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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.

Schedule performance Index (SPI)

This unit of measure is used to determine how efficiently a project team is utilizing its time. The equation to calculate this is SPI = EV/PV.

Schedule variance (SV)

At a given point in time this measures how a project or activity schedule is progressing; whether it is ahead or behind the expected schedule and is the difference between earned value (EV) and planned value (PV).  The equation to calculate this is SV = EV – PV.

Scheduled forecast

This is an estimation of the time to complete (ETC) a required activity. It is measured against the schedule baseline and typically it is expressed using the term schedule variance (SV) and schedule performance index (SPI).

Sponsor

An internal or external individual or group that provides support or resources to a project. They support and promote the project throughout the organization and lead the project during the initiation phase to obtain approvals. They also assist the project manager in the event that issues need to be escalated throughout the project.

Statement of work (SOW)

This is an account /description of what will be delivered within the project, for example, the products, services or outcomes. For instance within the commercial construction industry it may be anticipated the end product as a result of a project would be an office building. Depending on the size or nature of a project, the desired result could simply be an internal or external document.

Strategic plan

The projected and documented formal or informal goals of a business that drive business decisions and activities, including projects undertaken. These decisions, activities, and projects should always align with the goals and vision of the business. The statement of work (SOW) should reference the strategic plan.

Work performance data

Information about work-related activities that are identified and gathered through observation and further analyzed.

 

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