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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.

Project charter

This is the first formal document created by the person initiating the project, permitting a project manager to launch a project and start utilizing the resources within an organization to predict/estimate project activities. This documentation sets out parameters such as the start and end date, as well as key high-level details of the project (including assumptions and limitations) in order to gain formal project approval from an organization’s management.

Project communications management

This knowledge area spans the planning, executing and monitoring and controlling process groups/phases, and is responsible for planning, managing, monitoring and controlling project communications.

Project cost management

This knowledge area encompasses the planning, estimating, budgeting and controlling of all costs within a project, and overlaps between the planning and monitoring and controlling phases of the project.

Project governance

This is a critical element in any project and is an organization’s model that incorporates the project lifecycle. This framework provides project teams with processes, tools, structures and decision-making mechanisms to manage, support, monitor and control projects for successful outcomes.

Project human resource management

The planning, acquiring, developing and managing of all human resources falls within this knowledge area. The human resource management knowledge area overlaps with the planning and executing process group.

Project integration management

This knowledge area overlaps within all five (5) process groups (initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closeout). It involves the creation of initial project documents, as well as the directing, managing and controlling of all project work, performing change control in the closing of the project/phase.

Project lifecycle

Includes a series of phases within a project including initiation, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closeout. The phases can be broken down typically in more than one way, and the cycle can be determined by more than one factor, including industry organizational set up etc.

Project management (PM)

When project managers and project team members utilize specific processes, knowledge and skills, techniques and tools, as well as inputs and outputs to successfully meet project objectives and requirements. The acronym PM is often used for both Project Manager and Project Management.

Project management office (PMO)

A group tasked at managing, standardizing, facilitating, supporting, controlling and directing in organization-wide projects, programs, and portfolios.

Project management plan

Once the project charter is approved, this highly comprehensive document is created, using the project charter information, it further details in great length all of the project parameters. This document should include baseline information on the scope, schedule, and costs. It should also include individual plans detailing at least for each of the following areas, scope, requirements, schedule, cost, quality, process improvement, human resource, communication, risk, procurement, and shareholder management.  It could also include detailed documentation of how the work will be done, by whom, processes for implementation, project management, decision-making, methods chosen, tools and techniques utilized, specific dependencies, configuration requirements, communication methods, risk mitigation techniques chosen. There can be multiple additional documents incorporated as subsidiary project documents, but these do not make-up part of the formal project management plan. This plan is one of the primary documents utilized in project management. It can be highly detailed or at a summary level.


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