Glossary

Contents

A

Action item

An action item is a task that must be accomplished, usually by a single individual or a small team. Action items typically arise from meetings and should always be clearly documented.

Agile project management

Agile project management (APM) is an iterative project management process whereby a project is completed in small sections – iterations, or development cycles – each of which is usually reviewed by the project team in order to determine the project’s next step.

Alerts

Automatically generated messages informing of work items that are past their due date, pose a scheduling conflict, have no resources assigned, or are displayed as resolved, and other similar notifications.

B

Baseline

The project baseline is the project’s original timeline, budget and scope, which is then used to evaluate how far the project has deviated from or progressed within the original plan.

Billing rate

The billing rate determines how a project manager is paid for his or her work on a project, determined either by the individual manager or by the value of the job itself.

Bottom up approach

A bottom-up approach starts with the identification of all the tasks that may comprise a given project, and the organization of these tasks into specific bundles or packages. This can result in a more detailed schedule, often more accurately anticipating challenges and allowing for more efficient troubleshooting, but also tends to front-load planning, which can take more time than a top-down approach.

Budget

A comprehensive plan detailing how funds will be used over time for a specific project.

Bug

A case item type used internally or by customers to report a software issue.

Business case

The reasoning behind or justification for a project, usually presented as a comprehensive document or a verbal presentation or agreement.

Business rules

Business rules help to automate a business workflow and unify business methodologies by setting up automatically-run triggers and rules. Business rules can be created for every item type within the organization and include both workflow rules and validation rules.

C

Case

A general name describing items such as bug, issue, risk or request.

Champion

The project champion is responsible for ensuring that everyone on a project team is fully committed to the success of the project. This often means working closely with team members to identify goals, implement best practices, anticipate obstacles, prioritize project phases and properly allocate funds and resources.

Change management

Change management is the process of managing transition in a business setting, with a focus on the people side of change.

Change request

A change request is a proposal for change to a product or system, often initiated with a formal request when a client wants to alter established deliverables.

Child

Any project-related item below a parent item or work item in a project management hierarchy.

Closure phase

The closure phase of a project is the stage that comprises the project’s final steps, in which all assignments will be formally closed or finished.

Collaboration item

In collaborative project management, a collaboration item is simply a task which requires collaboration from team members or managers.

Constraint

A project’s constraints are its limitations, due to, for example, the project’s budget or timeline.

Cost management

Cost management describes the system of determining, distributing and controlling costs for a particular project, usually guided closely by the project’s budget.

Cost rate

The cost rate is an internal hourly rate of what an employee or contractor costs the business.

Critical path method

The critical path method (CPM) is a system or algorithm for determining and plotting out a project’s essential – or critical – and non-critical tasks.

Currency fields

For project and work items that require multi-currency support, these fields indicate currency value and are accompanied by corresponding three-letter country currency codes.

Custom action

Altering a standard user environment at the organizational or modular level by a project management administrator.

Custom fields

A way to define any type of custom field within project elements, including textual, pick list, dates, currencies, numeric, time effort and reference to other items; field types can be manually entered or based on a simple or advanced formulas to connect fields, key performance indicators (KPIs) and other project-related items.

Custom panels

Custom panels allow users to create customized widgets to be used integrally within a project management system.

D

Deliverable

A deliverable is any good or product generated by a project. The deliverable can be either tangible or intangible (such as a document or piece of technology), and is ultimately provided to the client.

Dependencies

Dependencies are simply the relationships between tasks in the stages of a project. One example is the finish-to-start dependency.

Digital project manager

A digital project manager is a streamlined system, often a software, that manages the scope, budget, and execution of a project from start to finish.

Direct report

A direct report is an employee to whom you delegate tasks directly, and who reports back directly to you.

Discussion

A text post, or series of text posts shared between users.

Discussion group

A group of users related to a discussion around a specific item; these groups can be ad-hoc, non hierarchical and used to discuss a specific subject for ideation or other knowledge-sharing purposes.

Distributed workforce

A distributed workforce is an employee base that is not confined to a single workplace, but rather is often distributed over a wide geographical range.

Duration

A project’s duration is generally defined as the project’s total timeline, often named in terms of years, months, weeks, days or hours.

E

Earned value

The earned value is determined by multiplying the total project budget by the percentage completed of the project.

Email subscription

Email subscription is the process by which consumers subscribe to a provider’s services by email.

End user

The end user ultimately provides feedback on a deliverable, often identifying issues or highlighting the need for alterations.

Ethics

In project management, ethics are defined as the values or beliefs that should guide all stages of a project.

Execution phase

The execution phase of a project is the stage during which the project’s plans are actually implemented.

Executive sponsor

The executive sponsor is typically the senior member of a project board, and often interacts with the project’s team and planning on a variety of levels.

Expense

An expense is simply a portion of the cost of a project, ideally identified and accounted for in the project’s budget.

Expense sheet

An expense sheet is one system, typically a master list, of organizing all the expenses of a project’s cost.

F

Float

In project management, float is defined as the amount of time a particular task can be delayed without delaying following tasks or the ultimate completion of the project. A task with high float may have low dependency relationships with subsequent tasks.

Flowchart

A flowchart provides visual representation of the stages of a project and the relationships between its tasks. It can both demonstrate a plan of action and be used to monitor the project’s progress.

Forecast

A forecast is a prediction of the unfinished phases of a project based on its status at a given point.

G

Gantt charts

A Gantt chart, named for its inventor Henry L. Gantt, is a product control tool in the form of a horizontal bar chart.

Goal

A goal is the desired outcome of a project, measured in performance goals, time goals, and resource goals.

Goal setting

In project management, goal setting is the process of determining concrete, achievable objectives for a project.

H

I

Initiation phase

The initiation phase is a project’s first phase, in which a new project is started. Generally this stage consists of identifying the project’s scope, goals and deliverables.

InterAct

InterAct

A powerful workflow tool that allows users to trigger virtually any action in Clarizen with a simple email.

Issue

A powerful workflow tool that allows users to trigger virtually any action in Clarizen with a simple email.

J

K

Kanban

Kanban is a system for organizing and managing the tasks of a project using task cards.

Key performance indicator (KPI)

KPI are indicators, determined by the project management team, intended to measure performance as the project is carried out.

Kickoff meeting

The kickoff meeting is the first meeting that takes place between a project team and a client, typically after the project’s baseline and goals have been determined.

L

Lead/lead time

The time between the initiation and completion of a project. Depending on the project, lead time can be measured in hours, days, weeks, months, or years.

Lean

A long-term approach to work that systematically seeks to achieve small, incremental changes in processes in order to improve efficiency and quality.

Level of effort

A support-type project activity that must be done to support other work activities or the entire project effort. It typically consists of short amounts of work that must be repeated periodically.

M

Methodology

A system of practices, techniques, procedures and rules used by project managers. Lean, Kanban and Six Sigma are examples of project management methodologies.

Milestone

Tools used in project management to mark specific points along a project timeline. These points can signal anchors such as a project start and end date, or can signal the need for external review or budget checks. Milestones do not always impact project duration.

Mission statement

A formal summary of the purpose, goals, and vision of a project. Typically distributed to stakeholders, mission statements should include the most important things one should know about the project.

N

Negotiation

A discussion aimed at reaching an agreement. Throughout the course of a project, project managers may need to negotiate with vendors, stakeholders, and team members about various items related to the timeline and budget.

Notes

A method of adding important information to work-related items, for example, detailed information necessary for the completion of a task or pertinent information on a risk; notes can be defined as ‘public’ or ‘private’ based on permissions.

O

Objective

Lower level statements that describe the specific, tangible products and deliverables that will be produced and delivered by the project.

Onboarding

Project onboarding gives new team members the opportunity to reach a common understanding of the project and the desired deliverables.

Opportunity

Something tangible identified within a project’s deliverables that could facilitate a positive or beneficial effect. Opportunities should be documented within the business case to counterbalance and justify the costs associated with a project.

Opportunity cost

The benefits an individual, investor or business misses out on when it chooses one alternative over another.

Output

The amount of something produced by a person, machine, industry or team.

P

Parent

Any project-related item that is hierarchically above a child project item or work item.

Percentage complete

The progress of an activity or other element of the project. Percent complete is the relationship between services performed to date and the overall performance of an acitivity, and can be based on cost, time expended or other efforts.

Performance reporting

The collection and dissemination of project information that communicates project progress and utilization of resources. It’s used to forecast future progress and status to stakeholders and others involved in the project.

Permissions

A way for organizations to secure work items, issues and other project elements so they are only available to the roles and user permissions related to that item.

Phase

The collection of the project activities aimed to prepare the product. Each project phases is goal-oriented and contains a particular number of the work steps. Each phase ends ina milestone which must be completed before the project can move onto the next phase.

Planned effort

The total labor time (measured in work-hours) required to complete a task.

Planning phase

The second phase in the project life cycle, which involves creating a set of plans intended to help guide a team through the execution and closure phases of the project. The plans created during the planning phase are intended to help project managers manage time, cost, quality, change, risk and issues.

PMP certification

The PMP is the gold standard of project management certification, recognized and demanded by organizations around the world. It validates your competence and ensures you’re ready to meet the demands of projects and employers across the globe.

Portfolio

A collection of programs, subportfolios, and operations managed as a group to achieve strategic objectives.

Portfolio management

The centralized management of the processes, methods, and technologies used by project managers to analyze and collectively manage current or proposed projects based on numerous key characteristics.

Program manager

The primary role of a program manager is planning and governance and overseeing the successful delivery of the program’s output/product.

Progress impact

The future consequences of a current or proposed project.

Progress report

A report that informs a supervisor, associate, or customer about the progress you’ve made on a project over a certain period of time.

Project

An individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned and designed to achieve a particular goal.

Project charter

A project charter is a preliminary delineation of roles and responsibilities. It outlines the project objectives, identifies project stakeholders, and defines the role of the project manager. The terms of reference are usually included in the project charter.

Project lifecycle

The four-step process that is followed by nearly all project managers when moving through the stages of a project.

Project management professional (PMP)

An internationally recognized professional designation offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI).

Project manager

The person in overall charge of the planning and execution of a particular project.

Project phase

The collection of the project activities aimed to prepare the product; each phase is goal-oriented and contains a particular number of work steps. The four project phases are initiation, planning, execution, and closure, or some variation of the four.

Project plan

A formal document designed to guide the control and execution of a project. It’s the key to a successful project and must be created when starting any business project.

Q

Qualitative risk analysis

A project management technique concerned with discovering the probability of a risk event occurring during a project, and the risk that will have on the project if it does occur.

Quality assurance

The maintenance of a desired level of quality in a service or product, especially by means of attention to every stage of the process of delivery or production.

Quality control

A system of maintaining standards in products by testing a sample of the output against the specification.

Quantitative risk analysis

The method of quantifying your highest priority risks in order to determine the likelihood of achieving your overall cost, schedule, and project objectives.

R

Recurring task

A recurring task is a meeting, procedure, or other project task that must be repeated on a regular basis.

Remote team

A remote team is similar to a distributed workforce, but where virtually every member of the project team works outside of a traditional workplace. Team members may each work from home or their own locale of choice, communicating electronically when collaboration is necessary.

Report

In project management, a report is an update on the progress of a project or portion of a project. Reports may be informal, but formal reports often occur on a regular basis and/or be subject to particular formats or chains of command.

Reportable work item

A reportable work item is a work item for which work performed can be reported by resources in their timesheets.

Request

A project request can be formal or informal, from a client or from management, for information (like reports) or changes to a deliverable.

Resource

A resource is anything – funds, personnel, time – required to complete any phase of a project.

Resource allocation

Resource allocation is the crucial process of determining and distributing a project’s (often limited) resources according to the project’s objectives.

Resource availability

A project’s resource availability is simply the capacity of all a project’s resources relative to the tasks that need completion.

Resource load

Also referred to as ‘workload,’ the total amount of assigned work to a resource within a specific timeframe.

Resource planning

Resource planning is a component of resource allocation: a detailed resource plan should ideally match each task – and its required resources – with a project team member.

Return on investment (ROI)

A project’s potential Return on Investment is the amount a project stands to gain relative to the resources spent to complete it.

Risk

A risk is any event or condition that creates uncertainty and may negatively affect the project.

Risk assessment

Risk assessment is the step in the risk management process during which a project team identifies and analyzes the potential risks of a project.

Risk management

Risk management is the process by which a project manager anticipates, identifies, and prioritizes risks, and allocates resources in order to mitigate or deal with them as the project is carried to completion.

Roadmap

A project roadmap is a visual tool outlining the project’s objective and necessary tasks along a timeline.

Role

A role is any capacity, to be filled by project team members or management, with associated responsibilities and permissions.

S

Sales pipeline

A sales pipeline is a graphic tool outlining the step-by-step process of sales.

Scheduled workflow rules

Scheduled workflow rules are triggered to run according to a schedule.

Scope

A project’s scope is defined by its objectives as well as what needs to be achieved in order to complete it.

Scope creep

Scope creep is a project management “syndrome” wherein a project’s scope grows, changes, or otherwise deviates from its starting point, often caused by insufficient or vague early-stage planning (such as a poorly-defined original scope).

Scrum

A component of agile project management, scrum management emphasizes iterative and incremental project management in order to ensure the more frequent delivery of results (especially software).

Skill

A skill is any specific asset or expertise brought to the table by project managers or team members, including knowledge or experience.

A project’s sponsor is the primary manager or executive accountable for the project as a whole.

Sprint

A sprint is one development cycle in scrum project management.

Stakeholder

A project stakeholder is an entity or individual who stands to affect or be effected by a project’s scope or success.

Statement of work (SOW)

A statement of work (SOW) lists tasks, deliverables, and timelines for a particular project.

Status meetings

A status meeting typically includes the stakeholders, clients, project managers and team members, and provides an opportunity to share and address updates on the progress of a project.

Status update

Often, but not always, presented at a status meeting, a status update is a report on the progress of a project.

Strategic plan

A strategic plan is an outline of an organization’s purpose and goals and the methods employed to accomplish them.

T

Task

A piece of work to be done or undertaken.

Team

A group of individuals working together to achieve a goal. Teams usually have members with complementary skills and generate synergy by working together to complete a common goal. In project management, that goal is typically a milestone or completed project.

Time tracking

The act of time tracking can increase productivity, as project managers can track time spent on tasks and get a better understanding of what practices causes the members of their team to waste time.

Timeline

A list of events in chronological order.

Timesheet

A method for recording the amount of a team members time was spent on each job, task, or client.

Todo lists

A list of things one wants to get done or that need to get done, often in a set amount of time.

Top down approach

The act of defining project tasks starting with the project goal or final deliverable, and breaking it down into smaller planning chunks or work packages. Each of the work packages are then further refined into greater detail. From there, work items are assigned to team members.

U

Use case

Use case diagrams are one of several techniques used by project managers to help with both the project and product scope. It consists of identifying, with specificity, a task or goal that users will be able to accomplish using a program.

V

Vendors

A person or company offering something for sale.

Virtual team

Also known as a geographically dispersed or remote team, refers to a group of individuals who work together on a specific project from different geographic locations. Virtual teams rely on communication technology in order to collaborate.

W

Waterfall model

A sequential, linear process of project management in which a project is completed in distinct stages. Under the waterfall model, one stage cannot be started until the one before it is completed.

Work item

A work item represents an atomic unit of work in a declarative way.

Workaround

A method for overcoming a problem or limitation.

Workflow

The sequence of processes through which a piece of work passes through from initiation to completion.

Workflow rules

A defined list of rules that can be triggered at the addition, modification or deletion of work- and project-related items.

X

Y

Z