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PROJECT A-Z GLOSSARY

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Acceptance Criteria
Outlined as part of the project brief, Acceptance Criteria is a prioritised list of criteria which the projects output must meet before it can be approved.
Accountability
Accountability refers to who (a person, group of people, a board etc) is accountable for a particular element of work. Ultimately, the buck stops with this person.
Activity
A project activity relates to a task, action, or a process, consuming time and possibly other resources.
Activity Network Diagram
AND – Activity Network Diagram – is a graphical tool used within Critical Path Analysis. It charts out the major tasks involved within the delivery of a project from the start until the end. This activity highlights the actions which are completed in series and which that are completed in parallel.
Assess a project
Assessing a project is a handy activity and is undertaken for one of these 3 reasons:

  1. To conduct a peer review
  2. To take stock on a projects progress – i.e. high-profile
  3. Before taking over a new project

The purpose is to assess the shape of the project and how likely it is to succeed. It acts a positive barometer to identify potential warning signs.

Assumption
Something which is assumed to to be fact in the absence of knowing. This is particularly helpful in the planning stage to….

  1. To conduct a peer review
  2. To take stock on a projects progress – i.e. high-profile
  3. Before taking over a new project

The purpose is to assess the shape of the project and how likely it is to succeed. It acts a positive barometer to identify potential warning signs.

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Baseline

A baseline in terms of a project can be referenced in 3 different ways:

  1. The starting performance to measure benefits against before a project has delivered
  2. Reference levels to control a project – Baseline Costs; Baseline Dates; Baseline Plan; Baseline Schedule
  3. A snapshot; a position or situation that is recorded
Benefits Profile
A complete description of a benefit and the dis-benefits
Benefits
Benefits are the positive outcomes which are being delivered by the project and which justify the investment. Remember all projects are set in place to deliver benefits either tangible (hard benefits) or intangible (soft benefits), when a project is deemed to longer be able to deliver benefits then it should be stopped.
Benefits Management
The term given to continual management of the benefits
Benefits Mapping
Benefits Mapping is a technique to gather the benefits (Direct Saving; Quantifiable and Non-Quantifiable Benefits) that a project could deliver. This is best achieved in a workshop setting with strong facilitation.
Benefits Realisation
The approach for ensuring that the outcome of a project produces the required benefits identified from with the business case
Benefits Realisation Plan
The Benefits Realisation Plan provides a view on when the benefits are going to be realised (the schedule) and how these are going to be measured. The plan includes: – Handover process to the customer – The closure of the project – The method of tracking the benefits – The schedule of benefits delivery
Benefits Register
The Benefits Register is a place to centrally store all benefits relating to a project (s). Where a project is part of a programme the register will held at the programme level with the purpose to avoid duplication and cannibalisation of benefits
BOSCARD
BOSACRD stands for Background; Objectives; Scope; Constraints; Assumptions; Risks and Deliverables. The BOSCARD acronym is useful for project initiation documentation (PID) and business cases to ensure core requirements are covered
BRAG
BRAG – Blue, Red, Amber, Green. Is a method for providing a status update in a visual way. The benefit a method such as BRAG has is that it is universal over projects. You don’t need to know anything about the project yet know if it is red that action is required. Blue = Complete, Red = Action Required – will not deliver as planned (time, scope, benefits), Amber = At Risk, Green = On Track
Business Case
A Business Case is the justification document first created in the Justify Stage. It is reviewed throughout the project to ensure it is either still on track or has delivered the objectives set. See BOSCARD above for what is usually included.

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Capability
Capability refers to an organisation ability to perform a set task/activity. A capability can be in reference to skills, processes, systems, tools or methods.
Change Authority
The Change Authority has delegated responsibility for considering change requests. They will often be set tolerances for which they can work within and approve.

The change authority can be a single person or in larger organisations are often a group. Their authority comes from the Project Board.

Change Control
Change Control ensures all changes within a project are controlled. The scope of change control is from requirement to submit changes, the submission themselves, analysis of the change, communication to stakeholders, decision making, tracking of changes (a change log) and the closure of a change request.
Change Log
The Change Log is a compiled log of all the proposed (progressed or declined) and actual changes within a project.
Change Management
Change Management refers to the activity of managing the change / transformation from current state (as-is) to the desired state (to-be).
Checkpoint Report

A Checkpoint Report is a progress report of the information gathered at a checkpoint meeting given by the team manager to the project and delivery manager/owner on the progress of a work package

Close Stage
The Close Stage is the 5th and final stage in the project lifecycle. Here the project is formally closed once the deliverables have been completed. Depending on the type of project this may include a formal handover into BAU and the decommissioning of all resources.
Communication Plan
A Communication Plan is a recorded plan for engaging all stakeholders including how they will be engaged (method, frequency) throughout the project.
Constraint
A Constraint is a defined limitation (restriction) on the project or elements of the work
Contingency
Contingency refers to an alternative approach for when things don’t go smoothly and off plan (considerations: Budget, Resources, Time, Scope)
Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA)

Cost Benefit Analysis is an approach for assessing the total expected costs against the total expected benefits of one (or more) options with the intention to select the optimal solution.

CBA is calculated by:

  1. Identifying the cost of change and the benefits of change
  2. For the calculation use only the financial costs and the financial benefits
  3. Intangible items are estimated and included as part of the overall analysis

The following issues are to be watched for:

  1. Optimism bias (effectively overstating the benefits or underplaying the costs)
  2. Subjectivity (rely on robust data wherever you can)
  3. Excluding or including valid or invalid costs and benefits
  4. Involve your finance representative
CRAID

CRAID is acronym developed on from RAID which stands for Constraints, Risks Assumptions, Issues and Dependencies (with Constraints being the addition to RAID). This is a log which captures these items for their active management

Critical Path Analysis (CPA)
Critical Path Analysis (CPA) is the longest connecting line of dependent activities within the network activity. Or more simply put those activites where if things did not go to plan would delay subsequent activities of the whole project

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Define Stage
The define stage is third step within the project lifecycle. Here the feasibility study is conducted and the options are refined to a chosen solution (s). Therein the Business Case, Project Initiation Document (PID) and plan are updated
Delegation

Delegation is a key trait of all good project manager and all good projects (delegation stems downwards from the corporate board).

Delegation is the assignment of responsibility to another for the completion of those activities. In order for effective delegation the following is recommended:

  1. Be clear about expectations of:
    1. Scope and deliverables
    2. Quality standards and the review process
    3. Timelines
    4. Dependencies
  2. Define escalation approach
  3. Check for understanding of the requirements
  4. Follow up on progress with the appropriate response based on the agreed expectations
  5. And finally do not assume anything…
Deliverable
A Deliverable is an item which delivered from the project team, this could be a part of the final output or an agreed output at an earlier stage
Delivery
The term delivery from a project perspective relates to when a project is in implementation and starting to deliver the benefits.
Delivery Risk

Delivery Risk is a term that describes the risks which could prevent the project from delivering. The project manager should highlight the impact on timescales, budget and quality.

Delivery risks should be recorded with all other risks either within the RAID log or within the Risk Register.

Dependency

A dependency is a key term in project management. A dependency is an activity, project or external factor for which the project is dependent on to deliver.

Dependencies should be logged and socialised where required.

A project in itself may be a dependency for another project.

Dis-Benefits
Dis-benefits are often overlooked when reviewing the benefits of a project. Dis-benefits simply represents the negative impacts of the change financially. For example to deliver a 5% increase in productivity a project may invest 100 hours in training. Those 100 hours at a cost of £20 per hour is equal to £2000 worth of dis-benefits. So to truly understand the benefits of a project the totality of benefits and dis-benefits needs to be understood.
Do Stage
The Do Stage is the 4th stage within the project lifecycle. This is the stage where the previous stages defined activity is completed.

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Earned Value Analysis (EVA)
Earned Value Analysis (EVA) is a more advanced industry standard method for measuring a projects process at a given point in time. EVA uses the projects baseline to assess where it currently is compared to where it should be and provides a forecast on where the project may end up.
Escalation
Escalations in projects are common place and to be encouraged to ensure there are no surprises. An escalation is used to elevate a decision up a level often to the steering committee or Senior Responsible Owner.
Executive
The Project Executive (more often referred to as the Senior Responsible Owner – SRO or the Project Sponsor). This is the person with overall accountability for the project to esnure that the objectives and therefore the benefits are delivered.

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Feasibility Study
An activity sometimes requested at the start of a project or before the start of certain activities to understand what the project may cost and the technical “feasibility” of the project.
Float
The Float is a project term to determine the amount of time a project activity can be delayed without impacting the schedule of the overall project. Critical Path items do not have Float.

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Gantt Chart

Gantt charts are one of the most popular project planning tools. They visually show the planned timescales for activities and can be overlaid with actuals.

Gate
A Project Gate is a pre-defined decision point, to decide whether or not the project should progress onto the next stage. The Go/No-GO decision is based on:
– The project maintains its justification
– The risks remain acceptable
– Sign-off to the plans for the next stage
There are commonly 5 project gates (however depending on the project the number and staging of these may vary)
Go/No Go Decision
A Go/No Go Decision is decided upon at a project gate. The Go/No Go decision is based on:

  1. The project maintains its justification
  2. The risks remain acceptable
  3. Sign-off to the plans for the next stage

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Highlight Report

A Highlight Report provides the project steering committee and other stakeholders with a high-level status of the project.

As with all elements of a project the requirements for the Highlight Report should be tailored. In short, some will be reports which require significant effort whereas other projects could be a quick update report.

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Identify
Identify is the starting stage within the Project Lifecycle. Here the potential for a project is first considered
Implementation
If implementation as a phase this is the mobilisation of resources to start the work. Implementation may also refer to the physical work being undertaken as in the project being in delivery.
Initial Business Case (IBC)
Initial Business Case (sometime referred to as the Outline Business Case) is an early stage view of the opportunity and may provide funding to further exploit the the opportunity.
Initiation
Initiation is the activity at the start of a project.
Interdependencies
Interdependencies are items which are dependent on the actions or whose actions are dependent on others. i.e. Project B cannot progress until Project A completes.
Internal Rate of Return (IRR)
Internal Rate of Return (IRR) is a widely used financial metric for reviewing a projects return within the business case. In some organisation the IRR is one a few items which are added to the executive summary and unless a minimum threshold is met the project does not progress.

The IRR estimates the profitability of potential investments.

Issue
An event which has occured and which has an effect on the success of the project (these could be items outside of the projects gift)
Issues Log
The repository for all of the identified issues within the project see also RAID

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Justify Stage

Justify Stage is the second stage within the Project Lifecycle. Here an initial review is undertaken to determine the opportunity that the proposed project represents. An Initial Business Case (IBC) will cover possible solutions.

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Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned is a process created throughout a project whereby lessons are recorded in a log for the benefit of future delivery and future projects. When a new project starts up one of the areas they should seek out is previous lessons learned.

Lessons learned can and should cover a myriad of actions across the project lifecycle, including but not limited to:

  • Strengths and weaknesses of procedures/processes
  • Resources
  • Capabilities
  • Timing and phasing
  • Departmental attributes

Though capturing lessons should be completed throughout a project it can also be helpful to hold workshops at the end of every stage with lessons learned being the sole purpose.

Those involved within the project should be present ensuring coverage across all areas.

Living Document

A Living Document isn’t necessarily a project term but as we refer to this term often we thought we would explain what we mean by it.

A living document refers to a document that is continually edited and updated.

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Mandate
Providing a mandate is the starting point for a project to commence its initiation. This provides the authority and legitimacy to a project. The mandate and a continued justification for the project should remain throughout.
Matrix
A Matrix sometimes referred to as a Matrix Organisation. This is where people within the project may have multiple (usually two) reporting lines. One from a line management perspective and another (others) from a functional i.e. project perspective
Measure of Success
Measures of Success are measure (s) which define the success of the project. Here it is best to be specific with what is to be achieved. I.e. instead of just saying an improvement in the repeat rate of a contact centre state to improve the Contact Centre repeat rate by 5% within the first 2 months of project go-live (see SMART for more information on setting goals)
Milestone
This is a major event within the project. Completing these items marks a significant step in the projects life
Mobilisation
The activities being undertaken to commence a project within the initiation phase or at the start of a new phase.
MoSCoW (Must have Should have Could have Would Have)
MoSCoW (Must have, Should have, Could have, Would have) is standard methodology for setting requirements. It allows a project to focus on the items which Must happen for it to be a success. It is particulalry helpful when attempting to keep costs and time under control to focus on the things which really matter and ignoring or de-prioritising the items which can wait or are not required.

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Net Present Value (NPV)
Net Present Value (NPV) is a financial term which takes account of the future value of money in compared to today’s value. In other words calculating NPV ensures that the projects benefits take account devaluations.

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Outcomes
Outcomes are the result of changes, which ultimately projects are here to deliver – not to be confused with outputs
Outputs
Outputs are the deliverables and items produced as part of the project – Not to be confused with outcomes

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Peer Review
A Peer Review is a review of the projects progress by colleagues with the intention to identify any issues and suggest ways of improving. This is a favoured technique of consultancies ensuring activities have the right focus and emphasis on them
People Side of Change (PSoC)

People Side of Change (PSoC) refers to project aspects which impact the human side of change including:

  • Training
  • Development
  • Business Process Improvement
  • Human Resources
  • Health and Safety
  • Communications
PERT (Programme Evaluation and Review Technique)

Try our PERT Estimate Average Calculator

PERT (Programme Evaluation and Review Technique) provides a method for estimating project activities. The methodology is based on finding a compromise between the best case scenario and an absoloute disaster. There are three estimates:
1) Optomistic Estimate (OE)
2) Most Likely Estimate (MLE)
3) Pessimistic Estimate (PE)
The standard methodology then calculates the following:
Expected Estimate = (OE + 4(MLE) + PE) / 6

PESTLE (Political Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental)
PESTLE provides structure to risk management by introducing the 6 categories (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental) for consideration. This also helps to identify who is best placed to manage those risks.
Phase
This is a sub-part of a project or a phase could represent a deployment schedule
PIR (Post Implementation Review)

A Post Implementation review (PIR) is a review of the project at the end of its implementation. The intention is to understand what went well, what could have been improved and any future recommendations. Common components of a review are:

  1. Project details (Title, Area, Manager etc)
  2. Timescales (planned start and end dates versus actual)
  3. Benefits (planned versus delivered)
    1. If not delivered an explanation to the reasons
  4. Issue rectification
    1. Actions and owners for resolving any issues or outstanding items from the project
  5. Lesson Learned (this should also be recorded in a lesson learned log for the benefit of future projects)
  6. Approval
Planning Horizon

The term Planning Horizon refers to the amount of time the project/ organisation looks to the future when preparing plans. Most organisations have strategic plans which cover 3-5 years, but for projects a term of 12-18 months is more common (depending on the project type of course).

In general the initial part of the plan, the first 3 months will be more detailed and beyond this time frame the planning is generally based on key items and placeholders based on a set of assumptions.

PMO (Programme Management Office)

The PMO (Programme Management Office) is the department responsible for identifying and providing the standards for a project and its delivery

Power Interest Matrix

The Power Interest Matrix conforms to a standard 2by2 matrix, and is used for assessing the power and interest of stakeholders:

  • Level of Interest forms the horizontal axis
  • Level of Power form the vertical axis

The following responses are then aligned depending on where individual stakeholders reside within the matrix:

  1. Power Low – Interest Low: Response: Minimal Effort should be expanded on these stakeholders. They are likely to be departments or teams which may wish to know what is happening within a project but for whom the outcome or activity makes little difference
  2. Power High – Interest Low: Response: Keep Satisfied these maybe shareholders or members of senior management who can have high degrees of power but as long as they are getting what is required – i.e. ROI in the case of a shareholder they will remain satisfied
  3. Power Low – Interest High: Response: Keep Informed these may little power but they can be very quick to voice concerns if things are not going how they would like.
  4. Power High – Interest High: Response: Key Player the key here is in the response…. . These are usually senior managers with an active interest within the project. They have the ability to release or block resources, block plans etc and so they need to be kept close at all stages of the project.
Programme Manager

A Programme Manager co-ordinates, directs and implements a portfolio of [projects or activities. Together these achieve strategic outcomes.

In some set-ups a project manager will report into a programme manager.

Project
A project is finite in nature and has a clear beginning and an end. A project is created with the purpose to deliver business outcomes.

Every Project has a scope which covers 3 main elements:

  1. Time
  2. Quality and
  3. Cost
Project Assessment
Assessing a project is a handy activity and is undertaken for one of these 3 reasons:

  1. To conduct a peer review
  2. To take stock on a projects progress – i.e. high-profile
  3. Before taking over a new project

The purpose is to assess the shape of the project and how likely it is to succeed. A project assessment acts a positive barometer to identify potential warning signs

Project Assurance

Project Assurance is appointed by the project board and remains independent of the project manager.

There primary aim is to provide the stakeholders with assurance that the project is being managed effectively and appropriately.

Project assurance usually conducts an audit of the following:

  1. Project management standards and methodology
  2. Quality standards
  3. Project approach
  4. Assessment of the overall project
Project Board
A group of people, usually chaired by the project sponsor, comprising senior managers and key stakeholders whose remit is to support the project sponsor and set the strategic direction of a project. It gives guidance to the project manager. The membership of the board may vary to suit needs but will often comprise people representing the needs of the users and supplier of any project outputs.
Project Brief
The Project Brief is also known as the Project Charter.

The Project Charter is agreed by the Project Sponsor the charter sets out what the project is their to do and provides a view of the scope.

The Project Charter/Brief Documents the vision, goals and expected benefits of the project; the approach; the scope; schedule; constraints and dependencies; and a range of information related to the project.

Project Charter
Agreed by the Project Sponsor the charter sets out what the project is their to do and provides a view of the scope. Sometimes referred to as the project brief.

The Project Charter/Brief Documents the vision, goals and expected benefits of the project; the approach; the scope; schedule; constraints and dependencies; and a range of information related to the project.

Project Highlight Report
Simply put this is an update from the project manager to the sponsor on progress. A project highlight can also be that straightforward. They don’t have to involve onerous form filling and should be appropriately tailored to a project.
Project Initiation Document (PiD)
Sometimes referred to as a project charter the Project Inititation Document (PID) is a projects main planning document
Project Lifecycle
The Project Lifecycyle is the key stages which a projects will transition through during its existence – sometimes referred to as Project Framework
Project Management Levels

Typically there are 4 Project Management Levels:

  1. Corporate Management: Generally these instigate the project and define the overall constraints and tolerances
  2. Project Board/Steering Committee: These provide the direction for the project
  3. Project Manager: They provide the day to day management of the project
  4. Team Manager: These delivery activities

In a general sense the flow from:

  • Corporate Management down to Team Manager is a delegation flow
  • Team Manager up to Corporate Management is Information or Escalation flow
Project Manager
The Project Manager manages the day to day operation of the project and is accountable to the project sponsor
Project Office
The Project Office also known as the PMO (Project Management Office) is the department responsible for identifying and providing the standards for a project and its delivery
Project Plan

A detailed description for achieving the projects outcomes. This is beyond a Gantt Chart (schedule) and depicts the: What, When; How and Who covering Benefits, schedule, costs, resources etc.

An effective project plan enables you to:

  1. Achieve project objectives
  2. Gain commitment from stakeholders
  3. Gain the required resources for success
  4. Effectively baseline enabling:
    1. Monitoring of performance
    2. Recovery to get back on track
Project Register
A compiled list of all the projects along with their ID’s – Status, Sponsor, Project Manager, Completion Date, Benefit
Project Report
A Project Report is a standard approach to reporting on the projects progress. The outline of a project report is usually uniform across an organisation.
Project Sponsor
The Project Sponsor is accountable for the overall success of the project. Often the project sponsor is a senior manager who has the ability to authorise the resources necessary for the project. The project sponsor could report into the Programme Manager if part of a programme, into Directors or in some cases to the board directly,
Project Status
The Project Status provides the current position of the project. These are often categorised as follows:

  1. Proposed (planned for but not yet started);
  2. In Progress (the project is in-flight);
  3. Completed (has been formally closed);
  4. Suspended (project is currently on hold);
  5. Terminated (the project has closed ahead of its planned date and actions are no longer progressing under the project).
    Whilst the project is in progress it will also have a status range applied usually as follows:
  6. R – Red (project is off track and requires significant to get back on track)
  7. A – Amber (project is at risk of going off track or off-track for relatively minor activities)
  8. G – Green (project is on-track)
  9. B – Blue (project is completed)

Red, Amber, Green is also known as the RAG status. The Blue addition for completed turns the RAG status into BRAG status.

Project Triangle

The Project Triangle refers to 3 key elements of a project:

  1. Time
  2. Quality
  3. Cost

An ideal project will deliver on all 3 of these, however these elements are interconnected and delivery of one will have an impact on another.

For example increasing the quality of a project often has a detrimental impact on the cost and potentially the time.

A fourth element of ‘Customer’ is sometimes added but effectively a good customer delivery should be delivered within the existing 3 elements.

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Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance has similarities to Project Assurance though the two are not the same. The fundamental difference is Project Assurance is assigned from within – the Project Steering Committee – and Quality Assurance is external to the project – most likely assigned by corporate management. Though both are independent of the project manager. Indeed, one of the factors quality assurance may look at is that there is effective project assurance as part of the project.

Quality Assurance ensures that the procedures, tools and organisational structures that have been put in place to manage quality are functioning correctly and that quality expectations are being met.

Quality Control

Put simply Quality Control is ensures that the deliverables of the project are produced in line with the quality expectations.

Types of Quality Control include:

  1. Project Gates
  2. Quality reviews ahead of deliverable delivery – the acceptance and approval to progress
Quality Management

Quality Management ensures that the culture within the project is such that everyone assumes responsibility for delivering quality. This requires all from the Steering Committee, contractors/suppliers to the project and team managers.

The Quality management strategy developed within the Define Stage will step out how quality is going to achieved from an Assurance, Control and Planning perspective.

If your organisation is signed up to, or seeking to achieve international standards on quality such as ISO accreditation then the quality management strategy will need to ensure compliance.

Quality Planning

Quality planning ensures that all actors within the project have a shared understanding of the quality requirements and how these requirements are going to be managed.

The expectations, standards and audit requirements should be included within the overall project plan – set out within the Define Stage

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RACI

A RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) is a matrix tool which supports stakeholder engagement and understanding the roles and responsibilities.

How many times have you been involved in a project or activity where there is confusion over who does what – or worse a lack of traction or ownership?

This is where a RACI (Responsible; Accountable; Consulted; Informed) or a RASCI (as RACI but with an S standing for Support) comes into play:

  • Responsible – The performer. The person who performs the task(s) or activity(ies).
  • Accountable – The decision maker. The person who is held to account for the success. The accountability cannot be delegated.
  • Support – The supporters. The people who will be required to support a task(s) or activity(ies) to happen. It is often helpful to add this additional clarity to ensure a projects success.
  • Consulted – The subject matter experts. The people who need to be consulted (asked) before proceeding. They provide the advice and steer the project towards certain decisions.
  • Informed – The informed. They are who we let know what activities are on-going or once they are completed.
RAG (Red Amber Green)
RAG (Red Amber Green) is the traffic light system used to identify the status of a project and individual milestones and actions.

  1. Red is off-track and requires significant attention;
  2. Amber is at risk of going off track or off-track for relatively minor activities;
  3. Green is on track.
  4. RAG is sometimes completed to BRAG – with ‘B’ representing completion
RAID (Risks Assumptions Issues Dependencies)
RAID is the acronym which refers to Risks, Assumptions, Issues and Dependencies. A project should have a RAID log which proactively logs and manages these.
RASCI (Responsible Accountable Supported Consulted Informed)

Responsible, Accountable, Supported, Consulted, Informed.

How many times have you been involved in a project or activity and there is confusion over who does what – or worse a lack of traction or ownership.

This is where a RACI (Responsible; Accountable; Consulted; Informed) or a RASCI (as RACI but with an additional S standing for Support) comes into play

  • Responsible – The performer. This is the person who performs the task (s) or activity (ies).
  • Accountable – The decision maker. This is the person who is held to account for the success. The accountability cannot be delegated.
  • Support – The supporters. These are the people who will be required to support a task (s) or activity (ies) to happen. It is often helpful to add this additional clarity to ensure a projects success.
  • Consulted – The subject matter experts. These are the people who need to be consulted (asked) before proceeding. They provide the advice and steer that the project can decide to act upon
  • Informed – The informed. These are who we let know activities are on-going or once they are completed.
Requirements
Requirements are a statement of needs that a project has to deliver against.
Return on Investment (ROI)
Return on Investment (ROI) is a financial term used for assessing the projects value for the amount of money invested. ROI is measured as a percentage and the higher the ROI the more compelling the project is to undertake. (ROI = (Benefit from investment – Cost of Investment) / Cost of Investment)
Many organisations will set an ROI threshold as part of the decision making process when reviewing business cases. As could be expected those with a higher ROI are the ones which are most likely to progress.
Reviews
Reviews take a reactive view on activities passed to ascertain the level of quality.
Risk Impact Probability Matrix
The Risk Impact Probability Matrix provides a framework for categorising and assessing the priority for managing risks. Those with a higher impact and higher probability are the risks which command greatest attention.
Risk Impact Assessment (RIA)
For those more significant risks or for larger projects more detailed Risk Impact Assessments (RIA) may be required. This will cover the severity of the risk if it was to occur; performance impact; cost impact and schedule impact. The outcome of the assessment will help to inform how the risk is subsequently managed see Risk Treatment
Risk Mitigations
Risk mitigations are actions that are taken to manage the identified risks with the intention to either soften the impact or leverage the outcome (depending on the type of risk)
Risk Register
A Risk Register sometimes referred to as a Risk Log is a log of all the identified risks within the project and the associated details.

The risk register may form part of a RAID (Risks, Assumptions, Issues, Dependencies) log

Risk Treatment
The following are types of Risk Treatments:

  1. Risk Prevention: Where actions are put in place to either eliminate the risk or prevent the risk from having an impact to the project
  2. Risk Reduction: Where actions are put in place to either limit the impact of the risk or reduce the likelihood of the risk occurring
  3. Transfer: Where the the risks impact is transferred to a third party – i.e. an outsourcer, a contractor, or via insurance
  4. Contingency: where actions are pre-planned and are implemented on a trigger point of the risk occurring
  5. Acceptance: where simply put the project accepts that the risk could happen and takes no preventative or reactive reaction
  6. Risk Exploitation: Often the forgotten element of managing risks. This is where the project can benefit positively from a situation and choose to exploit that position.
Risks
Risks are the potential occurrence or uncertainty that would impact the success of a project. These include both business and project risks. Remember that risks may represent an opportunity, threat or relate to an assumption.
Roles and Responsibilities
Roles and Responsibilities are definitions of what people within the project are there to do and critically shows who is responsible for which items. Securing this clarity is often crucial in a successful project.

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Scope
Scope defines the project boundaries
Scope Creep
Scope Creep refers to changes in the original set scope often without robust change management. Scope creep can consist of small additions but this small additions soon add up quickly and can put the success of the project under serious threat.
Slippage
Project Slippage refers to activities or parts of the project which have fallen behind schedule. The amount behind schedule is referred to as the Slippage.
SMART (Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant Time-bound)

SMART is a methodology for setting goals. It ensures that goals set are:

  1. Specific;
  2. Measurable;
  3. Achievable;
  4. Realistic and
  5. Time-bound.
Stage
Project Stages are the sections of which the project delivers within. As the project progresses through the stages the more certain the deliverables become and the less risk associated to the project
Stage Closure Report
At the end of each stage the Project Manager provides a report on the performance of the stage and the status of the project – this is known as the Stage Closure Report.
Stakeholders
Simply put a Stakeholder is anyone – from individuals, to departments, groups of people or even external groups and people who have an interest in the delivery or outcome of the project.
Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder Engagement centres on gaining and maintaining commitment of acceptance to change from your stakeholders.

It is often said that a project is successful if the stakeholders class a project as successful – so effective stakeholder engagement is paramount.

To engage stakeholders you may first need to analyse them. The power interest matrix is a method for achieving this. Without going into detail here the power interest matrix effectively categorises your stakeholders to assess their level of interest and power.

To keep your stakeholders engage you will want to:

  • Maintain a consistent message
  • Ensure expectations are aligned with delivery – and this expectation is kept up to date. Positioning of a project which is behind schedule can have a significant impact on how the project is perceived by stakeholders
  • Manage impact of change for:
    • Employees
    • Customers
Stakeholder Mapping
Stakeholder Mapping is a tool for identifying, categorising and responding to stakeholder requirements
Statement of Work (SoW)
The Statement of Work (SoW) is a formal document which provides the details of items that the will project will deliver.
Steering Committee (SteerCo)
The Steering Committee (SteerCo) are those people responsible for steering the project –  responsibilities include:

  1. Agreeing the priorities;
  2. Releasing resource;
  3. Signing of work activities;
  4. Providing agreement to move to the next stage

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Tailoring
A key principle for projects is to tailor governance and actions to the type of project, this is known as Tailoring. For example a multi-million pound infrastructure project will have differing needs compared to a 3-day intra-office move
Terms of Reference (ToR)
Project Terms of Reference (ToR) is a documents which outlines the scope and limitations of the project. Project ToR is a useful document to bring project team members and those who need to be close to the projects activities up to speed and on the same page
Threat
A Threat is something which could happen – a risk – that would negatively impact the success of the project.
Tolerance
Project Tolerances are a pre-defined set of limits for which the project is managed within. There can be separate levels of tolerance for different aspects of the project and for different people within the project.
Transformation
Transformation is a distinct change to the way an organisation conducts all or part of its business.

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Value Management
Value Management is about selecting the option (s) which best represent value for money
Version Control

Version Control is the method for keeping track of the latest and most update to version of a dcoument. This can apply to a range of items such as Logs (i.e. risks and issues); Business Cases; Test Data; Hardware etc.

This a necessary activity within project management as a project can have a multitude of documents which are often live and the project needs to ensure all are working off of the latest information.  Version control is also required for change management to work effectively.

Version control information usually consists of:

  1. Title
  2. Description
  3. Source
  4. Status
  5. Version
  6. Change History

It is good practice to include a change log at the beginning of a file. There is also software which can help such as SharePoint.

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WAS - Work Authorisation System
A Work Authorisation System is a defined approach which approves commencement of work and provides clear direction and clarity to working members.
WBS - Work Breakdown Schedule

A project Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a hierarchical approach for organising the scope of a project into individual elements which can then be assigned, managed and tracked as deliverables.

  • The WBS is broken down into layers, with the first layer being all encompassing across the project and then the subsequent layers breaking down the layer above into more manageable chunks. As you transition through the layers of a WBS more detail is created. How low do you go? Well that effectively depends on the type of project you have. You go as low as necessary until all of the activities are at a stage where their progress can be measured on a frequent and objective basis.
  • Ensure there are owners for each activity
  • Follow the 100% rule – The 100% rule is a guiding principle which must apply across the WBS. So the scope of the project and the WBS being created must define 100% of the activities. So the totality of all the ‘child’ lower levels must equate to the same amount of work as the ‘parent’ level. Equally the rule states that any activity outside of the project should not be included within the WBS.
Work Packages
Work Packages consist of activities bundled together to achieve parts of or full deliverables required for a successful project. Work packages are the lowest planning units derived from the WBS.
WFD - Work Flow Diagram

WFD – Work Flow Diagrams are a visual representation of a general overview of a business process.

Working at Risk
When a project or parts of a project are working at risk they assume that the costs/resources associated with that component part are undertaken and accounted for even though the project may not continue
Workstream
A project workstream is a sequencing of projects/activities that logically fit together for optimal management.

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