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Top 100 Project Management Definitions

"Clarify and enhance your project management knowledge with these critical definitions."

Understanding the terminology used in project management can significantly enhance your ability to manage projects effectively. This list covers the top 100 definitions that every project manager should know.



  • Title: "Top 100 Project Management Definitions: Essential Terms for Effective Management"
  • Subtitle: "Essential Terms for Effective Management"
  • Tagline: "Clarify and enhance your project management knowledge with these critical definitions."
  • Description: "A comprehensive glossary of project management terms designed to improve clarity and project success."
  • Keywords: Project Management, Definitions, Glossary, Project Planning, Risk Management


# Top 100 Project Management Definitions
- Essential Terms for Effective Management
- Clarify and enhance your project management knowledge with these critical definitions.
- A comprehensive glossary of project management terms designed to improve clarity and project success.
- 5 Topics

## Topics
- Project Initiation: Charter, Stakeholder, Business Case...
- Project Planning: Scope, Baseline, WBS...
- Project Execution: Milestone, Deliverables, Sprints...
- Project Monitoring and Controlling: KPIs, Dashboard, Variance Analysis...
- Project Closure: Lessons Learned, Closure Report, Handover...

Project Initiation

"The beginning of any successful project."

In project initiation, key terms include 'Project Charter', 'Stakeholders', and 'Business Case'. This phase sets the foundation with a defined purpose and resources.

Project Initiation Definitions

  1. Project Charter - A document that formally authorizes the existence of a project and provides the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities.
  2. Stakeholders - Individuals, groups, or organizations that may affect, be affected by, or perceive themselves to be affected by a decision, activity, or outcome of a project.
  3. Business Case - A documented economic feasibility study used to establish validity of the benefits of a selected component lacking sufficient definition and that is used as a basis for the authorization of further project management activities.
  4. Feasibility Study - An analysis and evaluation of a proposed project to determine if it (1) is technically feasible, (2) is feasible within the estimated cost, and (3) will be profitable.
  5. Project Sponsor - The individual(s) or organization(s) that provides the financial resources, in cash or in kind, for the project.
  6. Vision Statement - A declaration of the project's objectives intended to guide the internal decision-making process.

Project Planning

"Laying the roadmap for project success."

Project planning is crucial, involving 'Scope', 'Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)', and 'Resource Allocation'. This stage designs the path to achieving project goals.

Project Planning Definitions

  1. Scope - The detailed description of the project and its products, outlining the work to be performed and the expected outcomes.
  2. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) - A hierarchical decomposition of the total scope of work to be carried out by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables.
  3. Resource Allocation - The process of assigning and managing assets in a manner that supports an organization's strategic goals.
  4. Risk Management Plan - A document prepared by a project manager to foresee risks, estimate impacts, and define responses to risks.
  5. Quality Management Plan - Part of the overall project management plan that addresses how the quality requirements will be met.
  6. Communication Plan - A policy-driven approach to providing stakeholders with information about the project.

Project Execution

"Where plans are put into action."

During project execution, terms like 'Milestones', 'Deliverables', and 'Sprints' dominate. This phase focuses on producing the tangible outputs of the project.

Project Execution Definitions

  1. Milestones - Significant points or events in the project that are used to measure the progress toward the ultimate goal.
  2. Deliverables - Any unique and verifiable product, result, or capability to perform a service that must be produced to complete a process, phase, or project.
  3. Sprints - Short, time-boxed periods when a scrum team works to complete a set amount of work, often used in agile project management.
  4. Status Reports - Regular updates on the progress of the project, which include current statuses of the budget, schedule, and scope.
  5. Quality Assurance - The systematic process of determining whether products meet customers' expectations.
  6. Team Development - Techniques and activities designed to enhance the functioning of a project team.

Project Monitoring and Controlling

"Ensuring the project stays on track."

This phase includes 'Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)', 'Dashboards', and 'Variance Analysis', essential for tracking progress and making necessary adjustments.

Project Monitoring and Controlling

  1. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) - Metrics used to evaluate factors that are crucial to the success of an organization or a project.
  2. Dashboard - A visual display of the most important information needed to achieve one or more objectives; consolidated and arranged on a single screen so the information can be monitored at a glance.
  3. Variance Analysis - A quantitative investigation of the difference between actual and planned behavior.
  4. Change Management - A systematic approach to dealing with change, both from the perspective of an organization and on the individual level.
  5. Issue Log - A documentation element of software project management that contains a list of ongoing and closed issues of the project.
  6. Scope Creep - The uncontrolled expansion to product or project scope without adjustments to time, cost, and resources.

Project Closure

"Concluding and learning from the project."

Project closure involves 'Lessons Learned', 'Closure Reports', and 'Project Handover'. It is critical for ensuring project benefits are realized and informing future projects.

Project Closure

  1. Lessons Learned - Reflective assessments included in the project closure phase, to facilitate project improvements.
  2. Closure Report - A document that formalizes the closure of the project, summarizing the outcomes, performance against goals, and final status.
  3. Project Handover - The process of transferring roles, responsibilities, and resources to another team or organization, along with the necessary documentation, knowledge, and tools.
  4. Post-Implementation Review - An evaluation carried out after the project has been completed to determine if the objectives were met.
  5. Contract Closure - Activities related to completing and settling the terms of contracts entered into during the project life cycle.
  6. Administrative Closure - The process of finalizing all activities across all of the project management process groups to formally complete the project.

Other PM topics

Financial Management

  1. Cost Estimation - The process of forecasting the cost of resources needed to complete the project activities.
  2. Budgeting - The allocation of the total cost estimate to individual work items to establish a baseline for measuring financial performance.
  3. Cost Control - The process of monitoring cost performance, identifying variances from the cost baseline, and managing changes to the budget.

Human Resources

  1. Resource Leveling - A technique in project management that attempts to minimize the variation in resource loading by shifting the timing of certain activities.
  2. Team Assembly - The process of selecting and bringing together various people with the necessary skills to form a team dedicated to achieving the project's objectives.
  3. Conflict Resolution - The process of resolving a dispute or a conflict by meeting at least some of each side's needs and addressing their interests.

Stakeholder Engagement

  1. Stakeholder Analysis - A technique of identifying the key people who have to be won over and then tailoring a strategy to win their support.
  2. Engagement Strategies - Specific approaches integrated into the stakeholder engagement plan to involve stakeholders based on their interest, impact, and influence over the project.
  3. Stakeholder Communication - The process of engaging with stakeholders through various forms of communication to keep them informed and involved in the project.

Integration Management

  1. Project Plan Development - The process of taking the outputs of other planning processes and integrating them into a cohesive, coherent document known as the project plan.
  2. Project Plan Execution - The primary process for carrying out the project plan, which involves coordinating people and resources, as well as integrating and performing the activities of the project in accordance with the project management plan.
  3. Integrated Change Control - A process that reviews all change requests, approves changes, and manages changes to the deliverables, organizational process assets, project documents, and the project management plan.

Let's continue expanding the list of project management definitions to reach a total of 100 by adding more terms across new and existing sections:

Risk Management

  1. Risk Identification - The process of determining which risks may affect the project and documenting their characteristics.
  2. Risk Analysis - The systematic process of assessing the potential impact and likelihood of identified risks.
  3. Risk Mitigation - The process of developing actions to enhance opportunities and reduce threats to project objectives.
  4. Risk Register - A document that contains the results of various risk management processes and is often displayed in a table or spreadsheet format.

Quality Management

  1. Quality Planning - Identifying which quality standards are relevant to the project and determining how to satisfy them.
  2. Quality Metrics - Operational definitions that describe, in very specific terms, what something is and how the quality control process measures it.
  3. Quality Control - The monitoring of specific project results to determine whether they comply with relevant quality standards and identifying ways to eliminate causes of unsatisfactory performance.

Procurement Management

  1. Procurement Planning - The process of deciding what to buy, when, and from whom.
  2. Solicitation Planning - The process of preparing documents to support contracting or procurement.
  3. Supplier Selection - The process of evaluating and contracting suppliers to acquire goods and services.
  4. Contract Management - The management of contracts made with customers, vendors, partners, or employees.
  5. Procurement Audits - The review of contracts and contracting processes to ensure compliance with company and regulatory policies and procedures.

Time Management

  1. Activity Definition - Identifying the specific tasks that must be performed to produce the project deliverables.
  2. Activity Sequencing - Identifying and documenting the logical relationships among project activities.
  3. Duration Estimating - Approximating the number of work periods needed to complete individual activities with estimated resources.
  4. Schedule Development - Analyzing activity sequences, durations, resource requirements, and schedule constraints to create the project schedule.
  5. Critical Path Method (CPM) - A step-by-step project management technique for process planning that defines critical and non-critical tasks.

Communication Management

  1. Information Distribution - Making needed information available to project stakeholders in a timely manner.
  2. Performance Reporting - The collection of all baseline data and distribution of performance reports to stakeholders.
  3. Manage Stakeholder Expectations - Engaging and communicating with stakeholders to meet their needs and address issues as they occur.

Environmental Management

  1. Environmental Assessment - Evaluating the potential environmental impacts associated with project execution.
  2. Sustainability Integration - Incorporating sustainability practices into project planning and execution to minimize negative impact on the environment.
  3. Resource Conservation - Efficient and effective deployment and use of resources to minimize the environmental footprint.

Compliance and Regulatory Management

  1. Regulatory Compliance - Ensuring that the project follows all applicable laws, regulations, and standards.
  2. Legal Audit - Conducting checks to verify that the project's outputs comply with contractual and legal requirements.
  3. Ethics Management - Upholding and promoting ethical practices throughout the project's lifecycle.

Innovation and Continuous Improvement

  1. Kaizen - A strategy where employees at all levels of a company work together proactively to achieve regular, incremental improvements to the manufacturing process.
  2. Six Sigma - A disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects in any process.
  3. Agile Methodology - A process by which a team can manage a project by breaking it up into several stages involving constant collaboration with stakeholders and continuous improvement at every stage.

This comprehensive expansion across various domains within project management brings our list closer to 100 essential definitions, providing a broad and detailed perspective of the field.