P3 assurance The process of providing confidence to stakeholders that projects, programmes and portfolios will achieve their scope, time, cost and quality objectives, and realise their benefits.
P3 management team A collective term for those involved in the sponsorship and day-to-day management of a project, programme or portfolio.
P3 management The collective term for project, programme and portfolio management.
Parallel activities Two or more activities that can be done at the same time.
Parallel life cycle A life cycle where phases are conducted in parallel.
Parametric estimating An estimating technique that uses a statistical relationship between historic data and other variables to calculate an estimate.
Pareto diagram A histogram ordered by frequency of occurrence that shows how many results were generated by each identified cause.
Partnering An arrangement between two or more organisations to manage a contract between them cooperatively, as distinct from a legally established partnership. See Alliancing.
Payback An investment appraisal technique.
Percent complete A measure of the completion status of a partially completed activity. It may be aggregated to sections of a project or the whole project
Performance The term used to describe the quality of the delivery and the deliverables (outputs) of the project.
Performance management Techniques used in the management of individual and team performance. Performance management is also a term used in earned value management, which is itself a performance management technique when applied to project performance.
Performance measurement techniques The methods used to estimate earned value. Different methods are appropriate to different work packages, either due to the nature of the work or due to the planned duration of the work package.
PESTLE A technique for analysing project context by considering political, economic, sociological, technical, legal and environmental factors.
Phase The major subdivision of a life cycle.
Phase reviews A review that takes place at the end of a life cycle phase. See Gate review.
Physical models A representation of the three-dimensional, solid aspects of a deliverable, which can be used to display its features or potentially test its aspects.
Physical percent complete The percentage of the work content of an activity that has been achieved.
Physical performance Actual performance of work on a project that can be measured, for example, the number of drawings produced or lines of code written.
Pilot A form of testing a new development and its implementation prior to committing to its full release.
Plan An intended future course of action. See Project management plan.
Planned activity An activity not yet started.
Planned cost The authorised budget assigned to the scheduled work to be completed. The total planned cost is also known as budget at completion (BAC) or budgeted cost of work scheduled (BCWS).
Planned value The cost profile of a resource-optimised schedule used as the baseline to monitor actual spend and earned value. Alternatively called the budgeted cost of work scheduled (BCWS).
Planning Determines what is to be delivered, how much it will cost, when it will be delivered, how it will be delivered and who will carry it out.
Portfolio A collection of projects and/or programmes used to structure and manage investments at an organisational or functional level to optimise strategic benefits or operational efficiency.
Portfolio management The selection, prioritisation and control of an organisation’s projects and programmes in line with its strategic objectives and capacity to deliver.
Portfolio prioritisation process The evaluation and prioritisation of projects within a portfolio to enable the more important projects and programmes to access the required resources and to move forward in accordance with their plans.
Post-project review Undertaken after the project deliverables have been handed over and before final closeout, this review is intended to produce lessons learnt that will enable continuous improvement.
PRAM An abbreviation of the APM Risk Management SIG’s publication Project Risk Analysis and Management Guide.
Precedence diagram method One of the two methods of representing project as networks, in which the activities are represented by nodes and the relationships between them by arrows.
Precedence network A model of activities and their dependencies used in scheduling. Also known as a Network diagram.
Pre-commissioning The work that is carried out prior to commissioning in order to demonstrate that commissioning may be safely undertaken.
Predecessor An activity that must be completed (or partially completed) before a specified activity can begin.
Predecessor activity In the precedence diagram method this is an activity that logically precedes the current activity.
Prime or lead contractor A main supplier who has a contract for much or all of the work on a contract. The prime contractor is responsible for managing projects that involve a number of subsystem contracts. It is responsible for coordinating the activities of subcontractors, integrating their deliverables and managing risks to meet the client’s requirements.
PRINCE2™ A project management methodology. It is an acronym standing for PRojects IN Controlled Environments.
Prioritise The phase of a portfolio life cycle where priorities are set by strategic objective, return on investment or any other chosen metric.
Probabilistic network A network containing alternative paths with which probabilities are associated.
Probability The likelihood of a risk occurring.
Problem In project management terms these are concerns that the project manager has to deal with on a day-to-day basis.
Procedures Cover individual aspects of project management practice and form an integral part of a method.
Procedures manual A book of reference describing standard project procedures.
Procurement The process by which products and services are acquired from an external provider for incorporation into the project, programme or portfolio.
Procurement strategy The high-level approach for securing the goods and services required from external suppliers to satisfy project, programme and portfolio needs. See also Strategic sourcing.
Product A tangible or intangible component of a project’s output. Used interchangeably with deliverable and output.
Product breakdown structure (PBS) A hierarchy of deliverables that are required to be produced on the project. This forms the base document from which the execution strategy and product-based work breakdown structure may be derived. It provides a guide for configuration control documentation.
Product description The description of the purpose, form and components of a product. It should always be used as a basis for acceptance of the product by the customer.
Product flow diagram This diagram represents how the products are produced by identifying their derivation and the dependencies between them. It is similar to a network diagram but uses products rather than activities.
Product life cycle A life cycle approach that adds operation and termination phases to a linear life cycle to reflect the whole life of an asset. Enabling a full asset life cycle perspective encourages engagement with long-term future implications of project-related actions.
Productivity factor The ratio of earned hours against expended hours.
Professionalism The application of expert and specialised knowledge within a specific field and the acceptance of standards relating to that profession.
Profile of expenditure A project’s budget is phased over time to give a profile of expenditure. This will allow a cash flow forecast for the project to be developed and a drawdown of funds to be agreed with the organisation.
Program evaluation and review technique A network analysis technique that calculates standard deviations for the schedule based on three-point estimates of activity durations.
Programme A unique, transient strategic endeavour undertaken to achieve beneficial change and incorporating a group of related projects and business-as-usual (steady-state) activities.
Programme benefits review A review to assess if targets have been reached and to measure the performance levels in the resulting business operations.
Programme brief A description of the capability that the organisation seeks from changes to its business and/or its operations. Delivery of this capability is the end goal of the programme.
Programme director The senior manager with the responsibility for the overall success of the programme.
Programme directorate A committee that directs the programme when circumstances arise where there is no individual to direct the programme.
Programme management The coordinated management of projects and business-as-usual (steady- state) activities to achieve beneficial change.
Programme manager The individual with responsibility for managing a programme.
Programme mandate What the programme is intended to deliver in terms of new services and/or operational capability.
Programme support office A group that gives administrative support to the programme manager and the programme executive.
Progress The partial completion of a project, or a measure of the same.
Progress payments Payments made to a contractor during the life of a fixed price type contract, on the basis of some agreed-to formula, for example, budget cost of work performed or simply costs incurred.
Progress report A regular report to senior personnel, sponsors or stakeholders summarising the progress of a project including key events, milestones, costs and other issues.
Project A unique, transient endeavour undertaken to bring about change and to achieve planned objectives.
Project appraisal The discipline of calculating the viability of a project. May be conducted at any time throughout the project.
Project assurance Independent monitoring and reporting of the project’s performance and deliverables.
Project-based working A collective term for project, programme and portfolio management. Used interchangeably with management of projects.
Project board See Steering group.
Project brief See Brief.
Project budget See Budget.
Project calendar See Calendars.
Project charter See Charter.
Project closure See Closure.
Project context The environment within which a project is undertaken. Projects do not exist in a vacuum and an appreciation of the context within which the project is being performed will assist those involved in project management to deliver a project.
Project director The manager of a very large project that demands senior level responsibility or the person at the board level in an organisation who has the overall responsibility for project management.
Project environment See Environment.
Project evaluation review A documented review of the project’s performance, produced at predefined points in the project life cycle.
Project file A file containing the overall plans of a project and any other important documents.
Project financing and funding The means by which the capital to undertake a project is initially secured and then made available at the appropriate time. Projects may be financed externally, funded internally or a combination of both. See Funding.
Project initiation See Initiation.
Project initiation document (PID) A document approved by the project board at project initiation that defines the terms of reference for the project. This document is similar and in some cases the same as the Project management plan (PMP).
Project life cycle cost See Life cycle cost.
Project management The application of processes, methods, knowledge, skills and experience to achieve specific objectives for change.
Project management information system (PMIS) The systems, activities and data that allow information flow in a project, frequently computerised, but not always.
Project management maturity A model that describes a number of evolutionary levels in which an organisation’s project management processes can be assessed, from ad hoc use of processes to continual improvement of its processes. See Maturity.
Project (programme or portfolio) management office (PMO) An organisational structure that provides support for projects, programmes and/or portfolios.
Project management plan (PMP) The output or process of integrated planning for a project or programme.
Project management processes The generic processes that need to apply to each phase of the project life cycle. These may be described as a starting or initiating process, a defining and planning process, a monitoring and controlling process and a learning or closing process.
Project management software Computer application software designed to help with planning and controlling projects.
Project management team Members of the project team who are directly involved in its management.
Project manager The individual responsible for the successful delivery of the project.
Project mandate The initial terms of reference for the project – as defined in PRINCE2.
Project master schedule See Master schedule.
Project objectives Those things that are to be achieved by the project, which usually include technical, time, cost and quality objectives but may include other items to meet stakeholder needs.
Project office This serves the organisation’s project management needs. A project office can range from simple support functions for the project manager to responsibility for linking corporate strategy to project execution.
Project organisation (structure) Provides the maximum authority to the project manager. It provides integration of functional capabilities within projects. However, this leads to duplication of facilities, and less efficient use of resources.
Project plan See Project management plan.