Skip links and keyboard navigation

Project Management Glossary

Definitions for common project management industry terms and specific Transport and Main Roads project management terminology

 

A | BCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

 

A

Acceptance criteria
The criteria including performance requirements and essential conditions, which must be met before the project deliverables are accepted. These may include qualitative and quantitative performance requirements.

Activity 
An element of work performed during a project. An activity normally has an estimate of duration, cost and resource requirement. Activities can be subdivided into sub-steps. Each project phase is composed of several activities.

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. Also referred to as the actual cost of work performed (ACWP). See also earned value management and earned value technique

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

Assumptions
Assumptions are factors that, for planning purposes, are considered to be true, real, or certain without proof or demonstration. Assumptions are made to allow project planning to proceed but must be tested before finalising the project plan. Assumptions incur a degree of risk to the project if they are inaccurate, inconsistent, or incomplete. 

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

back to top

 

B

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

Baseline
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).

Benchmarking
Gathering, collating, and analysing historical data and storing it for future use.

Benefit
The improvement resulting from a project’s output, which is perceived as positive by one or more stakeholders and will normally have a tangible value expressed in monetary or resource terms. Benefits are realised as a result of activities undertaken to effect a change. Benefits often take time to be realised as project deliverables are operationalised. Benefits can be Measurable, Financial, Quantifiable and/or Observable.

Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR)
The ratio of quantitative benefits to (the P50) project cost.

Benefits management
The identification of potential benefits, their planning, monitoring and tracking, the assignment of responsibilities and authorities and their actual realisation as a result of investing in business change. It is usually carried out as a key part of program and / or portfolio management.

Bottom-up estimating
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.

Broad strategy
Describes the sequence of events that will make up the project and is normally in chronological order and in phases. May also contain other key aspects of the project for example, contract strategy, performance measures against phases etc.

Budget
The approved cost estimate for the project or the approved funding allocated to a particular activity or project, or the approved estimate for the project or any work breakdown structure component or any schedule activity. See also estimate.

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.

Buffer
(see Reserve or Contingency)

Business case
The Business case provides the rational and justification for the development of a project. It establishes the basis for expenditure, to define objectives and outputs with respect to the option selection, scope definition, budget requirements and implementation considerations.

Business Process Analysis (BPA)
The document produced to record and obtain agreement on the business process requiring introduction or change as a result of the project.

Business Requirements Specification (BRS)
The document produced to record and obtain agreement on the new or changed business requirements resulting from the implementation of the project.

Business scope creep
Occurs when decisions that are made with reference to a project that extend the requirements and features beyond its original scope. Business scope creep may result from poor requirements definition early in development, or the failure to consult the users of the project until a later stage of the development life cycle.

back to top

 

C

Calendars
Are used to define work and non-work periods in order to schedule activities realistically. Scheduling software allows multiple calendars including global, project and individual resource.

Calendar units
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.

Capability
Skill or capacity that enables a service, function or operation to be delivered.

Cash Flow
Cash flow is the project base estimate plus contingency amount expenditure profile across the financial years the funds are expected to be spent.

Change
Any alteration made to the original planning of the project.

Change control
The process of identifying, documenting, approving or rejecting project changes and controlling to the project baselines.

Change request
Request to expand or reduce the project scope, cost or time. 

Claim
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.

Closing processes
Those processes performed to formally finalise all activities of a project or phase.

Communication management 
Planning, monitoring and controlling the exchange of information between the members of the project team and between the project team and stakeholders.

Communication plan
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 plan.

Community engagement
The involvement of the groups or individuals representing the community with the project, for the purposes of the project outcomes.

Completion report
A document that reports project performance and learnings to assist future projects.

Component
A set of related activities delegated from the overall project to an individual or team (for example: legislation, training, information services, design).

Component application
The sub-set of the OnQ project management methodology which applies to component areas such as, ICT design, training, legislation etc.

Component project
A component project is a smaller project or work package which forms an integral part of the overall project such that the two cannot be delivered independently. The component project is governed by the overall project management structure, and may be carried out by internal staff or external subcontractors.

Concept
The concept phase of the project cycle provides for definition of requirements so that proposed projects may be measured against corporate benchmarks. This enables decisions to be made about whether a project should proceed to the development phase.

Configuration control
Applied to the technical aspects of an ICT project component, configuration control involves identifying and documenting the functional and physical characteristics of a product, result, service or component; recording and reporting each change and its implementation status; and supporting the audit of the output. Often referred to as change control in systems development projects.

Configuration (baseline) control
A system of procedures that allows monitoring and control of the emerging project ICT scope against the scope baseline. Requires documentation and management approval to any change to the baseline.

Configuration management
An ICT term referring to controlling the products being delivered by a project, knowing where they are at any point in time, what their status is, who is working on them and which is the latest version. It includes control of the assets (or products the project produces), by identification, control, status accounting and verification followed by maintaining integrity and security over accepted products.

Configuration management system
A subsystem of the overall project management system. It is a collection of formal documented procedures used to apply ICT 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 authorising and controlling changes.

Constraint
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 carried out and is usually in the form of a fixed imposed date.

Contingency planning
The identification of alternative means for achieving project objectives. The development of a management plan that identifies appropriate responses to be used if specified risk events occur.

Contingency reserve
The amount of funds, budget or time needed above the estimate to reduce the risk of overruns to a level acceptable to the organisation. This reserve should be directly related to identified risks.

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

Contract administration
Monitoring and control of the performance of contracted works involving, reviewing progress, making payments, recommending modifications and approving contractor actions to ensure compliance with contractual terms during contract execution.

Control
It involves comparing actual performance with planned performance, analysing variances, assessing trends to effect process improvements, evaluating possible alternatives, and directing corrective and/or preventative action.

Corrective action
Changes made to bring expected future performance of the project into line with the plan or amendment of the plan. 

Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA)
CBA is a process used to determine the net benefits of a project in relative terms. Project justification is measured as economic worth to the community. To evaluate a project’s benefit to the community, a CBA compares the benefit with the overall cost, to deliver and maintain the project. If overall benefits exceed the expected costs, a project is considered economically viable. (See also Benefit Cost Ratio).

Cost budgeting
Is the process of allocating of the overall cost estimate to individual work activities. The project budget is expressed in outturn dollars to reflect the actual completion cost of the project.

Cost control
The process of frequently monitoring the status of the project to identify corrective action, update the project budget and manage changes to the cost baseline.

Cost controls
The processes of gathering, accumulating, analysing, reporting and managing costs on an ongoing basis, including cost change management, actual versus budget monitoring, variance analysis, cost schedule control of reporting, progressive analysis and corrective action.

Cost estimating
A calculated prediction of the amount of money required to undertake a specific amount of work, expressed in dollar values of the year in which it was prepared, or, alternatively, in out-turn dollars. It is prepared in a systematic manner appropriate to the size and complexity of the project, and to a level of accuracy commensurate with the available information, and its intended use. It may include some prior expenditure.

Cost management
The processes of estimating, budgeting, and controlling costs so that the project can be completed within the approved budget.

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

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 the project. It is the ratio of earned value (EV) to actual costs (AC). CPI = EV divided by AC.

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.

Crashing 
A specific type of project schedule compression technique performed by taking action to decrease the total project schedule duration after analysing 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

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

Critical activity
Any activity on the critical path where any slippage of the activity will extend the project end date. Most commonly determined by using the critical path method (note: although some activities are 'critical' in the dictionary sense without being on the critical path, this distinction is seldom made in the project environment.) See Critical path method, critical chain method, resource levelling and schedule network analysis.

Critical path
The series of interdependent project activities, connected end-to-end, which determines the longest path through the project network and hence the shortest total duration of the project. The critical path may change from time to time as tasks are completed behind or ahead of schedule.

Critical Path Methodology (CPM)
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.

Customer
See Project Customer.

back to top

 

D

Dashboard
The Dashboard is a tool used to present collected project information / status in an easy-to-read fashion.

D&C
A design and construct contract. Can be used for the construction of all forms of transport infrastructure (such as roads, marine structures and busways). Correct naming is TIC Design and Construct, or TIC-DC.

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.

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

Deliverable
Any unique and verifiable product, result, or capability to perform a service that is produced to complete a particular process, phase, or a project. A deliverable is a measurable, tangible, verifiable item produced as part of a project.

Dependency
See Logistical Relationship.

Dependency constrained
The dependencies between the tasks can affect the length of the overall project. See logical relationship.

Development phase
The development phase of the project cycle includes development of the project plan and development of any contractual documents.

Dis-benefit
A dis-benefit is a measurable decline in one or more investment objectives that is perceived as negative by a stakeholder(s) and results from delivering an outcome.

Document management
The management and control of documents with emphasis on their dynamic and transactional nature including indexing and retrieval, revision and version control, work flow and information content.

Duration (DU or DUR)
The total number of work periods (not including holidays or other non-working periods) required to complete a schedule activity or work breakdown structure activity. Usually expressed as hours, days or weeks. Sometimes incorrectly equated with elapsed time. Contrast with effort.

back to top

 

E

Early 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.

Early 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)
A specific technique for measuring the performance of work and used to establish the performance measurement baseline (PMB). 

Effort
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.

Escalation
The anticipated increase in project costs over time as a result of various factors such as inflation, market conditions, supply constraints and project complexity.

Estimate
An assessment of the likely total. Usually applied to project costs and duration and should always include some indication of accuracy. Usually used with a modifier (for example preliminary, conceptual, feasibility). Some application areas have specific modifiers that imply pre-set accuracy ranges (for example order of magnitude estimate, budget estimate, and definitive estimate in construction). See also budget and cost.

Estimate At Completion (EAC)
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 To Complete (ETC)
The expected costs 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.

Exclusions
Definition of what the project scope does not include.

Execute
Directing, managing, performing, and accomplishing the project work, providing the deliverables, and providing work performance information. See also implementation.

Executing processes
Those processes performed to complete the work defined in the project plan to satisfy the project objectives. See also implementation and monitor.

Exception report
The document which reports only major variations from the plan rather than all variations.

Expert Estimation
Transport and Main Roads preferred application to compile first principles estimates.

back to top

 

F

Fast tracking
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
Method and technique used to estimate technical, cost and resource data to determine potential and practicable ways of achieving project objectives.

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 on the successor activity cannot occur until completion of work on the predecessor activity. See also logical relationship.

Finish-to-Start (FS)
The logical relationship where initiation of work on the successor activity depends upon the completion of work on the predecessor activity. See also logical relationship.

Finalisation
The finalisation phase of the project involves the handover, close-out and evaluation for the project.

Financial close-out
Financial close-out includes accounting analysis of how funds were spent in delivering a project. It signifies the point at which project general ledger codes are closed off.

Float
The amount of time that an activity or task may be delayed after its early start without delaying the project finish date. Float is a mathematical calculation that can change as the project progresses and changes are made to the schedule. Also called slack. See total float and free float.

Forecast
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. See also cost controls.

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.

Framework
The set of policy, principles, roles & responsibilities, methodology, templates and approval processes, developed for managing projects.

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 float and total float.

Functional manager
Someone with management authority over an organisational unit within a functional organisation.

Functional organisation
A hierarchical organisation where each employee has one clear superior, and staff are grouped by areas of specialisation and managed by a person with expertise in that area. For example: production, marketing, accounting, engineering and technology, finance.

Functional requirements
For infrastructure – the strategic level functions that the infrastructure is required to perform e.g. reduce congestion/ delays by a certain amount or operate at Level Of Service (LOS) “C” by the end of the design life. For ICT – the detailed requirements developed by the ICT area in responding to the business requirements specified by the business.

back to top

 

G

Gantt chart
A graphic display of schedule related information. In the typical Gantt 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.

Gateway review
The formal and independent review of the project providing assurance on whether it is operating effectively and is likely to achieve its outcomes.

Global estimating
A very approximate estimating method based on an “all inclusive” unit rate, such as a $/km of road. Also known as “order of magnitude” estimating.

Goal
A goal is a strategic objective designed to provide a target for corporate achievement through the attainment of several enabling objectives. Projects contribute to achieving corporate goals.

Government Enterprise Architecture (GEA)
The Government Enterprise Architecture provides the framework to support development of better services for Queenslanders, more efficient and effective use of ICT in Government, and effective partnering with the private sector.

Governance
See project governance.

back to top

 

H

Handover report
The report that obtains formal acceptance from the Customer that deliverables have been practically completed, outstanding project actions and issues have been recorded and all appropriate documentation has been provided.

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

Human resource management plan
A document describing how roles and responsibilities, reporting relationships, and staffing management will be addressed and structured for the project, including — leave scheduling, backfilling strategy, leave approvals. It is contained in or is a subsidiary plan of the project management plan.

Human resources management
Includes all processes required to coordinate and effectively manage the project team. The project team includes all the people assigned roles and responsibilities for completing the project.

back to top

 

I

Implementation
The phase of the project life cycle that involves carrying out the work required to produce the agreed deliverables of the project and monitoring and controlling the activities associated therewith.

Imposed date
A fixed date imposed on a schedule activity or schedule milestone, usually in the form of a “start no earlier than” or “finish no later than” date.

Inflation
An allowance for the rising cost of the project due to rise and fall factors external to the project definition.

Information management 
Information management is the means by which an organisation, in this case projects; plans, collects, organises, governs, secures, uses, controls, disseminates, exchanges, maintains and disposes of its information; as well as any means through which the organisation ensures that the value of that information is identified and exploited to its fullest extent. See also Corporate Repository.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Refers to applications, information and technology.

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.

Intangible benefit
Benefits that can only be judged subjectively. Whilst they cannot be measured in financial or quantifiable terms, many organisations include high priority intangible benefits in business cases and benefits management processes.

Integrated change control
Identifying, evaluating and managing changes across the entire project (software can assist in project integration management). Integrated change control is concerned with:

  • influencing the factors which create changes to ensure that changes are beneficial
  • determining that change has occurred
  • managing the actual changes when and as they occur.

Interoperability
The capability of business systems to reliably interact with each other and operate effectively together. 

Issue
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, such as when a risk eventuates.

back to top

 

J

back to top

 

K

Key Activity Schedule (KAS)
A prioritised or updated list of key activities to be performed over a given period.

Key stakeholders
Stakeholders with governance roles on the project; namely, sponsor, customer, project manager, their representatives and higher levels in the organisation structure.

Knowledge management 
Knowledge Management is the process of capturing, distributing, and effectively using knowledge.  This will include storage of project documentation and lessons learnt within a corporate repository.

back to top

 

L

Lag
The nature of the relationship between activities expressed in terms of duration. For example, a ten-day lag means the successor activity cannot start until ten days after the predecessor activity has finished.

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.

Legislation
Acts as passed and subordinate legislation (such as regulations) of the Queensland Parliament or other jurisdictions (such as the Australian Government) that are legally enforceable in the state of Queensland. Legislation contains a set of rules expressed as an obligation, an authorisation, permission or a prohibition.

Levelling
See Resource Levelling.

Lifecycle costing
The cost of an asset over its full life, including acquisition, operating, maintenance and disposal costs, considered when evaluating various alternatives.

Lessons learnt
The learning gained from the process of performing the projects. Lessons learnt may be identified at any point and should be included in the lessons learnt knowledge base.

Lessons learnt knowledge base
A store of historical information and lessons learnt about both the outcomes of previous project selection decisions and previous project performance.

Log
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
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; Finish-to-Finish; Start-to-Start; and Start-to-Finish. See also precedence relationship.

back to top

 

M

Major program
A set of related projects/activities grouped to deliver specified strategic benefits which are aligned to TMR’s strategic objectives.

Major project gating
Major Project Gating provides independent guidance and assurance to the Infrastructure Investment Committee that a major project is both attractive and achievable in terms of delivering benefits which are aligned with TMR’s strategic objectives.

Management reserve
A budget kept aside for unplanned changes to project scope and cost. The project manager is required to obtain approval before obligating or spending management reserve. Management Reserve is administered at the program level.

Managing Successful Programs (MSP)
A program management methodology that comprises a set of principles and processes for use when managing a program.

Management type
A grouping of project activities into either project or work management. This distinction enables OnQ to be applied to any content area, as it provides detailed process guidance for project management activities that are generic across all content areas, and restricts itself to very broad process outlines for managing the work or content. (See also work management and project management).

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

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

Matrix organisation
Any organisational structure in which the project manager shares organisational responsibility with the functional managers for assigning priorities and for directing the work of individuals assigned to the project.

Maturity model
A representation of the level of development in a particular field, in this case, project management. There are five generally recognised levels of project management maturity: 1. initial, 2. planned, 3. managed, 4. integrated and 5. optimised.

Methodology
A system of practices, techniques, procedures, and rules used by those who work in a discipline. For example, a set of interrelated phases, activities and tasks that define the process from the start of a project through to its completion.

Milestone
A significant point or event in the project, usually completion of a major deliverable, at a given point in time.

Milestone schedule
A summary level schedule which identifies the major milestones. See also master schedule and key activity schedule.

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

MSP (Managing Successful Programmes)
See Managing Successful Programs (MSP)

back to top

 

N

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 judgement and varies from project to project.

Needs analysis
Needs analysis is the process of determining what an organisation needs to meet a specified objective. This could be undertaken at any level of management. At the project level, needs analysis is undertaken against proposals or work requests to determine if there is a defined need for a capability, the business objectives to be satisfied, and the relative priority of the need. Needs analysis identifies organisational or process problems and shortcomings.

Network
A project network shows the tasks and the relationship between each in a block diagram. Information provided in a network diagram is used to determine the logical sequence of project tasks, and the expected duration of the project.

Network analysis
The process of identifying early and late start and finish dates for the incomplete portions of project activities. See also Critical Path Method (CPM), Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT). Also see schedule network analysis.

Network diagram
A graphic tool for depicting the sequence and relationships between tasks in a project. PERT Diagram, Critical Path Diagram, Arrow Diagram, Precedence Diagram are all forms of network diagrams.

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

back to top

 

O

Objective
A concise statement of something toward which work is to be directed, a strategic position to be attained, a purpose to be achieved, a result to be obtained, a product to be produced, or a service to be performed.

OnQ framework
The OnQ Project Management framework, developed within TMR, that has been used as the project management methodology for transport projects since 2001 and roads projects since 2003. Refer to the TMR Project Management Organisational Policy.

Opportunity
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.

Optimism bias
The tendency for people to be overly optimistic regarding project costs and planned durations.

Options analysis
A document that outlines the options investigated, the evaluation criteria and the reasoning for selecting the preferred option that will progress to the Business Case.

Organisational process assets
Any or all process related assets, from any or all of the organisations 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. They also include the organisations’ knowledge bases such as lessons learnt and historical information.

Outcome
A statement of the higher level more intangible objective that the project is expected to achieve. Outcomes are achieved as a result of projects or activities undertaken to effect a change in operational capability or capacity. Outcomes differ from benefits in that benefits are the measurable, financial, quantifiable or observable difference between the initial state and the outcome.

Output
The products, services results or conditions produced by a project and its activities. They can include reports, briefing documents, records or the result of service provision. See also deliverable.

Outsourcing
The purchase of labour or services from a source outside the organisation.

Overall project
The controlling project which has end to end responsibility for the four project phases and covers all component areas.

back to top

 

P

P50 Estimate
An estimate with a 50% confidence of not being exceeded at project completion, while not being overly conservative.

P90 Estimate
An estimate with a 90% confidence of not being exceeded at project completion, while not being overly conservative.

Parametric estimating
An estimating technique that uses a statistical relationship between historical data and other variables to calculate an estimate, such as square meterage rate in construction for time and cost estimation. It is used to calculate an estimate for activity parameters, such as scope, cost, budget, and duration. (See also global estimating).

Peer Review
A review of the project estimate by an independent, experienced estimator from within TMR.

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.

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

Performance reporting
The documentation and presentation of organised and summarised information on aspects of project performance against established criteria such as cost, time, and resource usage. Reports may include: bar-charts, S-curves, histograms, tables.

Planned Value (PV)
The authorised budget assigned to the scheduled work to be accomplished for a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Also referred to as the budgeted cost of work scheduled (BCWS).

Planning Phase
The planning phase is used to gauge the pre-feasibility of a program or project and determine its future prioritisation and investment value.

PMBOK 
See Project Management Body Of Knowledge.

Policy
A plan or course of action intended to influence and determine decisions, actions, and other matters relative to a particular purpose. It may contain a set of rules expressed as an obligation, an authorisation, permission or a prohibition.

Portfolio
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 management
The centralised management of one or more portfolios, which includes identifying, prioritising, authorising, monitoring and adjusting projects, programs, and other related work, to achieve specific strategic business objectives. (PMI Portfolio Management Standard, 2006, with "managing and controlling" replaced by "monitoring and adjusting").

Portfolio management office
A Portfolio Management Office provides the decision support for portfolio management. It advises senior management on the composition of the portfolio, monitors progress, resolves conflicting priorities and manages risks and issues.

Post-implementation review (PIR)
A review completed after the project has been in operation for some time, to assess the effectiveness of the project in meeting the business need for which it was intended. It also identifies lessons that can be usefully learnt for the benefit of future activities.

Precedence
The work order of activities in that activities will occur either before (predecessor) or after (successor) others in a schedule.

Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM)
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.

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

Preventive action
A direction and activity for modifying project work in order to reduce potential deviations in performance from the plan.

Probabilistic estimating
A method of generating estimates which takes into consideration that quantities measured (or allowed for) can change, rates assumed can vary and risk with a probable outcome can materialise.

Process
A series of steps or actions performed to bring about a particular outcome, in terms of information to be gathered, decisions to be made and results to be achieved.

Process (line) manager
A person designated to manage the specific elements of a production or service process.

Procedure
A prescribed method or technique for performing programmed work.

Procurement
The acquisition of goods and services required to perform the project.

Procurement management plan
The document that describes how procurement will be managed, from developing procurement processes through to contract closure. This plan is contained in or is a subsidiary of the project management plan.

Product
A quantifiable artefact produced by the project that can be either an end item in itself or a component item. Contrast with result. See also deliverable.

Program
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.

Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)
A technique for estimating that applies a weighted average of optimistic, pessimistic and most likely estimates to a schedule network when there is uncertainty with the individual activity estimates.

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

Program manager
The person responsible for managing related projects in a coordinated way to obtain benefits and control not available from managing them individually. The Program manager interacts with each project manager to provide support and guidance on individual projects.

Program management methodology
Is a set of inter-related phases, activities and tasks that define the project process from the start through to completion. Each phase of the project produces a major deliverable that contributes towards achieving project objectives.

Progressive elaboration
Continuously improving and detailing a plan as more detailed and specific information and more accurate estimates become available as the project processes and thereby producing more accurate and complete plans.

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

Project advisory group

The group advising the sponsor and project manager. The group's role involves:

  • providing feedback to the project manager and team on issues referred to it
  • identifying issues which may impact on the project.

Project Assurance Framework (PAF)
The Queensland Treasury means of ensuring that project management is undertaken effectively across Queensland Government agencies.

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

Project change
An approved change to project work content caused by a change to the project scope of work or special circumstances (delivery delays, weather, industrial unrest, and so on).

Project charter (see project proposal)
A document used within infrastructure project alliances as a means of specifying values and behaviours that will form the basis of team relationships. Also an extract from a planning study that identified the need for the project.

Project close out
A process that provides for acceptance of the project by the project sponsor, completion of project records, final revision and issue of documentation to reflect 'as-delivered' circumstances, agreement of service or maintenance plans and completion of the project completion report.

Project communications management
Management of both the internal project team communications and communications with stakeholders outside the project team. (See also communication management).

Project control
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.

Project customer
The person with authority, nominated to represent the organisation(s) that receives the business benefits of the project. The customer's role includes:

  • ensuring the project is aligned with the strategic goals of the organisation
  • ensuring the project output meets the needs of the organisation
  • providing or securing project funding.
Note: Funding may come from the customer, sponsor or third party, and does not determine the customer role.

Project delivery
A term commonly used in infrastructure to refer to the grouping of development and implementation phases, as occurs in Design and Construct contracts.

Project environment
The combined internal and external forces which assist or restrict the attainment of the project objectives. These could be business or project related or may be due to political, economic, technological, regulatory or internal ('culture') conditions.

Project execution
A term used in other methodologies, but not used in OnQ. Refers to the project implementation phase and means carrying out the project plan. The majority of the project's budget will be expended here.

Project governance
The way a project is directed, controlled and held to account.

Project human resource management
The processes of obtaining, organising and managing the project team.

Project initiation
Launching a process that can result in the authorisation of a new project.

Project Information Library (PIL)
For TMR staff, this Lotus Notes database acts as a centralised, shared storage and access point. It is a simple database for storing standard project estimating documents for both QTRIP projects and non-infrastructure projects. All TMR staff have the ability to access and read the documents stored in this library. Only selected staff have the authority to write documents to this library.

Project integration management
The processes and activities needed to identify, define, combine, unify, and coordinate the various processes and project management activities within the Project Management Process Groups.

Project life cycle
A collection of generally sequential project phases whose name and number are determined by the control needs of the organisation or organisations involved in the project. The generic OnQ project life cycle has four phases: concept, development, implementation and finalisation.

Project management
The management type used by a project manager to administer the project using methods, tools, techniques and competencies ensuring the successful delivery of the project scope. It envelopes 'work management' to ensure the efficient operation of resources and actions in producing the required solution, product, service or project (or component project) output.

Project Management Body Of Knowledge (PMBOK)
The Project Management Institute’s PMBOK® Guide identifies that subset of the project management body of knowledge that is generally recognised as good practice.

Project management knowledge areas (formerly known as elements)
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. There are ten core project management knowledge areas including: integration, scope, time, cost, quality, human resources, communications, stakeholder management, risk and procurement.

Project Management Office (PMO)
An organisational body or entity assigned responsibilities related to the centralised and coordinated management of the organisation’s projects. The responsibilities of a PMO can range from providing project management support functions to responsibility for the direct management of projects.

Project management plan
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. (PMBOK); A document that specifies how the project will be managed through the remaining steps in the current phase and through the remaining phases of the project. (See also project plan).

Project management team
The members of the project team who are directly involved in project management activities.

Project Manager (PM)
The person responsible for managing a project and achieving its objectives. Manages all activities necessary to deliver the project or services to the required quality standard and within the time and cost constraints agreed to with the project sponsor or program manager. However, this role will depend on the type and nature of project being undertaken and may include the entire project from start to finish or a phase or component of the project.

Project network diagram
Any schematic display of the logical relationships of project activities. Always drawn from left to right to reflect project chronology.

Project phase
A collection of logically related project activities and tasks 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 part of a project life cycle. A project phase is not a project management process group.

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

Project plan
A document that specifies how the project will be managed in the implementation phase. It achieves a common understanding, facilitates stakeholder communication and documents approved scope, cost, time, quality, human resources, risk and procurement plans. (See also project management plan).

Project planning
A term usually referring to the development phase of the project but can also be used for the concept phase on large projects.

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 proposal
The purpose of the Project Proposal is to describe the specific objective to be addressed and establish the scope and rationale behind the project and outcomes required. It also describes the plan for conducting the Concept Phase.

Project quality management
Includes the processes and activities of the performing organisation that determine quality policies, procedures, specifications, objectives and responsibilities so that the project will satisfy the needs for which it is undertaken.

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

Project schedule
The logical arrangement of activities and their relationships to plan, track and deliver the project scope outputs.

Project scope
The work that must be performed to deliver a product, service or result with the specified features and functions. Project scope includes into the following:

  • A high level description of work to be undertaken, and the products or services to be provided.
  • Assumptions about the project
  • Exclusions — what the project will not be doing
  • Constraints — known facts which place limitations on project planning

(See also scope).

Project scope management
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
The narrative description of the product or service to be produced by the project, including major deliverables, project assumptions, project constraints. It provides a documented basis for making future project decisions and for confirming or developing a common understanding of project scope among the key stakeholders.

Project sponsor
The person with authority, nominated to represent the organisation undertaking the project. The sponsor's role includes:

  • authorising or obtaining organisational commitment to undertake the project
  • ensuring the project output meets the needs of the customer
  • obtaining funding for the organisation to deliver the project
  • maintaining the organisational capacity to resource the project.

Project staff assignments
The list of project duties for team members, usually documented in the Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM). Staff Assignments can be used during the monitoring and controlling process group to evaluate individual team members.

Project strategy
The project strategy sets out the way in which the project is planned to be developed. It will identify the main choices that have to be made, the mechanisms by which information will be acquired in support of the decision making processes, the criteria that will be applied, and the expected timing. The project strategy will also specify the approval arrangements that will apply to particular kinds of decisions involved in the project. In general, concept phase activities up to and including Business Case develop delivery strategies. Detailed plans to implement these strategies are produced in the development phase for inclusion in the (delivery) Project Plan for large projects.

Project team members
The people who are assigned to a project team.

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

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

back to top

 

Q

QGCIO 
See Queensland Government Chief Information Officer (QGCIO).

QTRIP 
See Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program.

Qualitative analysis
A descriptive analysis of data which requires the use of judgement.

Qualitative risk analysis
The process of prioritising risk for subsequent analysis or action by assessing and combining probability of likelihood and impact. (PMBOK 2008)

Quality control
The process of monitoring and recording the results of executing the quality activities to assess performance and recommend necessary corrective action.

Quantitative analysis
The process of analysing data with the use of numerical techniques.

Quantitative risk analysis
The process of numerically analysing the effect on project objectives of identified risk (PMBOK 2008). In regards to estimating and risk assessment, this approach draws upon the use of tools, techniques, templates, software, etc, and the use of specialist risk estimating software, such as @Risk.

Quality
The degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfils requirements.

Quality assurance
Refers to the procedures and processes used within the organisation to verify that deliverables are of acceptable quality and that they meet the completeness and correctness criteria established.

Quality management
The process of ensuring that the quality required of the project’s products is achieved.

Quality management plan
The document describing how the project management team will ensure the required quality of the project’s products is achieved. The quality management plan is a component or a subsidiary plan of the project plan.

Quality management systems
The complete set of quality standards, procedures and responsibilities for a site or agency, which may have 2nd or 3rd party Quality Certification.

Quality audits
A structured review of quality activities that identify lessons learnt, which can be used for future process improvement.

Quality review
A Quality review is an inspection with a specific structure, defined roles and procedures 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 product match the Quality Criteria in the Product Description?'.

Queensland Government Chief Information Office (QGCIO)
The highest ranking officer in ICT in the Queensland Public Service.

Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP)
Each year TMR's Director-General publishes the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP) reflecting the departments planned program of works for the following four year period.

back to top

 

R

Records management 
Project records management includes the processes required to ensure timely and appropriate, collection, distribution, storage, retrieval and ultimate disposition of project information. This is commonly specified in the project communications management plan.

Related projects
Those projects that may affect or be affected by the project under consideration.

Relationships
The description as to how activities in a project schedule relate to one another. There are two attributes of a relationship, Attachment (Start, Finish) and the other of Duration (Lag). 

Requirement
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 analysis or definition
Requirements analysis or definition is undertaken to determine what functionality or capability is required to meet a defined need (see needs analysis). The requirements definition provides a solution, in broad terms, to problems raised in needs analysis. Requirements definition usually involves some options analysis. This is the first stage in defining the project scope.

Reserve
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. Also referred to as a buffer.

Residual Risk
A risk that remains after risk responses have been implemented.

Resource
Skilled human resources (specific disciplines either individually or in crews or teams), equipment, services, supplies, commodities, material, budgets, or funds.

Resource breakdown structure
A hierarchical structure of resources by category and type used in resource levelling and in developing resource-limited schedules, and which may be used to identify and analyse 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 constrained
A schedule limited by the availability of resources.

Resource levelling
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).

Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)
A structure which relates the project organisation structure to the work breakdown structure (WBS) to help ensure that each element of the project's scope of work is assigned to a responsible individual.

Responsible authority
The responsible authority is that person or organisation responsible for ensuring that the designated task is completed. For projects, these roles are shown in the Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM). Where appropriate, supporting roles are also indicated.

Result
An output from performing project management processes and activities. Results include outcomes (e.g., integrated systems, revised process, restructured organisation, tests, trained personnel, etc.) and documents (e.g., policies, plans, studies, procedures, specifications, reports, etc.). Also referred to as a Deliverable.

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

Risk
The chance of something happening that will have an impact on objectives'. (AS/NZS ISO 31000) It is measured in terms of consequence and likelihood and has an element of uncertainty.

Risk acceptance 
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
A systematic use of available information to determine the likelihood of specified events occurring together with, their consequences so that their impact on the project, contract or customer expectations can be determined.

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

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

Risk identification or quantification
The process of determining possible outcomes or occurrences associated with an activity, why these might occur and how.

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

Risk management
The systematic application of management policies, procedures and practices to the tasks of identifying, analysing, evaluating, treating and monitoring risks.

Risk management plan
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 with project size, complexity and phase. The risk management plan is different from the risk log or register that contains the list of project risks, the results of risk analysis, and the risk responses.

Risk management process
The process of identifying, analysing, evaluating, treating and monitoring risk throughout the project.

Risk mitigation
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 register 
See Risk log.

Risk tolerance
The degree, amount, or volume of risk that an organisation or individual is prepared to withstand.

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

Role
A defined function to be performed by a project team member, such as testing, filing, inspecting, coding. (See also Responsibility Assignment Matrix).

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.

back to top

 

S

Schedule 
See Project schedule.

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

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

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

Schedule network analysis
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 optimism
Is required when the required finish date for the project is earlier than the scheduled finish date. To shorten the schedule several techniques can be employed including adding resources, removing constraints and reducing scope. Resource levelling is available as a software technique and works to smooth resource overloads by delaying conflicting activities.

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 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.

Scope
The work that must be performed to deliver a product, service, or result with the specified features and functions. (See also project scope).

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

Scope creep
The unconscious shift in the project scope resulting from uncontrolled changes to requirements. For example, adding features and functionality to project scope without addressing the effects on time, costs, and resources or without customer approval.

Scope management plan
The document that describes how the project scope will be defined, developed and verified and how the work breakdown structure (WBS) will be created and defined, and 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.

Scope statement
Defines the limits of the project in terms of scope, time, quality, and cost. It is essential that each of those components is carefully evaluated and included in the statement, for a change in one will affect the others.

S-Curve
A graphical 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 produced across the project lifecycle.

Senior responsible owner
Within an Investment Program the Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) is the individual who is accountable for a program and ensuring that it meets its objectives and realises the expected benefits.

Slack - also called float 
See Total float and free float.

Specification
A detailed, exact statement of particulars describing project deliverables in terms of appearance, operational constraints, materials, dimensions, and quality attributes. Sometimes qualified by requirements specifications and design specifications.

Sponsor 
See Project sponsor.

Staff 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 resources plan.

Stakeholder
Person or organisation (e.g., customer, sponsor, performing organisation, 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. The term is generally used within OnQ to denote those who do not have any recognised governance role in the project. Those with defined governance roles are referred to as key stakeholders and include customer, sponsor, project manager, their representatives and higher levels in the organisational structure.

Stakeholder Management Plan
A plan that identifies internal and external stakeholders in order to determine the project requirements and expectations of involved parties and manage those to ensure the project achieves its objectives and a successful outcome.

Statement Of Work (SOW)
A narrative description of products, services, or results to be supplied.

Strategic advisory group
The group advising the sponsor and project manager. The members of this group advocate or promote the project within their organisation and identify any emerging issues that may affect the project.

SWOT - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats 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-project
A portion of a larger project that can be delivered independently from other sub-projects and can itself be managed as a project i.e. it is not a component project.

Successor activity
The schedule activity that follows the logical predecessor activity.

back to top

 

T

Tangible benefit
The quantifiable and measurable improvement resulting from an outcome which is perceived as positive by a stakeholder and which will normally have a value expressed in monetary or quantifiable terms.

Target audience
The intended audience.

Task
A subdivision of an activity. A task is an element of the project which usually results in a single deliverable which might take the form of a document or tangible component of the required deliverable.

Team performance assessment
The documented formal or informal assessment of the project team's performance. Common indications are staff turnover rates, team dynamics, and skill levels. After analysing the information, project managers can identify and resolve problems, reduce conflicts, and improve overall team work.

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

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

Threat
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
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.

Threshold
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.

TMR
The Department of Transport and Main Roads.

To-Complete-Performance-Index (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.”

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

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.

Tranche
An MSP term that refers to a grouping of projects and activities that make up a program. The end of each tranche provides a major review point at which the program can be formally assessed in terms of its progress towards achieving the desired outcomes and measurable realisation of benefits.

Trend analysis
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.

Triggers
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.

Two-way communication
Is vital for the success of the project. Good communication prevents misunderstandings, surprises, duplication of effort, and can help to reveal omissions and misallocation of resources early enough to permit corrections.

back to top

 

U

User(s)
Those who will utilise the project output. Also referred to as end user(s).

back to top

 

V

Validation
The assurance that a product, service, or system meets the needs of the customer and other identified stakeholders. It may involve confirming acceptance and suitability with external users. Contrast with verification.

Value Management (VM)
A management technique to define the perceived and actual value to the Agency, and then assess methods, progress and achievements based on this value.

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

Variance analysis
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.

Verification
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.

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.

back to top

 

W

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

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

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
A representation of work required during the project, developed by subdividing project deliverables and project work into smaller, more manageable components. This results in a product oriented family tree of phases, activities and tasks which organises, defines and displays the total work to be accomplished in order to achieve the final objectives of a project. Each descending level represents an increasingly detailed definition of the project. It provides a common framework for scope, schedule, costs, allocation of responsibility, communications and risk assessment monitoring and control.

Work breakdown structure item or element
An entry in the work breakdown structure that can be at any level.

Work breakdown structure dictionary
A document that describes each item or element in the work breakdown structure (WBS). For each WBS item or element, 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: the responsible person or organisation, start and end dates, resources required, an estimate of cost, cost code number, contract information, quality requirements, and technical references to facilitate performance of the work.

Work management
The management type that manages work that produces the required solution, product, service or project (or component project) output. Work management is undertaken by subject matter experts in accordance with the agreed project manager's project schedule. 

Work packages
Detailed description of tasks or material items grouped for the purpose of organising the work required to complete the project.

Work performance information
Information and data on the status of the project schedule activities. This information may include status of deliverables, change requests, corrective actions, preventative actions, defect repairs, forecast estimates to complete, percent of work physically completed, achieved value of technical performance measures, start and finish dates of schedule activities and earned value.

Workaround
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.

back to top

 

X

back to top

 

Y

back to top

 

Z

back to top

 

Last updated
19 June 2020