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What is Project Management?

This page of Project Management section mentions project management glossary. This terms or terminologies are useful for project management professionals.

As we know project has definite beginning and end. Any activity undertaken to obtain specific result is referred as project. For example preparation of tea is a project.

In simple terms, management of the project is referred as Project Management. There are various ways one can manage the project. As per standard PMBOK, project management can be achieved effectively by forming 5 stages of the project viz. initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and control and closing.

Under this 5 stages there are many small activities which are referred as processes. The project is successful and will yield desired result if these processes are management. The management of all these processes is referred as project management. Refer basics of project management which covers 5 process groups(stages), 9 knowledge areas and 44 processes required for effective project management.

Project Management Glossary of Terms

Let us understand project management glossary describing all the useful terms/terminologies used in project management domain.

Project: The termorary endevour undertaken to complete the unique task, activity or service. It has beginning and end.
Refer project vs program➤

Project Scope: It mentions goals to be achieved in the project. It includes major deliverables of the project supposed to be accepted by the delivery person. It mentions key financial, time, legal, technical constraints as well as assumptions at the beginning of the project.
Refer scope management and scope triangle for more.

Activity Duration: The entire project is broken down to small tasks(activities) and duration is assigned to all the tasks as per time schedule requirements obtained from the stake holder/customer. There are various methods to calculate activity duration.

Project Charter: A statement which covers details such as scope, objectives and participants of a project. The project charter is signed by the sponsor to authorize the project for the benefit of the organization with some objectives. It gives authority to the project manager to run the project and manage the same.

Sponsor: The person who finances the entire project is known as sponsor.

Stake holder: Any person or group who will be affected due to the success or failure of the project outcome. These include team members, end users, resource owners and operational owners.

Milestone: In the project plan, milestones are set in order to track the progress of the project at certain regular intervals. There two parameters associated with each milestone viz. completion date and deliverables(features). Typically each project will have 5-10 milestones.

Critical Path: As we know project network diagram is made or derived using the project management tool in order to manage the project schedule. It is made up of various dependent tasks with start date and end date(or duration). The chain of tasks which will have longest total duration or completion time is referred as critical path. Any delay on any of the tasks on this critical path will have impact on the overall completion date of the project.

Float: The amount of time that a task(or activity) in a project network diagram can be delayed without causing a delay to either subsequent tasks (known as 'free float') and overall project completion date (known as 'total float').
Refer float types viz. free float vs total float➤.

WBS: The full form of WBS is Work Breakdown Structure. A project management tool which is used to divide the total project scope into manageable pieces of work. It is typically presented as an outline or a tree diagram. The WBS is used to create the work schedule. The higher levels of WBS mention deliverables/planned outcomes. The lowest level of WBS mention tasks needed to complete these deliverables and outcomes

Risk: It is an uncertain event or condition which if occurs will have negative effect on objectives of the project. During planning of the project, risks have been identified. The project team will plan how to mitigate the risks identified based on probability/impact of the events.

Budget: The approved funding by management(sponsor) in order to complete the entire scope of the project as mentioned in the WBS is referred as budget.

Reserve: A portion of the total project budget set aside by the project manager and sponsor in order to mitigate the project risks. This will be utilized in un-avoidable circumstances which come in the way of success of the project.

Risk Log/Risk Register: It is a tool or document which is used/maintained in the project and contains information of all the risks associated with the project. It contains description of tasks, probability and impact of the risks, plan to respond (contingency/mitigation) to these risks.

Payback-Period: The time needed to earn initial sum invested in the project.
Refer payback period vs Return On Investment➤

PDM and AOA: The full form of PDM is Precedence Diagram Method and AOA is Activity On Arrow. Both of these are network diagrams of the project consisting various activities as well as duration of each.

PMP: The full form of PMP is Project Management Professional. It is the credential which is industry recognized certification for project managers globally.
Refer PMP EXAM eligibility criteria and EXAM Preparation tips.

These project management glossary is very useful for project management professionals in order to practice the project management as well as their attempt to pass the PMP Exam. The PMP certified managers will have edge over their peers.