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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.

Organizational project management (OPM)

Aimed at achieving successful strategic alignment, this is a strategy-based execution framework that incorporates project, program and portfolio management combined with organizational internal policies and practices to improve performance, provide a competitive advantage, and deliver optimal results.

Planned value (PV)

This is the approved budget assigned to scheduled work (not including any reserves). Even though the budget for the scheduled work is allocated per phase, over the full duration of the project, it is actually measured at a point in time and identifies actual work that should be complete.

Planning phase

This “Planning” phase follows the initiating phase; there are several processes performed that involve determining exactly what the project will entail in terms of effort, objectives, and activities. Items like the project management plan and other documents that are required to complete the project will be created. This is an extremely important phase/process group because project management is so multifaceted and requires that many activities including……….The goal of this phase is to define and document in detail things like the methods, actions, time, cost, quality, risks and path required to successfully complete the project and align with strategy. A significant amount of time, effort and attention to detail should be put into this phase in order to reduce the risk of errors, additional work, and possible failure later on.

Portfolio/portfolio management

For the purpose of meeting strategic objectives, businesses may choose to group, organize and prioritize projects, programs or sub-portfolios. This is similar to program management, but at a higher level for the purpose of meeting overall business strategic goals instead of just meeting specific benefits.

Product scope

The documented detailing of characteristics of products, services or results and the relationships between them as well as in organizations need in this regard. One example could be why a business needs a business plan, the sections to be documented could be, the type of information required in the business plan, and how and when it will be used. The product scope is also considered an input within the project statement of work (SOW) document.

Program/program management

If the company has similar projects, activities or subprograms they can be grouped and managed together as it may be more efficient and make more sense than managing them separately. For the purpose of meeting specific benefits, it would make sense that similar projects would then be categorized under one program instead of individual projects.


In the project management field a project is defined as an undertaking that is temporary in nature for the purpose of creating a product, service, or result that is unique. A project must have a definite beginning and end (not ongoing), it can be over a very short or very long duration, but must remain a temporary endeavor. Projects are typically initiated by a party not directly involved in the project, like an executive of the organization or authorized representative.


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