Glossary of Terms
Change Log: A record of all modifications to the project maintained throughout the project.
Communication Plan: A document that outlines the following information for each interested party
- What information to they need?
- How often do they need it?
- What method of communication will be used to deliver the information?
- What response should be expected from the individual?
Critical Path: The activities that, when sequenced, represent the total project duration. It is the longest “path” through the project. These activities are deemed “critical” because they must be completed on time for the overall Project Schedule to be accurate.
Deliverable: A good or service produced as a result of a project that is intended to be delivered to the customer.
Open Task Log: A running list of the current tasks and their status. The log is updated by team members and items are removed as they are completed or added as new work begins.
Phases of Project Management: The process organizations employ to conduct project management. It follows the same general path, which is not linear but rather an iterative cycle that shares some characteristics with a Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle of continuous quality improvement. In general, the phases are:
- Initiation: When work is defined and approved at a high level within the organization.
- Planning: When detailed plans for the schedule, budget, staffing, and deliverables are agreed upon.
- Implementation: When the work is executed.
- Monitoring and Control: When the work is monitored to ensure the budget and schedule are being followed, adjustments are made to accommodate changes within the organization or project, and information is communicated to interested parties to keep them informed of progress.
- Closeout: When the project wraps up; lessons learned are documented and the project deliverables are handed off to those who will continue the work after the project.
Project Charter: A foundational document that describes in detail what is known about the project at the onset, including the purpose, scope of work, deliverables, risk assessment, change management protocols, cost and schedule estimates, and information on interested parties. It often contains a signature area for project approval by an executive sponsor.
Project Management Plan: The document that defines how a project is implemented, monitored, and controlled. It often contains the scope, goals, budget, schedule, and deliverables of a project.
RACI Matrix: A table that shows each interested party and their relation to a specific activity, task, or deliverable. For each activity, task, or deliverable, the interested party is identified as responsible, accountable, consulted, or informed (RACI). For example, a project manager may be accountable for a deliverable, but another staff person would be responsible for the actual creation of the deliverable.
Scope Creep: “Adding work, little by little, until all the original cost and schedule estimates are completely unachievable.”
Statement of Work: A high-level document that describes the project with enough detail to obtain approval for the work at hand.
Work Breakdown Structure: A visual deconstruction of the project work into the smallest possible work packages. Work packages are the verifiable products of the work, such as a document, functioning element of an automated system, and so on.
 Verzuh, E. (1999). The fast forward MBA in project management. J. Wiley.