Learning project management terminology when you’re just starting out can be difficult and overwhelming. A complete glossary of project management terminology can contain hundreds of terms. Furthermore, even experienced project managers struggle to establish consistent definitions for common project management terms.
This article provides a list of project management terms, a glossary of project management terminology, and a project management terminology cheat sheet.
What Is Project Management?
Project management is the process of employing various approaches, methods, skills, knowledge, and experience to achieve project goals. Since project management has a wide range of applications, project managers can get a job in various fields such as engineering, healthcare, non-profit organizations, and many others.
A project management professional is in charge of designing, planning, and managing various projects. It entails sticking to a budget, completing the project according to the project calendar, delegating responsibilities, and supervising the project team. A project sponsor is typically the point of contact for project management.
Who Uses Project Management Terminology?
Project management specialists and business operations specialists use project management terminology. Since project management is used for the entire team, some key project management terms may be familiar to functional managers and engineers, designers, or any other specialists working in a company.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2020, the national employment estimate for Project Management Specialists and Business Operations Specialists is 1,444,420 jobs with an annual median salary of $84,290.
List of Project Management Terms: Things Every Project Manager Should Know
- Agile Project Management
- Baseline Schedule
- Change Management
- Contingency Plan
- Critical Path
- Gantt Chart
- Project Charter
- Project Deliverables
- Project Life Cycle
- Project Objective
- Project Plan
- Project Scope
- RACI Chart
- Resource Allocation
- Risk Mitigation
- Risk Owner
- The Requirements Traceability Matrix
- Triple Constraint
- Work breakdown structure (WBS)
Glossary of Project Management Terminology: 5 Common Project Management Terms
Learning essential terminology can be overwhelming when you’re new to project management. It’s a good idea to start with the most popular terms. Below you will find a list of some of the most popular project management terms any entry-level project manager should know.
Change management refers to the project management plan or method for dealing with unforeseen changes during a project. It includes various techniques for dealing with the unique challenges of making organizational changes.
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Why a Project Manager Needs to Know About Change Management
Change management is vital in project management since this is a fast-paced profession where things change quickly. It enables project managers to comprehend the shift, commit to it, devise a master plan when confronted with an uncertain event, and operate efficiently during the changes.
A Gantt chart is a time-based horizontal bar chart that visually depicts the project calendar. The tasks are listed on the left side of the chart, and the unit of time required to complete them is listed at the top. Gantt charts are also useful for displaying dependencies and adjusting resource availability over time.
Why a Project Manager Needs to Know About Gantt Charts
A Gantt chart is a valuable tool in project management for displaying the work that is scheduled for each day. Project managers and virtual team members can view the project schedule, project timeline, individual tasks, and milestones in one simple stacked bar chart.
The commitment to deliver required results or outputs to clients or users is referred to as project deliverables. Deliverables can be perceptible or imperceptible objectives. They can be a document, a report, an end product, or a project block.
Why a Project Manager Needs to Know About Deliverables
The deliverables demonstrate how to accomplish a specific project goal. As you complete the major deliverables on time, your chances of meeting the project’s goal increase. As a result, project managers should prioritize them because they are critical to the success of the entire project.
Project Life Cycle
The project life cycle includes a project management plan, analysis, implementation, and budget. It is one of the most popular project management terms. There are various models for a project management life cycle, and each model reflects a specific way to achieve the project’s deliverables and helps keep track of each key event.
Why a Project Manager Needs to Know About Project Life Cycle
The project life cycle divides the project duration into project phases. A project manager must define the stages of the project life cycle to lead their team to complete each one within a specified period of time. Additionally, these stages serve as a high-level pulse to ensure continuous improvement throughout the process.
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Project scope refers to the work required to complete a project. It is one of the key terms of project management. The team should be involved in scoping a project before it starts. It will help estimate the high-level requirements needed to complete the final output.
Why a Project Manager Needs to Know About Project Scope
When project managers have a clear project scope for each time period, they can stay on track and ensure that all deadlines are met throughout the project life cycle. One issue that can be avoided with well-defined project scope management is constantly changing needs.
Project Management Terminology Cheat Sheet: 5 Advanced Project Management Terms
After you’ve gained some project management experience, your professional glossary will include more popular project management terms that will help you standardize your process. Below is a quick cheat sheet of advanced project management terms you might find useful.
Dependencies are relationships between project activities or projects in which the commencement or completion of one is contingent on the commencement or completion of the other.
Establishing a dependency between two project tasks during agile project planning indicates that the completion of one task is contingent on the successful completion of the other in the product backlog, helping in resource allocation adjustments.
Why a Project Manager Needs to Know About Dependencies
Dependencies can be intricate for the project management office to coordinate because a delay in one individual activity might have a cascade effect on all dependent tasks in the project plan. By understanding the relationships between project activities, project managers can anticipate dependencies, populate a resource calendar, and manage key performance indicators.
A RACI chart is a responsibilities and resource management matrix that depicts all the significant actions that occur throughout the project duration. It is divided into two sections based on the roles or people involved. You can also delegate responsibility to anyone in the matrix and at each intersection.
Why a Project Manager Needs to Know About RACI Chart
A RACI chart is one of the tools that project managers use to stay on top of project performance. The chart helps teams communicate clearly and keep the appropriate people informed by listing all project stakeholders and assigning a level of engagement to each activity.
The Requirements Traceability Matrix
A requirements traceability matrix is a document that illustrates the relationship between project requirements and other artifacts. It is used to demonstrate compliance with a set of high-level requirements. It is typically comprised of a list of requirements, tests, test results, and quality assurance issues.
Why a Project Manager Should Know About the Requirements Traceability Matrix
Accuracy is critical in project management. A requirements traceability matrix aids project managers in protecting the project against software defects by ensuring that the final output conforms to the requirements and quality standards established at the project’s inception.
According to the triple constraint theory, every project has three constraints: cost, time, and scope. These constraints are interrelated and any modification to one of the three constraints will affect the other two, especially in long-term projects.
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Why a Project Manager Needs to Know About Triple Constraint
The triple constraint theory assists project managers in recognizing competing demands in every project. Determining which need is the most important for each project allows project managers to make adjustments to the other two in order to keep the project goals balanced and on track.
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
The WBS, like the product breakdown structure, is a hierarchical model of all deliverables required to consider a complex project completed. It’s typically divided into two or three levels, starting with the project and ending with the smaller deliverables.
Why a Project Manager Should Know About WBS
Project managers frequently use WBS as one of the project management methodologies to keep track of task dependencies. Including the WBS in your project management toolkit could make a complex project more manageable.
How Can I Learn Project Management Terminology in 2022?
You can learn project management terminology in 2022 through project management bootcamps. Project management bootcamps are educational programs that teach students how to manage and plan projects using technology.
When compared to traditional four-year colleges and universities, bootcamps offer a more intensive education in three to six months, providing students with opportunities to practice, the most in-demand skills, and assessments with real-world instruments.
There are also various courses, training, and other project management resources to help you build a solid knowledge of project management terminology. The project management process takes time to learn. Some people devote years to studying and learning the trade, while others discover more time-efficient alternatives.
Project Management FAQ
The purpose of project management is to organize and manage the project tasks to achieve the project’s goals and deliverables. The ability to control potential risks, forecast indirect costs, manage project costs, establish quality expectations, and communicate clearly between teams and key stakeholders is required throughout the development cycle.
The most common methodologies of management of projects are Agile Methodology, Hybrid Methodology, Waterfall Model, Scrum, Kanban, and Critical Path Method.
The five stages include initiation, definition, planning, execution, implementation, control, and closing. Each has specific responsibilities that will help you achieve your project goals in various aspects of project management.
Yes, project management is a good career with plenty of room for advancement. Every business will keep launching new projects to achieve new business goals. To effectively manage future projects, you can learn a few project management buzzwords from the list above.
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