks, but can also be in quarter years, months, shifts, or even in minutes.

Capital employed

The amount of investment in an organisation or project, normally the sum of fixed and current assets, less current liabilities at a particular date.

Cash Flow

Cash receipts and payments in a specified period.

Cash Flow/Cash budget

The cash flow budget is a prediction of future cash receipts and expenditures for a particular time period. It usually covers a period in the short term future. The cash flow budget helps the business determine when income will be sufficient to cover expenses and when the company will need to seek outside financing.

Cash Flow Forecast

A prediction of the difference between cash received and payments to be made during a specific period or for the duration of the project.


A change to a project’s baseline scope, cost, time or quality objectives.

Change Authority

A group to which the Project Board may delegate responsibility for the consideration of requests for change. The change authority is given a budget and can approve changes within that budget.

Change Budget

The money allocated to the change authority to be spent on authorised requests for change.

Change Control

Identifying, documenting, approving or rejecting, and controlling changes to the project baselines. The procedure to ensure that the processing of all Project Issues is controlled, including the submission, analysis and decision making.

Change Control Board (CCB)

A formally constituted group of stakeholders responsible for reviewing, evaluating, approving, delaying, or rejecting changes to a project. with all decisions and recommendations being recorded.

Change Control System [Tool]

A collection of formal documented procedures that define how project deliverables and documentation will be controlled, changed, and approved. In most application areas, the change control system is a subset of the configuration management system.

Change Freeze

A point on a project after which no further changes will be considered.

Change Log

A record of all project changes, proposed, authorised, rejected or deferred.

Change Management

The formal process through which changes to the project plan are approved and introduced.

Change Request

Requests to expand or reduce the project scope, modify policies, processes, plans, or procedures, modify costs or budgets, or revise schedules. A request to obtain formal approval for changes to the scope, design, methods, costs or planned aspects of the project.


See project charter.

Check Point

A team-level, time-driven review of progress, usually involving a meeting.

Check Point Report

A progress report of the information gathered at a checkpoint meeting, which is given by a team to the Project Manager and provides reporting data as defined in the Work Package.


A request, demand, or assertion of rights by a seller against a buyer, or vice versa, for consideration, compensation, or payment under the terms of a legally binding contract, such as for a disputed change.


The party to a contract who commissions work and pays for it on completion.

Close Procurements [Process]

The process of completing each project procurement.

Close Project or Phase [Process]

The process of finalizing all activities across all of the Project Management Process Groups to formally complete the project or phase.

Closing Processes [Process Group]

Those processes performed to finalize all activities across all Project Management Process Groups to formally close the project or phase.

Code of Accounts [Tool]

Any numbering system used to uniquely identify each component of the work breakdown structure. Used to monitor project costs by category.

Collect Requirements [Process]

Collect Requirements is the process of defining and documenting stakeholders' needs to meet the project objectives.

Co-location [Technique]

An organizational placement strategy where the project team members are physically located close to one another in order to improve communication, working relationships, and productivity.


A binding financial obligation, typically in the form of a purchase order or contract.

Committed Costs

Costs that are legally committed even if delivery has not taken place with invoices neither raised nor paid.

Common Cause

A source of variation that is inherent in the system and predictable. On a control chart, it appears as part of the random process variation (i.e., variation from a process that would be considered normal or not unusual), and is indicated by a random pattern of points within the control limits. Also referred to as random cause. Contrast with special cause.

Communication Management Plan [Output/Input]

The document that describes: the communications needs and expectations for the project; how and in what format information will be communicated; when and where each communication will be made; and who is responsible for providing each type of communication. The communication management plan is contained in. or is a subsidiary plan of, the project management plan.

Communication Plan

Part of the project initiation document describing how the project's stakeholders and interested parties will be kept informed during the project.

Comparative Estimating

An estimating technique based on the comparison with, and factoring from, the cost of a previous similar project or operation.


When it is agreed that a project or part of a project has been completed in accordance with all requirements.

Completion Date

The calculated date by which the project could finish, following careful estimating and scheduling.


An Off-Specification that is accepted by the Project Board without corrective action. The acceptance of something that is not within specified requirements.

Conduct Procurements [Process]

The process of obtaining seller responses, selecting a seller, and awarding a contract.

Configuration Audit

A comparison of the latest version number and status of all products shown in the configuration library records against the information held by the product authors.

Configuration Management System [Tool]

A subsystem of the overall project management system. It is a collection of formal documented procedures used to apply technical and administrative direction and surveillance to: identify and document the functional and physical characteristics of a product, result, service, or component; control any changes to such characteristics; record and report each change and its implementation status; and support the audit of the products, results, or components to verify conformance to requirements. It includes the documentation, tracking systems, and defined approval levels necessary for authorizing and controlling changes.

Configuration Management

A discipline, normally supported by software tools, that gives management precise control over its assets (for example, the products of a project), covering planning, identification, control, status accounting and verification of the products.

Configuration Status Account

A report on the status of products

The required products can be specified by identifier or the part of the project in which they were developed.

Constraint [Input]

The state, quality, or sense of being restricted to a given course of action or inaction. An applicable restriction or limitation, either internal or external to a project, which will affect the performance of the project or a process. For example, a schedule constraint is any limitation or restraint placed on the project schedule that affects when a schedule activity can be scheduled and is usually in the form of fixed imposed dates.

Consumable Resource

A type of resource that only remains available until consumed (for example a material). See also replenishable resource.


See reserve. The planned allotment of time and cost or other resources for unforeseeable risks within a project. Something held in reserve for the unknown.

Contingency Allowance

See reserve.

Contingency Budget

The amount of money required to implement a contingency plan. If the Project Board approves a contingency plan, it would normally set aside a contingency budget, which would only be called upon if the contingency plan had to be implemented.

Contingency Plan

A plan that provides an outline of decisions and measures to be taken if defined circumstances, outside the control of a PRINCE2 project, should occur. Alternative course(s) of action to cope with project risks or if expected results fail to materialise.

Contingency Planning

The process of identifying and planning appropriate responses to be taken when a threat (risk) actually occurs.

Contingency Reserve [Output/Input]

The amount of funds, budget, or time needed above the estimate to reduce the risk of overruns of project objectives to a level acceptable to the organization.

Contract [Output/Input]

A contract is a mutually binding agreement that obligates the seller to provide the specified product or service or result and obligates the buyer to pay for it.


A person, company or firm who holds a contract for carrying out the works and /or the supply of goods or services in connection with the project.

Contract Price

The price payable by the customer under the contract for the proper delivery of supplies and services specified in the scope of work of the contract.

Contract Target Cost

The negotiated costs for the original defined contract and all contractual changes that have been agreed and approved, but excluding the estimated cost of any authorised, unpriced changes.

Contract Target Price

The negotiated estimated cost plus profit or fee.


Comparing actual performance with planned performance, analyzing variances, assessing trends to effect process improvements, evaluating possible alternatives, and recommending appropriate corrective action as needed.

Control Account [Tool, CA]

A management control point where scope, budget (resource plans), actual cost, and schedule are integrated and compared to earned value for performance measurement. Control accounts are placed at selected management points of the work breakdown structure. Each control account may include one or more work packages, but each work package may be associated only with one control account. Each control account is associated with a specific single organisational component on the organisational breakdown structure. Previously called a cost account. See also work package. A management control point at which actual costs can be accumulated and compared to earned value and budgets (resource plans) for management control purposes. A control account is a natural management point for budget/schedule planning and control since it represents the work assigned to one responsible organisational element on one work breakdown structure element.

Control Chart [Tool]

A graphic display of process data over time and against established control limits, and that has a centreline that assists in detecting a trend of plotted values toward either control limit.

Control Costs [Process]

The process of monitoring the status of the project to update the project budget and managing changes to the cost baseline.

Control Limits

The area composed of three standard deviations on either side of the centreline, or mean, of a normal distribution of data plotted on a control chart that reflects the expected variation in the data. See also specification limits.

Control Schedule [Process]

The process of monitoring the status of the project to update project progress and managing changes to the schedule baseline.

Control Scope [Process]

The process of monitoring the status of the project and product scope and managing changes to the scope baseline.


See control.


Coordination is the act of ensuring that work carried out by different organisations and different places fits together effectively.

Corporate Governance

The process by which an organisation directs and controls its operational and strategic activities, and by which the organisation responds to the legitimate rights, expectations, and desires of its stakeholders.

Corrective Action

Documented direction for executing the project work to bring expected future performance of the project work in line with the project management plan.

Cost Account

A cost account defines what work is to be performed, who will perform it and who is to pay for it. Another term for cost account is control account.

Cost Account Manager

A member of a functional organisation responsible for cost account performance, and for the management of resources to accomplish such activities.

Cost Benefit Analysis

The comparison of costs before and after taking an action, in order to establish the saving achieved by carrying out that action.

Cost Breakdown Structure

The hierarchical breakdown of a project into cost elements.

Cost Budgeting

The allocation of cost estimates to individual project activities or deliverables.

Cost Centre

A location, person, activity or project in respect of which costs may be ascertained and related to cost units.

Cost Code

A unique identity for a specified element of work. A code assigned to activities that allows costs to be consolidated according to the elements of the code structure.

Cost Curve

A graph plotted against a horicontal timescale and cumulative cost vertical scale.

Cost Estimating

The process of predicting the costs of a project.

Cost incurred

A cost identified through the use of the accrued method of accounting or a cost actually paid. Costs include direct labour, direct materials and all allowable indirect costs.

Cost Management Plan [Output/Input]

The document that sets out the format and establishes the activities and criteria for planning, structuring, and controlling the project costs. The cost management plan is contained in, or is a subsidiary plan of, the project management plan.

Cost of Quality (COQ) [Technique]

A method of determining the costs incurred to ensure quality. Prevention and appraisal costs (cost of conformance) include costs for quality planning, quality control (QC), and quality assurance to ensure compliance to requirements (i.e.. training, QC systems, etc.). Failure costs (cost of non-conformance) include costs to rework products, components, or processes that are non-compliant, costs of warranty work and waste, and loss of reputation.

Cost Performance Baseline

A specific version of the time-phased budget used to compare actual expenditures to planned expenditures to determine if preventive or corrective action is needed to meet the project objectives.

Cost Performance Index (CPI)

A measure of cost efficiency on a project. It is the ratio of earned value (EV) to actual costs (AC). CPI = EV divided by AC. A term used in earned value management. A measure, expressed as a percentage or other ratio of actual cost to budget plan. The ratio of work accomplished versus work cost incurred for a specified time period. The CPI is an efficiency rating for work accomplished for resources expended.

Cost Performance Report

A regular cost report to reflect cost and schedule status information for the management.

Cost Plan

A budget that shows the amounts and expected dates of incurring costs on the project or on a contract.

Cost-Plus-Fixed-Fee (CPFF) Contract

A type of cost-reimbursable contract where the buyer reimburses the seller for the seller's allowable costs (allowable costs are defined by the contract) plus a fixed amount of profit (fee).

Cost-Plus-Incentive-Fee (CPIF) Contract

A type of cost-reimbursable contract where the buyer reimburses the seller for the seller's allowable costs (allowable costs are defined by the contract), and the seller earns its profit if it meets defined performance criteria.

Cost-Reimbursable Contract

A type of contract involving payment to the seller for the seller's actual costs, plus a fee typically representing seller's profit. Cost-reimbursable contracts often include incentive clauses where, if the seller meets or exceeds selected project objectives, such as schedule targets or total cost, then the seller receives from the buyer an incentive or bonus payment.

Cost/Risk Analysis (CRA)

Assessment and synthesis of the cost risks and/or estimating uncertainties affecting the project to gain an understanding of their individual significance and their combined impact on the project’s objectives, to determine a range of likely outcomes for project cost.

Cost Variance (CV)

A measure of cost performance on a project. It is the difference between earned value (EV) and actual cost (AC). CV = EV minus AC. The difference (positive or negative) between the actual expenditure and the planned/budgeted expenditure.

Crashing [Technique]

A specific type of project schedule compression technique performed by taking action to decrease the total project schedule duration after analyzing a number of alternatives to determine how to get the maximum schedule duration compression for the least additional cost. Typical approaches for crashing a schedule include reducing schedule activity durations and increasing the assignment of resources on schedule activities. See also fast tracking and schedule compression.

Create WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) [Process]

The process of subdividing project deliverables and project work into smaller, more manageable components.


Standards, rules, or tests on which a judgment or decision can be based, or by which a product, service, result, or process can be evaluated.

Critical Activity

Any schedule activity on a critical path in a project schedule. Most commonly determined by using the critical path method. Although some activities are "critical,'' in the dictionary sense, without being on the critical path, this meaning is seldom used in the project context.

Critical Chain Method [Technique]

A schedule network analysis technique that modifies the project schedule to account for limited resources.

Critical Path

Generally, but not always, the sequence of schedule activities that determines the duration of the project. It is the longest path through the project. See also critical path methodology. This is the line connecting the start of a planning network with the final activity in that network through those activities with the smallest float. Often this is a line through the network connecting those activities with a zero float, i.e. those activities where any delay will delay the time of the entire network. The series of tasks from the beginning of a project up to its end that takes the longest time. This is also the shortest time in which all tasks in the project can be completed. By definition, no task on the critical path can have any slack time. In other words, no task on the critical path can be delayed or extended without affecting the finishing date of the project.

Critical Path Methodology (CPM) [Technique]

A schedule network analysis technique used to determine the amount of scheduling flexibility (the amount of float) on various logical network paths in the project schedule network, and to determine the minimum total project duration. Early start and finish dates are calculated by means of a forward pass, using a specified start date. Late start and finish dates are calculated by means of a backward pass, starting from a specified completion date, which sometimes is the project early finish date determined during the forward pass calculation. See also critical path.

Critical Task

A task on the critical path.

Criticality Index

Used in risk analysis, the criticality index represents the percentage of simulation trials that resulted in the activity being placed on the critical path.

Current Dates

The planned start and finish dates for an activity according to the current schedule. Cut-off Date. The end date of a reporting period.


The person or group who commissioned the work and will benefit from the end results.



An activity in a network diagram that has either no predecessors or no successors. If neither, it is referred to as an isolated activity. Data Date. The date up to or through which the project's reporting system has provided actual status and accomplishments. Also called as-of date and time-now date.

Decision Tree Analysis [Technique]

The decision tree is a diagram that describes a decision under consideration and the implications of choosing one or another of the available alternatives. It is used when some future scenarios or outcomes of actions are uncertain. It incorporates probabilities and the costs or rewards of each logical path of events and future decisions, and uses expected monetary value analysis to help the organization identify the relative values of alternate actions. See also expected monetary value analysis.

Decomposition [Technique]

A planning technique that subdivides the project scope and project deliverables into smaller, more manageable components, until the project work associated with accomplishing the project scope and providing the deliverables is defined in sufficient detail to support executing, monitoring, and controlling the work.


An imperfection or deficiency in a project component where that component does not meet its requirements or specifications and needs to be either repaired or replaced.

Defect Repair

The formally documented identification of a defect in a project component with a recommendation to either repair the defect or completely replace the component.

Define Activities [Process]

The process of identifying the specific actions to be performed to produce the project deliverables.

Define Scope [Process]

The process of developing a detailed description of the project and product.

Deliverable [Output/Input]

Any unique and verifiable product, result, or capability to perform a service that must be produced to complete a process, phase, or project. Often used more narrowly in reference to an external deliverable, which is a deliverable that is subject to approval by the project sponsor or customer. See also product and result. An item that the project has to create as part of the requirements. It may be part of the final outcome or an intermediate element on which one or more subsequent deliverables are dependent. According to the type of project, another name for a deliverable is 'product'.

Delphi Technique [Technique]

An information gathering technique used as a way to reach a consensus of experts on a subject. Experts on the subject participate in this technique anonymously. A facilitator uses a questionnaire to solicit ideas about the important project points related to the subject. The responses are summarized and are then recirculated to the experts for further comment. Consensus may be reached in a few rounds of this process. The Delphi technique helps reduce bias in the data and keeps any one person from having undue influence on the outcome.


See logical relationship.

Dependent Task

A task that cannot begin before a previous task finishes. e.g. Task B, 'putting on shoes' is dependent on task A, 'putting on socks'.

Determine Budget [Process]

The process of aggregating the estimated costs of individual activities or work packages to establish an authorized cost baseline.

Develop Human Resource Plan [Process]

The process of identifying and documenting project roles, responsibilities, and required skills, reporting relationships, and creating a staffing management plan.

Develop Project Charter [Process]

The process of developing a document that formally authorizes a project or a phase and documenting initial requirements that satisfy the stakeholder's needs and expectations.

Develop Project Management Plan [Process]

The process of documenting the actions necessary to define, prepare, integrate, and coordinate all subsidiary plans.

Develop Project Team [Process]

The process of improving the competencies, team interaction, and the overall team environment to enhance project performance.

Develop Schedule [Process]

The process of analyzing activity sequences, durations, resource requirements, and schedule constraints to create the project schedule.


Departure from established plan or requirements

Direct and Manage Project Execution [Process]

The process of performing the work defined in the project management plan to achieve the project's objectives.

Direct costs

Cost that are specifically attributable to an activity or group of activities without apportionment. The cost of resources expended in the achievement of work that are directly charged to a project, without the inclusion of indirect costs.

Direct labour

Labour that is specifically identified with a particular activity. It is incurred for the exclusive benefit of the project.


An area of expertise.

Discounted Cash Flow

The concept of relating future cash inflows and outflows over the life of a project or operation to a common base value thereby allowing more validity to comparison of projects with different durations and rates of cash flow.

Distribute Information [Process]

The process of making relevant information available to project stakeholders as planned.

Duration (DU or DUR)

The total number of work periods (not including holidays or other nonworking periods) required to complete a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Usually expressed as workdays or workweeks. Sometimes incorrectly equated with elapsed time. Contrast with effort.


Earliest Finish Date (EF)

In the critical path method, the earliest possible point in time on which the uncompleted portions of a schedule activity (or the project) can finish, based on the schedule network logic, the data date, and any schedule constraints. Early finish dates can change as the project progresses and as changes are made to the project management plan.

Earliest Start Date (ES)

In the critical path method, the earliest possible point in time on which the uncompleted portions of a schedule activity (or the project) can start, based on the schedule network logic, the data date, and any schedule constraints. Early start dates can change as the project progresses and as changes are made to the project management plan.

Earned Value (EV)

The value of work performed expressed in terms of the approved budget assigned to that work for a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Also referred to as the budgeted cost of work performed (BCWP).

Earned Value Management (EVM)

A management methodology for integrating scope, schedule, and resources, and for objectively measuring project performance and progress. Performance is measured by determining the budgeted cost of work performed (i.e., earned value) and comparing it to the actual cost of work performed (i.e., actual cost).

Earned Value Technique (EVT) [Technique]

A specific technique for measuring the performance of work and used to establish the performance measurement baseline (PMB). The technique used to quantify the budget value of work achieved.


The number of labour units required to complete a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Usually expressed as staff hours, staff days, or staff weeks. Contrast with duration.

Effort-driven Activity

An activity whose duration is governed by resource usage and availability.

Effort remaining

The estimate of effort remaining to complete an activity.

Elapsed time

The total number of calendar days (excluding non-work days such as holidays or weekends) that is needed to complete an activity.

Electronic Invoice

Some invoices are no longer paper-based, but rather transmitted electronically over the Internet. It is still common for electronic remittance or invoicing to be printed in order to maintain paper records. Standards for electronic invoicing varies widely from country to country. Use of the XML message format for electronic invoices has begun in recent years. There are two standards currently being developed. One is the cross industry invoice under development by the United Nations standards body UNCEFACT and the other is UBL (Universal Business Language).

End activity

An activity with no logical successors.

End Project Report

A report given by the Project Manager to the Project Board that confirms the hand-over of all products and provides an updated Business Case and an assessment of how well the project has done against its Project Initiation Document.

End Stage Assessment

The review by the Project Board and Project Manager of the End Stage Report to decide whether to approve the next Stage Plan (unless the last stage has now been completed). According to the size and criticality of the project, the review may be formal or informal. The approval to proceed should be documented as an important management product.

End Stage Report

A report given by the Project Manager to the Project Board at the end of each management stage of the project. This provides information about the project performance during the stage and the project status at stage end.

Enterprise Environmental Factors [Output/Input]

Any or all external environmental (actors and internal organizational environmental factors that surround or influence the project's success. These factors are from any or all of the enterprises involved in the project, and include organizational culture and structure, infrastructure, existing resources, commercial databases, market conditions, and project management software.


The process by which aspects of the project such as issues are drawn to the attention of those senior to the project manager, such as the sponsor, steering group or project board.

Estimate [Output/Input]

A quantitative assessment of the likely amount or outcome. Usually applied to project costs, resources, effort, and durations and is usually preceded by a modifier (i.e.. preliminary, conceptual, feasibility, order-of-magnitude, definitive). It should always include some indication of accuracy (e.g., ± x percent). See also budget and cost.

Estimate Activity Durations [Process]

The process of approximating the number of work periods needed to complete individual activities with estimated resources.

Estimate Activity Resources [Process]

The process of estimating the type and quantities of material, people, equipment or supplies required to perform each activity.

Estimate at Completion (EAC) [Output/Input]

The expected total cost of a schedule activity, a work breakdown structure component, or the project when the defined scope of work will be completed. The EAC may be calculated based on performance to date or estimated by the project team based on other factors, in which case it is often referred to as the latest revised estimate, See also earned value technique and estimate to complete.

Estimate Costs [Process]

The process of developing an approximation of the monetary resources needed to complete project activities.

Estimate to Complete (ETC) [Output/Input]

The expected cost needed to complete all the remaining work for a schedule activity, work breakdown structure component, or the project. See also earned value technique and estimate at completion.


The use of arrange of tools and techniques to produce estimates.


State in the progress of a project after the completion of all preceding activities, but before the start of any succeeding activity. (A defined point that is the beginning or end of an activity).


A situation where it can be forecast that there will be a deviation beyond the tolerance levels agreed between Project Manager and Project Board (or between Project Board and corporate or program management, or between a Team Manager and the Project Manager).

Exception Assessment

This is a meeting of the Project Board to approve (or reject) an Exception Plan.

Exception Plan

This is a plan that often follows an Exception Report. For a Stage Plan exception, it covers the period from the present to the end of the current stage. If the exception were at a project level, the Project Plan would be replaced.

Exception Report

A report that describes an exception provides an analysis and options for the way forward and identifies a recommended option. The Project Manager presents it to the Project Board. A focused report drawing attention to instances where planned and actual results are expected to be, or are already, significantly different.


Directing, managing, performing, and accomplishing the project work, providing the deliverables, and providing work performance information.

Executing Processes (Process Group]

Those processes performed to complete the work defined in the project management plan to satisfy the project objectives.


The single individual with overall responsibility for ensuring that a project or program meets its objectives and delivers the projected benefits. This individual should ensure that the project or program maintains its business focus, that it has clear authority and that the work, including risks, is actively managed. The chairperson of the Project Board, representing the customer and owner of the Business Case.

Expected Monetary Value (EMV)

The product of an event’s probability of occurrence and the (financial) gain or loss that will result. Hence if there is a 50% probability of rain and the rain will result in a €1000 increase in cost, the EMV will be €500.

Expected Monetary Value Analysis

A statistical technique that calculates the average outcome when the future includes scenarios that may or may not happen. A common use of this technique is within decision tree analysis.

Expended hours

The hours spent to achieve an activity or group of activities.


A charge against available funds, evidenced by a voucher, claim or other document. Expenditures represent the actual payment of funds.

Expert Judgment [Technique]

Judgment provided based upon expertise in an application area, knowledge area, discipline, industry, etc. as appropriate for the activity being performed. Such expertise may be provided by any group or person with specialized education, knowledge, skill, experience, or training.

External Constraint

A constraint from outside the project.



Situations that effect or influence outcomes.

Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) [Technique]

An analytical procedure in which each potential failure mode in every component of a product is analyzed to determine its effect on the reliability of that component and, by itself or in combination with other possible failure modes, on the reliability of the product or system and on the required function of the component; or the examination of a product (at the system and/or lower levels) for all ways that a failure may occur. For each potential failure, an estimate is made of its effect on the total system and of its impact. In addition, a review is undertaken of the action planned to minimize the probability of failure and to minimize its effects.

Fast Tracking [Technique]

A specific project schedule compression technique that changes network logic to overlap phases that would normally be done in sequence, such as the design phase and construction phase, or to perform schedule activities in parallel. See also crashing and schedule compression.

Feasibility Study

A feasibility study is an early study of a problem to assess if a solution is feasible. The study will normally scope the problem, identify and explore a number of solutions and make a recommendation on what action to take. Part of the work in developing options is to calculate an outline Business Case for each as one aspect of comparison.


Criteria used to evaluate and select a potential component or decide whether a component meets the “go/no go” conditions.

Financial Appraisal

An assessment of the financial aspects of a project or a program.

Finish Date

A point in time associated with a schedule activity's completion. Usually qualified by one of the following: actual, planned, estimated, scheduled, early, late, baseline, target, or current.

Finish-to-Finish (FF)

The logical relationship where completion of work of the successor activity cannot finish until the completion of work of the predecessor activity. See also logical relationship.

Finish-to-Start (FS)

The logical relationship where initiation of work of the successor activity depends upon the completion of work of the predecessor activity. See also logical relationship.

Firm-Fixed-Price (FFP) Contract

A type of fixed price contract where the buyer pays the seller a set amount (as defined by the contract), regardless of the seller's costs to complete the contract.

Fixed Date

A calendar date (associated with a schedule) that cannot be moved or changed during the project.

Fixed Price Contract

Contract that provides for a price which normally is not subject to any adjustment unless certain provisions (such as contract change, economic pricing, or defective pricing) are included in the agreement. These contracts are negotiated usually where reasonably definite specifications are available, and costs can be estimated with reasonable accuracy. A fixed price contract places minimum administrative burden on the contracting parties, but subjects the contractor to the maximum risk arising from full responsibility for all cost escalations. Also called firm price contract.

Fixed-Price-Incentive-Fee (FPIF) Contract

A type of contract where the buyer pays the seller a set amount (as defined by the contract), and the seller can earn an additional amount if the seller meets defined performance criteria.


Also called slack. See total float and free float.

Flowcharting [Technique]

The depiction in a diagram format of the inputs, process actions, and outputs of one or more processes within a system.

Flow Diagram

A graphic representation of workflow and the logical sequence of the work elements without regard to a timescale. It is used to show the logic associated with a process rather than duration for completion of work.

Follow-on Action Recommendations

A report that can be used as input to the process of creating a Business Case/Project Mandate for any follow-on PRINCE2 project and for recording any follow-on instructions covering incomplete products or outstanding issues. It also sets out proposals for post project review of the project's products.


An estimate or prediction of conditions and events in the project's future based on information and knowledge available at the time of the forecast. The information is based on the project's past performance and expected future performance, and includes information that could impact the project in the future, such as estimate at completion and estimate to complete.

Forecast Costs

A projection of future costs that the project will incur. Forward Pass. The calculation of the early start and early finish dates for the uncompleted portions of all network activities. See also schedule network analysis and backward pass.

Free Float

The amount of time that a schedule activity can be delayed without delaying the early start date of any immediately following schedule activities. See also total float.

Full Cost

Total cost of all resources used or consumed in production, including direct, indirect, and investing costs.


A specialist department that provides dedicated services, for example accounts department, marketing department or IT.

Functional Manager

Someone with management authority over an organizational unit within a functional organization. The manager of any group that actually makes a product or performs a service. Sometimes called a line manager.

Functional Organization

A hierarchical organization where each employee has one clear superior, and staff are grouped by areas of specialization and managed by a person with expertise in that area.


A fund represents the money available for expenditure in the accomplishment of the effort.


The actual money available for expenditure in the achievement of contract work.

Funding Profile

An estimate of funding requirements over time.


Gantt Chart [Tool ]

A graphic display of schedule-related information. In the typical bar chart, schedule activities or work breakdown structure components are listed down the left side of the chart, dates are shown across the top. and activity durations are shown as date-placed horizontal bars. This is a diagram of a plan's activities against a time background, showing start and end times and resources required.

Gate Review

A generic term, rather than a PRINCE2 term, meaning a point at the end of a stage or phase where a decision is made whether to continue with the project. In PRINCE2 this would equate to an end stage assessment.


A one sentence definition of specifically what will be accomplished, incorporating an event signifying completion.


A category or rank used to distinguish items that have the same functional use (e.g., "hammer"), but do not share the same requirements for quality (e.g., different hammers may need to withstand different amounts of force).


Hammock Activity

See summary activity.


The point inn the life cycle where deliverables are handed over to the sponsor and users.

Hierarchical coding structure

A coding system that can be represented as a multi-level tree structure in which every code except those at the top of the tree has a parent code.

Hierarchy of networks

Range of networks (network diagrams) at different levels of detail, from summary down to working levels, showing the relationships between those networks.

Highlight Report

Report from the Project Manager to the Project Board on a time driven frequency on stage progress.


A graphic display of planned and/or actual resource usage over a period of time. It is in the form of a vertical bar chart, the height of each bar representing the quantity of resource usage in a given time unit. Bars may be single, multiple or show stacked resources.

Historical Information

Documents and data on prior projects including project files, records, correspondence, closed contracts, and closed projects.


An otherwise valid working day that has been designated as exempt from work.

Human Resource Plan

A document describing how roles and responsibilities, reporting relationships, and staffing management will be addressed and structured for the project. It is contained in or is a subsidiary plan of the project.

Hypercritical activities

Activities on the critical path with negative float.


Identify Risks [Process]

The process of determining which risks may affect the project and documenting their characteristics.

Identify Stakeholders [Process]

The process of identifying all people or organizations impacted by the project, and documenting relevant information regarding their interests, involvement, and impact on project success.


A noticeable effect or influence. The assessment of the effect on an objective of a risk occurring.

Impact Analysis

An assessment of the merits of pursuing a particular course of action or of the potential impact of a requested change.

Imposed Date

A fixed date imposed on a schedule activity or schedule milestone, usually in the form of a "start no earlier than" and "finish no later than" date. A point in time determined by external circumstances.


An event.

Incurred Costs

The sum of actual and committed costs, whether invoiced/paid or not, at a specific time.

Indirect Cost

Costs associated with a project that cannot be directly attributed to an activity or group of activities. Resources expended that are nor directly identified to any specific contract, project, product or service, such as overheads and general administration.

Influence Diagram [Tool]

A graphical representation of situations showing causal influences, time ordering of events, and other relationships among variables and outcomes.


The process of committing the organisation to begin a project. The beginning of a project at which point certain management activities are required to ensure that the project is established with clear reference terms and adequate management structure.

Initiating Processes [Process Group]

Those processes performed to define a new project or a new phase of an existing project by obtaining authorisation to start the project or phase.

Input [Process Input]

Any item, whether internal or external to the project that is required by a process before that process proceeds. May be an output from a predecessor process.

Inspection [Technique]

Examining or measuring to verify whether an activity, component, product, result, or service conforms to specified requirements.

Integrated Baseline Review (IBR)

A review held following the establishment of the initial baseline.

Internal Rate of Return (IRR)

A discount rate at which the net present value of a future cash flow is zero.

International Financial Reporting Standards(IFRS)

are Standards, Interpretations and the Framework adopted by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). Many of the standards forming part of IFRS are known by the older name of International Accounting Standards (IAS). The underlying assumptions used in IFRS are: • Accrual basis - the effect of transactions and other events are recognized when they occur, not as cash is gained or paid • Going concern - an entity will continue for the foreseeable future • Stable measuring unit assumption - financial capital maintenance in nominal monetary units; i.e., accountants consider changes in the purchasing power of the functional currency up to but excluding 26% per annum for three years in a row (which would be 100% cumulative inflation over three years or hyperinflation as defined in IFRS) as immaterial or not sufficiently important for them to choose financial capital maintenance in units of constant purchasing power during low inflation and deflation as authorized in IFRS in the Framework, Par 104 (a).


An outlay of money or time usually for income, profit, or other benefit, such as the capital outlay for a project.

Invitation for Bid (IFB)

Generally, this term is equivalent to Request for Proposal or Invitation to Tender. However, in some application areas, it may have a narrower or more specific meaning. Invoice. Non-negotiable commercial instrument issued by a seller to a buyer. Also called a bill of sale or contract of sale, it identifies the both trading parties and lists, describes, and quantifies the items sold, shows the date of shipment and mode of transport, prices and discounts (if any), and delivery and payment terms. A typical invoice contains: • The word invoice (or Tax Invoice if in Australia and amounts include GST) • A unique reference number (in case of correspondence about the invoice) • Date of the invoice • Tax payments if relevant (e.g. GST and VAT) • Name and contact details of the seller • Tax or company registration details of seller (if relevant) • Name and contact details of the buyer • Date that the product was sent or delivered • Purchase order number (or similar tracking numbers requested by the buyer to be mentioned on the invoice) • Description of the product(s) • Unit price(s) of the product(s) (if relevant) • Total amount charged (optionally with breakdown of taxes, if relevant) • Payment terms (including method of payment, date of payment, and details about charges late payment) The US Defense Logistics Agency requires an employer identification number on invoices. The European Union requires a VAT (value added tax) identification number on invoices between entities registered for VAT. If seller and buyer belong to two different EU countries, both VAT identification numbers must be on the invoice in order to claim VAT exemption. In the UK, if the issuing entity is not registered for VAT, the invoice must state that it is "not a VAT invoice".


A threat to the project objectives that cannot be resolved by the project manager. A point or matter in question or in dispute, or a point or matter that is not settled and is under discussion or over which there are opposing views or disagreements. A certain event associated with the contracted scope of work. Where the event impacts can be adequately quantified, they may be incorporated in the Performance Measure Baseline (PMB); if not, an allowance may be made in Management Reserve. The allowance must be justified and supported by a three-point-estimate. Some organisations may prefer to treat issues as pure risks.

Issue Log

A log of all Project Issues including requests for change raised during the project, showing details of each issue, its evaluation, what decisions about it have been made and its current status.

Issue Management

The process by which concerns that threaten the project objectivities and cannot be resolved by the project manager can be identified and addressed to remove the threats that they pose.


Key Criteria

Predetermined measures, values or conditions used in a scoring model to measure alignment with strategic goals.

Key Events

Major events, the achievement of which is deemed to be critical to the execution of the project.

Key Milestone

A milestone, the achievement of which is considered to be critical to the success of the project.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A KPI is a criterion by which an organisation can determine, quantitatively or qualitatively, whether the outcome associated with a capability exists or the degree to which it exists. A key performance indicator can be a direct measurement or an expert assessment. When a key performance indicator is quantitative, involving direct measurement, a form of metric is required. A metric is a measurement of something. Something tangible, such as an error count, can be measured directly and objectively. Something intangible, such as customer satisfaction, must first be made tangible – for example, through a survey resulting in ratings on a scale – before it can be measured. A metric can be binary (something exists or does not exist), it can be more complex (such as scaled rating), or it can be monetary (such as financial return).


Lag [Technique]

A modification of a logical relationship that directs a delay in the successor activity. For example, in a finish-to-start dependency with a ten-day lag, the successor activity cannot start until ten days after the predecessor activity has finished. See also lead.

Lag Time

Lag time is a delay between tasks that have a dependency. For example, if you need a two-day delay between the finish of one task and the start of another, you can establish a finish-to-start dependency and specify two days of lag time

Late Finish Date (LF)

In the critical path method, the latest possible point in time that a schedule activity may be completed based upon the schedule network logic, the project completion date, and any constraints assigned to the schedule activities without violating a schedule constraint or delaying the project completion date. The late finish dates are determined during the backward pass calculation of the project schedule network.

Late Start Date (LS)

In the critical path method, the latest possible point in time that a schedule activity may begin based upon the schedule network logic, the project completion date, and any constraints assigned to the schedule activities without violating a schedule constraint or delaying the project completion date. The late start dates are determined during the backward pass calculation of the project schedule network.

Lead [Technique]

A modification of a logical relationship that allows an acceleration of the successor activity. For example, in a finish-to-start dependency with a ten-day lead, the successor activity can start ten days before the predecessor activity has finished. A negative lead is equivalent to a positive lag. See also lag.

Lead time

Lead time is overlap between tasks that have a dependency. For example, if a task can start when its predecessor is half finished, you can specify a finish-to-start dependency with a lead time of 50 percent for the successor task.

Lessons Learned [Output/Input]

The learning gained from the process of performing the project. Lessons learned may be identified at any point. Also considered a project record, to be included in the lessons learned knowledge base.

Lessons Learned Knowledge Base

A store of historical information and lessons learned about both the outcomes of previous project selection decisions and previous project performance.

Lessons Learned Report

A report that describes the lessons learned in undertaking the project and that includes statistics from the quality control of the project's management products. It is approved by the Project Board and then held centrally for the benefit of future projects.

Letter of Intent

A letter indicating an intent to sign a contract, usually so that work can commence prior to signing that contract.


See resource levelling.

Level One Plan

The master plan for the project. Level two and level three plans are given in successively more detail.


Amounts owned under obligations for goods and services received and other assets acquired; includes accruals of amounts earned but not yet due and progress payments due on contract.

Life Cycle

See project life cycle.

Liquidated Damages

The liability in a contract to pay a specified sum for a breach of contract such as late delivery of goods or services.


A document used to record and describe or denote selected items identified during execution of a process or activity. Usually used with a modifier, such as issue, quality control, action, or defect.

Logical Relationship

See also precedence relationship. A dependency between two project schedule activities, or between a project schedule activity and a schedule milestone. The four possible types of logical relationships are: • Finish-to-Start. Start of activity depends on finish of preceding activity, either immediately or after a lapse of time • Finish-to-Finish. Finish of activity depends on finish of preceding activity, either immediately or after a lapse of time • Start-to-Start. Start of activity depends on start of preceding activity, either immediately or after a lapse of time • Start-to-Finish. Finish of activity depends on start of preceding activity, either immediately or after a lapse of time


Manage Project Team [Process]

The process of tracking team member performance, providing feedback, resolving issues, and managing changes to optimize project performance.

Manage Stakeholder Expectations [Process]

The process of communicating and working with stakeholders to meet their needs and addressing issues as they occur.

Management by Exception

A term used to describe management of problem or critical areas only.

Management Reserve (MR)

A central contingency pool. This may be subdivided into: (a) specific risk provision to manage identifiable and specific risks; (b) non-specific risk provision to manage emergent risks; (c) issues provision.

Master Network

A network showing the complete project, from which more detailed networks are derived.

Master Schedule [Tool]

A summary-level project schedule that identities the major deliverables and work breakdown structure components and key schedule milestones. See also milestone schedule.


The aggregate of things used by an organisation in any undertaking, such as equipment, apparatus, tools, machinery, gear, material, and supplies.

Matrix Organisation

Any organizational structure in which the project manager shares responsibility with the functional managers for assigning priorities and for directing the work of persons assigned to the project.

Maturity Level

A well-defined evolutionary plateau towards achieving a mature process (five levels are often cited: incomplete, performed, managed, defined, quantitatively managed, and optimizing).


A method provides a consistent framework within which project management is performed.


A system of practices, techniques, procedures, and rules used by those who work in a discipline.


A significant point or event in the project. An event of zero duration that marks a significant point of progress in a project. Milestones are used to see whether a project is on time or not. A milestone may be "Design is finished", "Sign contract", "Project Ends" etc.

Milestone Schedule [Tool]

A summary-level schedule that identifies the major schedule milestones. See also master schedule or Milestone Plan.

Mission Statement

A brief summary, of approximately one or two sentences, that sums up the background, purpose and benefits of the project.


Collect project performance data with respect to a plan, produce performance measures, and report and disseminate performance information.

Monitor and Control Project Work [Process]

The process of tracking, reviewing, and regulating the progress to meet the performance objectives defined in the project management plan.

Monitor and Control Risks [Process]

The process of implementing risk response plans, tracking identified risks, monitoring residual risks, identifying new risks, and evaluating risk process throughout the project.

Monitoring and Controlling Processes [Process Group]

Those processes required to track, review, and regulate the progress and performance of the project, identify any areas in which changes to the plan are required, and initiate the corresponding changes.

Monte Carlo Analysis

A technique that computes or iterates, the project cost or project schedule many times using input values selected at random from probability distributions of possible costs or durations, to calculate a distribution of possible total project cost or completion dates.

Monte Carlo Simulation

A process which generates hundreds or thousands of probable performance outcomes based on probability distributions for cost and schedule on individual tasks. The outcomes are then used to generate a probability distribution for the project as a whole.

Multi-Project Management

Those aspects of program management associated with initiating and coordinating the activities of multiple projects and the management of project managers.


Near-Critical Activity

A schedule activity that has low total float. The concept of near-critical is equally applicable to a schedule activity or schedule network path. The limit below which total float is considered near critical is subject to expert judgment and varies from project to project.

Negative (toal) Float

The time by which the duration of an activity or path has to be reduced in order to permit a limiting imposed date to be achieved.

Negotiated Contract cost

The estimated cost negotiated in a cost plus fixed fee contract or the negotiated contract target cost in either a fixed price incentive contract or a cost plus incentive fee contract. See also contracted target cost.

Net Present Value (NPV)

An aggregate of future net cash flows discounted back to a common base date, usually the present.

Network Diagram

A pictorial presentation of project darta in which the project logic is the main determinant of the placements of the activities in the drawing. Frequently called a flowchart, PERT chart, logic drawing, activity network or logic diagram.

Network Analysis

See schedule network analysis.

Network Logic

The collection of schedule activity dependencies that makes up a project schedule network diagram.

Network Path

Any continuous series of schedule activities connected with logical relationships in a project schedule network diagram.


One of the defining points of a schedule network; a junction point joined to some or all of the other dependency lines.

Non-recurring Costs

Expenditures against specific activities that are expected to occur only once in a given project.

Non-specific Risk Provision (NSRP)

The amount of budget/schedule/resources set aside to cover the impact of emergent risks, should they occur.

Non-splittable Activity

An activity that, once started, has to be completed to plan without interruption.

Not earlier than

A restriction on an activity that indicates that it may not start or end earlier than a specified date.

Not later than

A restriction on an activity that indicates that it may not start or end later than a specified date.



Something toward which work is to be directed, a strategic position to be attained, or a purpose to be achieved, a result to be obtained, a product to be produced, or a service to be performed.


Something that should be provided by the project, but currently is not (or is forecast not to be) provided. This might be a missing product or a product not meeting its specification.

Operational Management

Ongoing organisational activities associated with supporting functional elements, as opposed to project elements. Operational management also includes support of products that the organisation has created through project activity.


A condition or situation favourable to the project, a positive set of circumstances, a positive set of events, a risk that will have a positive impact on project objectives, or a possibility for positive changes. Contrast with threat.

Order of Magnitude Estimate

An estimate carried out to give a very approximate indication of likely outturn costs.

Organisational Breakdown Structure (OBS) [Tool]

A hierarchically organized depiction of the project organisation arranged so as to relate the work packages to the performing organisational units. A hierarchical structure established to identify the management responsibility for scope, schedule, budget and performance.

Organisational Process Assets [Output/Input]

Any or all process related assets, from any or all of the organizations involved in the project that are or can be used to influence the project's success. These process assets include formal and informal plans, policies, procedures, and guidelines. The process assets also include the organizations' knowledge bases such as lessons learned and historical information.

Organisational Roles

The roles performed by individuals or groups in a project. Both roles and responsibilities within projects must be defined to address the transient and unique nature of projects, and to ensure that clear accountabilities can be assigned.

Organisation Chart

A graphic display of reporting relationships that provides a general framework of the organisation.

Organisation Structure

The organisational environment within which the project takes place. It defines the reporting and decision-making hierarchy of an organisation and how the project management operates within it.

Original Budget

The initial budget established at or near the tiome ther contract was signed or a project authorised, based on the negotiated contract cost or management’s authorisation.

Original Duration

The duration of activities or groups of activities as recorded in the baseline schedule.

Other Direct Costs (ODC)

A group of accounting elements that can be isolated to specific activities, other than labour and material. Included in ODC are such items as travel, computer time and services.


The term used to describe the totality of what the project is set up to deliver, consisting of all the specialist products. For example, this could be an installed computer system with trained staff to use it, backed up by new working practices and documentation, a refurbished and equipped building with all the staff moved in and working, or it could be a new product launched with a recruited and trained sales and support team in place.

Output [Process Output]

A product, result, or service generated by a process. May be an input to a successor process.

Outturn Cost

The expected final cost of a project.


Costs occurred in the operation of a business that cannot directly related to the individual products or services being produced. See indirect cost. Cost or expense (such as for administration, insurance, rent, and utility charges) that (1) relates to an operation or the firm as a whole, (2) does not become an integral part of a good or service (unlike raw material or direct labor), and (3) cannot be applied or traced to any specific unit of output. Overheads are indirect costs.

Overhead Rate

Actual (or budgeted) overhead cost for a given period divided by actual (or budgeted) measure of production activity (such as direct labor cost, labor hours, or machine hours). It expresses overhead costs in terms of a related-base for allocating them over a given period. Also called predetermined overhead rate when using budgeted costs.


Costs incurred in excess of the contract target costs on an incentive type contract or of the estimated costs on a fixed fee contract. An overrun is that value of costs needed to complete a project, over that value originally authorised by management.


The person or organisation for which the project is ultimately undertaken and who will own, operate and benefit from the facility in the long term.


Parallel Activities

Two or more activities that can be done at the same time.

Parametric Estimating [Technique]

An estimating technique that uses a statistical relationship between historical data and other variables (e.g., square footage in construction, lines of code in software development) to calculate an estimate for activity parameters, such as scope, cost, budget, and duration. An example for the cost parameter is multiplying the planned quantity of work to be performed by the historical cost per unit to obtain the estimated cost.

Pareto Chart [Tool]

A histogram, ordered by frequency of occurrence, that shows how many results were generated by each identified cause.

Path Convergence

The merging or joining of parallel schedule network paths into the same node in a project schedule network diagram. Path convergence is characterized by a schedule activity with more than one predecessor activity.

Path Divergence

Extending or generating parallel schedule network paths from the same node in a project schedule network diagram. Path divergence is characterized by a schedule activity with more than one successor activity.


Compensation of an obligation, or reimbursement, by giving over something that is of satisfactory value to its recipient, such as money.

Peer review

Peer reviews are specific reviews of a project or any of its products where personnel from within the organisation and/or from other organisations carry out an independent assessment of the project. Peer reviews can be done at any point within a project but are often used at stage-end points

Percentage of Completion Method

Revenue recognition method for a contract completed over more than one accounting period. In this method, a portion of the total contract revenue and a portion of the estimated contract costs is recorded in each accounting period. It is an appropriate method where the total cost of performing the contract and the realisable profit are, within reason, predictable and determinable. Formula: Cumulative revenue = Cost incurred to date x contract price ÷ Total estimated cost. See also completed contract method

Percent Complete

An estimate, expressed as a percent, of the amount of work that has been completed on an activity or a work breakdown structure component. A measure of the completion status of a partially completed activity. It may be aggregated to sections of a project or the whole project.

Perform Integrated Change Control [Process]

The process of reviewing all change requests, approving changes, and managing changes to the deliverables, organisational process assets, project documents, and project management plan.


The term used to describe the quality of the delivery and the deliverables (outputs) of the project.

Performance Appraisal

A review of the performance of individual people and teams on the project.

Performance Management

Techniques used in the management of individual and team performance. Performance management is also a term used in earned value management which is itself a performance management technique when applied to project performance.

Performance Measurement

The objective measurement of progress against the Performance Measurement Baseline (PMB).

Performance Measurement Techniques

Performance measurement techniques are the methods used to estimate earned value. Different methods are appropriate to different work packages, either due to the nature of the work or due to the planned duration of the work package.

Performance Measurement Baseline

An approved integrated scope-schedule-cost plan for the project work against which project execution is compared to measure and manage performance. Technical and quality parameters may also be included.

Performance Reports [Output/Input]

Documents and presentations that provide organized and summarized work performance information, earned value management parameters and calculations, and analyses of project work progress and status.

Performing Organisation

The enterprise whose personnel are most directly involved in doing the work of the project.

Perform Qualitative Analysis [Process]

The process of prioritizing risks for further analysis or action by assessing and combining their probability of occurrence and impact.

Perform Quality Assurance [Process]

The process of auditing the quality requirements and the results from quality control measurements to ensure appropriate quality standards and operational definitions are used.

Perform Quality Control [Process]

The process of monitoring and recording results of executing the quality activities to assess performance and recommend necessary changes.

Perform Quantitative Analysis [Process]

The process of numerically analyzing the effect of identified risks on overall project objectives.


See project phase. A part, section or segment of a project, similar in meaning to a PRINCE2 stage. The key meaning of stage in PRINCE2 terms is the use of management stages, i.e. sections of the project to which the Project Board only commits one at a time. A phase might be more connected to a time slice, change of skills required or change of emphasis.

Phase Gate

A review process at the end of a program/project phase where an oversight group, such as a program board or steering committee, decides to continue, continue with modification, or stop a program/project. Also called Phase review.


A plan is an intended future course of action.

Plan Communications [Process]

The process of determining project stakeholder information needs and defining a communication approach.

Plan Procurements [Process]

The process of documenting project purchasing decisions, specifying the approach, and identifying potential sellers.

Plan Quality [Process]

The process of identifying quality requirements and/or standards for the project and product, and documenting how the project will demonstrate compliance.

Plan Risk Management [Process]

The process of defining how to conduct risk management activities for a project.

Plan Risk Responses [Process]

The process of developing options and actions to enhance opportunities and to reduce threats to project objectives.

Planned Activity

An activity not yet started.

Planned cost

The estimated cost of achieving a specified objective. See budgeted cost of work scheduled.

Planned Value (PV)

The authorized budget assigned to the scheduled work to be accomplished tor a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component Also referred to as the budgeted cost of work scheduled (BCWS).

Planning Package

A work breakdown structure component below the control account with known work content but without detailed schedule activities. See also control account

Planning Processes [Process Group]

Those processes performed to establish the total scope of the effort, define and refine the objectives, and develop the course of action required to attain those objectives.


A collection of projects or programs and other work that are grouped together to facilitate effective management of that work to meet strategic business objectives. The projects or programs of the portfolio may not necessarily be interdependent or directly related.

Portfolio Balancing

The process of organising the prioritised components into a component mix that has the best potential to collectively support and achieve strategic goals.

Portfolio Management [Technique]

The centralized management of one or more portfolios, which includes identifying, prioritizing, authorizing, managing, and controlling projects, programs, and other related work, to achieve specific strategic business objectives.

Portfolio Prioritisation Process

The evaluation and prioritisations of projects within a portfolio to enable the more important projects and programs to access the required resources and to move forward in accordance with their plans.

Post-implementation review

See Post-project review.

Post-project Review

One or more reviews held after project closure to determine if the expected benefits have been obtained. Also known as post-implementation review.


A specific type of professional or management activity that contributes to the execution of a process and that may employ one or more techniques and tools.

Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM) [Technique]

A schedule network diagramming technique in which schedule activities are represented by boxes (or nodes). Schedule activities are graphically linked by one or more logical relationships to show the sequence in which the activities are to be performed.

Precedence Relationship

The term used in the precedence diagramming method for a logical relationship. In current usage, however, precedence relationship, logical relationship, and dependency are widely used interchangeably, regardless of the diagramming method used. See also logical relationship.


An activity that must be completed (or be partially completed) before a specified activity can begin.

Predecessor Activity

The schedule activity that determines when the logical successor activity can begin or end.

Preventive Action

A documented direction to perform an activity that can reduce the probability of negative consequences associated with project risks.


A method that supports some selected aspects of project management. The acronym stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments.

PRINCE2 Project

A project whose product(s) can be defined at its start sufficiently precisely so as to be measurable against predefined metrics and that is managed according to the PRINCE2 method.


The process of ranking the selected components based on their evaluation scores and other management considerations.

Proactive Risk Response

An action or set of actions intended to reduce the probability or impact of a threat, or increase the probability or impact of an opportunity. If approved such actions are carried out in advance of the risk. They are funded from the project budget.

Probabilistic Network

A network containing alternative paths with which probabilities are associated.


The likelihood of a risk occurring.

Probability and Impact Matrix [Tool]

A common way to determine whether a risk is considered low, moderate, or high by combining the two dimensions of a risk: its probability of occurrence and its impact on objectives if it occurs.


Something that is difficult to deal with or understand.


Procedures cover individual aspects of project management practice and form an integral part of a method.

Procedures Manual

A book of reference describing standard project procedures.


A set of interrelated actions and activities performed to achieve a specified set of products, results, or services.


The process by which the resources (goods and services) required by a project are acquired. It includes development of the procurement strategy, preparation of contracts, selection and acquisition of suppliers, and management of the contracts.

Procurement Documents [Output/Input]

The documents utilized in bid and proposal activities, which include the buyer's Invitation for Bid, Invitation for Negotiations, Request for Information, Request for Quotation, Request for Proposal and seller's responses.

Procurement Management Plan [Output/Input]

The document that describes how procurement processes from developing procurement documentation through contract closure will be managed.


This role represents the creator(s) of a product that is the subject of a quality review. Typically, it will be filled by the person who has produced the product or who has led the team responsible.


An artefact that is produced, is quantifiable, and can be either an end item in itself or a component item. Additional words for products are material and goods. Contrast with result. See also deliverable. Any input to or output from a project. PRINCE2 distinguishes between management products (which are produced as part of the management or quality processes of the project) and specialist products (which are those products that make up the final deliverable). A product may itself be a collection of other products.

Product Based Planning

A three step diagrammatic technique leading to a comprehensive plan based on creation and delivery of required outputs. The technique considers prerequisite products, quality requirements and the dependencies between products.

Product Breakdown Structure (PBS)

A hierarchy of all the products/deliverables to be produced during a project. This forms the base document from which the executing strategy and product-based work breakdown structure may be derived.

Product Checklist

A list of the major products of a plan, plus key dates in their delivery.

Product Description

A description of a product's purpose, composition, derivation and quality criteria. It is produced at planning time, as soon as the need for the product is identified. It should always be used as a basis for acceptance of the product by the customer.

Product Flow Diagram

A diagram showing the sequence of production and interdependencies of the products listed in a Product Breakdown Structure. It is similar to a network diagram but uses products rather than activities.

Product Life Cycle

A collection of generally sequential, non-overlapping product phases whose name and number are determined by the manufacturing and control needs of the organization. The last product life cycle phase for a product is generally the product's retirement. Generally, a project life cycle is contained within one or more product life cycles.

Product Scope

The features and functions that characterize a product, service, or result.

Product Scope Description

The documented narrative description of the product scope.

Productivity Factor

The ratio of earned hours against expended hours.

Profile of Expenditure

A project’s budget is phased over time to give a profile of expenditure. This will allow a cash flow forecast for the project to be developed and a drawdown of funds to be agreed with the organisation.


A group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits and control not available from managing them individually. Programs may include elements of related work outside of the scope of the discrete projects in the program. A portfolio of projects selected, planned and managed in a coordinated way.

Program Benefits Review

A review to assess if targets have been reached and to measure the performance levels in the resulting business operations.

Program Director

The senior manager with the responsibility for the overall success of the program.

Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)

A technique for estimating that applies a weighted average of optimistic, pessimistic, and most likely estimates when there is uncertainty with the individual activity estimates. PERT is a project management technique for determining how much time a project needs before it is completed.

Program Governance

The process of developing, communicating, implementing, monitoring, and assuring the policies, procedures, organisational structures, and practices associated with a given program.

Program Management

The centralised coordinated management of a program to achieve the program's strategic objectives and benefits.

Program Management Office

The office responsible for the business and technical management of a specific program.

Program Manager

The individual with responsibility for managing a program.

Program Support Office

A group that gives administrative support to the program manager and the program executive.


The partial completion of a project, or a measure of the same.

Progressive Elaboration [Technique]

Continuously improving and detailing a plan as more detailed and specific information and more accurate estimates become available as the project progresses, and thereby producing more accurate and complete plans that result from the successive iterations of the planning process.

Progress Payments

Payments made to a contractor during the life of a fixed-priced type contract, on the basis of some agreed-to formula, for example budget cost of work performed or simply costs incurred.

Progress Report

A regular report to senior personnel, sponsors or stakeholders summarising the progress of a project including key events, milestones, costs and other issues. Also called project progress report.


A temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. A temporary organisation that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to a specified Business Case.

Project accounting

(sometimes referred to as job cost accounting)is the practice of creating financial reports specifically designed to track the financial progress of projects, which can then be used by managers to aid project management. Standard accounting is primarily aimed at monitoring financial progress of organizational elements (geographical or functional departments, divisions and the enterprise as a whole) over defined time periods (typically weeks, months, quarters and years). Projects differ in that they frequently cross organizational boundaries, may last for anything from a few days or weeks to a number of years, during which time budgets may also be revised many times. They may also be one of a number of projects that make up a larger overall project or program. Consequently, in a project management environment costs (both direct and overhead) and revenues are also allocated to projects, which may be subdivided into a work breakdown structure, and grouped together into project hierarchies. Project accounting permits reporting at any such level that has been defined, and often allows comparison with historical as well as current budgets.

Project Appraisal

The discipline of calculating the viability of a project. May be conducted at any time throughout the project.

Project Assurance

The Project Board's responsibilities to assure itself that the project is being conducted correctly.

Project Baseline

The total budget and schedule for all authorised work (PMB) along with the Management Reserve and Schedule Reserve.

Project Board

A group, usually comprising the sponsor, senior managers and sometimes key stakeholders, whose remit is to set the strategic direction of the project. It gives guidance to the sponsor and project manager. Often referred to as the steering group.

Project Brief

A description of what the project is to do; a refined and extended version of the Project Mandate, which has been agreed by the Project Board and which is input to project initiation.

Project Budget

The project budget is a prediction of the costs associated with a particular company project. These costs include labor, materials, and other related expenses. The project budget is often broken down into specific tasks, with task budgets assigned to each.

Project Calendar

A calendar of working days or shifts that establishes those dates on which schedule activities are worked and nonworking days that determine those dates on which schedule activities are idle. Typically defines holidays, weekends, and shift hours. See also resource calendar

Project Charter [Output/Input]

A document issued by the project initiator or sponsor that formally authorizes the existence of a project, and provides the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities.

Project Closure Notification

Advice from the Project Board to inform the host location that the project resources can be disbanded and support services, such as space, equipment and access, demobilised.

Project Closure Recommendation

Notification prepared by the Project Manager for the Project Board to send (when the board is satisfied that the project can be closed) to any organisation that has supplied facilities to the project.

Project Communications Management [Knowledge Area]

Project Communications Management includes the processes required to ensure timely and appropriate generation, collection, distribution, storage, retrieval, and ultimate disposition of project information.

Project Control System

The aggregation of processes, tools, techniques, methodologies, resources, and procedures to help control a project. The system may be documented in a project control system description.

Project Cost Management [Knowledge Area]

Project Cost Management includes the processes involved in estimating, budgeting, and controlling costs so that the project can be completed within the approved budget.

Project Director

The manager of a very large project that demands senior level responsibility or the person at the board level in an organisation who has the overall responsibility for the project management.

Project Evaluation Review

A documented review of the project’s performance, produced at predefined points in the project life cycle.

Project File

A file containing the overall plans of a project and any other important documents.

Project Financing and Funding

The means by which the capital to undertake the project is initially secured and then made available at the appropriate time. Projects may be financed externally, funded internally or a combination of both.

Project Human Resource Management [Knowledge Area]

Project Human Resource Management includes the processes that organize and manage the project team.

Project Initiation

Launching a process that can result in the authorization of a new project.

Project Initiation Document (PID)

A logical document which brings together the key information needed to start the project on a sound basis and to convey that information to all concerned with the project.

Project Integration Management [Knowledge Area]

Project Integration Management includes the processes and activities needed to identity, define, combine, unify, and coordinate the various processes and project management activities within the Project Management Process Groups.

Project Issue

A term used to cover either a general issue, query, a Request for Change, suggestion or Off-Specification raised during a project. Project Issues can be about anything to do with the project.

Project Life Cycle

A collection of generally sequential project phases whose name and number are determined by the control needs of the organization or organizations involved in the project. A life cycle can be documented with a methodology.

Project Log

A project diary. A chronological record of significant occurrences throughout the project.

Project Management

The application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements. 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.

Project Management Body of Knowledge

An inclusive term that describes the sum of knowledge within the profession of project management. As with other professions, such as law, medicine, and accounting, the body of knowledge rests with the practitioners and academics that apply and advance it. The complete project management body of knowledge includes proven traditional practices that are widely applied and innovative practices that are emerging in the profession. The body of knowledge includes both published and unpublished materials. This body of knowledge is constantly evolving. PMI's PMBOK Guide identifies that subset of the project management body of knowledge that is generally recognized as good practice.

Project Management Information System (PMIS) [Tool]

An information system consisting of the tools and techniques used to gather, integrate, and disseminate the outputs of project management processes. It is used to support all aspects of the project from initiating through closing, and can include both manual and automated systems.

Project Management Knowledge Area

An identified area of project management defined by its knowledge requirements and described in terms of its component processes, practices, inputs, outputs, tools, and techniques.

Project Management Maturity

A model that describes a number of evolutionary levels in which an organisation’s project management processes can be assessed, from ad hoc use of processes to continual improvements of its processes.

Project Management Office (PMO)

An organizational body or entity assigned various responsibilities related to the centralized and coordinated management of those projects under its domain. The responsibilities of a PMO can range from providing project management support functions to actually being responsible for the direct management of a project.

Project Management Plan (PMP) [Output/Input]

A formal, approved document that defines how the project is executed, monitored, and controlled. It may be a summary or detailed and may be composed of one or more subsidiary management plans and other planning documents. Also called project plan.

Project Management Process Group

A logical grouping of project management inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs. The Project Management Process Groups include initiating processes, planning processes, executing processes, monitoring and controlling processes, and closing processes. Project Management Process Groups are not project phases.

Project Management Software

Computer application software designed to help with planning and controlling projects.

Project Management System [Tool]

The aggregation of the processes, tools, techniques, methodologies, resources, and procedures to manage a project

Project Management Team

The members of the project team who are directly involved in project management activities. On some smaller projects, the project management team may include virtually all of the project team members. A term to represent the entire management structure of Project Board, Project Manager, plus any Team Manager, Project Assurance and Project Support roles.

Project Manager (PM)

The person assigned by the performing organisation to achieve the project objectives. The person given the authority and responsibility to manage the project on a day-to-day basis to deliver the required products within the constraints agreed with the Project Board.

Project Mandate

Information created externally to the project, which forms the terms of reference and is used to start up the PRINCE2 project.

Project Objectives

Those things that are to be achieved by the project, which usually include technical, time, cost and quality objectives but may include other items to meet stakeholder needs.

Project Office

This serves the organisation’s project management needs. A project office can range from simple support functions for the project manager to responsibility for linking corporate strategy to project execution.

Project Organisation Chart [Output/Input]

A document that graphically depicts the project team members and their interrelationships for a specific project.

Project Organisation (Structure)

The project organisation structure provides the maximum authority to the project manager. It provides integration of functional capabilities within projects. However, this leads to duplication of facilities, and less efficient use of resources.

Project Phase

A collection of logically related project activities, usually culminating in the completion of a major deliverable. Project phases are mainly completed sequentially, but can overlap in some project situations. A project phase is a component of a project life cycle. A project phase is not a Project Management Process Group.

Project Plan

A high-level plan showing the major products of the project, when they will be delivered and at what cost. An initial Project Plan is presented as part of the Project Initiation Document. This is revised as information on actual progress appears. It is a major control document for the Project Board to measure actual progress against expectations.

Project Procurement Management [Knowledge Area]

Project Procurement Management includes the processes to purchase or acquire the products, services, or results needed from outside the project team to perform the work.

Project Quality Management [Knowledge Area]

Project Quality Management includes the processes and activities of the performing organization that determine quality policies, objectives, and responsibilities so that the project will satisfy the needs for which it was undertaken.

Project Quality Plan

A plan defining the key quality criteria, quality control and audit processes to be applied to project management and specialist work in the PRINCE2 project. It will be part of the text in the Project Initiation Document.

Project Records

A collection of all approved management, specialist and quality products and other material, which is necessary to provide an auditable record of the project. NB This does not include working files.

Project Review Calendar

A calendar of project evaluation review dates, meetings and issues of reports set against project week numbers or dates.

Project Risk

Risks which are concerned with stopping the successful completion of the project. Typically these risks include personal, technical, cost, schedule, resource, operational support, quality and supplier issues.

Project Risk Management [Knowledge Area]

Project Risk Management includes the processes concerned with conducting risk management planning, identification, analysis, responses, and monitoring and control on a project.

Project Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of those involved in the project; for example, the sponsor and the project manager.

Project Schedule [Output/Input]

The planned dates for performing schedule activities and the planned dates for meeting schedule milestones.

Project Schedule Network Diagram [Output/Input]

Any schematic display of the logical relationships among the project schedule activities. Always drawn from left to right to reflect project work chronology.

Project Scope

The work that must be performed to deliver a product, service, or result with the specified features and functions.

Project Scope Management [Knowledge Area]

Project Scope Management includes the processes required to ensure that the project includes all the work required, and only the work required, to complete the project successfully.

Project Scope Statement [Output/Input]

The narrative description of the project scope, including major deliverables, project assumptions, project constraints, and a description of work, that provides a documented basis for making future project decisions and for confirming or developing a common understanding of project scope among the stakeholders.

Project Sponsor

The individual or body for whom the project is undertaken and who is the primary risk taker. The sponsor owns the business case and is ultimately responsible for the project and for delivering the benefits.

Project start-up

The creation of the project team and making it effective.

Project Start-up Notification

Advice to the host location that the project is about to start and requesting any required project support services.

Project Status Report

A report on the status of accomplishments and any variances to spending and schedule plans.

Project Success

The satisfaction of stakeholder needs measured by the success criteria as defined and agreed at the start of the project.

Project Support Experts

Individuals with expertise in particular aspects of project support such as scheduling, budgeting and cost management or reporting.

Project Support Office

A group set up to provide certain administrative services to the Project Manager. Often the group provides its services to many projects in parallel.

Project Team

A set of individuals, groups and/or organisations responsible to the project manager for working towards a common purpose.

Project Team Directory

A documented list of project team members, their project roles, and communication information.

Project Time Management [Knowledge Area]

Project Time Management includes the processes required to manage the timely completion of a project.

Project Variance

Changes to cost or schedule that are within the current work plan or scope.

Projected Organisation

Any organizational structure in which the project manager has full authority to assign priorities, apply resources, and direct the work of persons assigned to the project.


Provisions can be distinguished from other liabilities such as trade payables and accruals because there is uncertainty about the timing or amount of the future expenditure required in settlement. By contrast: accruals are liabilities to pay for goods or services that have been received or supplied but have not been paid, invoiced or formally agreed with the supplier, including amounts due to employees (for example, amounts relating to accrued vacation pay). Although it is sometimes necessary to estimate the amount or timing of accruals, the uncertainty is generally much less than for provisions. Attention: In IFRS, but not US GAAP, a provision is a present obligation which satisfies the rest of the definition of a liability, even if the amount of the obligation has to be estimated. Provision is a temporary accounting title. It basically refers to expense. Example: If one of the expenses is for the month of April and still not paid so to close that expense in that specific month, we prepare one temporary accounting title (provision) for that particular expense. While in the opening of that new month if that expense is paid, we reverse that provision in terms of recording expense and closing the provision title.

Proximity (of risk)

The time factor of risk, i.e. the occurrence of risks will be due at particular times, and the severity of their impact will vary depending on when they occur.

Punch List

A list of outstanding activities to be completed prior to final acceptance of the deliverables.


Qualitative Risk Analysis

A generic term for subjective methods of assessing risks that cannot be identified accurately.


The degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfils requirements. The totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated and implied needs. Also defined as 'fitness for purpose' or 'conforms to requirements'.

Quality Assurance (QA)

The process of evaluating overall project performance on a regular basis to provide confidence that the project will satisfy the relevant quality standards.

Quality Audit

An official examination to determine whether practices conform to specified standards or a critical analysis of whether a deliverable meets quality criteria.

Quality Control

The process of monitoring specific project results to determine if they comply with relevant standards and identifying ways to eliminate causes of unsatisfactory performance.

Quality Criteria

The characteristics of a product that determine whether it meets certain requirements.

Quality Management Plan [Output/Input]

The quality management plan describes how the project management team will implement the performing organisation's quality policy. The quality management plan is a component or a subsidiary plan of the project management plan.

Quality Management System

The complete set of quality standards, procedures and responsibilities for a site or organisation.

Quality Review

A quality review is a quality checking technique with a specific structure, defined roles and procedure designed to ensure a product's completeness and adherence to standards. The participants are drawn from those with an interest in the product and those with the necessary skills to review its correctness. An example of the checks made by a quality review is 'Does the document match the quality criteria in the Product Description?'

Quality System

See Quality Management System.

Quantitative Risk Analysis

The estimation of numerical values of the probability and impact of risks on a project usually using actual or estimated values, known relationships between values, modelling, arithmetical and/or statistical techniques.


Reactive Risk Response

An action or set of actions to be taken after a risk has occurred in order to reduce or recover from the effect of the threat or to exploit the opportunity. Such actions are funded from Management Reserve.

Recurring Costs

Expenditures against specific activities that would occur on a repetitive basis. Examples are hiring of computer equipment and tool maintenance.


A response to a threat that reduces its probability, impact or both on a project.


Requirements imposed by a governmental body. These requirements can establish product, process, or service characteristics, including applicable administrative provisions that have government-mandated compliance.


Method by which a contractor will be paid for the work they have undertaken.


A logical connection between two activities.

Remaining Duration

The time needed to complete the remainder of an activity or project.

Replenishable Resource

A resource that when absent or used up fresh supplies of which can be obtained. Raw materials and money are common examples. See also consumable resource.

Report Performance [Process]

The process of collecting and distributing performance information, including status reports, progress measurements, and forecasts.


Reporting takes information and presents it in an appropriate format which includes the formal communication of project information to stakeholders.


The presentation of information in an appropüriate forma. Alternatively a written record or summary, a detailed accont or statement or a verbal account.

Request for Change (RFC)

A means of proposing a modification to the current specification of a product. It is one type of project issue.

Request for Information (RFI)

A type of procurement document whereby the buyer requests a potential seller to provide various pieces of information related to a product or service or seller capability.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

A type of procurement document used to request proposals from prospective sellers of products or services. In some application areas, it may have a narrower or more specific meaning.

Request for Quotation (RFQ)

A type of procurement document used to request price quotations from prospective sellers of common or standard products or services. Sometimes used in place of request for proposal and in some application areas, it may have a narrower or more specific meaning.

Requested Change [Output/Input]

A formally documented change request that is submitted for approval to the integrated change control process.


A condition or capability that must be met or possessed by a system, product, service, result, or component to satisfy a contract, standard, specification, or other formally imposed document. Requirements include the quantified and documented needs, wants, and expectations of the sponsor, customer, and other stakeholders.

Requirements Traceability Matrix

A table that links requirements to their origin and traces them throughout the project life cycle.


A provision in the project management plan to mitigate cost and/or schedule risk. Often used with a modifier (e.g., management reserve, contingency reserve) to provide further detail on what types of risk are meant to be mitigated.

Reserve Analysis [Technique]

An analytical technique to determine the essential features and relationships of components in the project management plan to establish a reserve for the schedule duration, budget, estimated cost, or funds for a project.

Residual Risk

A risk that remains after risk responses have been implemented.


Skilled human resources (specific disciplines either individually or in crews or teams), equipment, services, supplies, commodities, material, budgets, or funds required to undertake a project.

Resource Aggregation

A summation of the requirements for each resource, and for each time period.

Resource Allocation

The process by which resources are mapped against activities which are often shown as aggregated resource histograms against a timescale.

Resource Availability

The level of availability of a resource, which may vary over time.

Resource Breakdown Structure

A hierarchical structure of resources by resource category and resource type used in resource levelling schedules and to develop resource-limited schedules, and which may be used to identify and analyze project human resource assignments.

Resource Calendar

A calendar of working days and nonworking days that determines those dates on which each specific resource is idle or can be active. Typically defines resource specific holidays and resource availability periods. See also project calendar.

Resource Constraint

A limitation due to the availability of a resource.

Resource-driven Activity Durations

Activity durations that are driven by the need for scarce resources.

Resource Histogram

A bar chart showing the amount of time that a resource is scheduled to work over a series of time periods. Resource availability may be depicted as a line for comparison purposes. Contrasting bars may show actual amounts of resources used as the project progresses.

Resource Level

A specified level of resource units required by an activity per time unit.

Resource Levelling [Technique]

Any form of schedule network analysis in which scheduling decisions (start and finish dates) are driven by resource constraints (e.g., limited resource availability or difficult-to-manage changes in resource availability levels).

Resource Loading

The amount of resources of each kind devoted to a specific activity in a particular time period.

Resource Management

A process that identifies and assigns resources to activities so that the project is undertaken using appropriate levels of resources and within an acceptable duration.

Resource Optimisation

A term used for resource levelling and resource smoothing.

Resource Plan

A part of the project management plan that states how the project will be resource loaded and what supporting services, infrastructure and third party services are required.

Resource Pool

The available resources to a project. Alternatively, a group of people who can generally do the same work, so they can be chosen randomly for assignment to a project.

Resource Requirement

The requirement for a particular resource by a particular activity.

Resource Smoothing

A process applied to projects to ensure that resources are used as efficiently as possible. It involves utilising float within the project or increasing or decreasing the resources required for specific activities, such that any peaks and troughs of resource usage are smoothed out. This does not affect the project duration. It is also known as time limited scheduling.

Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) [Tool]

A structure that relates the project organizational breakdown structure to the work breakdown structure to help ensure that each component of the project's scope of work is assigned to a person or team.

Responsible Organisation

A defined unit within the organisation structure that is assigned responsibility for accomplishing specific activities, or cost account.


An output from performing project management processes and activities. Results include outcomes (e.g., integrated systems, revised process, restructured organization, tests, trained personnel, etc.) and documents (e.g., policies, plans, studies, procedures, specifications, reports, etc.). Contrast with product. See also deliverable.


A part of payment withheld until the project is completed in order to ensure satisfactory performance or completion of contract terms.

Re-usable Resource

A resource that when no longer needed becomes available for other uses. Accommodation, machines, test equipment and people are re-usable.


Amount generated from sale of goods or services, or any other use of capital or assets, associated with the main operations of firm before any costs or expenses are deducted. Revenue is shown usually as the top item in an income (profit and loss) statement from which all charges, costs, and expenses are subtracted to arrive at the net income of the firm. Also called sales, or (in the UK) turnover. In more formal usage, revenue is a calculation or estimation of periodic income based on a particular standard accounting practice or the rules established by a government or government agency. Two common accounting methods, cash basis accounting and accrual basis accounting, do not use the same process for measuring revenue. Corporations that offer shares for sale to the public are usually required by law to report revenue based on generally accepted accounting principles or International Financial Reporting Standards.

Revenue Cost

Expenditure charged to the profit and loss account as incurred or accrued due.


Project reviews take place throughout the project life cycle to check the likely or actual achievement of the objectives specified in the project management plan.


A person asked to review a product that is the subject of a quality review.


Action taken to bring a defective or nonconforming component into compliance with requirements or specifications.


An uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on a project's objectives.

Risk Acceptance [Technique]

A risk response planning technique that indicates that the project team has decided not to change the project management plan to deal with a risk, or is unable to identify any other suitable response strategy.

Risk Analysis

Systematic use of information to identify threats/risks, to estimate the probability of occurrence and severity of the impact, and provide information to management so that decisions on optimal responses can be taken.

Risk Appetite

The amount of risk exposure an organisation is willing to accept in connection with delivering a set of objectives (of a project or business initiative).

Risk Avoidance [Technique]

A risk response planning technique for a threat that creates changes to the project management plan that are meant to either eliminate the risk or to protect the project objectives from its impact.

Risk Breakdown Structure (RBS) [Tool]

A hierarchically organized depiction of the identified project risks arranged by risk category and subcategory that identifies the various areas and causes of potential risks. The risk breakdown structure is often tailored to specific project types.

Risk Category

A group of potential causes of risk. Risk causes may be grouped into categories such as technical, external, organizational, environmental, or project management. A category may include subcategories such as technical maturity, weather, or aggressive estimating.

Risk Event

An uncertain event or set of circumstances whose occurrence would have an effect on the achievement one or more of the project’s objectives.

Risk Exposure

The difference of the total impact of risks should they all occur and the Risk Provision.

Risk Identification

Determination of what could pose a risk; a process to describe and list sources of risk (threats and opportunities).

Risk Log

A document that provides identification, estimation, impact evaluation and countermeasures for all risks to the project. It should be created during the start-up of the project and developed during the life of the project. Also known as Risk Register.

Risk Management Plan [Output/Input]

The document describing how project risk management will be structured and performed on the project. It is contained in or is a subsidiary plan of the project management plan. Information in the risk management plan varies by application area and project size. The risk management plan is different from the risk register that contains the list of project risks, the results of risk analysis, and the risk responses.

Risk Mitigation [Technique]

A risk response planning technique associated with threats that seeks to reduce the probability of occurrence or impact of a risk to below an acceptable threshold.

Risk Monitoring

The process of observing the state of identified risks. Also referred to as risk tracking.

Risk Owner

A role or individual responsible for the management and control of all aspects of individual risks, including the implementation of the measures taken in respect of each risk.

Risk Perception

Value or concern with which stakeholders view a particular risk.

Risk Prioritising

Ordering of risks according first to their risk value, and then by which risks needed to be considered for risk reduction, risk avoidance and risk transfer.

Risk Profile

A graphical representation of information normally found on the Risk Log.

Risk Provision

The amount of budget/schedule/resources set aside to manage the impact of the risks. Risk provision is a component part of Management Reserve.

Risk Ranking

The allocation of a classification to the probability and impact of a risk.

Risk Reduction

Action taken to reduce the likelihood and impact of a risk.

Risk Register [Output/Input]

The document containing the results of the qualitative risk analysis, quantitative risk analysis, and risk response planning. The risk register details all identified risks, including description, category, cause, probability of occurring, impact(s) on objectives, proposed responses, owners, and current status. See Risk Log.

Risk Response Activities

Activities incorporated into the Performance Measurement Baseline (PMB), either at project initiation or via the Change Control Process, in order to implement a Proactive Risk Response. These are identified as part of the risk management process.

Risk Response Planning

The planning of the responses to risks.

Risk Tolerance

The degree, amount, or volume of risk that an organisation or individual will withstand.

Risk Transfer [Technique]

A risk response planning technique that shifts the impact of a threat to a third party, together with ownership of the response.


A defined function to be performed by a project team member, such as testing, filing, inspecting, coding. A set of responsibilities, activities and authorisations, which can be assigned to one or more people on a full- or part-time basis.

Rolling Wave Planning [Technique]

A form of progressive elaboration planning where the work to be accomplished in the near term is planned in detail at a low level of the work breakdown structure, while the work far in the future is planned at a relatively high level of the work breakdown structure, but the detailed planning of the work to be performed within another one or two periods in the near future is done as work is being completed during the current period.

Root Cause Analysis [Technique]

An analytical technique used to determine the basic underlying reason that causes a variance or a defect or a risk. A root cause may underlie more than one variance or defect or risk.



A marketing technique used to promote a project.


See project schedule and see also schedule model. The timing and sequence of tasks within a project, dependencies among tasks, and the project duration and constraints.

Schedule Baseline

A specific version of the schedule model used to compare actual results to the plan to determine it preventive or corrective action is needed to meet the project objectives.

Schedule Compression [Technique]

Shortening the project schedule duration without reducing the project scope. See also crashing and fast tracking.

Schedule Dates

Start and finish dates calculated with regard to resource or external constraints as well as project logic.

Schedule Management Plan [Output/Input]

The document that establishes criteria and the activities for developing and controlling the project schedule. It is contained in. or is a subsidiary plan of, the project management plan.

Schedule Model [Tool)

A model used in conjunction with manual methods or project management software to perform schedule network analysis to generate the project schedule for use in managing the execution of a project. See also project schedule.

Schedule Network Analysis [Technique]

The technique of identifying early and late start dates, as well as early and late finish dates, for the uncompleted portions of project schedule activities. See also critical path method, critical chain method, and resource levelling.

Schedule Performance Index (SPI)

A measure of schedule efficiency on a project. It is the ratio of earned value (EV) to planned value (PV). The SPI = EV divided by PV.

Schedule Reserve

The schedule component of Management Reserve.

Schedule Risk Analysis

Assessment and synthesis of the schedule risks and/or estimating uncertainties affecting the project to gain an understanding of their individual significance and their combined impact on meeting the project’s key milestones, to determine a range of likely outcomes for project dates.

Schedule Variance (SV)

A measure of schedule performance on a project. It is the difference between the earned value (EV) and the planned value (PV). SV = EV minus PV.

Scheduled Finish Date (SF)

The point in time that work was scheduled to finish on a schedule activity. The scheduled finish date is normally within the range of dates delimited by the early finish date and the late finish date. It may reflect resource levelling of scarce resources. Sometimes called planned finish date.

Scheduled Start Date (SS)

The point in time that work was scheduled to start on a schedule activity. The scheduled start date is normally within the range of dates delimited by the early start date and the late start date. It may reflect resource levelling of scarce resources. Sometimes called planned start date.


Scheduling is the process used to determine the overall project duration. It includes identification of activities and their logical dependencies, and estimating activity durations, taking into account requirements and availability of resources.


The sum of the products, services, and results to be provided as a project. See also project scope and product scope.

Scope Baseline

An approved specific version of the detailed scope statement, work breakdown structure (WBS), and its associated WBS dictionary.

Scope Change

Any change to the project scope. A scope change almost always requires an adjustment to the project cost or schedule.

Scope Creep

Adding features and functionality (project scope) without addressing the effects on time, costs, and resources, or without customer approval.

Scope Management Plan [Output/Input]

The document that describes how the project scope will be defined, developed, and verified and how the work breakdown structure will be created and defined, and that provides guidance on how the project scope will be managed and controlled by the project management team. It is contained in or is a subsidiary plan of the project management plan.

Scoring Model

A set of weighted criteria and corresponding key indicators to measure and score components for comparison and prioritisation purposes.


Graphic display of cumulative costs, labour hours, percentage of work, or other quantities, plotted against time. Used to depict planned value, earned value, and actual cost of project work. The name derives from the S-like shape of the curve (flatter at the beginning and end, steeper in the middle) produced on a project that starts slowly, accelerates, and then tails off. Also a term used to express the cumulative likelihood distribution that is a result of a simulation, a tool of quantitative risk analysis.

Secondary Risk

A risk that arises as a direct result of implementing a risk response.


A provider or supplier of products, services, or results to an organization.

Senior Responsible Owner

This is not a PRINCE2 term, but is used in many organisations. Its equivalent in PRINCE2 terms would be the 'Executive' role.

Senior Supplier

The Project Board role that provides knowledge and experience of the main discipline(s) involved in the production of the project's deliverable(s). Represents the supplier(s) interests within the project and provides supplier resources.

Senior User

A member of the Project Board, accountable for ensuring that user needs are specified correctly and that the solution meets those needs.

Sensitivity Analysis

A quantitative risk analysis and modelling technique used to help determine which risks have the most potential impact on the project. It examines the extent to which the uncertainty of each project element affects the objective being examined when ail other uncertain elements are held at their baseline values. The typical display of results is in the form of a tornado diagram.

Sequence Activities [Process]

The process of identifying and documenting relationships among the project activities.

Severity of Risk

The degree to which the risk could affect the situation.


A simulation uses a project model that translates the uncertainties specified at a detailed level into their potential impact on objectives that are expressed at the level of the total project. Project simulations use computer models and estimates of risk, usually expressed as a probability distribution of possible costs or durations at a detailed work level, and are typically performed using Monte Carlo analysis.


Also called float. See total float and free float

Slack Time

The amount of time a task can be extended or delayed before it impacts on the starting time of other tasks. Tasks A and B start at the same time. Task C is dependent on both tasks A and B. Task A takes 2 days and task B takes 5 days. Task A has 3 days' slack. It can run 3 days overtime before it affects the planned starting time for task C.

Slip Chart

A pictorial representation of the predicted completion dates of milestones. Also referred to as a trend chart.


The amount of float time used up by the current activity due to a delayed start or increased duration.


The process by which bids or tenders are obtained for the provision of goods or services to the project.

Special Cause

A source of variation that is not inherent in the system, is not predictable, and is intermittent. It can be assigned to a defect in the system. On a control chart, points beyond the control limits, or non-random patterns within the control limits, indicate it. Also referred to as assignable cause. Contrast with common cause.

Specific Risk Provision

The amount of budget/schedule/resources set aside to cover the impact of known risks, should they occur. It is not advisable to net opportunities against threats, and so a separate value is calculated for each.


A document that specifies, in a complete, precise, verifiable manner, the requirements, design, behaviour, or other characteristics of a system, component, product, result, or service and, often, the procedures for determining whether these provisions have been satisfied. Examples are: requirement specification, design specification, product specification, and test specification.

Specification Limits

The area, on either side of the centreline, or mean, of data plotted on a control chart that meets the customer's requirements for a product or service. This area may be greater than or less than the area defined by the control limits. See also control limits.

Splittable Activity

An activity that can be interrupted in order to allow its resources to be transferred temporarily to another activity.


The person or group that provides the financial resources, in cash or in kind, for the project. Not a specific PRINCE2 role but often used to mean the major driving force of a project. May be the equivalent of Executive or corporate/program management.

Staffing Management Plan

The document that describes when and how human resource requirements will be met. It is contained in, or is a subsidiary plan of, the human resource plan.


A subdivision of the life cycle phase into a natural subsection with well-defined deliverables.

Stage Payment

A payment made part way through a project at some predetermined milestone.


Person or organization (e.g., customer, sponsor, performing organization, or the public) that is actively involved in the project, or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected by execution or completion of the project. A stakeholder may also exert influence over the project and its deliverables. Parties with an interest in the execution and outcome of a project. They would include business streams affected by or dependent on the outcome of a project.


A document that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines, or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context.

Start Date

A point in time associated with a schedule activity's start, usually qualified by one of the following: actual, planned, estimated, scheduled, early, late, target, baseline, or current.

Starting Activity

A starting activity has no predecessors. It does not have to wait for any other activity to start.

Start-to-Finish (SF)

The logical relationship where completion of the successor schedule activity is dependent upon the initiation of the predecessor schedule activity. See also logical relationship.

Start-to-Start (SS)

The logical relationship where initiation of the work of the successor schedule activity depends upon the initiation of the work of the predecessor schedule activity. See also logical relationship.

Start-to-Start Lag

Start-to-start lag is the minimum amount of time that must pass between the start of one activity and the start of its successor(s).


The formal process of making anew project team effective or the commissioning of a completed facility.

Start-up Meeting

The initial meeting with the project team at the start of a project or phase of a project.

Statement of Work (SOW)

A narrative description of products, services, or results to be supplied.

Status Report

A description of where the project currently stands, usually in the form of a written report, issued to both the project team and other responsible people on a regular basis, stating the status of an activity, work package or whole project. It may be a formal report on the input, issues and actions resulting from a status meeting.

Statutory Approval

An approval that is required by law.

Steering Committee

The group responsible for ensuring program/project goals are achieved and providing support to address program/project risks and issues.

Strategic Risk

Risk concerned with where the organisation wants to go, how it plans to get there, and how it can ensure survival.


The high-level plan that will enable the project to reach a successful conclusion. It describes how the project is to be executed. This is the long-term plan.

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis

This information gathering technique examines the project from the perspective of each project's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to increase the breadth of the risks considered by risk management.

Sub network

A subdivision (fragment) of a project schedule network diagram, usually representing a subproject or a work package. Often used to illustrate or study some potential or proposed schedule condition, such as changes in preferential schedule logic or project scope.

Sub phase

A subdivision of a phase.

Sub portfolio

A collection of components which includes programs, projects, portfolios, and other work grouped together within a larger portfolio.


An organisation that supplies goods or services to a supplier.


A smaller portion of the overall project created when a project is subdivided into more manageable components or pieces.

Success Criteria

The qualitative or quantitative measures by which the success of the project is judged. Also called project success criteria.

Successor Activity

The schedule activity that follows a predecessor activity, as determined by their logical relationship.

Success Factors

Factors that when present in the project environment are most conductive to the achievement of a successful project. The success factors that if absent would cause the project to fail are sometimes termed critical success factors (CSF).


A successor is an activity whose start and finish depends on the start or finish of a predecessor activity.

Summary Activity

A group of related schedule activities aggregated at some summary level, and displayed/ reported as a single activity at that summary level. See also subproject and sub network.

Summary Risk Profile

A simple mechanism to increase visibility of risks. It is a graphical representation of information normally found on an existing risk register.

Sunk Costs

Costs that are unavoidable, even if the project were to be terminated.

Super-critical Activity

An activity that is behind schedule is considered to be super-critical if it has been delayed to a point where its float is calculated to be a negative value.


The group or groups responsible for the supply of the project's specialist products.


Target Completion Date

The date planned to complete an activity or project.

Target Start Date

The date planned to start work on an activity or the project.


The smallest indivisible part of an activity when it is broken down to a level best understood and performed by a specific person or organisation.


A team is made up of two or more people working interdependently towards a common goal and a shared reward.

Team Leader

The person responsible for leading a team.

Team Manager

A role that may be employed by the project manager or a specifically appointed alternative person to manage the work of project team members.

Team Member

A person who is accountable to and has to work assigned to them by the project manager to be performed either by themselves or by others in a working group.

Technical Performance Measurement [Technique]

A performance measurement technique that compares technical accomplishments during project execution to the project management plan's schedule of planned technical achievements. It may use key technical parameters of the product produced by the project as a quality metric. The achieved metric values are part of the work performance information.


A defined systematic procedure employed by a human resource to perform an activity to produce a product or result or deliver a service, and that may employ one or more tools.


A partially complete document in a predefined format that provides a defined structure for collecting, organizing, and presenting information and data.


A document proposing to meet a specification in a certain way and at a stated price (or on a particular financial basis), an offer of price and conditions under which a supplier is willing to undertake work for the client. Also called bid.

Tender document

The document issued to prospective suppliers when inviting bids or quotations for supply of goods or services.


The process of preparing and submitting a tender, quotation or bid.

Termination (Phase)

The disposal of project deliverables at the end of their life.

Terms and Conditions

All the clauses in a contract.

Terms of Reference

A specification of a team member’s responsibilities and authorities within the project.


The process of determining how aspects of a deliverable perform when subjected to specified conditions.

Theory of Constraints

A theory expounded by Goldratt, which lead to the critical chain schedule management technique.


A condition or situation unfavourable to the project, a negative set of circumstances, a negative set of events, a risk that will have a negative impact on a project objective if it occurs, or a possibility for negative changes. Contrast with opportunity.

Three-Point Estimate [Technique]

An analytical technique that uses three cost or duration estimates to represent the optimistic, most likely, and pessimistic scenarios. This technique is applied to improve the accuracy of the estimates of cost or duration when the underlying activity or cost component is uncertain.


A cost, time, quality, technical, or resource value used as a parameter, and which may be included in product specifications. Crossing the threshold should trigger some action, such as generating an exception report.

Time Analysis

The process of calculating the early and late dates for each activity on a project, based on the duration of the activities and the logical relations between them.

Time and Material (T&M) Contract

A type of contract that is a hybrid contractual arrangement containing aspects of both cost-reimbursable and fixed-price contracts. Time and material contracts resemble cost-reimbursable type arrangements in that they have no definitive end, because the full value of the arrangement is not defined at the time of the award. Thus, time and material contracts can grow in contract value as if they were cost-reimbursable-type arrangements. Conversely, time and material arrangements can also resemble fixed-price arrangements. For example, the unit rates are preset by the buyer and seller, when both parties agree on the rates for the category of senior engineers.

Time now

A specified time from whichthe forward analysis is deemed to commence. The date to which current progress is reported. Sometimes referred to as the status date because all progress information entered for a project should be correct as of this date.

Time Recording

The recording of effort expended on each activity in order to update a project plan.

Time Sheet

A means of recording the actual effort expended against project and non-project activities.

Time Variance

The scheduled time for the work to be completed less the actual time.

Time-Scaled Schedule Network Diagram [Tool]

Any project schedule network diagram drawn in such a way that the positioning and length of the schedule activity represents its duration. Essentially, it is a bar chart that includes schedule network logic.

To-Complete-Performance-lndex (TCPI)

The calculated projection of cost performance that must be achieved on the remaining work to meet a specified management goal, such as the budget at completion (BAC) or the estimate at completion (EAC). It is the ratio of "remaining work" to the "funds remaining."


Something tangible, such as a template or software program, used in performing an activity to produce a product or result.

Top down Cost Estimating

The total project cost is estimated based on historical costs and other project variables and then subdivided down to individual activities.

Total Float

The total amount of time that a schedule activity may be delayed from its early start date without delaying the project finish date, or violating a schedule constraint. Calculated using the critical path method technique and determining the difference between the early finish dates and late finish dates. See also free float.

Total Slack

How much a task can slip before it delays the finishing date of the project.


The permissible deviation above and below a plan's estimate of time and cost without escalating the deviation to the next level of management. Separate tolerance figures should be given for time and cost. There may also be tolerance levels for quality, scope, benefit and risk. Tolerance is applied at project, stage and team levels.

Traffic Light Reports

A type of progress report that explains the current status of the program or project in the form of a traffic light colour, for example red = problems, amber = some concerns, green = no problems.


A response to a threat that reduces its probability, impact or both on the project by transferring the risk to a third party.


A general tendency observed on a project.

Trend Analysis [Technique]

An analytical technique that uses mathematical models to forecast future outcomes based on historical results. It is a method of determining the variance from a baseline of a budget, cost, schedule, or scope parameter by using prior progress reporting periods' data and projecting how much that parameter's variance from baseline might be at some future point in the project if no changes are made in executing the project.


Indications that a risk has occurred or is about to occur. Triggers may be discovered in the risk identification process and watched in the risk monitoring and control process. Triggers are sometimes called risk symptoms or warning signs.

Turnkey Contract

A comprehensive contract in which the contractor is responsible for the complete supply of a facility, usually with responsibility for fitness for purpose, training operators, pre-commissioning and commissioning. It usually has a fixed completion date, a fixed price and guaranteed performance levels.



The spread in estimates for schedule, cost and performance arising from the expected range of outcomes. Often termed estimating error.

Unlimited Schedule

An infinite schedule, a schedule produced without resource constraint.


The person or group who will use the final deliverable(s) of the project.



The assurance that a product, service, or system meets the needs of the customer and other identified stakeholders. It often involves acceptance and suitability with external customers. Contrast with verification.


A calculation of the amount of payment due under the terms of a contract. Often undertaken at stages in large contracts and completion.

Value Engineering

An approach used to optimize project life cycle costs, save time, increase profits, improve quality, expand market share, solve problems, and/or use resources more effectively.


A quantifiable deviation, departure, or divergence away from a known baseline or expected value.

Variance Analysis [Technique]

A method for resolving the total variance in the set of scope, cost, and schedule variables into specific component variances that are associated with defined factors affecting the scope, cost, and schedule variables.

Variance at Completion

The difference between budget at completion and estimate at completion.

Variance Threshold

Acceptable cost and schedule variations from the baseline. Typically, thresholds are based on either a value or a percentage of the budget. Thresholds allow management by exception, whereby only those packages with variances exceeding one of the thresholds must be examined in greater detail.


A change in scope or timing of work that a supplier is obliged to do under a contract.


A company or person contractually committed to provide goods (either direct or through a supplier).


The evaluation of whether or not a product, service, or system complies with a regulation, requirement, specification, or imposed condition. It is often an internal process. Contrast with validation.

Verify Scope [Process]

The process of formalizing acceptance of the completed project deliverables.

Version Control

The recording and management of the configuration of different versions of the project’s products.

Virtual Team

A group of persons with a shared objective who fulfil their roles with little or no time spent meeting face to face. Various forms of technology are often used to facilitate communication among team members. Virtual teams can be comprised of persons separated by great distances.

Voice of the Customer

A planning technique used to provide products, services, and results that truly reflect customer requirements by translating those customer requirements into the appropriate technical requirements for each phase of project product development.



A promise given by a contractor to the client or owner regarding the nature, usefulness or condition of supplies or services delivered under the contract.


A multiplication factor used to convey the relative importance of key criteria used in a scoring model.

What-if assessment

The process of evaluating alternative strategies.

What-if Simulation

Changing the value of the parameters of the project network to study its behaviour under various conditions of its operations.


The total number of hours, people or effort required to complete an activity.

Work Authorisation

A permission and direction, typically written, to begin work on a specific schedule activity or work package or control account. It is a method for sanctioning project work to ensure that the work is done by the identified organization, at the right time, and in the proper sequence.

Work Authorisation System [Tool]

A subsystem of the overall project management system. It is a collection of formal documented procedures that defines how project work will be authorized (committed) to ensure that the work is done by the identified organization, at the right time, and in the proper sequence. It includes the steps, documents, tracking system, and defined approval levels needed to issue work authorizations.

Work Breakdown Code

A code that represents the ‘family tree’ of an element in a work breakdown structure.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) [Output/Input]

A deliverable-oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables. It provides a structure for scoping the project, developing detailed budgets and schedules, and identifying risks. Each descending level represents an increasingly detailed definition of the project work. The WBS is decomposed into work packages.

Work Breakdown Structure Component

An entry in the work breakdown structure that can be at any level.

Work Breakdown Structure Dictionary [Output/Input]

A document that describes each component in the work breakdown structure (WBS). For each WBS component, the WBS dictionary includes a brief definition of the scope or statement of work, defined deliverable(s). a list of associated activities, and a list of milestones. Other information may include: responsible organization, start and end dates, resources required, an estimate of cost, charge number, contract information, quality requirements, and technical references to facilitate performance of the work.

Work Breakdown Structure Element

Any single work breakdown structure element or component and its associated WBS attributes contained within an individual work breakdown structure.

Work in Progress (WIP)

Work that has not been completed but has already incurred a capital investment from the company. This is usually recorded as an asset on the balance sheet.

Work Load

Work load is the amount of work units assigned to a resource over a period of time.

Work Package

A deliverable or project work component at the lowest level of each branch of the work breakdown structure. See also control account. A group of related activities that are defined at the same level within a work breakdown structure. The set of information relevant to the creation of one or more products. It will contain the Product Description(s), details of any constraints on production such as time and cost, interfaces and confirmation of the agreement between the Project Manager and the person or Team Manager who is to implement the Work Package that the work can be done within the constraints. An activity or set of activities within a Control Account representing a discrete element of scope (ideally an output) where budgets are established, resources are planned and performance is measured.

Work Performance Information [Output/Input]

Information and data, on the status of the project schedule activities being performed to accomplish the project work, collected as part of the direct and manage project execution processes. Information includes: status of deliverables; implementation status for change requests, corrective actions, preventive actions, and defect repairs; forecasted estimates to complete; reported percent of work physically completed; achieved value of technical performance measures; start and finish dates of schedule activities.

Work Units

Work units provide the measurement units for resources. For example people as a resource can be measured by the number of hours they work.

Workaround [Technique]

A response to a negative risk that has occurred. Distinguished from contingency plan in that a workaround is not planned in advance of the occurrence of the risk event.



The return on an investment.


Zero Float

Zero float is a condition where there is no excess time between activities. An activity with zero float is considered a critical activity.