If you’re engaged in project management or your occupation is somehow related to it, you should have an eye for project management terms. On the other hand, it’s quite difficult to retain all the definitions in memory and a good PM dictionary would be a lifesaver. 

We’ve compiled a glossary of essential and the most frequently used project management terms that can be a good assistant for you in your work. 



is a duty of reporting on one’s actions, or a state of responsibility.


is a conflict resolution method focused on agreement issues rather than controversial ones.


are exertion necessary for completing a scope of work.  

Activity Attributes 

are additional components related to each activity scope.

Activity Duration Estimates Review 

is a process of detecting risks related to the time allowances for activities in particular or a project in general, with the width of estimates range indicating a respective level of risk.

Activity List 

is the description of all activities planned for completing a project. It contains all the details about the tasks a project team has to perform.  

Actual Cost 

is a final amount of money and resources spent on project completion.


is a project management methodology focused on team communication and feedback rather than strict following rules and scripts. 

Analogous Estimating 

is an approach to evaluating a gross value applying such criteria as budget, complexity, duration, and size based on a previous similar project estimation experience. 

Arbitrary Total Float 

is a randomly chosen amount of time a task can be postponed without risk of delaying the project completion moment.


is a process of appointing or providing a team member with a responsibility to perform a task.

Assignment Status 

is a state of resource allocation performed by a project manager. E.g., confirmed, planned, proposed, requested, etc.  


is an external factor or event capable of influencing the project’s success. 

Assumption Analysis 

is a process of examining and determining risks of project failure as a result of improper assumption estimation.

Assumption Log 

is a store of all assumptions and constraints created or processed within the project life cycle. 

Automated Code Coverage Report 

is a computerized summary of your code’s lines, statements and blocks test check as a significant metric of your QA quality assessment.

Automated Scheduling Tool

is an instrument of accelerating your planning by suggesting start and finish dates based on existing input data.

Acquire Project Team 

is a process of selecting resources to deal with project activities according to an established set of competencies necessary for the execution of certain duties. 

Budget at Completion (BAC) 

is the total financial plan calculated for a project.


is a store of uncompleted postponed actions to be handled later.

Bar Chart 

also known as a Gantt chart, is a graphical instrument depicting the data related to a project. 


is initial data for your project performance measurement necessary for the start. It usually consists of the three following components: schedule, cost, and scope.


is comparing project practices to those of other projects or similar industries to distinguish the most optimal and appropriate ones for implementing in the future.


is a situation when a certain process affects the capacity of the chain because of its limited capacity. 

Bottom-Up Estimating 

is a process of assessing the work details, dividing it to many items and then summing up all the estimates to create a total quality assessment for each of the activity’s resources. 

Bottom-Up EAC (estimate at completion) Method 

is a formula of forecasting the budget of a project with its progressing, where actual costs (AC) and forecasted remaining spending – the estimate to complete (ETC) are summarized.


is a process of assigning resources and analyzing the budget necessary for adequate risk management to create a cost performance baseline. 


is spare time before the date of the project completion, or the time added by a project manager to the potential date of the project completion to prolongate its execution.   

Business Case 

is a collection of data necessary for assessing a projects’ business value to make a decision whether it’s worth initiating or not.

Business Value 

is a term denoting business worth including not only budgeting issues but also team, customer, supplier, and partner value.

Business Value Delivered Chart 

is a diagram demonstrating achieved business success.

Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) 

is the budget allocated for buying fixed assets, such as a building or land, or add value to existing ones.

Case Study 

is a research of a certain unit, such as a person, a company, a project, a social group to trace the peculiarities of the development or trends in connection with the environment for further comparison with a larger unit or, on the contrary, a smaller one.


is a structured collection of items used to monitor and confirm that the number of required steps for a task or project completion have been taken.


is a person or organization determining the project requirements including such essential criteria as budget and deadlines.

Close Project or Phase Process 

is completing all activities, gathering all project records and their further analysis.

Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) 

is a process of providing guidance for companies to improve their course and state of projects, and a model for development processes optimization.


is a process of uniting the most resourceful project team members into a single team in the same location to improve the workflow of the project. 

Configuration Management Plan 

is used to define configurable items of a project and those requiring formal change control. Its aim is determining, documenting, and implementing changes to the project’s units.

Control Account (CA) 

is a point where actual costs and the budget are gathered and examined in contrast to the earned value.

Control Account Manager (CAM) 

is a person responsible for planning schedules, estimating costs at completion, collecting actual cost, and measuring accomplishments. 

Control Risks 

is a process of introducing risk response plans, identifying and tracking risks, and examining risk management efficiency in a project. 

Control Schedule 

is a process of defining the current status of the project schedule, managing circumstances that can affect the project schedule, detecting project schedule transformations and managing them.

Control Scope 

is a process of project status examination enabling checking and managing the scope baseline changes.  


is any project limitation that cannot be managed by project team members. 

Cost Baseline

is the sum of money a project is supposed to cost.

Cost Estimation 

is a process of calculating all project resources (both financial and human) necessary for a project to be delivered on time.

Control Costs 

is a process of examining a project status to be able to change the project costs if necessary to reduce risks. 

Cost Management 

is a process of assessing, assigning, and administering all project costs.

Cost Management Plan 

is a document where all project costs are properly estimated and allocated.

Cost Performance Index/Indicator (CPI) 

is EVM (earned value measurement) metric used to calculate the cost efficiency for the work completed. It demonstrates how much the project is losing. 

Cost Performance Measurements 

are calculations used to evaluate changes in the initial cost baseline.

Cost-Plus-Fixed-Fee (CPFF) Contract 

is a type of contract where a buyer pays a seller party additional fixed costs (discussed and set beforehand) that appeared during product creation and execution. 

Cost Schedule 

is a document recording total estimates at all production stages and used to calculate other costs and create s-curves. 

Cost Variance 

is a parameter showing the difference between the initial budget and the actual cost of the project. 


is a schedule compression technique reviewing cost and schedule tradeoffs aiming to perform better compression without adding incremental cost.  

Critical Activities 

are critical path planned activities.

Critical Chain 

is a method of managing projects where the emphasis is made on resources performing project tasks. Its main idea is adding buffers to the time of project execution. 

Critical Path 

is a sequence of actions within a project execution plan that takes the biggest amount of time to handle.

Customer Satisfaction 

is a metric estimating the level your services meet your clients’ expectations and requirements. 


is a panel that demonstrates all information about the project progress including issues requiring special attention.


is the date before which a task or a project must be completed. 

Defect Repair 

is a process of correcting or replacing an error detected in a certain project component.

Define Activities 

is a process of identifying specific actions to be performed to produce the project deliverables.

Define Scope 

is a process of describing project’s goals, deliverables, features, functions, tasks, deadlines, and costs.


is a project output index.

Delivery Date 

is the time when a project must be completed.


is a correlation between two tasks in a project or between two projects making it impossible to initiate a succeeding one until preceding haven’t been handled. 

Determine Budget 

is a process of calculating the estimated costs of individual activities or work packages to establish an authorized cost baseline.

Develop Project Charter

is a process of compiling a document that proves the project initiation and authorizing a project manager to allocate resources for project execution.

Develop Project Team 

is a process of improving project team members’ skills to ensure efficient project execution. 

Develop Schedule 

is a process of examining and evaluating the sequence and duration of actions needed to be performed within a project life cycle, dates of milestones as well as resource parameters, and constraints to build a project plan. 

Direct Costs 

are the expenses that can be related to a certain project, such as rental costs.

Discretionary Dependency

is a kind of flexible but documented dependency allowing to make adjustments when necessary by project team members.

Earned Value Management 

is a process of project performance measuring by analyzing the initial (baseline) and real values. 

Enterprise Environmental Factors (EEF) 

are either internal or external circumstances influencing the project’s success directly or indirectly. E.g., market conditions, employees’ skills assessment, team’s competencies improvement, etc.

Estimate Activity Duration

is a process of considering and estimating the amount of time spent on handling a certain task with a certain number of resources. E.g., productivity metrics, resource calendar.  

Estimate Activity Resources 

is a process of analyzing the amount and number of all resources such as financial ones, employees, equipment, etc. necessary for each task performance.  

Earned Value Management (EVM) 

is a process of measuring performance for the project duration against a created integrated baseline for the duration of the project.

Expert Judgment 

is estimation provided by a competent person or a group of specialists based on established criteria. 

External Dependency 

is a kind of project dependency being out of the project team’s control. E.g., economical situation, competitors, etc.

Facilitated Workshops 

are a method applied when defining the project scope. It consists of sessions and aims to gather stakeholders for product requirements settling.  

Fast Tracking

is a method of schedule compressing when activities accomplished separately are carried out simultaneously. 

Feasibility of a Project 

is the potential success of a project, its validity.

Feasibility Assessment/Study 

is a process of examining all project’s aspects to make a conclusion whether it’s worth initiating or not. E.g., economic feasibility, technical feasibility, etc.

Firm-Fixed-Price Contract 

is a type of contract according to which a buyer pays a fixed price to a seller which is independent of any occurring circumstances. 

Fixed-Price or Lump Sum Contract 

is a type of contract wherein a buyer pays a fixed price to a seller for a strictly defined product but the sum can be increased depending on circumstances.

Fixed-Price-Incentive-Free Contract 

is a type of contract when a buyer pays a fixed price to a seller but the price can be changed in case the seller faces any of predesignated criteria associated with their performance.

Fixed Price with Economic Price Adjustment (FP-EPA)

is a type of contract in which a price is established but the sum can be flexible due to inflation or other factors agreed by both sides. 


is the time a task can be postponed without any harm to the project delivery date.

Float Analysis 

is a technique of examining the amount of time a task or tasks can be delayed without postponing the project delivery date. 

Functional Manager 

is an authorized person being responsible for an organizational unit in the functional group with corresponding management duties, and/or being responsible for the functions having an impact on project deliverables or those influenced by them.

Future Load 

is an indicator used in multi-project management to show future project performance and extra costs (including resources) after adding extra projects to the Pipeline.

Gantt Chart 

is a bar chart demonstrating the workflow in correlation to tasks, time, schedules, etc.

High-Performance Team (HPT) 

is a group of employees having excellent occupation-related skills and demonstrating brilliant results in task performance, and as a result – in business development.

Historical Data 

is information displaying project-related issues throughout a certain period of time in the past.

Historical Database 

is storage of historical data necessary for examining the project’s previous workflow throughout a certain period of time in the past and is referred to the Plan Quality Management process. 

Hybrid Methodology 

is a technique combining several methods (E.g., combining Agile methods and Waterfall methodology) to create a new, more efficient approach.  

Identify Risks 

is a process of distinguishing potential project risks.

Incremental Delivery 

is one of the Agile methodology principles focusing on the process components as crucial points of the final result. 

Indirect Costs 

are expenses that cannot be associated with a particular project, such as management issues.  


is resources you allocate for project delivery.

Inter-project Relations/Project Interdependency 

is external linkages between projects.


is a workflow management technique within Agile methodology used to schedule a work plan. 

Lateral Thinking 

is a method of creative thinking initiation. 

Lead/Lag Adjustment

is a process of arranging lags (items that are behind schedule) to make the project workflow smooth. 

Lead/Lag Dependency 

is a correlation between tasks in progress and the ones behind the project schedule. 

Lean Project Management 

is an approach based on the idea of reducing or eliminating waste and getting more value. 

Leveling Resources 

is a process of adjusting start and finish dates with resource limitation aimed at harmonizing demand for resources and the available supply, which results in project’s critical path transformations.


is a period of project functioning including its initiation, planning, execution, and closure. 


is a collective method of making decisions when more than 50% of people voted for the idea. 

Manage Project Team 

is a process of examining employees’ workflow and achievements and implementing transformations to improve general project performance.

Mandatory Dependency 

is a type of relationship that cannot be changed. E.g., to resolve the next task you have to handle the previous one, as building a fence before painting it.


is a system of approaches, principles, rules, and tools to use and be guided by in project management.


is an important event in the project’s life cycle, a kind of achievement. 

Minimum Marketable Feature (MMF) 

is a minor function that is easily and quickly to develop bringing value to a client. 

Monte Carlo 

is a mathematical method of estimating risks when making decisions.

Multi-Project Management 

is a process of leading multiple projects simultaneously. 

Multi-Project Management Software 

is a digital tool used to manage multiple projects simultaneously.

Multi-Tasking Environment 

is a situation when a lot of issues within one or several projects must be handled. 

Net Present Value 

is the difference between the current cash value and that in the future. 

Organization Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3) 

is a methodology developed by the Project Management Institute used for implementing and improving Organizational Project Management.

Organizational Process Assets 

are data about a product or organization including planning issues, cases, processes, characteristics, historical information and other, used as inputs to planning projects. 


is a situation when an employee gets too many tasks to tackle. 


is a final result of project execution.

Parametric Estimating 

is a process of measuring an estimate for budget, cost, and duration of activity. 

Perform Quality Assurance

is a process of constant monitoring of project activities’ quality and its improvement.

Perform Quality Control 

is a process of analyzing quality activities results to evaluate the project’s state of things and implement changes if necessary. 

Performance Management (PM) 

is a process of controlling the way project activities are performed and the level the results meet the established requirements and objectives. 

Performance Review 

is a tool for analyzing project achievements and comparing them with the baseline. 


is a channel to demonstrate the project’s workflow, including milestones, backlogs, releases, etc.

Plan Communication Management 

is a process of examining project stakeholders’ requirements and selecting the most convenient means of project communication.  

Plan Procurement Management 

is a process of documenting project needs to be achieved by purchasing certain products or services and identifying an approach for dealing with vendors.  

Plan Risk Responses 

is a process of working out and recording activities to reduce or eliminate threats to project success. 

Plan Quality Management

is a process of determining and evaluating the quality of the project requirements and deliverables, as well as tracking the ways the project progress meets the established requirements.

Planned Cost 

is prospective estimates of project execution. 


is a technique of making decisions based on the idea that agreement is achieved if the biggest group of people accept it, regardless of the majority’s opinion. 


is a collection of projects and project-related data to ensure the transparency and structured approach to project management.

Prince2 (Projects IN Controlled Environment) 

is a process-based methodology using principles of project plan justification, clearly defined project roles and duties, and a structured approach to the whole project management process. 


is a process of arranging tasks or actions depending on their significance or urgency.

Priority Coefficient 

is a value demonstrating the urgency and importance of a task as compared to other ones. 


is an action or task preceding another one.

Preventive Actions 

are operations aimed at eliminating potential project threats or problems. 

Product Scope 

is a set of characteristics describing a product or a service necessary for its development. 

Project Boundaries 

determine the scope of a project, describe the purpose of processes, their start and end dates, their inputs and outputs, the data required, the owner and the stakeholders.

Productivity Metrics

is data about project performance. 


is a set of projects managed in a unity.

Program Evaluation Review Technique (PERT) 

is a tool for assessing the approximate time necessary for project delivery using the following three estimates: the smallest amount of time, the presumed amount, and the biggest amount of time for tackling tasks within a process of project execution.

Program Manager 

is a person responsible for multiple projects administration.

Progressive Elaboration 

is a process of systematic improvement of project-related issues, such as plan, schedule, allocation, etc. which enables a project team to achieve better results. 


is a complex of work and forces needed to create a particular product or service.

Project Calendar 

is a tool used to display the arranged resources’ work activities and task execution. 

Project Configuration Management (PCM) 

is a number of activities and techniques used to control project issues during its life cycle.  

Project Definition/Charter/Statement 

is a description of its scope, goals, and project team members used to create the product or service meeting all client’s requirements.

Project Interdependency Management Practice (PIMP) 

is a set of methods and activities a project manager applies to explore and analyze external project connections. 

Project Life Cycle 

is a series of stages that a project goes through starting from its initiation and ending with its completion. 

Project Management Office (PMO) 

is a board in the organization that determines and controls project management principles and requirements in a certain business area. 

Project Management Plan 

is an arrangement of tasks to perform for completing a project including all sub plans. 

Project Management Software

is a digital tool for leading a project, including project planning, cost estimating, resource allocation, and transformation management.

Project Manager 

is a person responsible for project administration from its initiation to its delivery.

Project Objective 

is a business goal that can be achieved as a result of the project execution.

Project Portfolio Management 

is a process of leading selected projects at a certain time and administering them as an integral group of assets. 

Project Phase 

is a path of the project life cycle starting with initiation and ending with its completion. E.g., initiation, planning, execution, closure.

Project Planning 

is a stage of project management during which the schedule of addressing tasks and timelines are defined. 

Project Schedule

is a plan consisting of all approximate dates of project execution including milestones, releases, and deliverables.  

Project Scope 

is a collection of project-related features, characteristics, objectives, schedules, etc. necessary for managing a project and delivering it. 

Project Scope Management 

is a process of controlling all kinds of activities associated with a project execution focusing on its objectives, requirements, plan, etc.

Project Simulation

is a process of testing actions before implementing them to trace their impact on the project’s progress.  

Project Schedule 

is a plan demonstrating what tasks are in progress, which ones should be performed and other task-related information, as well as resources working on certain tasks and the time limits within which the work should be completed.

Project team 

is a group of employees usually having different duties assigned by a project manager to work on a certain project together. 

Project Replanning 

is a stage of project management during which a determined project schedule is reviewed due to errors or other events threatening the project success.

Published Estimating Data 

is a tool and a source of information about activity resources to guide by when working on estimates calculations.

Quality Audit 

is a process used to check if project activities follow the accepted terms, rules, and principles.

Quality Function Deployment (QFD) 

is an instrument of transforming the client’s requirements (Voice of the customer) into engineering characteristics to create a final product. 

Qualitative Risk Analysis

is a process of measuring and examining risks in terms of a certain threat.

Real-Time Progress 

is graphical demonstration of the project’s current state of things.


is a presentation of the final variant of a product or service. 

Reserve Analysis 

is a process of analyzing project management plan’s components to check the necessity of adding a reserve for the project’s budget, duration, etc.  

Resource Allocation 

is a process of assigning resources in the most efficient way for a project to succeed.

Resources Calendar 

is a document demonstrating all work-related issues such as employees’ working hours, vacations, sick leaves, etc.

Resource Reallocation 

is a process of reassigning resources as a result of the previous allocation review to make it more efficient.

Resource Requirements 

are a document containing information about the skills level, number, and the kinds of activity applied to resources.

Resource Pool 

is a group of resources available for task assignment.

Request for Proposal

is a document whose purpose is to get a formal bid from potential vendors for a desired product or service.

Request for Quotation 

is a process aiming to find suppliers to bid on a certain product or service. 


are postulates ensuring successful project delivery or clients’/stakeholders’ demands concerning the final result of a project.

Requirements Document 

is a record of all project-related demands and conditions.

Requirement Management Plan 

is a document used by a project manager to guarantee the project deliverable meets the requirements. 


is an ambiguous action or event that can have a negative impact on the project’s goals or its progress. 

Risk Impact Assessment 

is a process of examining and evaluating the potential impact of project management actions on its performance.  

Risk Management 

is a process of examining potential risks, evaluating their influence on a project, and elaborating ways to avoid them or mechanisms of reducing their consequences. 

Risk Management Plan 

is a record of potential risks, their probable impact, and ways to reduce or eliminate them compiled by a project manager. 

Risk Rating 

is a prioritization of risks based on their probability or impact on a project.

Rolling Wave Planning 

is a wave-like structure of project execution similar to Agile principles, when the work is performed gradually after all the project details become clear stage by stage, where each further step of work is planned at a higher level of work breakdown structure.

Schedule Baseline

is a mutually accepted non-changeable project schedule used as an indicator to measure the process according to the current project schedule by comparing them.  

Schedule Control 

is a process of managing a plan of project execution, examining issues that can affect the progress, detecting any schedule transformations and administering them. 

Schedule Network Diagram 

is a tool applied to demonstrate the order and logic of project activities execution including durations and any changes in the plan. 

Schedule Performance Index (SPI) 

is an indicator of the compliance between a project plan and the real time of its completion. 

Schedule Variance 

is a value demonstrating if a project is ahead or behind its schedule. 

Scheduled Cost 

is a planned and accepted estimate that can be adjusted at any time of the project’s life cycle.

Scheduling (of tasks) 

is a process of planning tasks execution regarding the beginning and end dates.

Scheduling Methodology 

is a tool depicting principles and approaches applied to project scheduling.

Scope Baseline 

is an accepted set of requirements, objectives, schedule, structure, etc. necessary for initiating a project. 

Scope Change Management 

is a process of administering changes related to the project scope.

Scope Management Plan 

is a record of approved project scope-related suggestions and solutions.  


is a set of Agile principles based on the idea of team communication when addressing PM challenges by means of adjustable reconsideration of activities schedule. 

Shared Resource Pool 

is a group of resources who can be assigned to project tasks and shared by several projects.

Sigmoid Curve (S-Curve) 

is an S-shaped graph presenting current total project data depending on time. 


is predictable measuring of various project durations with different sets of activity assumptions.

Six Sigma 

is a project management methodology used to improve the output quality by applying quality management tools using statistical and empirical approaches by means of identifying bugs and removing them. 


is the conflict resolution technique that focuses on things in common rather than difference and disagreement.

Soft Logic

is a kind of flexible but documented dependency allowing to make adjustments when necessary by project team members.

Schedule Performance Index (SPI) 

is an indicator of the project’s completeness closeness to the schedule.


is an established period of time within which a task or related activities are performed.

Sprint Retrospective 

is an Agile PM method used to discuss the state of things in the project management process in order to improve it. 


is a person or organization supporting a project financially.


is a person or organization being able to influence or be influenced by project outcomes. 

Steering Committee 

is a group of client-side experts responsible for making all project-related decisions and examining the project success.   


is an action following the previous one.

Swot Analysis 

is a process of examining project-related issues to distinguish risk factors that can affect its success. 


is a Develop Project Management Plan process of selecting approaches, tools, and rules out of the methodology to apply for managing a certain project.  


is a single part of the work on a project.

Task Status 

is a current state of a work unit.

Time Log 

is a storage of data about employee’s performed or planned activities.  


is a number of events arranged in chronological order. 

Time Management 

is a process of organizing time properly for resolving project tasks.

Time Tracking 

is a process of examining or a tool demonstrating how much time every project team member has spent on a certain task.

Team Collaboration 

is a process of interaction between coworkers working on the same project. 


is either upper or lower limit of a certain value, eg., it may refer to cost, time, budget, etc. 


are bounds a project manager establishes to expand their project responsibility scope (e.g., for spending budget or timelines) when dealing with a project sponsor.  

Total Float 

is an indicator denoting the period project management activity can be postponed without any harm to the delivery date. 

Total Float Variance 

is a scheduling indicator used to assess time performance. 


is providing access to the project management-related data.

Trend Analysis 

is a tool for controlling PM quality demonstrating future performance based on historical data. 

Triple Constraint 

is a concept in project management meaning any PM process should be focused on the three most significant parameters: time, scope, and cost.

Total Cost of Ownership

is the calculation of general value including direct and indirect costs of a product or service.  

User Story Map 

is an Agile technique focused on customer’s needs and ideas on a product or service based on which a project team develops them.

Validate Scope 

is a process of accepting completed project deliverables as a result of Control Quality process. 

Visual Control 

is a technique reflecting the state of things in the project management process, e.g., communication troubles or performance demonstration.

Voice of the Customer (VOC) 

is a result of the client’s estimation and comments on your service that results in Quality Function Deployment.


is a combination of Agile and Waterfall methodologies into the technique using principles of both.


is a project management methodology based on the idea of dividing activities into the interdependent ordered structure.

Wideband Delphi Technique 

is a method of estimating value by experts using several rounds in which every participant provides an anonymous estimation of an item and after each round, they get its total estimate.  

What-if Scenario Analysis 

is a process of checking the project’s feasibility in various terms or testing the potential impact of decisions on the project’s success. 

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) 

is an output-focused partition of a project into components to organize the process of its execution. 

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Component 

is a unit of a project created as a result of WBS process.


is a sequence of tasks in progress in a project execution process.

Work Package 

is a set of interrelated project tasks to be resolved.

Work Performance Information/Data 

is raw data to be analyzed by a project manager and a team about cost and estimates for completing a project.

Work Plan 

is a schedule of performing tasks within the work stages.


You’re welcome to contribute to our PM Glossary compilation! If you haven’t found any important concepts here, please, write your suggestions in the comment section below.