Project management terms that may be heard in conversations within project teams at the U of S or found in project management templates and documentation are described in this section. Examples or references for additional information are included for some of the terms.
In additions, numerous online project management glossaries exist. A very useful one can be found at http://maxwideman.com/pmglossary/
Measurable conditions that must be achieved before a deliverable is accepted.
A project management method often used with a feature-based, iterative software development approach.
More information, including professional development opportunities can be found online:
All desired features (work to be performed) in the foreseeable future, both well defined and requiring further definition. Includes change requests that occur during a project's completion (traditionally after the scope is signed off).
From an academic perspective, in terms of teaching, learning, research and/or service delivery, the summary business case states:
This project would improve service to students and administrative efficiency by allowing self-service for College of Medicine applicants. The benefits are improving our image as a progressive university and providing 24x7 access for applying to the College.
Features that provide business value or benefits.
Typically, the Manager or Director resposible for a unit's operating objectives, including leading changes to how business processes are designed, is the business process owner. The person, or in cross-organizational projects the people, who can and who must be able to make decisions relating to how the renewed system should operate.
After the project team agrees to a set of features or scope, changing business requirements may require a change to the scope of the project. Changes to the design, methods, schedule or costs may also arise.
A change request is logged (for example in the backlog), assessed and scheduled into the project, or in a following project.
A modification to a vendor's baseline product. For example, application forms, procedures, webpages, etc. that are modified to better address U of S requirements.
The person or group from the business unit who will be available to (and preferably part of) the project team to:
Typically, the customer is a functional analyst or a business process owner from the business unit initiating the project.
In situations where the project affects or produces a software system that is shared across multiple organizational divisions, user groups can be represented by a person who will undertake to support the project team in reaching functional agreement on features and requirement specifications across the affected units.
See also Organizational Deliverable(s).
Examples of typical deliverables:
Database Administrator. As a member of a project producing or upgrading software, a DBA is responsible for database implementation, tuning and security.
Additional locally-developed databases, application forms, procedures, webpages, etc. that do not interfere with existing vendor product baseline objects. Sometimes an enhancement is referred to as a "bolt on."
In the case of locally developed products, an enhancement refers to new functional capability added to the existing product or service as part of its evolution.
A prominent characteristic, quality or trait desired in a software product.
"Something offered to the public or advertised as particularly attractive"
Examples of statements describing desired features:
The functional analyst is a subject matter expert who works with software product consultants and business analysts to define the valid values within a system and to develop procedures for using an application and the reports produced as part of a system.
Code or procedures that extract data (whether near-real time or batch) from a source system to move it to another system; may involve flow of changed data back for load into the source system.
The products, results or outcomes the project team is to complete for the supplying organization.
See also Deliverable(s).
During major initiatives, a portfolio provides a structure to identify business goals and organize them into a cohesive series of projects. "Program" is a useful synonym. Portfolio or program directors make sure the program's goals are clear and measured; the projects have appropriate teams and governance to succeed; and metrics critical to post-implementation value measurements, are in place.
Within ICT, the Student Computing Program and the Portal Program are examples of themes crossing various services (application & database, help, instructional technology) offered by the department.
In ICT software projects, iterations are a series of activities designed to have the customer and the software designer working together to generate and examine ideas and samples for review and testing before solidifying the final working product. Essentially, it is a method which successively comes closer to the required product, and yields working products (business value) within a 60 day period (iteration).
See also Agile Project Management.
Project Management Book of Knowledge as developed by the Project Management Institute (PMI).
A project is a group of related but temporary work activities undertaken to create a unique product, service or result to meet specified objectives of the business sponsor; every project has a definite beginning and a definite end.
Using examples in the ICT environment, projects can create:
Documents produced through the project process (project management deliverables) become project management artifacts at the close of the project. They are retained for their value in lessons learned and as examples of content that needs to be included.
In a project brief or project charter, this section sets the priority within the project between
This statement of priorities is direction to the project manager and personnel; it is not a statement of priorities across an organization's priorities.
The purpose of the project brief or project charter is to describe the project being undertaken, from the perspective of the delivering organization. The sponsor agrees to a set of project deliverables depending on what information is known, or yet to be determined. Some examples of questions that may need to be answered through executing a particular project:
The individual responsible for leading a project. A project manager is provided with the authority and the responsibility for managing the project and meeting project objectives through project management activities.
The project manager often functions outside of the functional organizational structure.
A discipline that concerns itself with initiating, planning and completing temporary endeavours undertaken to create an outcome, product or result. It involves applying knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.
Additional information can be found at
The cross-functional team (customers, developers, testers, etc.) of no more than nine members working together on the features that are well-enough defined to proceed with relatively little change over a sprint.
Within the scrum framework, the project manager holds a daily meeting where each project team member identifies:
A key characteristic which makes these meetings different from project status meetings: Face-to-face hand-off of obstacles to management. Management will then remove the obstacles standing in the way of the team and product delivery.
Additional information can be found at
An operations role within ICT; the service owner is responsible for the planning and operation of a service offered by ICT. Usually a service owner is an ICT sub-group manager.
A software pilot is a bare bones implementation that is never intended for ongoing use. Pilots are implemented on a substantially smaller budget and shorter timeline, contain few if any integrated software features and provide a customer with the ability to visualize what a full implementation may look and act like.
Its purpose is to explore functional capability and benefits that might result from a full implementation, to test possible technical implementation options and to systematically reduce risks associated with implementing a product about which both the customer and the IT organization know little.
"The executive, who manages, administers, monitors, funds, and is responsible for the overall project delivery." — Wideman, R. M.
Strategic and complex projects may have Associate Vice-President or Vice-President executive sponsorship. While Executive Sponsors participate in project activities only on an as-needed basis, they must be readily accessible to project management. Sponsors will be project champions and promote the visibility and credibility of the project.
The Executive Sponsor:
The Sponsor and Champion:
A period of 30 days or less where a set of work will be performed to create an agreed feature or set of features in the iterative application development model. A sprint will result in a tangible, incremental deliverable.
Stakeholders are any people or groups that will be affected by, or who can affect, the project outcomes. Along with the sponsor, business process owner and the customer, key stakeholders can share an interest in having their needs met by the project outcomes. In some project governance structures, stakeholders will be asked to participate in a project advisory committee.
A document used to articulate and communicate what will be done (delivered) in response to a problem.
The SME works daily with the system entering, verifying and/or using the data collected. The SME will use the changed system similarly.
This term refers to the business unit(s) providing the service in completing the project deliverables. For example, application development is a service provided by ICT Applications.
Charters are written by the supplying organization's project manager or sponsor; they elaborate a statement of work, the governance structure, required project assurances and team assignments.
Refers to a group of people brought together to perform a particular function within the project. A Terms of Reference (ToR) or Statement of Work (SOW) provides an overview on why the task group is being formed, background information useful to completing the task, the membership and title, the consultation expected, what the Task Group is to deliver, the approval(s) required, the timeframe and the references.
The ToR or SOW is prepared or finalized by the Chair of the Task Group.
The document that describes technical platforms being supported by the software, being used to develop the software, or being avoided.