Project Management Glossary of PMP Concepts

There are loads of terms and concepts to learn when it comes to project management and particularly for PMP. You will not be asked to derive definitions in the PMP© exam as its a multiple choice but being able to identify what a term or concept is used in relation to. This will help you use the process of elimination for questions that you don’t know an answer for.

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After I did my initial studying and started taking exams I created the below study notes which I would revise before each exam and then add new concepts I might have mixed up during the practice exam. I recommend you to also write out any terms or concepts you might not be clear with or got wrong in a practice exam so you can revise and improve your knowledge in the area.

Initiation Terms & Concepts

ProcessA package of inputs, tools and outputs
PhaseA group of logically related activities which produce deliverables at the end of the phase.
Following represent end of a phase…
> Kill Point
> Stage Gate
> Milestone
> Phase Review
> Phase Gate
Phase-to-Phase RelationshipSequential: Finish-to-Start
Overlapping: Schedule Compression ie. Fast tracking
ProjectTemporary endeavour
Create unique product/service
Defined time period
ProgramGroup of coordinated projects towards a common goal
PortfolioGroup of programs/projects to achieve organizational strategic goals
Why Projects?> Market Demand
> Organizational Need
> Customer Request
> Technological Advance
> Legal Requirements
> Support org strategic plan
Progressive ElaborationAnalysis and estimation can be more accurate and elaborated as project progresses. (Rolling Wave Planning)

Project Management

Project ManagementThe application of knowledge, skills, tools & techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements
Project Management TeamSubset of project team. Responsible for all activities, referred to as core, executive or leadership team.
PMBOKFramework/Standard but not a methodology
PRINCEProjects IN Controlled Environments
Competing ConstraintsTime, Cost, Scope, Quality, Risk, Resources
Project Management Office (PMO)> Standardizes Governance
> Provides Training
> Shares Tools
> Templates
> Resources
Project ReportsFormal and informal project reports which describe…
> Status
> Lessons Learned
> Issue Logs
> Closure Reports
> Outputs from knowledge areas
Enterprise Environmental FactorsMay enhance or constrain project management processes and may have a positive or negative impact on outcome.
Organizational Project Management (OPM)> Strategy execution framework utilizing portfolios, programs and projects and organizational enabling practices (technology, culture etc.)
> Linking management principles with strategy and advance capabilities
Management by Objective (MBO)Process of defining objectives within an organization so that management and employees agree to objectives and understand what they need to do in the organization in order to achieve them
Project LifecycleInitiating, Planning, Executing, Closing
> Predictive: (Waterfall) Scope, Time, Cost determined early in project
> Iterative: (Incremental) Repeat the phases until exit criteria are met
> Adaptive: (Agile) High change rate each iteration very short 2-4 weeks
Product LifecycleDevelopment, Production, Adoption & Growth, Maturity, Decline, End of Life
Each phase within product lifecycle may include all project process groups
PMI ApproachSexism, Racism or any discrimination never accepted
Adhere to local customs including paying bribe if deemed necessary and acceptable

Project Manager

PM May Report To> Functional Manager
> Program Manager
> PMO Manager
> Operation Manager
> Senior Management (Must be consulted for changes to high level constraints)
Interpersonal Skills> Communication
> Leadership
– Autocratic: Makes decisions themselves
– Directing: Instructs people on tasks when/how
– Laissez Faire: Does not interfere
– Democratic:  Guides but doesn’t interfere
– Delegating: Delegates tasks
– Coaching: Instructs
– Discussing: Two-way communication
– Facilitating: Coordinates inputs from several sources
– Supportive: Positive assistance and encouragement
– Participatory: Involves others
– Task-orientated: Enforces tasks
– Assertive: Confronts issues
> Motivation
> Influence
> Negotiation
> Trust Building
> Political and Cultural Awareness
Interpersonal Influences> Legitimate Power: Official empowered
> Reward Power: Salary, Bonuses
> Penalty Power: Punishment
> Expert Power: Knowledge *Best Power
> Referent Power: Personally attracted – friend of CEO
PM Responsibility> 90% of time on communication with stakeholders
> Leader of project irrespective of authority
> Should consider every process if applicable for project
> Identifies and document conflicts of project objectives with organization strategy as early as possible
> Involves team members in planning process


Organization Types

ProjectizedProject manager has ultimate authority over project
Matrix> Strong: PM has authority
> Balanced: Share authority
> Weak: Functional Manager has authority, PM considered Expeditor
> Multiple Bosses so more complex
Functional Organization> Project Manager has little authority
> Project Expeditor – No Authority
> Project Coordinator – Little Authority
CompositeCombination of different types
Project Based Organization (PBO)> Conduct majority of work via projects over functional approaches
> Departments with functional organizations
> Matrix Organizations
> Projectized Organizations
Tight MatrixIs when team collocated and nothing to do with organization type

Other Important Terms

Project Charter> Officially creates project
> Formally assigns PM
> Contains external constraints and assumptions
> Includes high level milestone schedule
Project Management Plan> Collection of subsidiary plans
> Formal, written communication
> Approved by sponsor
Project Scope Statement> Progressively Elaborated
Making Changes> Authority to Approve Changes: The Scope Mgmt. Plan is the document that specifies how changes to the scope will be managed
> Changing Scope to Avoid Risk: After risk has been qualified, quantified should it mean changing scope
> Work Authorization: Defines when and how work is to be completed
Perform Integrated Change Control> Have change control meetings
> Output change request status updates
Cost-reimbursablePays costs for materials and services and fee on top of it
Standard Deviation> Used to measure diversity
> P-O/6> Standard Deviation for entire path
Square standard deviation to get variance
Square root sum of variance
Six Sigma> Six Sigma = Mean +/- Standard Deviation
> 1 Sigma = 68%
2 Sigma = 95%
6 Sigma = 99.97%
Quality Management TheoryPlanning for quality must be emphasized
Stakeholders> Can be effected positively/negatively by a project
1. Power/Interest Grid: Level of authority and concern
2. Power/Influence Grid: Level of authority and involvement
3. Influence/Impact Grid: Level of involvement and effect of changes
4. Salience Model: Power/Urgency/Legitimacy
> Stakeholder Register: Identification, Requirements, expectations, Influence, Classification
Customer SatisfactionEnsure product team build meets customer requirements. Profitable project does not mean customer satisfaction
Conflict> Direct confrontation is best policy
Blake & Mouton 5 Modes for Handling Conflicts
1. Withdrawal – Retreat
2. Smoothing – Deemphasize Source of Conflict
3. Compromise – Bargain usually lose-lose
4. Forcing – Choose one viewpoint
5. Confrontation – Facing the conflict directly
Conflicts Occur1. Schedules
2. Priorities
3. Resources
4. Technical
5. Procedures
6. Personality
7. Costs
Unresolved IssuesLead to a major source of conflict
Estimating> Analogous Estimating: Top down estimating
> Parametric Estimating: Statistical relationship between historical data and other variables
> Bottom Up Estimating: Most detailed estimation by calculating per work package and takes the longest
Control CommunicationsProcess of monitoring and controlling communications throughout project lifecycle
Communication Type> Formal Written: Contracts
> Informal Written: Email
> Formal Verbal: Speeches
> Informal Written: 1 to 1 meeting
McClelland’s Three Need TheoryAchievement, Power Affiliation
Product Analysis> Product Breakdown
> Systems Analysis
> Requirements Analysis
> Systems Engineering
> Value Engineering
> Value Analysis
DepreciationDecrease in value over time. 2 types….
1. Straight Line Deprecation: Same amount every year
2. Accelerated Depreciation:
A) Double Declining Balance (Fastest type of depreciation)
B) Sum of Years Digits (Add up years ie.3 years 1+2+3=6 then calculate year by year 3/6 x Asset Cost. Year 2 would be 2/6 x Asset Cost
Opportunity CostCost of passing up on best option A = 15,000 B = 10,000 C = 5,000 you choose A the opportunity cost would be 10,000
Failure Costs> Rework products
> Components
> Process non-compliant
> Cost of work and waste
> Loss of reputation
Lifecycle CostsNot responsibility of project includes…
> Direct and indirect
> Periodic or continuing
Configuration Management Activities It is the basis of project communication and controlling changes that affect the project, such as requirements or design change.
> Formal identifies and documents physical and functional characteristic of the Configurable Items
> Controls changes to the characteristics of Configurable Items
> Record the history of changes done on configurable items
> Support the audit of these Configurable Items to verify conformance to the requirement
Attribute SamplingBinary either conforms or not
Variable SamplingContinuous process that measures against degree of conformity
Analytical Financial Techniques> Payback Period
> Discounted Cash flow
> Net Present Value
DMAICDefine Measure Analyse Improve Control
Administrative ClosureFinal completion and closure of project
Contract ClosureClosed upon reaching end of contract
Independent EstimatesCheck proposed pricing by procuring organization by asking reliable source for price to use as base
Design of ExperimentsIdentifies which variables have most influence on quality outcome
Contingency ReservesKnown unknowns
Management ReserveUnknown unknowns
Cost Baseline = Contingency & Cost Estimates
Project Budget = Cost Baseline & Reserve
Cost Performance BaselineThis is the BUDGET
Special CauseUnusual & preventable ie.preditcable
Common/Normal CausesAccepted causes that are determined to happen so infrequently are considered random
Code of AccountsUnique lettering system used in WBS
Journey to AilbheOrganization takes actions to contradict to what they really want ie. People agree to org goals but personally disagree
Constructive ChangeA undocumented change recommended by a party
Total Point of AssumptionWhere seller bears all the loses of additional cost overrun only in fixed price incentive fee contracts!
Closing Process1. Get formal acceptance
2. Close contracts
3. Write lessons learned
4. Release the team
Administer ProcurementOther name for monitor and control procurement
Records Mgmt. SystemUsed in procurement process to store contracts and any related documents
Active Risk ResponseEstablish contingency reserve including amount of time and money to handle
Residual RiskRisk that occurs after all risk responses have been implemented
Secondary RiskRisk that occurs as a result of implementing a risk response
Risk AnalysisQualitative means judgement
Quantitative means numbers
Risk Breakdown StructureCreated in Plan Risk Management to categorize risks
KaizenMeans improvement
Rough Order of MagnitudeRange is -50% to +50%
Staffing Management PlanIncludes….
> Rewards and recognition
> Training requirements
> Release plan
Kick-off MeetingHappens start of each phase
Project Selection Methods1. Benefit Measurement Model – Comparative Approach
> Scoring Models
> Cost-benefit Analysis
> Review/Murder Board
> Economic Models
2. Constrained Optimization – Mathematical Approach
> Linear Programming
> Nonlinear Programming
> Integer Programming
> Dynamic Programming
> Multi-objective Programming
Geert Hofstede – Cultural Dimensions> Power Sharing
> Uncertainty Avoidance
> Individualism
> Masculinity-femininity
> Time Orientation
CSOWContract statement of Work

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