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Project Management Definitions – Part 3

Project Management Definitions – Part 3

Cost of quality (COQ) Technique

A method of determining the costs incurred to ensure quality.  Prevention and appraisal costs (cost for conformance) include costs for quality planning, quality control, and quality assurance to ensure compliance to requirements.  Failure costs (cost of nonconformance) include costs to reworked products, components, or processes that are noncompliance, costs of warranty work and waste, and loss of reputation

Cost performance baseline

A specific version of the time phased budget used to compare actual expenditures to planned expenditures to determine if preventative or corrective action is needed to meet the project objectives

Cost performance index (CPI)

A measure of cost efficiency on a project.  It is the ratio of earned value to actual costs

Cost plus fixed fee (CPFF) contract

A type of cost reimbursable contract where the buyer reimburses the seller for the Sellers allowable costs (allowable costs are defined by the contract) plus a fixed amount of profit or fee

Cost plus incentive fee (CPIF) contract

It type of cost reimbursable contract where the buyer reimburses the seller for the Sellers allowable costs as defined in the contract, and the seller earns its profits if it meets defined performance criteria

Cost reimbursable contract

A type of contract involving payments to the seller for the Sellers actual costs, plus a fee typically representing seller’s profit.  Cost reimbursable contracts often include incentive clauses where, if the seller meets or exceeds selected project objectives, such as schedule targets or total cost, then the seller receives from the buyer and incentives or bonus payments

Cost variance (CV)

A measure of cost performance on a project.  It is the difference between earned value and actual cost

Crashing Technique

I specific type of project schedule compression technique performed by taking action to decrease the total project schedule duration after analyzing a number of alternatives to determine how to get the maximum schedule duration compression for the least additional costs.  Typical approaches for crashing the schedule includes reducing schedule activity durations and increasing the assignment of resources on schedule activities


Standards, roles, or tests on which a judgment or decision can be based, or by which a product, service, or result, or process can be evaluated

Critical activity

Any schedule activity on a critical path in a project schedule.  Most commonly determined by using the critical path method.  Although some activities are “critical” in the dictionary sense, without being on the critical path, this meaning is seldom used in the project context

Critical chain method

A schedule network analysis technique that modifies the project schedule to account for limited resources

Critical path

Generally, but not always, the sequence of schedule activities that determines the duration of the project.  Is the longest path to the project

Critical path methodology (CPM)

A schedule network analysis technique used to determine the amount of scheduling flexibility (the amount of float) on various logical network paths in the project schedule network, and to determine the minimum total project duration.  Early start and finish dates are calculated by means of a forward pass, using a specified start date.  Late start and finish dates are calculated by means of a backward pass, starting from the specified completion date, which sometimes is the project early finish date determined during the forward pass calculation


The amount of money associated with a task when you assign resources which are quick meant, materials, or people associated with these or hourly rates and any additional fixed costs

CV (cost variance)

The difference between the baseline costs and a combination of actual cost to date and estimated costs remaining – also known as scheduled costs.  The cost variance is either positive and hence over budget, or negative and hence under budget.  When using earned value management, cost variance is the difference between the earned value and actual cost

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