Chapter 6 Project Management Definitions

Activity List
A listing of all of the project activities required to complete each project phase or the entire project.
Activity on Node
A network diagramming approach that places the activities on a node in the project network diagram.
Activity Sequencing
The process of mapping the project activities in the order in which the work should be completed.
Analogous estimating
A duration-estimating technique that bases the current project duration estimate on historical information from similar projects.
Crashing
A duration-compression technique that adds project resources to the project in an effort to reduce the amount of time allotted for effort-driven activities.
Critical Chain Method
A network diagramming approach that considers the availability of project resources and the project’s promised end date to determine the critical path in the project.
Critical Path Method
A network diagramming approach that identifies the project activities that cannot be delayed or the project completion date will be late.
Discretionary Dependencies
Project activities do not have to be completed in a particular order; instead, these tasks can be completed in the order determined by the project manager or at the project team’s discretion.
Fast-tracking
A duration-compression technique that allows entire phases of a project to overlap other phases.
Finish no earlier than (FNET)
A project constraint that requires an activity to finish no earlier than a specific date.
Finish-to-finish
A relationship between project activities whereby the predecessor activities must finish before successor activities may finish.
Finish-to-start
A relationship between project activities whereby the predecessor activities must finish before the successor activities may start; this is the most common network diagramming relationship type.
Float
A generic term to describe the amount of time an activity may be delayed without delaying any successor activities’ start dates.
Fragnet
A portion of the project that usually contracted to a vendor to complete, yet the project work is still represented in the project network diagram.
Hard Logic
The project activities must be completed in a particular order; this is also known as mandatory dependencies.
Internal dependencies
Dependencies that are internal to the project that are often related to the nature of the work that’s being completed.
Lag
Time added to a project activity to delay its start time; lag time is considered positive time, and it is sometimes called waiting time.
Lead
Time added to an activity to allow its start time to begin earlier than scheduled; lead time is negative time, as it moves the activities closer to the project’s start date.
Mandatory dependencies
Project activities must happen in a particular order due to the nature of the work; also known as hard logic.
Monte Carlo Analysis
A “What-if” scenario tool to determine how scenarios may work out, given any number of variables. The process doesn’t actually create a specific answer, but a range of possible answers. When Monte Carlo is applied to a schedule, it can present, for example, the optimistic completion date, the pessimistic completion date, and the most likely completion date for each activity in the project.
Negative Total Float
When a project is running late on its implementation or if there’s a predefined deadline for the project, you may experience negative float. This means the activities on the critical path don’t have enough time to meet the defined late finish date for the project.
Network Template
A network diagram based on previous similar projects that is adapted for the current project work.
Parametric estimating
Ideal for projects with repetitive work where a parameter, such as five hours per unit, is used to estimate the project duration.
Parkinson’s Law
Work expands to fill the amount of time allotted to it.
Precedence Diagramming Method
The most common method of arranging the project work visually. The PDM puts the activities in Boxes, called nodes, and connects the boxes with arrows. The arrows represent the relationship and the dependencies of the work packages.
Project Calendar
A calendar that defines the working times for the project. For example, a project may require the project team to work nights and weekends so as not to disturb the ongoing operations of the organization during working hours. In addition, the project calendar accounts for holidays, working hours, and work shifts the project will cover.
Resource Calendar
Shows when resources, such as project team members, consultants, and SMEs, are available to work on the project. It takes into account vacations, other commitments within the organization, restrictions, on contracted work, overtime issues, and so on.
Resource-leveling heuristics
A method to flatten the schedule when resources are over-allocated or allocated unevenly. Resource leveling can be applied in different methods to accomplish different goals. One of the most common methods is to ensure that workers are not overextended on activities.
Resource Smoothing
A technique that allows you to do resource leveling, but only on noncritical path activities. This approach levels resource utilization by taking advantage of activities that have available float. For those activities with no float, the resource utilization will not be edited.
Schedule Control
Part of integrated change management, schedule control is concerned with three processes: the project manager confirms that any schedule changes are agreed upon, the project manager examines the work results and conditions to know if the schedule has changed, and the project manager manages the actual change in the schedule.
Schedule Management Plan
A subsidiary plan of the overall project plan, used to control changes to the schedule. A formal schedule management plan has procedures that control how changes to the project plan can be proposed, accounted for, and then implemented.
Schedule Variance
The difference between the planned work and the completed work.
Soft Logic
The preferred order of activities. Project mangers should use these relationships at their discretion and document the logic behind making soft logic decisions. Discretionary dependencies allow activities to happen in a preferred order because of best practices, conditions unique to the project work, or external events; also known as discretionary dependencies.
Start no earlier than (SNET)
A project constraint that demands that a project activity start no earlier than a specific date.
Start-to-finsih
A relationship that requires an activity to start so that a successor activity may finish; it is unusual and is rarely used.
Start-to-start
A relationship structure that requires a task to start before a successor task activity may start. This relationship allows both activities to happen in tandem.
Three-point estimate
An estimate that uses optimistic, most likely, and pessimistic values to determine the cost or duration of a project component.