This Glossary is a work in progress, and will continue to be updated as IS staff work to build a comon language around managing projects.
Beta – formal testing phase; also used to manage expectations or communicate that something is being tested; beta has been chosen and is tested; may be used to label a new product or service that is available alongside the old
Champion – someone who is motivated to be vocally enthusiastic about the project and promote it throughout the organization; person with significant interest who takes personal responsibility for project’s success; see also: Sponsor
Charter – document that formally recognizes the existence of a project; describes business need and product or service to be delivered; names sponsor and project manager; gives project manager authority to apply organizational resources to the project; establishes project governance (may include naming of an advisory committee); outlines high level scope, timeline and budget
Client (customer, user, patron, etc.) – persons or organizations that will use the project’s product or service or result; may be internal and/or external to the performing organization; may be multiple layers, i.e. functional users and end-users
Closing Stage – fourth stage in project lifecycle where outstanding issues are completed and documented in preparation for turning product or service over to sponsor, client, customer, etc.
Communication Plan – used to identify general or specific communication needs of stakeholders and the frequency and format of the information that is presented to them; also includes general communication such as press releases, public presentations, etc.
Deliverable – measurable, tangible, verifiable outcome, result or item that must be produced to complete a project or part of a project; often subject to approval by sponsor and/or customer
Documentation – collection of reports, information, records, references and other project data for distribution and archival purposes
Duration – number of work periods (hours, days, weeks) required to complete an activity or other project element; not to be confused with elapsed time
Execution Stage – third stage of project lifecycle associated with coordinating people and other resources to implement the project plan
Functional Manager – individual who plays a management role within an administrative or functional area of the organization; assigned permanent staff to carry out operational work; may provide subject matter expertise and/or services to the project
Implementation – one or more sequential phases in which the project plan is executed, monitored and controlled
Initiation Stage – first stage in project lifecycle in which a set of procedures is employed to recognize a project’s existence and formally authorize it to start; stakeholders reach shared goals and timeline
Kick-off Meeting – held to acquaint stakeholders with the project and each other; serves as an initial review of project scope and activities
Monitoring & Controlling
Operations – ongoing work to produce repetitive products, services or results; sustains the organization over time; does not terminate when current objectives are met but instead follows new directions to support the organization’s strategic plans
Pilot – used when only one piece of a system is being used; could be synonymous with beta, but implies a less technical phase; could be pre-project, i.e. a feasibility study; pilot may not become operational
Planning Stage – third stage in project lifecycle in which a workable scheme for accomplishing the project’s deliverables is developed
Project – a temporary undertaking to create a unique product or service with a defined start and end point and specific objectives that, when obtained, signify completion
Project Lifecycle – a collection of general sequential and sometimes overlapping project stages that provide a basic framework for managing the project
Project Management Office (PMO) – an organizational body assigned various responsibilities related to the centralized and coordinated management of those projects under its domain; responsibilities range from providing project management support functions (policies, methodologies, templates, training, mentoring, centralized communication) to directly managing projects
Project Manager – assigned by performing organization to achieve project objectives; in charge of all aspects of the project including developing the project management plan and all related components, keeping the project on schedule and budget, responding to risk, providing accurate and timely reporting; centralizes interactions between stakeholders and the project itself
Project Phase – helps control large and complex projects by dividing them into sequential, each with a distinct milestone or deliverable (i.e. different versions); deliverables are distinct/separate
Project Status – condition of the project at a specified point in time, relative to time, cost or performance; can include a formal written or verbal status report that may or may not be delivered at a status meeting
Project Team – project manager, plus “core” and “extended” team members carrying out project work; project team members are always stakeholders in the project
Proof of Concept – and feasibility studies. Potentially done. If done, part of Initiation Stage.
Scope Creep – deliverables keep expanding
Sponsor – person or group that provides the financial resources for the project; project champion; serves as spokesperson to higher levels of management to gather support and promote benefits; leads project until it is formally authorized; plays significant role in development of initial scope and charter
Stakeholder – persons or organizations who are actively involved in the project or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected by the performance or completion of the project; may also exert influence over the project, its deliverables and the project team members
Sub-projects – interrelated smaller projects occurring simultaneously to achieve one coordinated end result; deliverables are shared
Vendor (supplier, contractor, etc.) – external companies that enter into a contractual agreement to provide components or services necessary for a project; may provide specialized expertise or fill a specified role in the project