Important Terms and Concepts

This article contains most of the important information you need to know about Project management framework in order to answer questions related to this topic in the PMP Exam, I recommend you review this type of articles 1 week before your exam date, all information mentioned are based on PMBOK Guide 6th edition and PMP Exam Prep 9th edition for Rita Maclhy’s,

  • Project: Temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, result or service, it have a defined start and end.
  • Operations: ongoing work that supports business and systems of an organization, usually when a project is finished, the product is handed off to operations.
  • Program: group of related projects, when grouping them an organization can coordinate the management of those projects, it is done when this approach adds value only.
  • Portfolio: Group of programs, projects and operations that are prioritized and implemented to achieve strategic business goals, it optimize use of resources, reduce risks and enhance organization benefits.
  • Organization project management (OPM): Provides direction for how portfolios, programs and projects should be managed, executed and measured to best achieve strategic goals.
  • OPM3: Organization project management maturity module, it helps organization determine their level of maturity in project management.
  • Process: Package of inputs, tools and outputs, there are 47 processes defined by PMI.
  • Phases: Group of logically related activities, produces one or more deliverables at the end of the phase.
  • Progressive Elaboration: also called “Rolling Wave Planning “, it’s used in activity planning, analysis and estimates can be more accurate as the project goes on and progress.
  • Project Management; The application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities in order to meet project objectives.
  • 90% of Project manager work is to do communication.
  • Project Management office : It is a department that Centralizes and standardizes the management of projects , there is 3 forms of PMO
  1. Supportive: PMO provides policies, methodologies; templates and lessons learned for management projects, it has low level of control over projects.
  2. Controlling: Support and guidance in the organization on how to manage projects, trains others, it has a moderate level of control over projects.
  3. Directive: Provides project managers for different projects and responsible for results of those projects, it has a high level of control over projects.
  • Constraints: things that may limit team options, Scope, Cost, Time, Quality, Risk, Resources and customer satisfaction.
  • Stakeholders: any people or organizations whose interests may be positively or negatively impacted by the project or its products.
  • Management by objective (MBO): the process of defining objectives within and organization so that management agrees to the objectives and understand what they need to do.
  • Organizational Structure: Projects are impacted by , and have an impact on , the culture norms , management policies and procedures , there is 3 main forms of organization structures:
  1. Functional: Such organizations are grouped by areas of specialization within different functional areas; here projects generally occur within one department, employees transmit the request to the head of department who communicate the request to other department head, Project manager here is working mainly as coordinator and have very level of authority.
  2. Projectized: the entire company is organized by projects, Project managers have full authority and control over the project and working as Full time, tam members complete only project work and they do not have a department to go back to.
  3. Matrix: Team members reports to 2 bosses, project manager and functional manager, communications goes from team members to both bosses , in strong matrix power rests with project manager, in weak matrix power rests with functional manager and project manager acts like coordinator or expeditor , in balanced matrix power is shared.
  4. Composite Matrix: Combination of different types depending on the actual need.
  5. Tight Matrix or Co-location, locating offices of project management team in the same room regardless of the organization structure.
  • Project Facilitator: Gives guidance as required without interfering.
  • Project Expeditor: Acts primary like staff assistant and communication coordinator.
  • Project coordinator: Similar to expeditor expect that coordinator has some power to make decisions
  • Project Based Organization ( PBO) : It create temporary frameworks around their projects and allow them to circumvent any obstacles .
  • Organization hierarchy: Any organization is divided into 3 levels : Strategic, Mid management and operations.
  • Enterprise Environmental Factors: expressed as company culture and existing systems and it’s an input to many processes, they are mainly
  1. Organization Structure
  2. Organization hierarchy
  3. PMIS “ Project management Information system “
  4. Company Culture.
  • Organization Process Assets, existing processes, procedures and historical information, lessons learned and corporate knowledge base, they are inputs to the majority of processes.
  • Work Authorization system: system used during project integration management to insure that work gets done at the right time and its right sequence.
  • Project Governance: It provides a framework for PM and sponsors to make decisions to satisfy both parties.
  • Project Statement of work (SOW) : It is created by the customer or sponsor and describes their needs , product scope and how the project fits into the organization or customer strategic plan.
  • Project assumptions: things that are assumed to be true but they may not be true, high level assumptions are defined in initiating while detailed are defined in planning.
  • Sponsor: Provides financial resources and support the project, lead the process through initiation.
  • Customer: Responsible to provide final acceptance of the product.
  • Journey to Abilene: When a group of people decides on a course of action that is counter of many preferences, it makes group breakdown of communication.
  • There is 3 different terms to identify the stages through which data and information move :
  1. Work performance Data: Initial measurements and details about activities gathered during project work.
  2. Work Performance Information: Data are analyzed to make sure they confirm to project management plan and to assess what they mean for the project.
  3. Work Performance reports: Work performance information should be organized into reports which are distributed to the various stakeholders.
  • Project Life Cycle: Describes what you need to do to do the work while project management processes is what you need to do to manage the work, project life cycles have different forms :
  1. Predictive (Plan Driven Projects): Required Scope, schedule and cost to be determined in detail early in the life of the project.
  2. Iterative/Incremental (Change Driven Projects): early planning of high level scope sufficient enough to allow for preliminary estimates of schedule and cost, scope is developed more with each iterative phase.
  3. Adaptive (Change Driven Projects) : Involves Fixed time and cost , scope is broadly defined with the understanding that it will be refined as the project progresses.


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