[Free PMP Resources] PMP Flashcard — Glossary A – Z

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Accept — [Project Risk Management] one of the risk response strategies for threats/opportunities in which the risk is accepted as it is without any risk mitigation measures and the risk will only be dealt with either actively or passively if it occurs.
⇔ see also AvoidTransfer, Mitigate, Exploit, Share and Enhance
Acceptance Criteria — [Project Quality Management] the factors the deliverables must be met before they will be formally accepted.
Accepted Deliverables[Project Quality Management] the deliverables (e.g. products, services or capabilities) that are accepted by the client / customer to meet the acceptance criteria.
⇔ see also Verified Deliverables
Accommodation[Project Scope Management] both sides of a conflicting situation try to identify points of agreements and play down disagreement
⇔ see also Avoidance, CompromiseForcing, Collaboration and Confrontation
Accuracy[Project Quality Management] a measure of correctness.
⇔ see also Precision
Achievement Theory[Project Human Resource Management] one of the motivational theories proposing that individuals are motivated by either achievement, power and affiliation.
Acquire Project Team[Project Human Resource Management] the process to acquire team members with required competencies to complete the project successfully.
Activity[Project Time Management] the work package is decomposed into activities. Each activity must have an expected duration.
Activity Attributes[Project Time Management] a document providing additional information to the activities listed in the activity list; additional info include: activity identifier, description, constraints, assumptions, predecessor and successor activities, resources and responsible persons.
Activity Identifier[Project Time Management] one of the activity attributes used to uniquely identify an activity for sequencing and tracking activities.
Activity Duration[Project Time Management] the time required for the schedule activity between the start and finish dates.
Activity List[Project Time Management] a document listing all the activities of the project with identifiers and brief descriptions.
Activity-on-Arrow (AOA)[Project Time Management] a diagramming technique used for sequencing activities by placing the activities on arrows and dependencies are indicated by connecting the arrows with nodes.
Activity-on-Node (AON)[Project Time Management] a diagramming technique used for sequencing activities by placing the activities on the nodes which are connected by arrows to show dependencies.
Actual Cost (AC)[Project Cost Management] the actual amount of money/cost to date spent on performing the project work.
Adaptive Life Cycle[Project Integration Management] an Agile project management methodology enabling faster response to changes by managing the project in short iterations.
Adjusting Leads and Lags[Project Time Management] during project execution, adjusting leads and lags is a technique used to bring delayed project activities into alignment with the project plan.
Affinity Diagrams[Project Quality Management] a business tool to organize ideas and data based on natural relationships used in brainstorming sessions.
Agreements[Project Procurement Management] a written or verbal communication (e.g. contract, memo, email, verbal arrangement…) to indicate preliminary intentions of a project/work.
Alternative Analysis[Project Time Management] a technique to identify and analyse the different options to perform the project work most efficiently.
Alternatives Generation[Project Scope Management] a technique to generate and analyze different options for carrying out the project work for greatest efficiency.
Analogous Estimating[Project Time/Cost Management] a method to estimate the activity/project durations and costs based on available information from similar project performed before. Great for the initial phase of the project but estimates are not very accurate.
Analytical Techniques[Project Risk/Procurement/Stakeholder Management] methods used to identify possible risks / consequences based on project variables and interactions.
Apportioned Effort[Project Time/Cost Management] used in earned value management (EVM) to measure schedule/cost performances calculated in direct proportion to the progress of another discrete effort(s).
⇔ see also Discrete Efforts and Level of Efforts
Approved Change Request[Project Integration Management] a change request that has been submitted through Perform Integrated Change Control process and approved for implementation.
Arbitration[Project Procurement Management] when there is a dispute between the vendor and the client, arbitration is an effective way for problem resolution by involving a neutral third-party.
Assignable Cause[Project Quality Management] is an identifiable and specific cause for the variation in the control chart. Assignable causes must be investigated and remedied.
Attribute Sampling[Project Quality Management] is a process for internal control by checking for a particular attribute (i.e. either pass or fail).
Avoid[Project Risk Management] Use for negative risks (i.e. threats) by incorporating plans to stay clear of / eliminate the risk events and impacts.
⇔ see also Transfer, Mitigate and Accept
Avoidance — [Project Scope Management] both sides of a conflicting situation ignore the conflict, which is not considered a good conflict resolution technique
⇔ see also Accommodation, CompromiseForcing, Collaboration and Confrontation


Backlog[Project Scope Management] a documented list of prioritized project tasks, often used in Agile project methodologies.
Backward Pass[Project Scope Management] a method for calculating the late start and late finish dates for each activity of the activity schedule diagram from end to start.
⇔ see also Critical Path Method (CPM)
Balanced Matrix — a type of matrix organization where the project manager has as much control over the budget and resources compared to a functional manager.
Baseline — [Project Time/Cost Management] is the approved version of project plan (scope, cost, schedule) used to compare with actual work performance.
Basis of Estimates — additional information outlining the basis for the project estimates.
Benchmarking — [Project Quality Management] the practice of measuring existing processes and procedures with similar orgnaizations to establish a basis for comparison for performance improvements.
Bidder Conference — [Project Procurement Management] a conference with all bidders for clarification on the contract requirements to ensure all bidders share the same understanding.
Bottom-up Estimating — [Project Time/Cost Management] an accurate but time-consuming estimating method by adding up the estimates for individual activity costs/durations.
Budget — [Project Cost Management] the estimated expenditures for the project for a specific period.
Budget at Completion (BAC) — [Project Cost Management] often used in earned value management (EVM), it is the total expenditure for the project on finish.
Buffer — [Project Time Management] reserve time added to activity durations to reduce the likelihood of missing activity finish dates
Business Case —[Project Integration Management] used to judge whether a project is feasible and viable, often includes a financial feasibility study, rough budget and justifications for the project


Cause and Effect Diagram — (also known as a fishbone or Ishikawa diagram) [Project Quality Management] a diagramming technique to identify the origin and effect of an issue.
Change Control Board (CCB)[Project Integration Management] a group of people responsible for approving / rejecting major change requests (as defined in the Project Management Plan).
Change Log[Project Integration Management] a list consisting of all changes to the project and their impacts.
Change Request[Project Integration Management] a formal document for making change(s) to the project.
Claim[Project Procurement Management] when a contract is not fully fulfilled, either side may make a request for compensation/ claim.
Code of Accounts[Project Scope Management] a numbering system used to identify WBS components.
Colocation[Project Scope Management] team members work together in the same physical space to enhance communication and knowledge sharing.
Collaboration — [Project Scope Management] both sides of a conflicting situation work together for mutually consented solution, often considered the best conflict resolution technique
⇔ see also Accommodation, Avoidance, CompromiseForcing and Confrontation
Communication Channels[Project Communication Management] the number of lines of communication between individuals involved within a project, calculated by the formula: N (N-1) / 2 where N is the number of people involved.
Common Cause[Project Quality Management] the control chart indicates that the process is within the control limits but outside specification limits which are often usual and natural variations in the system
Communication Methods[Project Communication Management] techniques used for communication, can be Interactive, Push or Pull.
Communication Models[Project Communication Management] describes how information is exchanged (e.g. Sender-Encode-Message-Decode-Receiver Model).
Communication Technology[Project Communication Management] software / hardwares used to assist communication.
Compromise[Project Human Resource Management] one of the conflict resolution technique in which disagreements are settled by making concessions on both sides.
⇔ see also Accommodation, AvoidanceForcingConfrontation and Collaboration
Configuration Management System[Project Quality Management] manages the assets of the project deliverables by recording the functional or physical characteristics of the deliverables and components; a component of the project management information system.
Conformance[Project Quality Management] indicates that the results comply with the quality requirement.
Confrontation[Project Human Resource Management] a conflict resolution technique to determine a collaborative and workable solution by open discussion
⇔ see also Accommodation, AvoidanceForcingConfrontation and Collaboration
Constraint any factors that impose limitations on project.
Contingency Plan[Project Risk Management] a strategy describing the measures to tackle documented risks once they arise.
Contingency Reserve[Project Cost/Time Management] the budget set aside to fund contingent responses for identified risks (known unknown) once they arise.
⇔ see also Management Reserve
Control Accounts[Project Scope Management] strategically placed for grouping work breakdown structure (WBS) components with a view to better managing cost, scope and/or schedule for earned value management measurements.
Control Chart[Project Quality Management] a statistical process tool to monitor process performance and stability over time (whether the process is within control limits).
Control Limits[Project Quality Management] the upper and lower limit on the control chart used to determine whether a process is under control by taking normal variations into account.
⇔ see also Specification Limits
Corrective actions[Project Quality Management] activities performed with a view to realign project performance with what are planned in the project plan.
Cost Aggregation[Project Cost Management] the accumulated cost estimates for all tasks within a work package.
Cost Baseline[Project Cost Management] represents the budget of estimated costs to be disbursed over the duration of the project, apart from any management reserves. The cost baseline can be used to compare actual costs for the project.
Cost of Quality (COQ)[Project Quality Management] includes all costs of conformance (quality assurance/control measures) and costs of non-conformance (rework).
Cost Performance Index (CPI)[Project Cost Management] an earned value management (EVM) metric for cost efficiency of the project to date (formula: CPI = EV / AC).
Cost Plus Award Fee (CPAF)[Project Procurement Management] a contract type in which the buyer pays the seller all allowable costs plus extra money awarded for meeting the performance targets specified in the contract as determined by the buyer.
Cost Plus Fixed Fee (CPFF)[Project Procurement Management] a contract type in which the buyer pays the seller all allowable costs plus a fixed amount of money as the seller profit.
Cost Plus Incentive Fee (CPIF)[Project Procurement Management] a contract type in which the buyer pays the seller all allowable costs plus incentives and sharing of unused money if under/over contracted amount.
Cost Variance (CV)[Project Cost Management] an earned value management (EVM) metric for indicating the difference between the earned value and the actual cost (formula: CV = EV – AC).
Cost-benefit Analysis — a financial analysis tool for determining the costs and benefits of the project and whether the project is worthwhile.
Cost Reimbursable Contract[Project Procurement Management] a contract type in which all allowable costs are bore by the buyer with additional money awarded to the seller by completing the contract requirements; most of the risks are on the buyer side.
Crashing[Project Time Management] a schedule compression technique used to shorten the schedule by adding extra resources.
Criteria[Project Quality Management] factors used to evaluate and decide when the deliverables meet the project requirements.
Critical Chain Method (CCM) — [Project Time Management] a technique for improving accuracy of project schedule by taking into accounts the limited resource availability and uncertainties.
Critical Path Activity[Project Time Management] all the activity on the critical path of a project schedule (using Critical Path Method).
Critical Path Method (CPM)[Project Time Management] a technique for determining the schedule of the project by taking into accounts the sequence of activities for the longest work path.
Customer[Project Stakeholder Management] the ones who request and/or pay for the project / deliverables.


Data Date — the time the data is recorded.
Decision Tree Analysis[Project Risk Management] a diagramming technique to help visualizing the Expected Monetary Value (EMV) of various options to assist in decision-making.
Decomposition[Project Scope Management] the project scope is broken down into smaller segments for better estimation.
Defect Repair[Project Cost Management] the correction action required for deliverables not meeting requirements.
Deliverable[Project Scope Management] the verifiable product, service, result or capability produced by a process, phase or project.
Delphi Technique — questionnaires are circulated among subject matter experts (SME) for anonymous feedback and recirculated until a consensus is reached.
Dependency[Project Time Management] an activity may depend on the execution/finish of other activities; can be mandatory, discretional, external or internal.
Design of Experiments (DOE)[Project Quality Management] a statistical approach allowing simultaneous altering of several variables for comparison in order to find out the lowest cost of quality.
Diagramming Techniques — various methods employed for representing information and the relationships in a visual way.
Dictatorship[Project Human Resource Management] a group decision-making technique in which the leader direct the decision making, best on in case when there are a lot of uncertainties.
Discounted Cash Flow[Project Cost Management] a technique used to compare the value of the future cash flows of the project with the current value of the dollar by taking inflation into accounts.
Discrete Effort[Project Cost/Time Management] used in earned value management (EVM) to measure work performance in relation to explicit work efforts that contribute to the completion of the project.
⇔ see also Apportioned Effort and Level of Efforts
Discretionary Dependency[Project Time Management] (also known as preferred logic) two activities are considered to be best if carried out in sequence; but the sequence can be altered if needed.
⇔ see also Mandatory Dependency
Duration[Project Time Management] the amount of time between the start and finish of a schedule activity; often expressed in work days.


Early Finish Date (EF)[Project Time Management] the earliest date an activity can be completed by taking project constraints into accounts.
Early Start Date (ES)[Project Time Management] the earliest date an activity can begin based by taking project constraints into accounts.
Earned Value (EV)[Project Time/Cost Management] a metric for measuring the proportion of work finished by making comparision to the activity/project budget.
Earned Value Management (EVM)[Project Time/Cost Management] the recommended method for measuring project performance by comparing the planned value against earned value for cost, schedule and scope measurement; there are various defined metrics for the performance measurement, e.g. CPI, SPI, etc.
Emotional Intelligence[Project Human Resource Management] one’s ability to understand and manage their own emotion and establish relationship with others.
Enhance[Project Risk Management] a risk responses strategy to increase the likelihood of occurrence of positive risks.
⇔ see also Accept, Exploit and Share
Enterprise Environmental Factors (EEF) all factors outside the control of the project team that can positively or negatively influence the project; can be internal and external to the performing organization.
Estimate at completion (EAC)[Project Time/Cost Management] the estimated total cost for completing the project; may be updated with actual costs during project execution.
Estimate to complete (ETC)[Project Time/Cost Management] the estimated remaining cost for completing the project, i.e. the estimated cost that is required to bring the project to completion.
Expected Monetary Value (EMV) Analysis[Project Risk Management] used in conjunction with decision-tree analysis, EVM analysis is a statistical method to calculates monetary impact of all probable outcomes with reference to the probabilities of occurrence; a tool for Quantitative Risk Analysis.
Expert Judgment individuals/group of people to exercise the knowledge of their area(s) of expertise for making the best decision.
Expectancy Theory[Project Human Resource Management] a motivational theory proposing that people are motivated by their expectations of results to behave or act in a certain manner.
Exploit[Project Risk Management] a risk responses strategy to ensure the occurrence of a positive risk
⇔ see also Accept, Enhance and Share
External Dependency[Project Time Management] when the beginning or finishing an activity is dependent on external parties, e.g. Government, vendor, etc., the activity is said to have external dependency


Fast-Tracking[Project Time Management] when time is running out, the project management may make use of this schedule compression technique in which activities are performed in parallel to save time.
⇔ see also Crushing
Fallback[Project Risk Management] actions to be taken if the original plan proves to be ineffective / risk occurs.
Feasibility Study[Project Integration Management] performed at the beginning of a project to estimate the benefits and chances of success of the project.
Finish-to-Finish[Project Time Management] a logical relationship between two activities whereby the successor activity cannot complete till the predecessor activity completes.
Finish-to-Start[Project Time Management] a logical relationship between two activities whereby the successor activity cannot begin till the predecessor activity completes.
Firm Fixed-Price contract (FFP)[Project Procurement Management] a type of contract in which the buyer pays the seller a price as agreed in the contract without taking actual costs into account.
Fixed Formula Method[Project Time/Cost Management] an Earned Value (EV) method for measuring progress based on a pre-determined formula (e.g. 0/100, 25/75, 50/50 — for 25/75 arrangement, when the activity begin, it will receive 25% completeness.
⇔ see also Percent Complete and Level of Effort
Fixed-Price Incentive Fee Contract (FPIF)[Project Procurement Management] a type of contract where the buyer pays a price as agreed in the contract plus an incentive for meeting performance targets. The seller assumes most risk.
Fixed-Price with Economic Price Adjustment Contract (FP-EPA)[Project Procurement Management] a type of contract for a fixed price fee with the inflation taken into accounts.
Float[Project Time Management] the amount of time that a task in a project can be delayed without causing a delay to other tasks.
⇔ see also Slack, Total Float and Free Float
Force Majeure[Project Procurement Management] usually written as a claus in the contract, these are events of catastrophic nature that are beyond the control of the team.
Forcing[Project Human Resource Management] a conflict resolution technique in which an individual forces other to accept a solution / resolution.
Forward Pass[Project Time Management] a critical path method (CPM) practice to find out the early start and early finish dates for each activity of the network diagram by going through the schedule from start to end.
⇔ see also Backward Pass
Free Float[Project Time Management] the amount of time that a task in a project can be delayed without causing a delay to the early start of a successor activity.
⇔ see also Total Float
Functional Manager a manager of a department or business unit with subordinates working to produce products / services.
Functional Organization a type of organization structure in which the organization is divided into smaller groups based on specialized functional areas.
Funding Limit Reconciliation[Project Cost Management] an act to compare and adjust the funding limits by refining the scope / rescheduling the activities to ensure funding limits are not exceeded.


Gantt Charts[Project Time Management] a type of bar chart for presenting time and duration of scheduled activities.
Gold Plating a concious descision to add extra functinality / features not in the project scope to exceed customer satisifaction which can often lead to scope creep, NOT recommended by PMI.
Grade[Project Quality Management] a category assigned to products that have the same functionality but different technical characteristics, e.g. different grades of eggs (large, small, etc.)
Ground Rules[Project Human Resource Management] a set of established expectations for the conduct of team members.


Hammock Activity[Project Time Management] represents a group of similar activities as one activity to simplify the schedule network diagram.
Hygiene Theory[Project Human Resource Management] introduced by Frederick Herzberg, the Hygiene Theory proposes that people’s attitudes towards work are influenced by presence of motivators (satisfiers) and hygiene factors (absence of which would create dissatisfaction).


Impact[Project Risk Management] the magnitude of the consequences posed by an opportunity / threat.
Incentive Fee[Project Procurement Management] money paid to the seller for meeting performance, cost / schedule targets set in the contract.
Independent Estimates[Project Procurement Management] make use of external information / resources to establish the reasonability of vendors’ quotation.
Influence Diagram[Project Quality Management] a diagram that show potential influences that conditions in the project can have on others.
Information Management Systems[Project Stakeholder Management] systems used to gather, store and circulate project information in the desired format to stakeholders.
Input are information / resources that are added to a process for processing to create specific outputs.
Inspection[Project Quality Management] actions performed (e.g. testing, measuring, reviewing and examining) to determine compliance of project deliverable with quality requirements.
Inspections and Audits[Project Procurement Management] judge and verify the seller’s performance / deliverables by the contact requirements.
Internal Dependency[Project Time Management] dependencies of tasks that are under control of the project team.
⇔ see also External Dependency
Internal Rate of Return (IRR)[Project Integration Management] return of the investment for the investment period expressed as percentage. The higher the IRR, the better the project outcome.
Interpersonal Skills (Soft Skills)[Project Human Resource Management] skills to motivate team members through delegation, coaching, communication, etc.
Interrelationship Digraphs[Project Human Quality Management] maps cause-and-effect relationships for problems with multiple variables/outcomes.
Invitation for Bid (IFB)[Project Procurement Management] inviting sellers to submit proposals to a project.
Issue[Project Stakeholder Management] unexpected problems, gaps, inconsistencies or conflicts in the project.
Issue Log[Project Stakeholder Management] a project document in which all the issues are recorded and tracked, used to report issues with stakeholders.
Iterative Project Management Life Cycle allow more flexibility in responding to changes by conducting the project in iterative cycles (mini-waterfalls).


Kaizen[Project Quality Management] a management theory promoting incremental changes for continuous improvement, originated in Japan.
Kick-off Meeting[Project Integration Management] the very first meeting for project team and all relevant stakeholders to formally begin the project by aligning common understanding of project goals.


Lag[Project Time Management] used in project schedule network, lag represents the delay between the successor activity and the predecessor activity.
Late Finish Date (LF)[Project Time Management] the latest date the activity can finish by taking project schedule constraints into accounts.
Late Start Date (LS)[Project Time Management] the latest date the activity can begin by taking project schedule constraints into accounts.
Lead[Project Time Management] used in project schedule network, lead represents the overlapping of the successor activity and the predecessor activity, i.e. the successor activity begins before the end of the predecessor activity.
Leadership Styles[Project Human Resource Management] how the leader motivate and lead the project team, e.g. authoritarian, democratic, laissez-faire,etc.
Lessons Learned[Project Integration Management] documentation of knowledge gained during project lifecycle, in particular the factors leading to successes and failures of the project.
Level of Effort (LOE)[Project Time/Cost Management] an earned value management (EVM) method to assign percentage completeness of support activities (not directly contributing to the project deliverables).
⇔ see also Fixed Formula Method and Percent Complete
Logical Relationships / Logical Dependencies[Project Time Management] the dependencies for / associations between two project activities, i.e. finish-to-start (FS), finish-to-finish (FF), start-to-start (SS) and start-to-finish (SF)
Lump Sum Contracts[Project Procurement Management] a type of contract in which the seller receive a pre-agreed amount of money, best for well-defined tasks.


Management Reserve —[Project Cost Management] extra fund set aside in the project budget for unknown unknowns, must be authorized by management before spending.
⇔ see also Contingency Reserve
Mandatory Dependency / Hard Logic[Project Time Management] a type of dependency between activities that must be followed.
⇔ see also Discretionary Dependency
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs[Project Human Resource Management] a motivational theory put forward by Maslow avocating five basic needs (in order) of human physical, safety and security, social, self-esteem and self-actualization.
Matrix Diagrams[Project Quality Management] a quality management tool by constructing relationships between various factors in a grid.
Matrix Organization an organizational structure where the project manager and the functional managers shares management responsibility; three types of matrixstrong, balanced and weak.
Milestone[Project Time Management] an important event in the project timeline that has no duration.
Milestone List[Project Time Management] a listing of milestones of the project.
Mind Maps[Project Quality Management] is a diagramming technique used to visually organize information to explore ideas.
Mitigate[Project Risk Management] a risk response strategy to reduce the probability / level of impact of a negative risk.
⇔ see also Accept, Avoid and Transfer
Monte Carlo Simulation[Project Risk Management] by making use of software simulation to run the project under different conditions multiple time to analyze possible project outcomes.


Negotiation[Project Procurement Management] commincation and discussion between parties to reach consensus / acceptable outcome.
Network Diagram / Logic Diagram[Project Time Management] is a sequence of activities that are linked together with logical dependencies.
Networking[Project Human Resource Management] interact and communicate with others to get acquainted and build a relationship with them.
Net Present Value (NPV)[Project Integration Management] the present value (PV) of the future net cash flow for the project.
Nominal Group Technique[Project Stakeholder Management] a technique to faciliate gathering and organizing ideas from all participants to assist decision-making.
Non-conformance[Project Quality Management] the rework needed to be implemented as a result of not performing the activities correctly the first time, a type of cost of quality (COQ).


Opportunity[Project Risk Management] a type of risk which is considered to have positive impact on the project, also known as a positive risk.
⇔ see also Threat
Ordinal Scale[Project Risk Management] a relative scale for ranking risks (i.e. low, moderate and high).
Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS)[Project Scope Management] a hierarchical structure of the organization in the work breakdown structure (WBS) which is used for assigning work to resources for a project.
Organizational Process Assets (OPA) a collective name for all the organizational information, e.g. policies, procedures, processes and knowledgebase which would be useful for the project.
Organizational Structures describes how the structure of the organization management, e.g. functional, matrix, projectorized and composite
Output the outcome (e.g. deliverables, result, etc.) generated by a process from inputs.


Parametric Estimating[Project Cost/Time Management] by making use of unit costs (from industry statistics, etc.) to compute the costs and durations of individual activies, considered to be more accurate.
⇔ see also Analogous Estimating
Pareto Diagram[Project Risk Management] a histogram for identifying the most critical issues by making use of 80/20 rule.
Path Convergence[Project Time Management] in the project network diagram where the path converge from two or more predecessor activities to one successor activity.
Path Divergence[Project Time Management] in the project network diagram where the path diverge from one predecessor activity to two or more successor activities.
Percent Complete[Project Cost/Time Management] an estimate of the amount of work completed for an activity or work package.
⇔ see also Apportioned Effort, Fixed Formula Method and Level of Effort
Performing Organization — the organization direclty involved with the project.
Phase-Gate — a checkpoint for reviewing the project and making the decision for the project to proceed to next phase or terminate.
Planned Value (PV)[Project Cost Management] the approved budget for project work completed to date.
Plurality — a decision based on relatively more vote for one choice than others, as opposed to majority which must have more than 50% of vote.
Portfolio — includes many programs, projects and operations grouped according to organizational strategic objectives.
Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM)[Project Time Management] a diagramming technique for scheduling project activities according to logical relationship, e.g. Critical Path Network Diagram and Critical Chain Network Diagram.
Precision[Project Quality Management] indicate the exactness and consistency (i.e. with little variation).
⇔ see also Accuracy
Predecessor Activity[Project Time Management] the activity before a dependent activity in the project schedule.
Preventive Action[Project Quality Management] actions taken to minimize / avoid failing to meet the quality standards of the project.
Prioritization Matrix[Project Quality Management] define issues and alternatives that need to be prioritized for decision, items are given a priority score through brainstorming.
Probability[Project Risk Management] a measurement scale of the likelihood of the occurrence of a risk.
Probability and Impact Matrix[Project Risk Management] a visual representation of the results from Risk Probability and Impact Assessments that assists the project team to prioritize risks.
Procedure — a series of steps to execute a process in a consistent manner.
Process — actions that turn input(s) into outputs.
Process Analysis[Project Quality Management] a technique for continual process improvement by systematically analyzing current processes.
Process Decision Program Charts[Project Quality Management] a decision tree to systematically identify what might go wrong in the plan under development
Process Improvement Plan[Project Quality Management] defines the actions to be taken for analyzing processes and identifying improvements, it is a subsidiary plan of the Project Management Plan.
Procurement Audits[Project Procurement Management] a review of the contracting process with a view to ensure adherence to agreed procedures and identify ways to improve.
Procurement Documents[Project Procurement Management] docuemnts used for bids and proposals, including the procurement statement of work (SOW), RFP, RFI, RFQ, seller proposals, etc.
Procurement Negotiations[Project Procurement Management] a technique to resolve issue and disputes in a procurement contract; “alternative dispute resolution (ADR)” methods are frequently used before legal proceedings.
Procurement Statement of Work (SOW)[Project Procurement Management] document containing the necessary requirements to the sellers to facilitate their understanding of the requirements.
Product Analysis[Project Scope Management] includes techniques such as product breakdown, systems analysis, requirements analysis, systems engineering, value engineering and value analysis to establish the feasibility of the product.
Product Life Cycle — describes the life of the project, the five stages of product life cycle are Development > Introduction > Growth > Maturity > Decline
⇔ see also Project Life Cycle
Program — a group of related projects and related activities managed together for synergy otherwise cannot be achieved by managing them individually.
Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)[Project Time/Cost Management] a technique used to calculate a more reliable estimate by making use of the formula: (O + (4 * ML) + P) / 6 including optimistic (O), pessimistic (P) and most likely (ML) estimates.
Progressive Elaboration — more details are added to the project plan as more information becomes available while the project progresses.
Project — a temporary undertaking to create a unique deliverable (including product, service or result).
Project Calendar[Project Time Management] a document identifing the work periods available for resources to be assigned to scheduled activities.
Project Funding Requirements[Project Cost Management] outlines the total amount of funding required for the project; derived from the cost baseline, management reserve and liabilities.
Project Governance[Project Integration Management] the management framework (including policies, regulations, functions, processes, procedures and responsibilities) for project control and decision making.
Project Life Cycle — the different phases for the creation of the final product; 5 stages of Project life cycle Initiating > Planning > Execution > Monitoring & Controlling > Closure.
⇔ see also Product Life Cycle
Project Management — by applying appropriate processes, tools, techniques, skills, knowledge, leadership and resources to strike for successful outcome for a project.
Project Management Information system (PMIS)[Project Stakeholder Management] a system (can be manual or automated) used to collect, distribute and store all project management information.
Project Management Office (PMO) — an office within the performing organization providing guidance and support (e.g. project governance, tools, templates, training) for project managers.
Project Manager (PM) — an individual who is accountable for delivering the project objectives successfully by leading the project team and managing the project work.
Project Phase — a large project can be sub-divided into phases by grouping some related activities for completing part of the overall deliverable, often with phase gates at the end of the phase.
Project Schedule[Project Time Management] a list of project activities with links, start & finish dates, durations, milestones and resources.
Project Schedule Network Diagram[Project Time Management] graphical representation of the logical sequence and relationship of project activities.
Project Scope[Project Scope Management] the very work required to produce the project deliverable(s).
Project Scope Statement[Project Scope Management] documents all the deliverables of the project by including objectives, assumptions and constraints.
Projectized Organization — a type of organizational structure in which the project manager is assigned with all the authority and resource to manage the project and team members.
Proposal Evaluation Techniques[Project Procurement Management] a methodology to assess compliance of bids based on organizational procurement policy.
Prototypes[Project Requirement Management] models or mock-ups for experimenting ideas to get feedback on requirements from stakeholders.


Quality — [Project Quality Management] the extent of the characteristics of the deliverable fulfilling requirements (functional, aesthetics, durability, etc.).
Quality Audits — [Project Quality Management] the process to identify existing deficiencies impeding quality goals.
Quality Checklist — [Project Quality Management] a list of actions and steps to be taken for quality control.
Quality Control Measurements — [Project Quality Management] the measurements recorded during the Control Quality process.
Quality Function Deployment (QFD) — [Project Quality Management] is a method to transfer user requirements into design quality, e.g. House of Quality (HOQ).
Quality Metrics — [Project Quality Management] the qualitative or quantitative measurements for quality management.
Quality Policy — [Project Quality Management] documentations on the organizational quality guidelines and implementation.
Questionnaires and Surveys — [Project Stakeholder Management] a document with list of questions for quickly gathering feedback from a large target audience.


RACI Chart — [Project Quality Management] a type of responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) chart inidicating the reponsibilities of project team members to tasks, RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consult & Inform.
Records Management System — [Project Procurement Management] part of Project Management Information System (PMIS) including processes and automated tools to organize, track, access and archive all project information and contract documents effectively.
Regulation — regulatory requirements issued by a government authority.
Request for Information (RFI) — [Project Procurement Management] a document for procurement intended for collecting information from potential suppliers.
Request for Proposal (RFP) — [Project Procurement Management] a document for procurement used for requesting proposals from potential suppliers for a specific product, service or capability.
Request for Quotation (RFQ) — [Project Procurement Management] a document for procurement inviting suppliers to submit bids, often used for standard / commodity products or services.
Requirements Traceability Matrix — [Project Scope Management] a chart used for tracking product requirements to the inherited business values / project objectives.
Reserve — [Project Cost/Time Management] the time / funds set aside in the project for responding to risks / uncertainties.
⇔ see also Contingency Reserve and Management Reserve.
Reserve Analysis — [Project Cost/Time/Risk Management] a process to assesses if there is sufficient time / funds for the contingency reserve to address risks / uncertainties.
Residual Risk — [Project Risk Management] the remaining risks after risk response strategies have been executed.
Resource — [Project Cost/Human Resource Management] all inputs required to perform the project tasks, including staff, materials, equipment, funds and services
Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS) — [Project Time Management] a hierarchical chart organizing project resources into categories / sub-categories.
Resource Calendar — [Project Human Resource/Time Management] documents the availability of human reosource by time.
Resource Histogram — [Project Time Management] a visual representation displaying the specific amounts of time a particular resource is scheduled to work on the project.
Resource Leveling — [Project Time Management] a resource optimization technique to change the start and finish dates of activites in view of resource availability.
Resource Optimization Techniques[Project Time Management] techniques to optimize utilization of resource.
⇔ see also Resource Leveling and Smoothing.
Resource Smoothing — [Project Time Management] a resource optimization technique to adjust schedule so that the amount of activities at any particular time meets the predefined resource limits.
Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) — [Project Scope Management] a document for referencing project resources with WBS work package elements for tracking responsibility.
Revision — approved modification to schedule, budget, plan, process, etc. in response to change requests or corrective actions.
Rework — [Project Quality Management] the work needs to be carried out again as the deliverables from an acitivty do not meet quality requirements.
Risk — [Project Risk Management] an uncertainty for the project that may have positive / negative effects on the project outcome. ⇔ see also Threat and Opportunity
Risk Acceptance — [Project Risk Management] a response strategy by responding to risks once they occur without carrying out any measure to alter the possibility of occurrence.
Risk Appetite — [Project Risk Management] a qualitative measurement of how willing the organization is to take risks for the desired outcome.
Risk Audits — [Project Risk Management] a process to assess the efficiency of the risk management plan and measures and the adherence to organization risk policy.
Risk Avoidance — [Project Risk Management] a risk response strategy to totally remove the threat for protecting the project.
Risk Breakdown Structure (RBS) — [Project Risk Management] a hierarchically representation of all risks organized by categories and sub-categories.
Risk Categories — [Project Risk Management] grouping of risks by taking references to WBS elements or project phases, etc.
Risk Data Quality Assessment — [Project Risk Management] a process to verify the accuracy and completeness of risk data.
Risk Mitigation — [Project Risk Management] a risk response strategy to reduce the probability and impact of a threat.
Risk Reassessment — [Project Risk Management] a process to identify new risks and assess current risks.
Risk Register — [Project Risk Management] a document listing all identified risks and details, it is continually refined through several processes of risk management.
Risk Tolerance — [Project Risk Management] the degree of risk an organization is willing to take.
Risk Transfer — [Project Risk Management] a risk response strategy to shift the impact of a threat to a third-party (often through contractual terms or insurance, etc.).
Risk Urgency Assessment — [Project Risk Management] assess the urgency of risk responses for all risks.
Rolling Wave Planning — a project management methology in which near term activities are planned in details while future activites are planned in high level. As the project progresses, more information becomes available so that future activities can be planned in more details.
Root Cause Analysis — [Project Quality Management] a process to finding outthe underlying reason for variances or defects.
Rule of Seven — [Project Quality Management] in control charts, if seven consecutive measurements from a process are plotted on one side of the mean either within or outside the control limits, indicating that the process is out of control.


Scatter Diagram[Project Quality Management] a graphical tool to track and correlate two variables over time.
Schedule Baseline[Project Time Management] a document for the latest approved project schedule, used to compare with actual measurements for performance comparision.
Schedule Compression[Project Time Management] techniques (e.g. Crashing and Fast-Tracking) to reduce the project during without changing the project scope.
Schedule Data[Project Time Management] the information needed for the project schedule, including activity attributes, milestones, assumptions and constraints etc.
Schedule Forecasts[Project Time Management] schedule predictions of project activites by taking reference to work performance information.
Schedule Model[Project Time Management] a methodology to create and control the project schedule by integrating the scheduling method, scheduling tools and planning information.
Schedule Network Analysis[Project Time Management] a diagramatic representation of the project schedule by showing the logical relationships of activities (i.e. predecessors and successors).
Schedule Performance Index (SPI)[Project Time Management] used in Earned Value Management (EVM), a metric for indicating schedule efficiency (the ratio between earned value and planned value). The formula for SPI is EV / PV.
Schedule Variance (SV)[Project Time Management] used in Earned Value Management (EVM), a metric for indicating schedule performance (the difference between earned value and planned value). The formula for SV is EV – PV.
Scheduling Tool[Project Time Management] manual or automated methods for developing, analyzing and tracking the schedule of project activities.
Scope[Project Scope Management] the boundaries of work to be performed to deliver the desired outcomes and objectives.
Scope Baseline[Project Scope Management] the latest approved project scope statement, WBS and WBS Dictionary, used to compare with actual results for performance measurement.
Scope Change[Project Scope Management] approved changes to the project scope that will affect the project cost and schedule.
Scope Creep[Project Scope Management] additions to the project scope that are not authorized through change control.
Secondary Risk[Project Risk Management] the new risks created as a result of implementing the risk response strategies.
Selected Sellers[Project Procurement Management] the shortlisted sellers who can fulfill the requirements of the contract.
Seller[Project Procurement Management] any service providers, vendors or suppliers who can provide the requested product, services or results.
Seller Proposals[Project Procurement Management] the official submissions by vendors in response to procurement documents (e.g. RFI, RFP, RFQ).
Sensitivity Analysis[Project Risk Management] an analytical technique to determine the impacts of risks, to be represented by a Tornado Diagram.
Seven Basic Quality Tools[Project Quality Management] seven standard quality management tools, incluidng cause & effect diagram, scatter diagram, flowcharts, Pareto, histogram, control charts and check-sheets.
Share[Project Risk Management] a risk response strategy for increasing the likelihood of occurrence of opportunities by sharing the benefits with a third-party for enhanced capability.
⇔ see also Accept, Exploit and Enhance
Simulation[Project Risk Management] an analytical technique using the estimated costs and durations as inputs to discover potential risks and impacts (e.g. Monte Carlo Analysis).
Six Sigma[Project Quality Management] a methodology for eliminating process defects as employed for process improvement.
Source Selection Criteria[Project Procurement Management] factors to be considered while assessing bids for their suitability.
Specification Limits[Project Procurement Management] the upper and lower limits for the control chart established by customer’s quality requirements
⇔ see also Control Limits
Sponsor — the one who has the authority to authorizes resources and funding for the project and also helps to promotion and faciliate the project.
Staffing Management Plan[Project Human Resource Management] (part of the human resource management plan) a document containing staff acquisitions rules, training, timeline needs, safety compliance and release criteria of project team members.
Stakeholder[Project Stakeholder Management] any individuals or organizations who can impact / are impacted by the project outcome.
Stakeholder Analysis[Project Stakeholder Management] a process to collect stakeholder information (e.g. influence, interests and power) to understand their importance and impact to the project.
Stakeholder Register[Project Stakeholder Management] a document recording all stakeholders of the project with required details.
Start Date[Project Schedule Management] the specific date an activity is scheduled to begin.
Start-to-Finish (SF)[Project Schedule Management] a logical relationship for two activities in which the predecessor activity must begin before successor activity ends.
Start-to-Start (SS)[Project Schedule Management] a logical relationship for two activities in which the predecessor activity must begin before the successor activity begins.
Statement of Work (SOW)[Project Integration Management] a document containing the objectives of the project.
Statistical Sampling[Project Quality Management] inspection of a randomly chosen subset of process outcome for quality assurance as it is impractical to inspect the whole set.
Subproject — portion of a project to be managed as a project.
Successor Activity[Project Schedule Management] an activity having a logical follow relationship with another activity.
Summary Activity[Project Time Management] represents a group of similar activities as one activity to simplify the schedule network diagram; same as Hammock Activity
SWOT Analysis[Project Risk Management] a method to identify project risks by analyzing Strengths and Weaknesses (internal to the performing organization) and Opportunities and Threats (external).


Technique — a process or method that is applied to produce a product / deliverable.
Templates — a predetermined format used as the starting point for creating documents for standardization and reduction of waste.
Threat[Project Risk Management] a negative risk that may impede the project success.
⇔ see also Risk and Opportunity
Three-Point Estimate[Project Cost / Time Management] an estimation method used to calculate a more accurate estimate by making use of optimistic (O), most likely (M) and pessimistic (P) estimates with the formula (O + 4M + P)/6
Time & Material Contract (T&M)[Project Procurement Management] a contract type where the cost is payable based on the actual time and materials spent, used for highly uncertain project scope in which both the vendor and the buyer assume more risks.
To-Complete Performance Index (TCPI)[Project Cost / Time Management] a metric for Earned Value Management (EVM) which equals the ratio between the remaining fund and the remaining work.
Tolerance[Project Quality Management] the acceptable range of measurement (upper and lower limits) to meet the project quality requirement.
Tornado Diagram[Project Quality Management] a visual representation of the sensitivity analysis for determining the risks that have the most impact on the project.
Total Float[Project Time Management] the time an activity can be delayed from early start without delaying the project end date (scheduling flexibility), can be negative, 0 (on the critical path) or positive.
⇔ see also Free Float and Project Float
Total Quality Management (TQM)[Project Quality Management] a proactive and continuous effort where all team members to center on quality to drive customer satisfaction and refine the process of producing the product.
Transfer[Project Risk Management] a risk response strategy for negative risks in which the risks are shifted to a third-party, e.g. by outsourcing, warranty or insurance.
⇔ see also Avoid, Mitigate and Accept
Tree Diagrams[Project Quality Management] one of the 7 Quality Management Tools used to break down broad categories into finer and finer levels of details.
Trend Analysis[Project Time / Risk Management] by analyzing the project information over time to establish the likely outcome of the project, used in performance and risk analysis.
Trigger[Project Risk Management] a symptom or warning sign telling that a risk is about to materialize.


Validation[Project Scope Management] the assurance that a product, service, or system meets the needs of the customer and stakeholders, often involving external customers.
⇔ see also Verification
Validated Deliverable — [obsolete]this term originally appeared in the first publication of PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition but was later amended as “Verified Deliverable” in the errata.
Value Engineering[Project Cost Management] trying to improve quality/shorten schedule without affecting the scope.
Variance[Project Cost / Time Management] a deviation from what was planned compared to the actual measurements.
Variance Analysis[Project Cost / Time Management] a method used to find out the causes of variation between planned and actual performance.
Variance at Completion (VAC)[Project Cost / Time Management] a metric for Earned Value Management (EVM) equals the difference between budget at completion and expected costs (estimate at completion) based on the performance trends.
Verification[Project Quality Management] an internal process of reviewing and inspecting the deliverable to ensure compliance with regulation, requirement, specification or imposed conditions.
⇔ see also Validation
Verified Deliverable — [Project Quality Management] the deliverables have been determined to fulfil the customer requirements through the Control Quality process.
⇔ see also Accepted Deliverables
Voice of the Customer[Project Scope / Quality Management] a tool used to digging out the actual needs and desires of the customers.


WBS dictionary[Project Scope Management] a document adding details to the WBS components, details may include statement of work, responsible entity, activities, milestones, resource requirements, estimates, quality requirements, acceptance criteria, technical specifications and contract details, etc.
What-if Scenario Analysis[Project Time Management] a technique used to assess the viability of project schedule under different adverse scenarios.
Work Authorization System (WAS) — a component of the project management information system used to ensure work is performed at the right time, in the correct logical order and by the assigned resources.
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)[Project Scope Management] a hierarchical graphical representation of the entire scope of the project.
Work Package[Project Scope Management] the lowest level of WBS for project deliverables after decomposition.
Work Performance Data — the raw data obtained through observations and measurements during the project work.
Work Performance Information — project performance data analyzed in context and integrated based on relationships across areas.
Work Performance Reports — a consolidated document showing work performance information for the purpose of project decision-making or circulation to stakeholders.
Workaround[Project Risk Management] an unplanned response to a negative risk that has happened.


Why Reading PMP® Glossary?

In the last sections of the PMBOK® Guide, you will find a section devoted to PMBOK® Guide Glossary — terms used in the body text of the PMBOK® Guide and their definitions. This PMP® Exam glossary is actually an extremely important tool for Aspirants to understand their Exam readiness. Every Aspirants should be able to demonstrate their understanding according to PMI’s point of view (aka PMI-isms) and the glossary section is there to help Aspirants. Even if you decide not to read the PMBOK® Guide (I actually read through it twice during my exam prep), the Glossary is not to be missed.

In fact, the Glossary can be considered a summary / study notes of the most important concepts for the PMP® Exam by PMI itself!

There are several suggested ways to go through the PMBOK® Guide glossary in order to extract all the values:

  1. To go through the terms and the definitions word by word and one by one in order to understand everything included there
    • this would help you remember the important terms for the Exam
  2. To read only the terms, stop and come up with your own definitions first before reading the PMBOK® Guide definitions of the terms
    • this would help you understand your knowledge gap (the difference in concepts between your own knowledge and that of the PMBOK® Guide/PMI
    • this is sometimes difficult as the terms and definitions are put closely to each other, Aspirants may not be able to read the terms alone
  3. To make use of the glossary as the final revision note to bring everywhere
    • the terms can be used as keywords to help Aspirants to remember key concepts and facts for the Exam
    • Aspirants can also check whether they have forgotten some key concepts/terms of the PMBOK® Guide

During my PMP® Exam revision, I made use of all the above methods. I just keep wonder if there is a better way to go through the glossary terms than have to cover all the definitions with both my hands during reading the term. That’s why I try to present the glossary in the interactive “flashcard” format.


Please note that the definition is NOT copied from the PMBOK® Guide as this would constitute infringement of copyright. I have done my research to define the terms as close as to PMI’s point of view.

Wish you PMP® success!

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Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

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March 3, 2017