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Project Management Definitions – Part 1

Project Management Definitions – Part 1


Also known as a task, an individual step performed to reach a project goal


The final reporting data for a task, such as the date when the task really started verses its planned start date or the amount of work completed verses the planned amount of work

Acceptance criteria

Those criteria, including performance requirements an essential conditions, which must be met before project deliverables are accepted

ACWP (actual cost of work performed)

Cost of the actual, real work done on a task, work package or project to date

ALAP (as late as possible)

A constraint put on a tasks timing to make the date occur as late as possible in the project schedule, taking into account any dependency relationships

Analogous estimate

An estimating method that takes information from past similar projects into consideration when developing estimates for the current project.  It uses the values of parameters such as scope, cost, budget and duration all measures of scale such as size, weight, and complexity from a previous, similar activity as the basis for estimating the same parameter or measure for a future activity

Approved change request

A change request that has been processed through the integrated change control process and approved


Assumptions are factors that, for planning purposes, are considered to be true, real, or certain without proof or demonstration

Assumptions analysis technique

A technique that explores the Accra see if assumptions and identifies risks to the project from inaccuracy, inconsistency, or incompleteness of assumptions

ASAP (as soon as possible)

I constraints put on a tasks timing to make the task occur as early as possible in the project schedule, taking into account any dependency relationships

Automatically scheduled

A task mode to calculate the schedule is needed based on past dependencies, constraints and resource availability

BAC (budget at completion)

The sum total of all costs involved in completing a task, work package or project

Backward pass

The calculations of late finish dates and late start dates for the uncompleted portions of all schedule activities.  Determined by working backwards through the schedule network logic from the project end date


The formally agreed upon dates for starting, finishing, duration, work, and cost data in the project.  Later, actual schedule and duration, work, and cost data are tracked so they can be compared with the baseline data

Baseline cost

The formally agreed upon planned costs for a project tasks, used to compare with actual costs as they are incurred

BCWP (budgeted cost of work performed)

Also called earned value, the value of work that has been completed on a task, work package, or project

BCWS (budgeted cost of work scheduled)

The budget of the scheduled task, work package, or project

Bottom up estimating technique

A method of estimating a component of work.  The work is decomposed into more detail.  An estimate is prepared of what is needed to meet the requirements of each of the lower, more detailed pieces of work, and these estimates are then aggregated into a total quality for the component of work.  The accuracy of bottom up estimating is driven by the size and complexity of the work identified at the lower levels

Brainstorming technique

A General Data gathering and creativity techniques that can be used to identify risks, ideas, or solutions to issues by using a group of team members or subject matter experts


The approved estimate for the project or any work breakdown structure components or any schedule activity

Budget at completion (BAC)

The sum of all the budgets established for the work to be performed on a project or a work breakdown structure components or any schedule activity.  The total planned value for the project


The acquirer of products, services, or results for an organisation

Go to Part Two HERE!

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