Project Management Terminology - A

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

ACCEPTANCE   The formal process of accepting delivery of a product or a deliverable. 

ACCEPTANCE CRITERIA   Performance requirements and essential conditions that have to be achieved before project deliverables are accepted.

ACCEPTANCE TEST   Formal, pre-defined test conducted to determine the compliance of the deliverable item(s) with the acceptance criteria. 

ACCRUED COSTS   Costs that are earmarked for the project and for which payment is due, but has not been made. 

ACQUISITION STRATEGY   Determining the most appropriate means of procuring the component parts or services of a project. 

ACTIVITY   Task, job, operation or process consuming time and possibly other resources. (The smallest self-contained unit of work used to define the logic of a project. In general, activities share the following characteristics: a definite duration, logic relationships to other activities in a project, use resources such as people, materials or facilities, and have an associated cost. They should be defined in terms of start and end dates and the person or organization responsible for their completion.) 

ACTIVITY DEFINITION   Identifies the specific activities that must be performed in order to produce project deliverables. 

ACTIVITY DURATION   Activity duration specifies the length of time (hours, days, weeks, months) that it takes to complete an activity. 

ACTIVITY FILE   A file containing all data related to the definition of activities on a particular project. 

ACTIVITY ID   A unique code identifying each activity in a project. 

ACTIVITY ON NODE NETWORK   Precedence diagram, a network in which the nodes symbolize the activities. 

ACTIVITY STATUS.   The state of completion of an activity. A planned activity has not yet started. A started activity is in progress. A finished activity is complete. 

ACTIVITY-ON-ARROW NETWORK   Arrow diagram, Network in which the arrows symbolize the activities. 

ACTUAL COST   Incurred costs that are charged to the project budget and for which payment has been made or accrued. 

ACTUAL COST OF WORK PERFORMED (ACWP)   Cumulative cost of work accrued on the project in a specific period or up to a specific stage. Note: for some purposes cost may be measured in labour hours rather than money. 

ACTUAL DATES   Actual dates are entered as the project progresses. These are the dates that activities really started and finished as opposed to planned or projected dates. 

ACTUAL DIRECT COSTS   Those costs specifically identified with a contract or project. See also Direct Costs. 

ACTUAL FINISH   Date on which an activity was completed. 

ACTUAL START   Date on which an activity was started. 

ADJOURNING   The last stage of team building where the team disbands. 

ADVANCED MATERIAL RELEASE   A document used by organizations to initiate the purchase of long-lead-time or time-critical materials prior to the final release of a design. 

AND RELATIONSHIP  Logical relationship between two or more activities that converge on or diverge from an event. Note: the AND relationship indicates that every one of the activities has to be undertaken. 

APPROVAL   The term used when an individual accepts a deliverable as fit for purpose so that the project can continue. 

APPROVAL TO PROCEED   Approval given to the project at initiation or prior to the beginning of the next stage. 

ARROW   Directed connecting line between two nodes in a network. Note 1: It symbolizes an activity in activity-on-arrow. Note 2: It symbolizes a dependency relationship in activity-on-node. 

ARROW DIAGRAM   See activity-on-arrow network 

ARROW DIAGRAM METHOD   One of two conventions used to represent an activity in a project. Also known as Activity-on-Arrow or i/j method. 

AS-LATE-AS-POSSIBLE (ALAP)   An activity for which the early start date is set late as possible without delaying the early dates of any successor. 

ASSOCIATED REVENUE   That part of a project cost that is of a revenue nature and therefore charged as incurred to the profit and loss account. Note: Associated revenue differs from the capital element of the project in that the capital element is taken as an asset to the balance sheet and depreciated over future accounting periods. 

AS-SOON-AS-POSSIBLE (ASAP)   An activity for which the early start date is set to be as soon as possible. This is the default activity type in most project management systems. 

ASSUMPTIONS   Statements taken for granted or truth 

AUDIT   Systematic retrospective examination of the whole, or part, of a project or function to measure conformance with predetermined standards. Note: Audit is usually qualified, for example financial audit, quality audit, design audit, project audit, health and safety audit. 

AUTHORISATION   The decision that triggers the allocation of funding needed to carry on the project. 

AUTHORISED UN-PRICED WORK   Any scope change for which authorization to proceed has been given, but for which the estimated costs are not yet settled. 

AUTHORISED WORK   The effort which has been defined, plus that work for which authorization has been given, but for which defined contract costs have not been agreed upon. 

AUTOMATIC DECISION EVENT   Decision event where the decision depends only on the outcome of the preceding activities and that can be programmed or made automatic.


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