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Project management glossary

Moira Alexander | March 16, 2016
As in many specialized fields, there is a host of terms that hold a specific meaning, and the world of project management (PM) is no exception.

Expert judgment

This can refer to the judgment of the organization’s internal project managers, a project management office, other professionals, technical associations, or other sources, and relates to administrative activities required to close a project.

Functional organization

This is a typical hierarchy in most companies. Each employee reports to one superior and departments are set up based on their area of expertise. In this type of organization, projects are selected and work is completed and measured for the most part separate from other areas.

Initiating phase

At the start of any project, before any work can actually begin, there are specific processes that are undertaken for the purpose of defining a new or existing project in order to obtain approval(s) to proceed with that project. This is the phase where all of the details and requirements are outlined and financial resources are determined and allocated. All stakeholders (individuals who will impact, or be impacted by the decisions, activities or outcomes of a project) who will be involved in the project are also identified in this phase. The goal of this phase is also to ensure the project’s purpose and objectives are clearly identified and expectations are set. This phase is referred to as the” Initiating Process Group” within the project management field and involves several specific processes.

Integrated change control process

The process of reviewing, approving, managing and communicating, and formally documenting changes to aspects of the project such as deliverables, assets, documents, plans.

Matrix organization

This type of organization combines a functional and projectized features and can be weak, balanced or strong, depending on the influence of various management in different areas. If the management in specific areas utilizes their influence more than others, the matrix organization can be fairly weak whereas if the management in each of functional areas works together in synergy to accomplish successful project outcomes that meet business goals, this matrix organization can be very strong.

Monitoring and controlling phase

Within this phase/process group, there are processes initiated to track, measure and analyze and control the project progress, resources, scheduling, time, and quality to ensure it is in alignment with the parameters outlined in the planning phase. The steps in this phase are repeated as many times as necessary. A significant amount of documentation may be required for the purpose of identifying any issues and corrective actions to be taken. Throughout this phase, there may be subsequent approvals required if changes are needed triggering additional documentation and/or updates to the project management plan. The monitoring and controlling are done throughout the entire project from execution.

Organizational process assets

Every organization/business has their own procedures/practices, internal processes, plans, or databases used in conducting business. These are also utilized as inputs within the project management process.


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