PMP2021 Glossary

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80/20 rule

A general guideline with many applications; in terms of controlling processes, it contends that a relatively large number of problems or defects, typically 80%, are commonly due to a relatively small number of causes, typically 20%.


AB Testing

A marketing approach used to determine user preferences by showing different sets of users similar services with one independent variable.


(Actual Cost) The realized cost incurred for the work performed on an activity during a specific time period.


A strategy for managing negative risks or opportunities that involves acknowledging a risk and not taking any action until the risk occurs.

Acceptance criteria

A set of conditions that is required to be met before deliverables are accepted.

Active listening

A communication technique that involves acknowledging what you hear, and clarifying the message to confirm that what you heard matches the message that the sender intended.

Activity attributes*

Multiple attributes associated with each schedule activity that can be included within the activity list.

Activity dependency

A logical relationship that exists between two project activities. The relationship indicates whether the start of an activity is contingent upon an event or input from outside the activity.

Activity duration estimates*

The quantitative assessments of the likely number of time periods that are required to complete an activity.

Activity list*

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


A distinct, scheduled portion of work performed during the course of a project. administrative closure Involves verifying and documenting project results to formalize project or phase completion.

Affinity diagram*

A technique that allows large numbers of ideas to be classified into groups for review and analysis.

Agile life cycles*

A project life cycle that is iterative or incremental. Also referred to as changedriven or adaptive, they work well in environments with high levels of change and ongoing stakeholder involvement in a project.

Agile project management

A project management methodology that uses an iterative and incremental approach that focuses on customer value and team empowerment. In agile project management, the product is developed in iterations by small and integrated teams.

Agile release planning

A process in which you determine the number of iterations or Sprints that are needed to complete each release, the features that each iteration will contain, and the target dates of each release.


Any documents or communication that defines the initial intentions of a project. Examples include contracts, memorandums of understanding (MOUs), service level agreements (SLAs), letters of agreement, letters of intent, verbal agreements, email, or other written agreements.

Analogous estimating*

A technique for estimating the duration or cost of an activity on a project using historical data from a similar activity or project.

Approved change requests

Change requests that have been reviewed and approved by the change control board (CCB) and are ready to be scheduled for implementation.

Assumption and constraint analysis

A process that explores the validity of the project assumptions within the constraints and identifies risks from any incompleteness or inaccuracy of these project assumptions.

Attribute sampling data

Data that is counted such as the number of product defects or customer complaints.


An examination of a project's goals and achievements, including adequacy, accuracy, efficiency, effectiveness, and the project's compliance with applicable methodologies and regulations. It tends to be a formal, one-sided process that can be extremely demoralizing to team members.


Using this group decision-making method, one member of the group makes the decision. In most cases, this person will consider the larger group's ideas and decisions, and will then make a decision based on that input.


A strategy for managing negative risks or threats that involves changing the project management plan to remove the risk entirely by extending the schedule, changing the strategy, increasing the funding, or reducing the scope.



(Budget at Completion) The sum of all budgets established for the work to be performed.

Bar chart*

A graphic display of schedule-related information. In the typical bar chart, schedule activities or WBS 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. See Gantt chart.


The comparison of actual or planned products, processes, and practices to those of comparable organizations to identify best practices, generate ideas for improvement, and provide a basis for measuring performance.

Benefit cost analysis

A financial analysis tool used to determine the benefits provided by a project against its costs.

Benefits management plan

The documented explanation defining the processes for creating, maximizing, and sustaining the benefits provided by a project or program.

Bidder conferences

The meetings with prospective sellers prior to the preparation of a bid or proposal to ensure all prospective vendors have a clear and common understanding of the procurement. Also called vendor conferences, pre-bid conferences, or contractor conferences.

Bottom-up estimating*

A method of estimating project duration or cost by aggregating the estimates of the lowerlevel components of the WBS.


A technique that involves a facilitator to help a group identify project risks in a free-form session where ideas are generated, built on, and recorded.

Breach of contract

The failure to meet some or all of the obligations of a contract.

Burndown chart

A tool that is used to track the progress of the project by plotting the number of days of Sprint against the number of hours of work remaining.

Business case*

A documented economic feasibility study used to establish the validity of the benefits of a selected component lacking sufficient definition and that is used as a basis for the authorization of further project management activities.

Business risk

The inherent risk in any business endeavor that carries the potential for either profit or loss. Types of business risks are competitive, legislative, monetary, and operational.

Business value

The net quantifiable benefit derived from a business endeavor. The benefit may be tangible, intangible, or both.



(Change Control Board) A formally chartered group responsible for reviewing, evaluating, approving, delaying, or rejecting changes to the project, and for recording and communicating such decisions.

Cease and desist letter

A document sent to an individual or a business to stop (cease) allegedly illegal activities and to not undertake them again (desist).

Change control form

A document used to request a project change. They can also be recommendations for taking corrective or preventive actions. See also "change request."

Change control system*

A set of procedures that describes how modifications to the project deliverables and documentation are managed and controlled.

Change management

The process of managing project changes in a structured and standardized manner.

Change management plan*

A component of the project management plan that establishes the Change Control Board, documents that extent of its authority, and describes how the change control system will be implemented.

Change request

Request for change sent to the upper management or the Change Control Board (CCB) for its evaluation and approval. See also "change control form."

Checklist analysis*

A technique for systematically reviewing materials using a list for accuracy and completeness.


(Continuous Improvement) The ongoing effort to improve products, services, or processes.

Close Project or Phase process*

The process of finalizing all activities for the project, phase, or contract.

Close-out meetings

Sessions held at the end of a project or phase; they involve discussing the work and capturing lessons learned.


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.


The act of giving guidance and direction to another person so that he or she can make better decisions.

Code of accounts*

A numbering system used to uniquely identify each component of the WBS.

Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

A PMI® publication that describes the ethical and professional behavior expectations of any individual working as a project management professional.

Communication methods*

A systematic procedure, technique, or process used to transfer information among project stakeholders.

Communication models*

A description, analogy, or schematic used to represent how the communication process will be performed for the project.

Communication requirements analysis*

An analytical technique to determine the information needs of the project stakeholders through interviews, workshops, study of lessons learned from previous projects, etc.

Communication styles assessment*

A technique to identify the preferred communication method, format, and content for stakeholders for planned communication activities.

Communication technology*

Specific tools, systems, computer programs, etc., used to transfer information among project stakeholders.

Communications management plan*

A component of the project, program, or portfolio management plan that describes how, when, and by whom information about the project will be administered and disseminated.

Completion contract

A type of contract that is completed when the vendor delivers the product to the buyer and the buyer accepts the product.

Configuration management

A tool used to manage changes to a product or service being produced as well as changes to any of the project documents such as schedule updates.

Configuration management plan*

A component of the project management plan that describes how to identify and account for project artifacts under configuration control, and how to record and report changes to them.

Configuration management system*

A collection of procedures used to track project artifacts and monitor and control changes to these artifacts.

Conflict management

The application of one or more strategies for dealing with disagreements that may be detrimental to team performance.

Context diagram*

A visual depiction of the product scope showing a business system (process, equipment, computer system, etc.), and how people and other systems (actors) interact with it.

Contingency plan

A risk response strategy developed in advance, before risks occur; it is meant to be used if and when identified risks become reality.

Contingency reserves*

Time or money allocated in the schedule or cost baseline for known risks with active response strategies.

Contract change control system*

The system used to collect, track, adjudicate, and communicate changes to a contract.


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

Control account*

A management control point where scope, budget, actual cost, and schedule are integrated and compared to earned value for performance measurement.

Control Procurements process*

The process of managing procurement relationships, monitoring contract performance, making changes and corrections as appropriate, and closing out contracts.

Controlling PMO

A type of PMO that provides support and requires compliance through various means. Compliance may involve adopting project management frameworks or methodologies; using specific templates, forms, and tools; or conformance to governance.


(Cost of Quality) All costs incurred over the life of the product by investment in preventing nonconformance to requirements, appraisal of the product or service for conformance to requirements, and failure to meet requirements.

Cost aggregation*

Summing the lower-level cost estimates associated with the various work packages for a given level within the project's WBS or for a given cost control account.

Cost baseline*

The approved version of the time-phased project budget, excluding any management reserves, which can be changed only through formal change control procedures and is used as a basis for comparison to actual results.

Cost management plan

A component of a project or program management plan that describes how costs will be planned, structured, and controlled.

Cost of conformance

The money spent during a project to avoid failures. This includes prevention costs that build a quality product and appraisal costs that assess the quality.

Cost of non-conformance

The money spent after a project is complete because of failures. This includes internal and external failure costs.

Cost-reimbursable contract*

A type of contract involving payment to the seller for the seller's actual costs, plus a fee typically representing the seller's profit.

CPAF contract*

(Cost Plus Award Fee contract) A category of contract that involves payments to the seller for all legitimate actual costs incurred for completed work, plus an award fee representing seller profit.

CPFF contract*

(Cost Plus Fixed Fee contract) A type of costreimbursable 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 Performance Index) A measure of the cost efficiency of budgeted resources expressed as the ratio of earned value to actual cost.

CPIF contract*

(Cost Plus Incentive Fee 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

Critical path activity*

Any activity on the critical path in a project schedule.

Critical path*

The sequence of activities that represents the longest path through a project, which determines the shortest possible duration.

Cultural awareness

Understanding the cultural differences of the individuals, groups, and organizations in the project stakeholder community so you can adapt communication strategies to avoid or reduce miscommunication and misunderstandings.


(Cost Variance) The amount of budget deficit or surplus at a given point in time, expressed as the difference between the earned value and the actual cost.


Daily standup

A short, 15-minute meeting in which the complete team gets together for a quick status update while standing in a circle. Also referred to as a daily scrum.

De facto regulations

Regulations that are widely accepted and adopted through use.

De jure regulations

Regulations that are mandated by law or have been approved by a recognized body of experts.


A less formal, more cooperative means of discussing the positives and the negatives of the project, what worked, and what will be done differently next time. This discussion includes technology issues, people issues, vendor relationships, and organizational culture.

Decision making

The process of selecting a course of action from among multiple options.

Decision tree analysis*

A diagramming and calculation technique for evaluating the implications of a chain of multiple options in the presence of uncertainty.


A technique used for dividing and subdividing the project scope and project deliverables into smaller, more manageable parts.


Any unique and verifiable product, result, or capability to perform a service that is required to be produced to complete a process, phase, or projects.

Directions of influence

A classification model that groups stakeholders on the basis of how they influence the project: upwards (senior management), downwards (team or specialists), outwards (external), sidewards (project manager's peers), and prioritization.

Directive PMO

A type of PMO that takes control of projects by directly managing the projects.

Discretionary dependency*

A relationship that is established based on knowledge of best practices within a particular application area or an aspect of the project where a specific sequence is desired.

Document analysis

A technique used to gain project requirements from current documentation evaluation.


(Definition of Done) A team's checklist of all the criteria required to be met so that a deliverable can be considered ready for customer use.


(Definition of Ready) A team's checklist for a user-centric requirement that has all the information the team needs to be able to begin working on it.



(Estimate at Completion) The expected total cost of completing all work expressed as the sum of the actual cost to date and the estimate to complete.


(enterprise environmental factors) Conditions, not under the immediate control of the team, that influence, constrain, or direct the project, program, or portfolio.

Effect-based risk classification

A way of analyzing the major risks inherent to a project that could have an impact on its success. These major risks include time, cost, quality, and scope.


The number of labor units required to complete a scheduled activity or WBS component, often expressed in hours, days, or weeks. Contrast with duration.


(emotional intelligence) The ability to identify, assess, and manage the personal emotions of oneself and other people, as well as the collective emotions of groups of people. EQ is also a commonly used abbreviation.

Elapsed time

The actual calendar time required for an activity from start to finish.


(Expected Monetary Value) A method of calculating the average outcome when the future is uncertain.


A strategy for managing positive risks or opportunities that involves increasing the probability that the opportunity will happen, or the impact it will have by identifying and maximizing enablers of these opportunities.


The strategy in which you determine that a threat is outside the scope of the project or beyond the project manager's authority. You then forward the threat to a person or part of the organization at a higher level.


(Estimate to Complete) The expected cost to finish all the remaining project work.


(Earned Value) A measure of work performed expressed in terms of the budget authorized for that work.


(Earned Value Management) A methodology that combines scope, schedule, and resource measurements to assess project performance and progress.

Expert judgment*

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.

Explicit knowledge*

Knowledge that can be codified using symbols such as words, numbers, and pictures. This type of knowledge can be documented and shared with others.


A strategy for managing positive risks or opportunities that involves attempting to make sure that the opportunity happens.

External dependency*

Types of activity dependencies that exist between project activities and non-project activities and can be out of the project's control.


Facilitated workshops

Organized working sessions held by project managers to determine a project's requirements and to get all stakeholders together to agree on the project's outcomes.


A skill used to lead or guide an assembled group toward a successful conclusion such as making a decision or finding a solution.


(Finish-to-Finish) A logical relationship in which a successor activity cannot finish until a predecessor activity has finished.

FFP contract*

(Firm Fixed Price 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.

Fixed price contract*

An agreement that sets the fee that will be paid for a defined scope of work regardless of the cost or effort to deliver it.


Also called slack. See total float and free float.

Focus groups*

An elicitation technique that brings together pre-qualified stakeholders and subject matter experts to learn about their expectations and attitudes about a proposed product, service, or result.

FPEPA contract*

(Fixed Price with Economic Price Adjustment contract) A fixed-price contract, but with a special provision allowing for pre-defined final adjustments to the contract price due to changed conditions, such as inflation changes, or cost increases (or decreases) for specific commodities.

FPIF contract*

(Fixed Price Incentive Fee 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.

Free float*

The amount of time that a schedule activity can be delayed without delaying the early start date of any successor or violating a schedule constraint.


(Finish-to-Start) A logical relationship in which a successor activity cannot start until a predecessor activity has finished.

Functional organization*

An organizational structure in which staff is grouped by areas of specialization and the project manager has limited authority to assign work and apply resources.

Funding limit reconciliation*

The process of comparing the planned expenditure of project funds against any limits on the commitment of funds for the project to identify any variances between the funding limits and the planned expenditures.


Gantt chart*

A bar chart of schedule information where activities are listed on the vertical axis, dates are shown on the horizontal axis, and the activity durations are shown as horizontal bars placed according to start and finish dates.



(Invitation for Bid) Generally, this term is equivalent to request for proposal. However, in some application areas, it may be a narrower or more specific meaning. A type of procurement document that is most commonly used when deliverables are commodities for which there are clear specifications and when the quantities are very large. The invitation is usually advertised and any seller may submit a bid. Negotiation is typically not anticipated. These are sometimes used interchangeably with RFPs.


An obstacle that prevents the team from achieving its objectives.


A functional, tested, and accepted deliverable that is a subset of the overall project outcome.

Incremental life cycle*

An adaptive project life cycle in which the deliverable is produced through a series of iterations that successively add functionality within a predetermined time frame. The deliverable contains the necessary and sufficient capability to be considered complete only after the final iteration.

Influence/impact grid

A classification model that groups stakeholders on the basis of their involvement in and impact on the project.


The act of presenting a good case to explain why an idea, decision, or problem should be handled a certain way, without resistance from other individuals.

Information radiator

The generic term for visual displays placed in a visible location so everyone can quickly see the latest information. In agile practice, also known as Big Visible Chart.

Insurable risk

A risk that has only the potential for loss and no potential for profit or gain. An insurable risk is one for which insurance may be purchased to reduce or offset the possible loss. Types of insurable risks are direct property, indirect property, liability, and personnelrelated.

Interactive communication

An exchange of information between two or more people that ensures common understanding for everyone participating in that exchange.

Internal dependency

A type of activity dependency that exists between project activities and is usually under the project's control.

Interpersonal skills*

Skills used to establish and maintain relationships with other people.


A formal or informal approach to elicit information from stakeholders by talking with them directly.


(Internal Rate of Return) The interest rate that makes the net present value of all cash flow equal to zero.


A current condition or situation that may have an impact on the project objectives.

Issue log

A document where information about issues is recorded and monitored.


A timeboxed cycle of development on a product or deliverable in which all of the work that is needed to deliver value is performed.

Iterative life cycle*

A project life cycle where the project scope is generally determined early in the project life cycle, but time and cost estimates are routinely modified as the project team's understanding of the product increases. Iterations develop the product through a series of repeated cycles, while increments successively add to the functionality of the product.



(Joint Application Design) Specialized workshops that include both SMEs and the development team together to discuss and improve on the software development process.

Job shadowing

See observations.


Kanban board*

A visualization tool that enables improvements to the flow of work by making bottlenecks and work quantities visible.

Knowledge management

Connecting individuals, in person or virtually, to share knowledge and collaborate together.


(Key Performance Indicator) A set metric used to evaluate a team's performance against the project vision and objectives.



The amount of time whereby a successor activity will be delayed with respect to a predecessor activity.


The amount of time whereby a successor activity can be advanced with respect to predecessor activity.


The ability to step up and guide others to achieve results. Leadership abilities are gained through experience, building relationships, and taking on initiatives.


An agile method used primarily in manufacturing that focuses on achieving outcomes with little or no waste.

Lessons-learned register*

A project document used to record knowledge gained during a project so that it can be used in the current project and entered into the lessons-learned repository.

Lessons-learned repository*

A store of historical information about lessons learned in projects.



A group decision-making method in which a majority of group members agree on the course of action to take.

Make-or-buy analysis*

The process of gathering and organizing data about product requirements and analyzing them against available alternatives including the purchase or internal manufacture of the project.

Make-or-buy decisions*

Decisions made regarding the external purchase or internal manufacture of a product.

Management reserves*

An amount of the project budget or project schedule held outside of the performance measurement baseline (PMB) for management control purposes, that is reserved for unforeseen work that is within the scope of the project.

Mandatory dependency*

A relationship that is contractually required or inherent in the nature of the work.

Matrix organization*

An 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.


(Minimum Business Increment) The smallest amount of value that can be added to a product or service that benefits the business.

Milestone charts

A type of project schedule bar chart that only includes milestone or major deliverables as points in time.

Milestone list

A document that contains the significant points or events in a project.


A significant point or event in a project, program, or portfolio.

Mind mapping*

A technique used to consolidate ideas created through individual brainstorming sessions into a single map to reflect commonality and differences in understanding and to generate new ideas.


A strategy for managing negative risks or threats that involves taking action to reduce the probability of occurrence or the impact of a risk.

Monte Carlo simulation*

An analysis technique where a computer model is iterated many times, with the input values chosen at random for each iteration driven by the input data, including probability distributions and probabilistic branches. Outputs are generated to represent the range of possible outcomes for the project.


The inner drive that keeps people involved and wanting to complete work of high quality in a timely fashion.

Multi-criteria decision analysis*

This technique utilizes a decision matrix to provide a systematic analytical approach for establishing criteria, such as risk levels, uncertainty, and valuation, to evaluate and rank many ideas.


(Minimum Viable Product) The smallest collection of features that can be included in a product for customers to consider it functional. In Lean methodologies, it can be referred to as "bare bones" or "no frills" functionality.


Negotiated settlements

Are undertaken to arrive at a final equitable settlement of all outstanding issues, claims, and disputes by negotiation.


An approach used by more than one individual to come to an agreement or resolution.

Nominal group technique*

A technique that enhances brainstorming with a voting process used to rank the most useful ideas for further brainstorming or for prioritization.


(Net Promoter Score) Measures a customer's willingness to recommend a provider's products or services to another on a scale of -100 to 100.


(Net Present Value) The present value of all cash outflows minus the present value of all cash inflows.



The techniques used to gain knowledge of a specific job role, task, or function in order to understand and determine project requirements. This is also known as job shadowing.


(organizational process assets) Plans, processes, policies, procedures, and knowledge bases that are specific to and used by the performing organization. 


A risk that would have a positive effect on one or more project objectives.

Organizational theory

The study of how people, teams, and organizations behave to look for common themes for the purpose of maximizing efficiency and productivity, problem solving, and meeting the stakeholder requirements of a project.


Moving beyond the organization to secure services and expertise from an outside source on a contract or short-term basis.

Overlapping relationships

A type of phase-to-phase relationship that contains phases that start prior to the previous phase ending.


Parametric estimating*

An estimating technique in which an algorithm is used to calculate cost or duration based on historical data and project parameters.

Pareto chart

A histogram that is used to rank causes of problems in a hierarchical format.


(Precedence Diagramming Method) A technique used for constructing a schedule model in which activities are represented by nodes and are graphically linked by one or more logical relationships to show the sequence in which the activities are to be performed.

Phase gate*

A point review at the end of a phase in which a decision is made to continue to the next phase, to continue with modification, or to end a project or program.

Planning package*

A WBS component below the control account with known work content but without detailed schedule activities.


Decisions made by the largest block in a group, even if a majority is not achieved.


(Project Management Information System) An information system consisting of the tools and techniques used to gather, integrate, and disseminate the outputs of project management processes.


(project management office) A management structure that standardizes the project-related governance processes and facilitates the sharing of resources, methodologies, tools, and techniques. PMOs are more common in larger organizations because of the number of projects that can be in process all at the same time.

Political awareness

The ability to recognize the power structure internal to the organization, and the ability to navigate the relationships.

Portfolio management

The centralized management of one or more portfolios to achieve strategic objectives.


Projects, programs, subsidiary portfolios, and operations managed as a group to achieve strategic objectives.

Power/influence grid

A classification model that groups stakeholders on the basis of their levels of authority and involvement in the project.

Power/interest grid

A classification model that groups stakeholders on the basis of their levels of authority and interest in the project.

Precedence relationship*

A logical dependency used in the precedence diagramming methods.

Predictive life cycle*

A form of project life cycle in which the project scope, time, and cost are determined in the early phases of the life cycle.

Probability and impact matrix*

A grid for mapping the probability of occurrence of each risk and its impact on project objectives if that risk occurs.

Probability distribution

The scattering of values assigned to likelihood in a sample population. It can be visually depicted in the form of a probability density function (PDF).


The acquisition of goods and services from an external organization, vendor, or supplier to enable the deliverables of the project.

Procurement audit*

The review of contracts and contracting processes for completeness, accuracy, and effectiveness.

Procurement documents*

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 settler's responses.

Procurement management plan*

A component of the project or program management plan that describes how a project team will acquire goods and services from outside of the performing organization.

Procurement SOW*

Describes the procurement item in sufficient detail to allow prospective sellers to determine if they are capable of providing the products, services, or results.

Product analysis*

For projects that have a product as the deliverable, it is a tool to define scope that generally means asking questions about a product and forming answers to describe the use, characteristics, and other relevant aspects of what is going to be manufactured.

Product backlog

A prioritized list of customer requirements and the first step of Scrum in which priority is based on the riskiness and business value of the user story.

Product box exercise

A technique used to explain an overarching solution wherein stakeholders try to describe aspects of a solution in the same way a marketer might describe product features and benefits on a box.

Product owner

An individual or an organization who is responsible for gathering inputs about a product from the customer and translating the requirements into the product vision for the team and stakeholders.

Product roadmap

A high level visual summary of the product or products of the project that includes goals, milestones, and potential deliverables.

Program management*

The application of knowledge, skills, and principles to a program to achieve the program objectives and obtain benefits and control not available by managing program components individually.


Related projects, subsidiary programs, and program activities that are managed in a coordinated manner to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually. A project may or may not be part of a program, but a program will always have projects.

Progressive elaboration*

The iterative process of increasing the level of detail in a project management plan as greater amounts of information and more accurate estimates become available.

Project artifact

Any document related to the management of a project.

Project charter*

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 governance*

The framework, functions, and processes that guide project management activities in order to create a unique product, service, or result to meet organizational, strategic, and operational goals.

Project life cycle*

A series of phases that a project passes through from its start to its completion.

Project management plan*

The document that describes how the project will be executed, monitored and controlled, and closed.

Project management software

A computer application that helps plan, organize, and manage project resources and develop resource estimates for activities.

Project management*

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

Project manager*

The person assigned by the performing organization to lead the team that is responsible for achieving the project objectives.

Project phase*

A collection of logically related project activities that culminates in the completion of one or more deliverables.

Project requirements

For a project, these are the agreed-upon conditions or capabilities of a product, service, or outcome that a project is designed to satisfy.

Project schedule network diagram*

A graphical representation of the logical relationships among the project schedule activities.

Project schedule*

An output of a schedule model that presents linked activities with planned dates, durations, milestones, and resources.

Project scope statement*

The description of the project scope, major deliverables, assumptions, and constraints.

Project scope*

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

Project team*

A set of individuals who support the project manager in performing the work of the project to achieve its objectives.


A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.

Projectized organization

A structure where a project manager and a core project team operate as a completely separate organizational unit within the parent organization.


A method of obtaining early feedback on requirements by providing a working model of the expected product before actually building it.

Pull communications

Messages that require the interested people to access the information based on their own initiative.

Push communications

Messages that are sent out to people who need to receive the information.


(Present Value) The current value of a future sum of money or stream of cash flows given a specific rate of return.


(Planned Value) The authorized budget assigned to scheduled work.



(Quality function deployment) Workshops that are commonly used in the manufacturing field to determine new product development requirements.

Qualified vendors

The vendors who are approved to deliver the products, services, or results based on the procurement requirements identified for a project.

Qualified vendors list

Contains details regarding vendors who meet the organization's requirements and to whom requests can be sent.

Qualitative risk analysis

A technique used to determine the probability of occurrence and the impact of identified risk.

Quality audit*

A structured, independent process to determine if project activities comply with organizational and project policies, processes, and procedures.

Quality gate

A special type of gate located before a phase that is strongly dependent upon the outcome of a previous phase. The quality gate process is a formal way of specifying and recording the transition between stages in the project life cycle.

Quality management plan*

A component of the project or program management plan that describes how applicable policies, procedures, and guidelines will be implemented to achieve the quality objectives.

Quality metric*

A description of a project or product attribute and how to measure it.


The degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfills requirements.

Quantitative risk analysis

Technique used to assess the risk exposure events to overall project objectives and determine the confidence levels of achieving the project objectives.


Written sets of questions designed to quickly accumulate information from a large number of respondents.


RACI chart*

(Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed) A common type of Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) that uses responsible, accountable, consult, and inform statuses to define the involvement of stakeholders in project activities.


(Responsibility Assignment Matrix) A grid that shows the project resources assigned to each work package.


(risk breakdown structure) A hierarchical representation of potential sources of risk.


A more personalized, intangible, and experiential event that focuses on behavior rather than outcome.


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

Relative authority

The project manager's authority relative to the functional manager's authority over the project and the project team.

Requirements documentation*

A description of how individual requirements meet the business need for the project.

Requirements management plan*

A component of the project or program management plan that describes how requirements will be analyzed, documented, and managed.

Requirements traceability matrix*

A grid that links product requirements from their origin to the deliverables that satisfy them.

Resource calendar*

A calendar that identifies the working days and shifts upon which each specific resource is available.

Resource leveling*

A resource optimization technique in which adjustments are made to the project schedule to optimize the allocation of resources and which may affect the critical path.

Resource management plan*

A component of the project management plan that describes how project resources are acquired, allocated, monitored, and controlled.

Resource requirements*

The types and quantities of resources required for each activity in a work package.


A tangible, consumable item that is given to a person based on a specific outcome or an achievement.

Reward and recognition plan

A formalized way to reinforce performance or behavior.


(Request for Information) 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) 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) 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.

Risk appetite*

The degree of uncertainty an organization or individual is willing to accept in anticipation of a reward.

Risk categorization*

Organization by sources of risk (e.g., using the RBS), the area of the project affected (e.g., using the WBS), or other useful category (e.g., project phase) to determine the areas of the project most exposed to the effects of uncertainty.

Risk impact

The likely effect on project objectives if a risk event occurs. 

Risk management plan*

A component of the project, program, or portfolio management plan that describes how risk management activities will be structured and performed.

Risk probability

The likelihood that a risk event will occur or prove true during the project.

Risk register*

A repository in which outputs of risk management processes are recorded.

Risk threshold*

The level of risk exposure above which risks are addressed and below which risks may be accepted.

Risk tolerance

The maximum amount of risk, and the potential impact of that risk occurring, that a project manager or key stakeholder is willing to accept.

Risk workshop

A technique that uses a special meeting conducted for the purpose of identifying project risks. In addition to the project team members, this workshop might also include the project sponsor, SMEs, customer representatives, and other stakeholders, depending on the size of the project.


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


(Return on Investment) A financial metric of profitability that measures the gain or loss from an investment relative to the amount of money invested.

Root cause analysis*

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.



(Scaled Agile Framework) A knowledge base of integrated patterns for enterprise-scale leanagile development.

Salience model

A classification model that groups stakeholders on the basis of their level of authority, their immediate needs, and how appropriate their involvement is in terms of the project.

Schedule management plan*

A component of the project or program management plan that establishes the criteria and the activities for developing, monitoring, and controlling the schedule. 

Scope baseline*

The approved version of a scope statement, WBS, and its associated WBS dictionary, that can be changed using formal change control procedures and is used as a basis for comparison to actual results.

Scope creep*

The uncontrolled expansion to product or project scope without adjustments to time, cost, and resources.

Scope management plan*

A component of the project management plan or program management plan that describes how the scope will be defined, developed, monitored, controlled, and validated.

Scrum master*

The coach of the development team and process owner in the Scrum framework. Removes obstacles, facilitates productive events, and defends the team from disruptions.

Scrum team

Dedicated, self-managing, cross-functional, fully empowered individuals who deliver the finished work required by the customer.


An agile framework for developing and sustaining complex products, with specific roles, events, and artifacts.

Sequential relationships

A type of phase-to-phase relationship that contains consecutive phases that only start when the previous phase is complete.

Servant leadership

A type of leadership style used in agile and other types of projects which encourages the self-definition, self-discovery, and selfawareness of team members by listening, coaching, and providing an environment which allows them to grow.


(Start-to-Finish) A logical relationship in which a predecessor activity cannot finish until a successor activity has started.


A strategy for managing positive risks or opportunities that involves allocating some or all of the ownership of the opportunity to a third party.


An analytical technique that models the combined effect of uncertainties to evaluate their potential impact on objectives.


(Service Level Agreement) A contract between a service provider (either internal or external) and the end user that defines the level of service expected from the service provider.


(Scrum of Scrums) A technique to operate Scrum at scale for multiple teams working on the same product, coordinating discussions of progress on their interdependencies, and focusing on how to integrate the delivery of software, especially in areas of overlap.

Source selection criteria*

A set of attributes desired by the buyer which a seller is required to meet or exceed to be selected for a contract.

Source-based risk classification

A method of analyzing risk in terms of its origins.


(Schedule Performance Index) A measure of schedule efficiency expressed as the ratio of earned value to planned value.

Sprint backlog*

A list of work items identified by the Scrum team to be completed during the Scrum sprint.

Sprint planning*

A collaborative event in Scrum in which the Scrum team plans the work for the current sprint.

Sprint retrospective

This critical part of the Scrum process is attended by the Product Owner, Scrum Master, and the Scrum team to analyze from a process perspective what is working well and what is not and to agree upon changes to implement.

Sprint review

A review at the end of each iteration with the Product Owner and other customer stakeholders to review the progress of the product, get early feedback, and review an acceptance from Product Owner of the stories delivered in the iteration. Also referred to as a Demo.


A timeboxed iteration in Scrum.


(Start-to-Start) A logical relationship in which a successor activity cannot start until a predecessor activity has started.

Stakeholder analysis*

A technique of systematically gathering and analyzing quantitative and qualitative information to determine whose interests should be taken into account throughout the project.

Stakeholder cube

A three-dimensional classification model that builds on the previous two-dimensional grids to group stakeholders.

Stakeholder Engagement Assessment Matrix*

A matrix that compares current and desired stakeholder engagement levels.

Stakeholder engagement plan*

A component of the project management plan that identifies the strategies and actions required to promote productive involvement of stakeholders in project or program decision making and execution.

Stakeholder register*

A project document including the identification, assessment, and classification of project stakeholders.


An individual, group, or organization that may affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a decision, activity, or outcome of a project, program, or portfolio.


A document established by an authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example.

Statistical sampling process

A process that involves dividing sampling data into two categories—attribute and variable— each of which is gathered according to sampling plans. As corrective actions are taken in response to analysis of statistical sampling and other quality control activities, and as trend analysis is performed, defects and process variability should be reduced.

Statistical sampling*

Choosing part of a population of interest for inspection.


The prototyping method that uses visuals or images to illustrate a process or represent a project outcome. Storyboards are useful to illustrate how a product, service, or application will function or operate when it's complete.

Supportive PMO

The type of PMO that provides a consultative role to projects by supplying templates, best practices, training, access to information, and lessons learned from other projects.


(Schedule Variance) A measure of schedule performance expressed as the difference between the earned value and the planned value.

SWOT analysis*

An analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of an organization, project, or option.


T&M contract*

(Time and Material contract) A type of contract that is a hybrid contractual arrangement containing aspects of both costreimbursable and fixed-price contracts.


Refers to a person with one deep area of specialization and broad ability in the rest of the skills required by the team.

Tacit knowledge*

Personal knowledge that can be difficult to articulate and share such as beliefs, experience, and insights.

Task board

Used to visualize the work and enable the team and stakeholders to track their progress as work is performed during an iteration. Examples of task boards include Kanban boards, to-do lists, procedure checklists, and Scrum boards.

Team building

The process of continually supporting and working collaboratively with team members in order to enable a team to work together to solve problems, diffuse interpersonal issues, share information, and tackle project objectives as a unified force.

Team charter*

A document that records the team values, agreements, and operating guidelines as well as establishing clear expectations regarding acceptable behavior by project team members.

Team management plan*

A component of the resource management plan that describes when and how team members will be acquired and how long they will be needed.

Team resource management

The processes necessary to organize, manage, and lead the people on the project team as well as the processes needed to procure and manage physical resources for a project. 

Team-building activities

The specific functions or actions taken to help the team to develop into a mature, productive team. They can be formal or informal, brief or extended, and facilitated by the project manager or a group facilitator.

Teaming agreement

A legal contractual agreement between two or more parties to form a joint venture or any other arrangement as defined by the parties to meet the requirements of a business opportunity. The parties can be internal or external to the organization executing the project.

Term contract

A type of contract that engages the vendor to deliver a set amount of service—measured in staff-hours or a similar unit—over a set period of time.


A risk that would have a negative effect on one or more project objectives.

Three-point estimating*

A technique used to estimate cost or duration by applying an average or weighted average of optimistic, pessimistic, and most likely estimates when there is uncertainty with the individual activity estimates.


A fixed period of time; for example, 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, or 1 month.


The quantified description of acceptable variation for a quality requirement.

Total float*

The amount of time that a schedule activity can be delayed or extended from its early start date without delaying the project finish date or violating a schedule constraint.


(Total Quality Management) An approach to improve business results through an emphasis on customer satisfaction, employee development, and processes rather than on functions.


An activity in which team members acquire new or enhanced skills, knowledge, or attitudes.


A strategy for managing negative risks or threats that involves shifting the impact and ownership of the risk to a third party and paying a risk premium to the party taking on the liability of the risk.

Trend analysis

An analytical technique that uses mathematical models to forecast future outcomes based on historical results.

Trigger condition*

An event or situation that indicates that a risk is about to occur.



Agreement by everyone in the group on a single course of action.

Unique identification code

A specific configuration of a code of accounts that assigns a particular alphanumeric sequence of characters to each element of a WBS.

User story*

A brief description of deliverable value for a specific user. It is a promise for a conversation to clarify details.


Validate Scope

The process of formalizing acceptance of the completed project deliverables.

Value stream mapping*

A lean enterprise technique used to document, analyze, and improve the flow of information or materials required to produce a product or service for a customer.

Value stream*

An organizational construct that focuses on the flow of value to customers through the delivery of specific products or services.

Variable sampling data

Data from a sample that is measured on a continuous scale such as time, temperature, or weight.

Variance analysis*

A technique for determining the cause and degree of difference between the baseline and the actual performance.


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

Version control

A system that records changes to a file, in a way that allows you to retrieve previous changes made to it.

Virtual team*

A group of people with a shared goal who fulfill their roles with little or no time spent meeting face-to-face.



The giving up of a contract right, even inadvertently.


A promise, explicit or implied, that goods or services will meet a predetermined standard.

WBS dictionary*

A document that provides detailed deliverable, activity, and scheduling information about each component in the work breakdown structure.


(work breakdown structure) A hierarchical decomposition of the total scope of work to be carried out by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables.

Work package*

The work defined at the lowest level of the work breakdown structure for which cost and duration are estimated and managed.

Work performance data*

The raw observations and measurements identified during activities being performed to carry out the project work. They can be recorded in the PMIS and project documents.

Work performance information*

The performance data collected from controlling processes, analyzed in comparison with project management plan components, project documents, and other work performance information.

Work performance report*

The physical or electronic representation of work performance information compiled in project documents, intended to generate decisions, actions, or awareness.

Work shadowing

An on-the-job technique that enables someone to learn about and perform a job while observing and working with another more experienced person, or mentor.


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