Glossary

Apprenticeship:   Learning by working with a more experienced practitioner.

Baseline Plan:  The original agreed to project plan before execution begins.  Project status is derived from the cost and schedule variances between the current executing plan and the baseline.

Critical Path:  The longest sequence of tasks in a project plan.   A change in the duration of any task on this path changes the duration of the project.  Shortening tasks on the critical path may produce a different critical path.  Increasing the duration of a task not on the critical path may cause the critical path to change to include the newly lengthened task. 

Earned Value:  A project reporting technique that assess the value of work done in terms of the baseline estimate and allows projection of cost at completion.  Results can be applied at the task, project, department, or organization level, or rolled together for the entire company. 

Earned Value Metrics:  Measurements and indices used in earned value calculations.  See the Earned Value discussion in the Tracking and Reporting sections of the PA Process page for an illustration.

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ACWP = Actual Cost of Work Performed is the actual work effort or $ spent to date.

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BCWP = Budgeted Cost of Work Performed = % Complete x BAC, the value of the work or $ accomplished to date in terms of the baseline schedule, otherwise known as earned value.

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BCWS = Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled is the work or $ that should have been accomplished to date according to the baseline plan.

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BAC = Budget at Completion, the baseline total cost at the end of the project.

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EAC = Estimate at Completion = BAC x (ACWP / BCWP) or BAC / CPI, the projected cost at end of project based on work efficiency to date, or the total spent to date (ACWP) + the total work remaining.

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% Complete = BCWP / BAC x 100 or ACWP / (ACWP + work remaining) x 100.

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SV = BCWP-BCWS = Schedule Variance, shows the difference between the earned value of how much we spent and how much we should have spent to date according to the baseline plan. > 0 is good.

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CV = BCWP-ACWP = Cost variance, shows the difference between the earned value of how much we spent and how much we actually spent to date. > 0 is good.

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CPI = BCWP / ACWP = Cost Performance Index, is the ratio of earned value over how much we actually spent to date. > 1 is good.

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SPI = BCWP / BCWS = Schedule Performance Index, is the ratio of earned value over how much we should have spent to date according to the baseline plan. > 1 is good.

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ATWP = Actual Time of Work Performed, is the date on which the current earned value was accomplished.

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STWP = Scheduled Time of Work Performed, is the date on the baseline plan at which the current earned value should have been accomplished.

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TV = STWP - ATWP = Time variance, shows how many calendar days ago on the BCWS line we should have reached today's earned value on the BCWP line. > 0 is good.

bulletTPI = STWP / ATWP = Time Performance Index, the ratio of the time the earned value work should have been done over the time it actually got done. > 1 is good.

Matrix management environment is one in which project participants are also members of operational departments and thus have two allegiances, first to their department manager who usually holds their pay card, and second to one or more project managers for whom they have assigned tasks.

PMI (The Project Management Institute) is the leading nonprofit professional association in the area of Project Management.  Founded in 1969, it now has over 55,000 members worldwide.   PMI establishes project management standards, provides seminars, educational programs and PMP professional certification that more and more organizations desire for their project leaders.

PMP: Project Management Professional, a professional certification by PMI, the Project Management Institute indicating the attainment of the requisite level of project management knowledge and experience.

Project:  A temporary endeavor undertaken to produce an end product or result at its conclusion.

Project Administration is the project management software tool component of the planning, tracking, and reporting functions of project management.

Project Administration Institute is a consulting and training company specializing in helping project organizations maximize their profitability and control through the use of project management software tools for Project Administration.

Project Administration Process is the structured planning, tracking, and reporting process practiced and taught to project administrators by PAI.

Project Administration Service consists of one more full time dedicated Project Administrators (PA's) using project management software tools to provide planning, tracking, and reporting services to one or more project managers and project status information to project executives.

Project Administrator (PA) is a project management software tool specialist who performs the Project Administration function on behalf of one or more project teams.

Project Administrator Locator Service helps project organizations locate PA's and PA's locate work.  There is no charge for this service. 

Project Executive is a corporate exective responsible for the project organization

Project Manager is the person responsible for managing a project.

Project Management:  Performing or directing activities leading to the completion of a project.

Project Management Software Tools are computer based applications (i.e. Microsoft Project, ABT Project Workbench, etc.) that assist project administration, the planning, tracking, and reporting functions of project management.  Most are capable of assimilating the myriad of information associated with one or more projects, optimizing their schedules based upon task dependency and resource information, tracking progress, and producing reports that can be used to understand status and control the project.

Project Office (PO) is the administrative department in the project organization that interfaces with the outside world and ensures that legal, communication, and administrative functions are performed by the project teams according to the project organization's standards.  

Project Organization:: A department led by a project executive and charged with the responsibility to implement projects, containing the project office, if it exists, and one or more project managers and their teams.

Project Participant is a member of the project team.

Project Team: One or more individuals under direction of a project manager responsible for performing activities leading to the completion of a project.

Updated 11/20/07