Glossary of Terms

This glossary contains definitions used by the Project Change Frame® and other methodologies supported by Lindsay McKenna Limited.

A number of definitions are taken from the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK®) from the Project Managment Institute. These are denoted by having (PMI) at the end of the definition..

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AC
See Actual Cost.
Accountability
What you can count on a person to do. That person, and only that person, will be called to account if something they have accountability for is not done, or not achieved to the required standards.
Accountability Matrix
A structure which relates the project organisational structure to the work breakdown structure to help ensure that each element of the project's scope is assigned to a responsible individual. Also referred to as a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM). (PMI)
Active Listening
Is engaged listening. It requires patience, self-control, empathy and a willingness to understand the other person's perspective. Helps facilitate the development of mutual trust, respect and good working relationships thus improving the overall performance of the team. (PMI)
Activities, Parallel
Activities that are independent of each other and can be carried out at the same time.
Activity
  1. A cohesive unit of work, the optimum level of reference for planning and communication.
  2. An element of work performed during the course of a project. (Normally has duration, expected cost and expected resource requirements.) Also called a work item. (PMI)
Activity, Dependent
An activity which cannot start until a preceding activity has been completed.
Activity-on-Node (AON)
See Precedence Diagram Method.
Activity Plan
Provides information on what has to be done, by when, and how the project will be achieved. An Activity Plan is significantly more detailed than a Milestone Plan, as it contains both the Milestones and all the activities. required to reach each milestone.
Actual Cost (AC)/ Actual Cost of Work Performed (ACWP)
Total actual costs incurred that must relate to whatever cost was budgeted within the planned value and earned value in accomplishing work during a given time period. (PMI)
ACWP
See Actual Cost
ADM
See Arrow Diagram Method
Administrative Closure
Generating, gathering and disseminating information to formalise the phase or project completion. (PMI)
Affinity Diagram
A method for soliciting and capturing all the views, ideas and responses relating to particular issues.
Amount at Stake
Is the extent, or impact, of adverse consequences which could occur to a project. (PMI)
Analogy
An agreement or similarity in a certain limited number of features between different items.
Analyze
The third phase of the Six Sigma methodology. This phase focuses on identifying the cause of the problem.
AON
See Precedence Diagram Method.
Approval to Exit
Approval of the work done in a Project Phase, required before that Phase can be exited. Designed to ensure that critical work is completed to the satisfaction of the Sponsor and Stakeholders, and focused on the quality and completeness of the work undertaken during that Phase.
Approval to Proceed
Approval focused on whether the business still requires the project, whether it is viable in the light of other changes, and whether it is the right time to proceed to the next Project Phase.
Arrow Diagram Method (ADM)
  1. This is a version of a Network Diagram which helps to sequence activities, identify gaps, and identify dependency relationships.
  2. A network diagramming technique in which activities are represented by arrows. The tail of the arrow represents the start, and the head of the arrow represents the end of the activity. Activities are connected at points called nodes to illustrate the sequence in which activities are expected to be performed. (PMI)
Asking Why
A simple technique that can be used to get to the root cause of a problem.
Assimilation Process
The process of adjustment to the positive or negative implications of a shift in expectations. For every change, resources are required in order to make this shift, which can be costly in terms of emotions, time and energy. The energy-consuming assimilation process involves reacting to both the cause of the change, and the short- and long-term implications of the change.
Associate
Makes a narrower and more defined contribution to a project than a Core Member. Associates are often experts who can make specific inputs to the project on request.
Assumptions
Factors which for planning purposes can be considered to be true, real or certain. (PMI)
Assumptions Analysis
Explores the accuracy of the assumptions and identifies risks to the project from inaccuracy to incompleteness of assumptions. (PMI)

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