The Book Of Innovation

The Complete Glossary of Project Management Terms

Everyone on the project management team should be familiar with each other’s strengths, weaknesses and specialties. For example, if a team member needs information from a different department, they should know exactly who to ask. It is especially important for a project manager to know their team extremely well. Whether it’s the project manager, a team member or any other project stakeholder, they’re a member of the greater project team and their actions directly affect other team members.

Modern Project & Portfolio Management Connect projects with organization strategy. Content management Organize, manage, and review content production. Workflow automation Quickly automate repetitive tasks and processes. A Project Initiation Document is created with basic information about the project including probable resource use and feasibility.

Track on Project Dashboards

Alternative analysis – The evaluation of possible courses of action for project work in order to find the most suitable course of action. Actual cost of work performed – This represents the total cost incurred for work done in a given period of time. Action item status – This tracks an action item’s progress from creation to closure. Since work packages comprise multiple action items, keeping action item statuses updated is important for project progress. Strategic Transformation Plan and implement change fast and mobilize resources to gain a competitive advantage.

High-Level requirements – The high-level requirements explain the major requirements and characteristics of the final product, including its purpose as a product and within the company. Hanger – An unplanned break in a network path, usually caused by oversights regarding activities or dependent relationships between activities. Goal setting – The process of creating specific, measurable, and attainable goals and of setting deadlines for these goals if desired. Gantt chart – A Gantt chart is a type of bar chart that shows all the tasks constituting a project. Tasks are listed vertically, with the horizontal axis marking time.

definition of project

Once all these details have been verified and the project approved, the project officially kicks off, project teams assemble, and planning begins. Typically, a project will be initiated in response to an opportunity that needs to be explored or a problem to be solved. However, the nature of every project, large or small, is to pass through a pre-planned life cycle right from initiation to its completion. Using the Definition of Done effectively requires a deep understanding of each project’s needs and goals. It is vital to involve all team members in creating this definition, as everyone’s input is valuable in ensuring that the final product meets the desired level of quality.

The core components of project management

Maturity model – Maturity is the extent to which an organization’s methods, processes, and decisions are standardized and optimized. A maturity model assesses one or more of these aspects against a set of external benchmarks to determine an organization’s maturity level. Maturity models allow organizations to assess themselves according to management best practices. Line of balance – A graphical technique used to illustrate relationships between repetitive tasks in projects such as building identical housing units. Each set of repetitive tasks is illustrated as a single line on a chart. Project managers look for places where dependent tasks intersect, indicating that the successor task must be delayed.

Since agile projects do not have fixed scopes, agile methodologies are adaptive, and the iterative work is guided by user stories and customer involvement. In traditional project management, implementation is done in 5 phases. At this point, teams will work on the deliverables to ensure that the project meets the necessary requirements.

definition of project

Approach analysis – During the project planning phase, this type of analysis is used to examine the various methods by which a project’s goals may be achieved. Agile project management – Agile project management draws from concepts of agile software development. Agile approaches focus on teamwork, collaboration, and stakeholder involvement, as well as the use of iterative development methods. Each of which comes with a distinct set of tasks, objectives, and a particular deadline.

Building the product roadmap

Three-point estimating – A superset of estimating techniques that use averages of most likely, optimistic, and pessimistic costs, and duration estimates to form final estimates. Threat – A negative risk that could adversely affect project objectives. Theory of constraints – The theory of constraints explains that any process is limited from optimum performance by its weakest link or links, called constraints.

  • Risk threshold – The level at which the likelihood or impact of a risk becomes significant enough that the risk manager deems a risk response necessary.
  • After completing your project definition document, weigh your document against the rubric’s value criteria to determine areas of improvement.
  • Project management uses processes, skills, tools and knowledge to complete a planned project and achieve its goals.
  • Kickoff meetingscan help you steer your projects toward success right from the start.

Ideally, monitoring the project’s actual performance is compared against the planned performance and the appropriate course of action taken in the event that there is a variance. The Project Management Institute defines a project as a pool of human and non-human resources in a temporary undertaking to achieve a specific purpose. The fact that the deliverable of a project is unique and takes time to create brings with it an element of risk.

Types of projects

Handover – In the project life cycle, a handover is the point at which deliverables are given to users. Fixed formula method – The fixed formula method calculates earned value in a given period of time by splitting a work package budget between the start and completion milestones of a work package. A known proportion of value is earned upon beginning the work package, and the rest is earned upon completing the work package. Feasibility study – An evaluation of how likely a project is to be completed effectively, or how practical it is, taking resources and requirements into consideration.

Contracts often stipulate the time and the manner in which a project may be cancelled. Based on the Project Management Institute, a project can be defined as a “temporary endeavor” aimed to drive changes in teams, organizations, or societies. The output of a project is normally a unique product, service, or result. A diverse range of industries requires the skills of a talented project manager.

A project manager is more than just a manager, in the traditional sense. This individual is the leader of the project team and oversees every aspect of the project, from beginning to end. The project manager will typically write the project plan, run team meetings, assign tasks and do quality control tests to ensure everything is running smoothly. A project manager can’t carry the entire project on their back, though. One of their key duties, in fact, is knowing how to entrust various responsibilities to team members. The process of project management starts with the conception of the project and continues all the way through the project lifecycle.

What Is a Project Definition Document?

Tolerance – The acceptable level of variance in project performance. The project sponsor is typically informed if tolerance levels are crossed. Summary activity – In a network diagram, a summary activity combines a set of related activities and visually represents them as a single activity. Start-To-Finish – In a start-to-finish relationship, a successor activity cannot finish until a predecessor activity has started.

Blueprint – A document that explains what a program means to accomplish and describes a program’s contribution to organizational objectives. Avoid – A response to a negative risk that seeks to ensure the risk does not occur or seeks to protect the project objectives from the negative risk’s impact. Allocation – The assigning of resources for scheduled activities in the most efficient way possible. Actual progress – This measures the amount of work completed on a project. It is used to assess the comparison between project progress and project baselines and is usually stated as a percentage. Actual effort – The amount of labor performed to complete an activity.

Risk appetite – The amount and type of risk an organization is willing to accept in anticipation of gains. It is not the same as risk tolerance, which is the amount of variation in performance measures that an organization is willing to accept. Repeatable – The term repeatable is used to describe a sequence of activities that may be easily and efficiently replicated. Repeatable processes are economical since they typically avoid negative variances and have established operations. Proport – The term proport is used to define the sum of unique skills that team members bring to a project.

Successful projects require that the end product or result is well-understood before the project begins. Few if any of the details need to be defined or worked out at the beginning of the project, but the big picture Who/What/When/Where/How/How-Much aspects of the project must be defined. Said another way, the desired outcome needs to be specific, with predetermined objectives and constraints in place. This phrase implies that every project requires some amount of work to be performed.

Actual duration – The length of time taken to complete an activity. Included on this page, you’ll find definitions from A-Z, from activity codes and dependencies, to performance reporting and timeboxes. Marketing & Creative Management Manage campaigns, resources, and creative projects at scale.

In addition to its value in evaluating Sprint deliverables, the Definition of Done can also improve communication and collaboration within the team. By establishing clear expectations and criteria, everyone can work more effectively towards a shared goal, minimizing misunderstandings and reducing the risk of errors. Effective leadership styles, team dynamics, and strategies support project success. Any project aims to produce some deliverable which can be a product, service, or another result. Deliverables should address a problem or need to be analyzed before the project start. When teams have clarity into the work getting done, there’s no telling how much more they can accomplish in the same amount of time.

Performance information may have changed since the time of publication. According to the PMBOK 3rd edition, A project is defined as a “temporary endeavor with a beginning and an end and it must be used to create a unique product, service or result”. Business implementation projects aimed at introducing a new/improvement feature or change in the business systems or processes.

In the context of software companies, a greenfield project could be a new idea developed in an unexplored market. Another example is a completely new offering of service or a product from the company, like Apple launching solar panels to help people save electricity. Work package – The work packages of a project are its lowest-level deliverables. Work breakdown structure dictionary – A document that details, describes, and provides scheduling information for every element of a work breakdown structure. It may be thought of as a dictionary-cum-schedule of work packages.

This will require continuous monitoring of the KPIs and insights from the data. A project plan includes a timeline of the respective deliverables and who’s working on them. There are multiple tools available in the market for building this plan, such as Jira,, Trello, and Zoho to name a few. This plan also helps to understand any dependencies that the project might have and acts as a single source of truth for everyone. Ideally, it should be connected with the bigger vision of the product and the problem it’s solving. There are multiple frameworks available to prioritize the features such as Kano, story mapping, the MoSCoW method, opportunity scoring, product tree, or cost of delay.

For the best chance at success, every project needs an owner who is responsible for its completion and success. Project managers exist to fill this need, keep a team on task and ensure the project meets the needs of all stakeholders. This designation could be a subset of responsibilities—or an official job title. A project is an activity to meet the creation of a unique product or service and thus activities that are undertaken to accomplish routine activities cannot be considered projects. For instance, if your project is less than three months old and has fewer than 20 people working on it, you may not be working in what is called a project according to the definition of the term. Part of the cost-benefit analysis includes conducting a feasibility study, defining the project scope, establishing the project deliverables, and the stakeholders involved to build a business case.