The basic terminology of project management

If you’re new to the intricate world of Project Management, you have to learn
all the basic terminologies before you could become an expert.
Such is the case with most industries; Project Management also has its own
set of jargon and terminologythat may seem confusing at first – especially to
those who just been assigned to complete their first project.

Further, it is not uncommon for some people to be given the authority to become
a project manager ‘accidentally’ in their workplace – which makes it an even more
daunting prospect. Let’s take a look at some of the most common
project management terms. Do note that these are just the basic,
but it should be enough to get you started.

Project
Let’s start with the first word of the Project Management.
A project can be defined as a temporary activity with a starting date,
specific goals, defined responsibilities, a budget, a plan, and a fixed end date.
In short, it’s a set of related tasks with specific goals.

Plan
The project plan basically outlines those related to the project – or the who,
what and when. The plan is used to ensure a successful project deliverables.
That’s why the plan is considered to be the main tool to control the project.
It usually consists of tasks/activities, resources, milestones, timeframes,
as well as key deliverable items.

Deliverable
Cut to the chase, a deliverable is the product of the project!
They may be a product – such as a car, building, and software, or
a service – such as courses and training. Projects are all about the deliverables.

Milestone
A milestone in project management is defined as a significant event that occurred
in the project. An example of a project milestone is the completion of deliverable,
but it can also mark other events such as a decision point.

Issue
A project issue is something that occurs to the project — either externally or
internally – that may impact the project. It is important for project manager to
assess and manage any possible arising issues.

Risk
A project risk is defined as something that may happen to the project,
either externally or internally. In a way, risks are quite similar to issues – as both
may have an impact on the project. Hence, project manager should also assess and
manage risks.

Critical Path
As you will soon learn from your own experience, you’ll find that critical path
is one of the most important aspects of project management.

It basically outlines the project activities that should be completed in sequence and
on schedule – should you wish for the whole project to be completed successfully on time.
If there’s any delay to the activities that are on the critical path,
it may severely impact the timeline of the overall project.

Project Management Body of Knowledge
PMBOK is the most used project management approach in the world.
It is in essence a project management guide. The PMBOK identifies
project processes into the following five basic groups: Initiating, Planning, Execution,
Controlling and Monitoring, and Closing.

It also identifies the following knowledge areas:
Project Integration Management, Project Scope Management, Project Time Management,
Project Cost Management, Project Quality Management,
Project Human Resource Management, Project Communications Management,
Project Risk Management, and Project Procurement Management.

Prince2
Being one of the more recognized project management methodologies in the world,
the Prince2 provides a structured method for an even more effective Project Management. Businesses use Prince2 because it can be tailored to suit specific projects and environment.

Prince2:2009 – the latest iteration of the methodology – identifies the 40 activities that
are organized into the following processes: Starting up a Project, Initiating a Project,
Directing a Project, Controlling a Stage, Managing Stage Boundaries, Closing a Project.