This Glossary includes terms and acronyms that are part of general Project Management Methodology (PMM), or unique to the Carleton PMM. Terms that are used as part of a definition, which are themselves defined in the Glossary are shown in italics. When the same term is used more than once in a definition, only the first instance is italicized.




Acceptance Criteria Those criteria, including performance requirements and essential conditions, which must be met before project deliverables are accepted.
Active Project A project that is presently in progress (considered “active” at such time as the Project Charter is approved).
Activity A component of work performed during the course of a project.
Activity Code An alpha/numeric sequential value assigned by the Project Management Office as the Project Number and is used in FAST for budget allocation and tracking.
Actual Finish Date The point in time that work actually ended on a project activity.
Actual Start Date The point in time that work actually started on a project activity. The Project Management Methodology identifies the Project Charter approval date as the Actual Start Date of a Project.
Archived Project A project that has either been completed or discontinued, and retained as historical data.
Assumptions Assumptions are factors that, for planning purposes, are considered to be true, real, or certain without proof or demonstration. Assumptions generally involve a degree of risk.


Base Funding Post implementation costs needed to maintain the system, service or product once it is operationalized.
Baseline (schedule, cost) The approved schedule or cost, against which project performance is measured. A Baseline serves as a point of reference for project reporting.
Benchmarking A performance improvement tool, which measures performance or processes against industry best practices, and uses the information to improve performance.
Best Practice A method of accomplishing a business function or process that is considered to be superior to all other known methods.
Budget The funds allocated to the project that represent the estimated planned expenditures.
Business Analyst (BA) Works with the Customer to develop a strong understanding of the business requirements and processes related to the project, and assists with the development of project requirements, scope and acceptance testing.  The BA may also recommend improvements in the existing business processes.
Business Cycle The University business cycle consists of the peaks and valleys of student-focused activities, such as Registration, or the start of classes. Generally, project activities such as go-lives, are planned to coincide with periods of slower activity in order to minimize the impact on University business.
Business Value An articulation of the corporate values that serves as the guiding principle for corporate actions and ethical behaviour, defines the character of its relations with stakeholders, and establishes management style and corporate culture.


Change Advisory Board (CAB) The Change Advisory Board is a group of ITS Managers who approve scheduling of changes to Information Systems in production.
Change Control The process of managing scope, schedule and budget changes to the Project Plan.
Change Control Board (CCB) Serves as the focal point for change management and retains the authority for deciding which submitted Change Requests will be incorporated into the scope of the project.  For IT projects, the CCB is either ISSC or the CIO.
Change Request See Project Change Request.
Checklist Items listed together for convenience to ensure that the actions associated with them are managed appropriately and not forgotten.
Closure Phase The last Phase in the Project Lifecycle during which administrative activities are carried out, and project resources are released. It includes formal project sign-off, preparing Lessons Learned and Project Final Report, and celebrating team accomplishments.
Communication Plan A document that describes: the communication needs and expectations for the project; how and in what format information will be communicated; when each communication will be made; and who is responsible.
Constraint A restriction or limitation, either internal or external to the project, that will affect its performance.
Criteria Standards, rules, or tests on which a judgment or decision can be based, or by which a product, service, result, or process can be evaluated.
Critical Path The path in a Project Schedule that has the longest duration. It represents a series of activities that determines the overall duration of the project. Each task on the Critical Path is a critical task.
Customer The Customer is the business unit(s) that identified the need for the product or service that the project will address, and is the recipient of the product or service.


Defect An imperfection or deficiency in a project component where that component does not meet requirements or specifications and needs to be either repaired or replaced.
Deliverable A unique and verifiable product, result or capability to perform a service that must be produced to complete a Process, Phase, or project. Deliverables are subject to approval by the Project Sponsor and customer(s).
Dependencies A relationship between two or more tasks. A dependency may be a logical relationship or resource-based.
Duration The length of time required or planned for the execution of a project activity, or the total length of the project.


Effort The amount of human resource time (labor units) required to perform an activity. Measured in Person Days. Contrast with Duration.
Execute Directing, managing, performing, and accomplishing the project work, providing the deliverables, and providing work performance information.
Execution and Control Phase Co-ordinating people and other resources to carry out the Project Plan, comparing actual performance with planned performance, analyzing variances, evaluating possible alternatives, and taking appropriate corrective action as needed.


Financial Administration Support Tool (FAST) A web-based tool utilized to view University financial information.
Fiscal Funding One-time costs approved by either the CIO or ISSC, and allocated to a project.


Go-live The point in time when the product or service is rolled out to customers.
Governance The Policies and processes that provide the framework within which Senior Management makes decisions and takes actions to optimise outcomes related to their spheres of responsibility.


Historical Data Information on archived projects, including documents, reports, and metrics.


In Scope The in scope statement contains the features, functions and the major deliverables of the project, including the final product or process to be created. It forms the agreement between the Project Sponsor and the project approval authority (ISSC/CIO) about the expected deliverables of the project.
Information Systems Steering Committee (ISSC) A Committee that provides governance on Information Systems projects. The Committee membership generally includes management representatives from all of the key organizations across the institution. The ISSC is the final decision maker for approving projects and funding, making Policy decisions, approving Change Requests, and providing governance for the strategic direction of Information Systems Projects at Carleton University.
Initiation Phase The first Phase in the Project Lifecycle which focuses on establishing requirements, developing the Project Charter, and obtaining approval and funding.
Input Any item, whether internal or external to the project that is required by a process before that process proceeds.
Issue A point or matter in question or in dispute, or a point or matter that is not settled and is under discussion or over which there are opposing views or disagreements.
Issue Tracking A process of tracking project issues and facilitating their resolution.


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Key Deliverable The 6 mandatory documents, which are part of the Project Management Methodology (Project Proposal, Project Charter, Project Management Plan, Progress Report, Change Request, and Final Report).
Key Performance Indicators (KPI) A high level performance indicator, such as customer satisfaction. Key Performance Indicators are aggregated from multiple metrics.
Kick-off Meeting A meeting at the beginning of the Execution Phase of a project to align project team members’ understanding of project objectives, procedures and plans, and to begin the team-building process.


Lessons Learned Knowledge or understanding gained by experience. The experience may be positive or negative. Both successes and failures are considered sources of lessons learned. A lesson must be significant in that it has a real or assumed impact on operations; valid in that it is factually and technically correct; and applicable in that it identifies a specific design, process, or decision that reduces or eliminates the potential for failures, or reinforces a positive result.
Logical Relationship A dependency between two or more tasks or between tasks and milestones, such that one cannot start or finish before the other has started or finished.


Methodology A system of practices, techniques, procedures, and rules used by those who work in a discipline.
Metrics Quantitative measures, such as the number of projects completed on time, and/or on budget. They are used to determine if improvement has taken place.
Milestone A point in the project which identifies the end of a significant set of related activities indicating the completion of a major deliverable. A Milestone has no duration or effort.
Monitor Collecting project performance data with respect to a plan, producing performance measures, reporting, and disseminating project performance information.


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Objective Something towards which work is to be directed, a result to be obtained, a product to be produced, or a service to be performed.
Operations An organizational function performing the ongoing execution of activities that produce the same product or provide a repetitive service.
Organizational Change Management Organizational Change Management encompasses all activities aimed at helping an organization successfully accept and adopt new technologies and new ways to operate.
Out of Scope The out of scope statement clarifies what is not part of the project.
Output A product, result, or service generated by a process.


Peer Review The Peer Review is an evaluation process used to encourage debate, to assess impact and interdependencies on other Departments/Divisions, and to make a judgment on the technical/business merit of a project before it is approved.
Prospective Project A project for which a Project Proposal has been written, but approval has not been given to proceed with development of a Project Charter.
Percent Complete An estimate, expressed as a percent, of the amount of work that has been completed on an activity or a project.
Person Day A unit of measurement of effort required to perform a project activity. For continuing University employees, it equals 7 hours.
Planned Finish Date The point in time that work was scheduled to finish for a project or an activity.
Planned Start Date The point in time that work was scheduled to start on a project or an activity.
Planning The process of establishing and maintaining the definition of the scope of the project, the way the project will be executed, roles and responsibilities and the time and cost baselines.
Planning Phase The second Phase in the project lifecycle which involves activities associated with developing a detailed Project Management Plan, including budget, schedule, resources and communications. Planning is essential for the successful implementation of project activities during the Execution and Control Phase.
Portfolio A collection of projects or Programs that are grouped together to facilitate effective management of that work to meet strategic business objectives.
Portfolio Management The centralized management of a portfolio, which includes identifying, prioritizing, authorizing, managing, and controlling projects and programs, to achieve specific strategic business objectives.
Post-mortem A meeting to assess and evaluate the way a project was performed, so as to learn from the experience, and continuously improve project performance. Success criteria are reviewed to ascertain if the project was a success.
Process A set of interrelated actions and activities performed to achieve a specified set of products, results, or services.
Program A group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits and control not available from managing them individually.
Progress Report A Key Deliverable of the  Project Management Methodology, completed monthly by the Project Manager, it provides information to Stakeholders on the status of a project.
Project An temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service, or enhancement. It is made up of defined processes and tasks, and has a definite beginning and end.
Project Change Request A Key Deliverable of the  Project Management Methodology, which provides a mechanism for change control by summarizing the impact that a proposed change would have on the execution of the project, and obtaining approval for the change.
Project Charter A Key Deliverable of the  Project Management Methodology, this document formally authorizes the existence of a project, and provides the Project Manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities. Approval of the Project Charter indicates the start date of a project.
Project Director As the Sponsor’s representative, this individual is responsible for ensuring project success from a functional perspective, and for all activities and deliverables assigned to the users, functional unit SME’s and staff.  The Project Director usually signs off on deliverables, and may sign off on project completion on behalf of the Sponsor.
Project Final Report A Key Deliverable of the  Project Management Methodology, the Project Final Report is completed by the Project Manager during the Closure Phase of a project. It summarizes high level accomplishments, details lessons learned, and captures project performance metrics.
Project Health A colour indicator in status reporting that provides a visual cue to how a project is performing at a specific point in time. ‘Green’ indicates on schedule and on budget; ‘yellow’ means some issues exist, but are not insurmountable, and ‘red’ means serious issues exist and the schedule, budget and/or quality of the project are in jeopardy.
Project Lifecycle A collection of generally sequential Project Phases whose name and number are determined by the organization’s Project Management Methodology.
Project Management The application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.
Project Management Institute (PMI) An internationally recognized non-profit organization whose mission is to promote a unifying influence in the advancement of the field of Project Management, with emphasis on tools and methods for the planning, scheduling and control of project oriented tasks.
Project Management Methodology (PMM) A project management methodology provides a standard, repeatable process to guide project performance from concept to completion. It introduces and applies generally accepted Project Management techniques and practices that fit within the University culture, business values and needs. It includes identification of the roles and responsibilities associated with each process step, as well as specification of the input and output for the desired sequence of process steps. The  PMM has been developed to meet the business values and specific needs of Information Systems initiatives at Carleton.
Project Management Office The Project Management Office (PMO) is accountable for managing Enterprise Information Systems projects and serves as a platform for managing the change necessary to deliver projects and initiatives in a timely and efficient manner. It serves as a resource for the  Project Management Methodology, as well as for standards established by the Project Management Institute (PMI).
Project Manager (PM) Responsible for ensuring that the Project Team successfully completes the project. The individual is charged with managing all activities during the implementation process, project resourcing, communicating with other team members, and acting as the primary contact between the project team and project sponsor(s).  It is the responsibility of the Project Manager to secure acceptance and approval of deliverables from the Project Sponsor and Stakeholders. Some of the Project Manager’s duties consist of communication, status reporting, risk management, escalation of issues that cannot be resolved by the team, and, in general, making sure the project is delivered on budget, on schedule, and within scope.
Project Number A unique alpha-numeric value assigned to a project. See Activity Code.
Project Performance Metrics Measurable outcomes of projects used to determine whether they were completed on time, on budget and how well they met customer expectations.
Project Phase A collection of logically related project activities, usually culminating in the completion of a major deliverable. A Project Phase is a component of the Project Lifecycle.
Project Plan A Key Deliverable of the Project Management Methodology, it is a formal, dynamic document intended to clearly articulate how the project will be executed. It is the controlling document to manage the project, and is used as a baseline against which to monitor progress, cost and schedule.
Project Proposal A Key Deliverable of the  Project Management Methodology, the objective of which is, to provide management with enough information to determine if further effort should be dedicated to a potential project.
Project Repository A repository for all project related documents and information.
Project Schedule See Schedule.
Project Start Date The Project Management Methodology identifies the Start Date of a project as the day the Project Charter is approved by either the ISSC or the CIO (Chief Information Officer). In rare cases the Project Start Date can be a date agreed to by the Manager, Project Management Office and the Project Sponsor.


Quality Assurance (QA) The application of planned, systematic quality activities, identified in the Project Plan, to ensure that the project employs all quality processes to meet requirements.


Rank A numerical value representing the priority standing of a particular project in relation to other projects in the Module.
Request for Change (RFC) A Form whose completion is required by the ITS Change Advisory Board for changes affecting production systems.
Request for Information (RFI) A type of procurement document whereby the buyer requests a potential seller to provide information related to a product or service or seller capability.
Request for Proposal (RFP) A type of procurement document used to request proposals from prospective sellers of products or services.
Requirement A statement of detailed product or service objectives that describes the features, functions, and performance constraints to be delivered by the project. Requirements include the quantified and documented needs, wants, and expectations of the Project Sponsor, Customer, and other Stakeholders.
Resource Any tangible support such as people, tools, assets or facilities used in the performance of a project.
Resource Allocation The process of allocating human resources selectively between competing projects according to strategic priorities.
Resource Management Resource management identifies and assigns resources to activities so that the project is undertaken using appropriate levels of resources and within an acceptable duration. Resource allocation, smoothing, levelling and scheduling are techniques used to determine and manage appropriate levels of resources.
Risk An uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a negative effect on project objectives.
Risk Acceptance A risk response technique that indicates that the Project Manager has decided to accept the risk and subsequent consequences if the risk occurs.
Risk Management The process of deciding how to approach, plan, and execute risk management activities for a project.
Risk Mitigation A risk response technique that seeks to reduce the probability of occurrence or impact of a risk to an acceptable threshold.
Risk Prevention A risk response technique that involves eliminating the potential cause of risk, before it can become an issue.


Schedule The project timeline which identifies the start and completion dates of the project, individual tasks start and finish dates, and milestones; and the resources required.
Scope The work that must be performed to deliver a product, service, or results with the specified features and functions.
Scope Change Any change to the Project Scope, which necessitates an adjustment to the cost, schedule or quality.
Scope Creep Adding features and functionality to the Project Scope without approval, and without addressing the effects on time, costs, and resources.
Security Analyst As a representative from ITS Information Security, works with the Customer(s), Project Director(s) and Project Team to define security requirements; assess project changes to identify security risks resulting from a change, and recommend a mitigation strategy.
Sponsor A senior member of management with demonstrable interest in the outcome of the project and is responsible for securing spending authority and functional resources.  The Project Sponsor acts as a vocal and visible champion, legitimizes the project’s goals and objectives, keeps abreast of major project activities, and is a decision- maker for the project.  The Project Sponsor provides support for the Project Manager; assists with major issues and policy conflicts; removes obstacles; approves scope changes; signs off on major deliverables; and signs off on approvals to proceed to each succeeding project phase.
Stakeholder A person or organization; e.g.; customer, sponsor, performing organization, or the public, that is actively involved in the project or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected by execution or completion of the project. A stakeholder may also exert influence over the project and its deliverables.
Statement of Work (SOW) A written description of products, services, or results to be supplied under contract.
Status Report See Progress Report.
Strategic Planning A collaborative process of defining the short and longer term goals of an organization, including prioritization and development of an action plan to accomplish them.
Subject Matter Expert (SME) An expert in some aspect of the project’s content who is expected to provide input to the Project Team regarding a specific area of expertise.
Success Criteria Measurements to determine project success. The criteria must be quantifiable and measurable, and expressed in terms of business benefit to the University.


Team Building Team building is a planned effort made in order to improve communications and working relationships among the members of a Project Team.
Technical Lead Responsible for ensuring the success of the project from a technical perspective by defining technical requirements, recommendations, and validation.
Test Plan A document describing the scope, approach, resources, and schedule of testing activities. It identifies test items, the features to be tested, the testing tasks, who will do each task, and any risks requiring contingency planning.
Testing Coordinator This person is responsible for developing the project test plan, monitoring testing activities, reporting on testing progress, validating and reporting system defects and obtaining final user acceptance and sign-off of test results.
Trainer Responsible for developing the training program, any supporting documentation, and the actual training of staff on the new system or service, during the initial implementation and possibly on an ongoing basis.


User Acceptance Testing (UAT) User acceptance testing is a phase of software development in which the software is tested by individuals in functional business units.


Variance A quantifiable deviation, departure, or divergence away from a known baseline or expected value.
Vendor An external contractor who provides additional products or services that are required as part of the project – although vendors are external to the project organization, they are still considered to be members of the Project Team.


Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) A deliverable-oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the Project Team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables. It organizes and defines the total scope of the project.
Work Breakdown Structure Process The process of subdividing project deliverables and project work into smaller more manageable components.
Work Package A deliverable or project work component at the lowest level of each branch of the work breakdown structure.


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