Project management glossary

CIO.com’s project management glossary provides definitions and information for many common – and not so common – terms used in the complex field of project leadership and management.

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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.

Project manager (PM)

An individual who is assigned by the company or representative of a company requesting the project. The PM is responsible for leading a project team, overseeing the project, and providing facilitation, in order to ensure successful project outcomes.

Project procurement management

This knowledge area encompasses the planning, conducting, controlling and closing of all procurements for the project. It extends throughout the planning, executing, monitoring and controlling and closeout phases.

Project quality management

Three process groups/phases (planning, executing and monitoring and controlling) are intersected by this knowledge area which is responsible for the planning, performing and controlling of quality.

Project risk management

Occurring primarily within the planning and monitoring and controlling phases of a project, this area of knowledge plans, identifies, and performs risk analysis and responses, as well as controls risks throughout a project.

Project scope

For project purposes this identifies and documents the actual project work that needs to be done in order to deliver a product, service or result and includes the parameters or limitations of the project.

Project scope management

This knowledge area is applied within the planning and monitoring and controlling process group/phases and covers the collection and defining of detailed project requirements, creation of key project documents, and validation and control of the overall project products, services or results.

Project stakeholder management

Extending from the initiating phase through to the monitoring and controlling phase, this knowledge area covers the identifying, planning, managing and controlling of all stakeholders and stakeholder engagements.

Project stakeholders

This can be project team members and/or internal or external individuals to the organization that are impacted by or impact the activities or outcomes of the project.

Project team

A group of individuals consisting of a project manager, internal employees at various levels and other external stakeholders involved in the successful outcome of a project. These individuals can be resources dedicated solely to the project, or on a part-time basis.

Project time management

The area of knowledge that covers the planning, scheduling, estimating, sequencing of time, activities resources. Project Time management intersects within the planning and monitoring and controlling process groups/phases.

Project-based organizations (PBO)

Organizations sometimes structure their work as projects rather than by departments or functional areas. This can reduce hierarchies, conflict and bureaucracy as all work is completed and measured by project outcomes, removing silos and related internal politics.

Projectized organization

This is the opposite of a functional organization; in this type of organization often times units or departments report to project managers or provide support indirectly, and focus efforts on meeting project goals aimed at strategic alignment. In this type of organizational set up there are no individual departments or units with their own individual goals.

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