Glossary

A

Acceptance criteria 

A prioritized list of criteria that the project product must meet before the customer will accept it, i.e. Measurable definitions of the attributes that must apply to the set of products to be acceptable to key stakeholders.

Agile programming 

A disciplined product development concept that enables controlled flexibility in producing new services / products or features. (Scrum, XP, Kanban are some examples)

Analogous estimating 

Analogous estimating means using the actual duration of a previous, similar activity as the basis for estimating the duration for a future activity. This is generally used when there is limited amount of detailed information about the project. It is a form of expert judgment.

B

Benefit

Is a measurable improvement resulting from an outcome, which contributes towards one or more organisational objectives.

Business case 

The justification for an organizational activity (project) which typically contains costs, benefits, risks and timescales, and against which continuing viability is tested.

Bug 

Behavior that does not conform to the acceptance tests documented in the relevant user scenarios and acceptance tests.

C

Capability 

The complete set of outputs from the project(s) required to deliver an outcome.

D

Delphi technique 

A facilitator uses a questionnaire to solicit ideas about a specific topic such as project risks. Responses are summarized and recirculated to the experts for further comment. This helps reduce bias in the data and keeps individuals from having undue influence on the outcome.

Deliverable 

See output.

Done 

At User Scenario & Acceptance Test level the work is done when the client has done the Quality Review and accepted the work. At New Feature or Project Level the work is done when the New Feature or Product/Service is commissioned. Any changes after this is either due to a defect or a change request.

E

End of phase report 

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

End project report 

A report given by the Project Manager to the Project Board, that confirms the handover of all products and provides an updated Business Case and an assessment of how well the project has done against the original Project Initiation Documentation, Project Definition, Scope Definition etc.

End stage assessment 

The review by the Steering Committee/Project Board and Project Manager of the End Stage Report to decide whether to approve the next Phase Plan. According to the size and criticality of the project, the review may be formal or informal. The authority to proceed should be documented as a formal record.

F

Fast tracking

A schedule compression technique in which phases or activities normally performed in sequence are performed in parallel. Fast Tracking may result in re-work and increased risk. Fast Tracking only works if activities can be overlapped to shorten the duration.

G

Governance

Corporate governance

The ongoing activity of maintaining a soundsystem of internal control by which the directors and officers of an organization ensure that effective management systems, including financial monitoring and control systems, have been put in place to protect assets, earning capacity and the reputation of the organization.


Project governance

Those areas of corporate governance that are specifically related to project activities. Effective governance of project management ensures that an organization’s project portfolio is aligned to the organization’s objectives, is delivered efficiently and is sustainable.

H

Handover

The transfer of ownership of a set of products to the respective user(s). The set of products is known as a release. There may be more than one handover in the life of a project (phased delivery). The final handover takes place in the Closing a Project processes.

O

Outcome

The change resulting from the operational staff making use of the capability (output) delivered by the project(s).

Output

The product or service that is delivered by the project. At the beginning of a project this can be defined in a document called the project product description.

R

Risk

An uncertain event or set of events that, should it occur, will have an effect on the achievement of objectives. A risk is measured by a combination of the probability of a perceived threat or opportunity occurring, and the magnitude of its impact on objectives.


Accept (risk response)

A risk response to a threat where a conscious and deliberate decision is taken to retain the threat, having discerned that that it is more economical to do so than to attempt a risk response action. The threat should continue to be monitored to ensure that it remains tolerable acceptance.


Avoid (risk response)

A risk response to a threat where the threat either can no longer have an impact or can no longer happen.


Exploit (risk response)

A risk response to an opportunity by seizing the opportunity to ensure that it will happen and that the impact will be realized.


Fallback (risk response)

A risk response to a threat by putting in place a fallback plan for the actions that will be taken to reduce the impact of the threat should the risk occur.