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A pdf of the complete Praxis Comparative Glossary can be downloaded here.

 

From C/Spec to Cialdini

 

C/Spec

A colloquial abbreviation for cost/schedule control systems criteria.

Calendar

Critical path analysis uses units of time (usually days) to calculate start and finish times for the activities in a network. The day numbers need to be translated into dates for presentation of meaningful information. This requires knowledge of the normal working week and any special non-working days.

This information is held in a calendar. Most computer planning packages allow a variety of calendars to be defined. The default is usually an overall project calendar with specialist activity calendars and resource calendars being used to indicate working patterns for particular activities or resources.

Capability

The most common use of this term is within the context of capability maturity.

However, MSP defines it as a completed set of project outputs required to deliver an outcome.

Capability maturity

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Capability and maturity are usually represented as a model against which an organisation’s performance can be measured and improved.  Usually referred to as capability maturity models, they describe the essential elements of effective processes and work on the premise that the quality of a system or product is highly influenced by the quality of the process used to develop it.

The goals of capability and maturity management are to:

  • assess the ability of an organisation to perform P3 management effectively and efficiently;
  • identify how the organisation can improve its P3 management;
  • promote the improvement of P3 management against an independent standard.

This is covered in the APM BoK in the function success factors and maturity.

The publishers of PRINCE2 and the PMBoK® guide cover capability maturity in separate documents. The Axelos publication is P3M3 (project, programme and portfolio management maturity model) and the Project Management Institute’s publication is OPM3 (organisational project management maturity model).

Capacity planning

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The term capacity planning means different things to people in different environments.

Two things are common regardless of the detailed approach:

  • Capacity is the maximum amount of work that an organisation is capable of completing in a given amount of time.
  • Capacity =  (amount of resource) x (utilisation) x (efficiency).

The key thing about capacity management in the context of P3 management is that projects and programmes are transient so flexibility in capacity is important. Many quantitative approaches to capacity management are designed for production engineering or computer systems.

Capital costs

Costs expended on capital investment as opposed to those expended on operational resources.

Capture and examine issues and risks

An activity from the PRINCE2 Controlling a Stage (CS) process.

During a stage issues and risks will arise. This PRINCE2 activity is a simple one that notes the collection of issues and risks, and records them in the issue register and risk register respectively.  It also produces issue reports as required. The examination of risks is conducted according to the procedure in the risk theme.

In Praxis the capture and documentation of issues is covered in various activities, often focusing on the sponsorship process since that is mainly where issues are resolved. The capture and assessment of risks is covered by the risk management procedure.

In the PMBoK® guide the issue log is an output of two stakeholder processes indicating that issues tend to arise from stakeholders. Risks are identified and analysed using the project risk management processes.

In ISO21500 the issues log is an output of Direct project work. Risks are identified and assessed using the processes in the risk subject group.

Capture previous lessons

An activity from the PRINCE2 Starting up a Project (SU) process.

All projects and programmes should learn from previous projects and programmes. PRINCE2 formalises this in the capture previous lessons activity which is the first to be done after the project manager is appointed.

The equivalent in Praxis is the review previous lessons activity in the identification process.

In the PMBoK® guide lessons learned are part of organisational process assets which are an input to the Develop Project Charter process.

ISO21500 lists lessons learned from previous projects as an input to Develop project plans.

Carnall

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Colin Carnall’s book ‘Managing Change in Organisations’ was first published in 19901. In it he proposed a model that focuses on the role of the manager during the process of change.

In the P3 environment, the pressure for change creates the need for a project or programme and the ‘manager’ (in the context of Carnall’s model) is primarily the business change manager (BCM).

Dealing with organisational cultures and managing organisational politics are clearly functions that the BCM (with support of other members of the project/programme team) needs to build into stakeholder management while managing the transition as part of benefits realisation.

 

  1. Carnall, C., (2007), Managing Change In Organisations, Prentice Hall, London.

Cascade chart

A form of Gantt chart where the activities are listed vertically such that their predecessors are always higher in the list.

This has the effect of placing the earliest activities in the top left hand corner of the chart and the latest in the bottom right hand corner.

Cash flow

Cash inflow is the money received by the project or programme and cash outflow is the money paid. The combination of receipts and payments against time is a cash flow that is usually presented as an s-curve.

Categorise

A phase in the APM BoK portfolio life cycle where the component projects and programmes are classified and grouped according to certain shared characteristics such as the strategic objectives with which they align.

Also an activity in the Praxis portfolio management process.

Cause and effect diagram

See Ishikawa diagram.

Centre of excellence

A body that promotes consistency of methods, knowledge management, assurance and training. The same functions may be performed by a PMO.

Champion

An alternative name for the role of sponsor.

Change (PRINCE2 theme)

The change theme in PRINCE2 is concerned with change control and configuration management. Note: it does not address change management.

Praxis covers this in the change control and configuration management functions and their component procedures.

ISO21500 addresses this through a single process (Control scope) in the Scope subject group. The PMBoK® guide similarly has the process Control Scope in the project scope management knowledge area.

Change authority

A group that has responsibility for assessing change requests.

Change budget

All projects and programmes are subject to requests to change the specification.

Change requests come from a variety of sources but mainly from those who will be the ultimate users of whatever the project is intended to produce.

Even though changes are inevitable, surprisingly few projects have the foresight to allocate a change budget which is simply a budget allocated to pay for authorised change requests.

Change control

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Change control is the means by which all requests to change a scope baseline are captured, evaluated and then approved or rejected. Its goals are to:

  • capture stakeholders’ requests to make changes to scope;
  • ensure that requests are only approved if viable and achievable;
  • integrate changes into the existing scope.

Change control board

A group of stakeholders who consider change requests. They normally have the authority to approve changes that are funded from an agreed change budget.

PRINCE2 refers to this body as the change authority.

Change freeze

A point after which no further change requests will be considered.

Change log

The change log records all change requests and their progress through the change control procedure.

Change management

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The achievement of benefits in a business case often requires changes to the working practices of the host organisation. These changed practices are known as outcomes and moving from the current practice to the desired outcome is achieved through change management. Outcomes usually involve a section of the organisation adopting and utilising the outputs of one or more projects.

The goals of change management are to:

  • define the organisational change required to convert outputs into benefits;
  • ensure the organisation is prepared to implement change;
  • implement the change and embed it into organisational practice.

The APM BoK also has a function for change management. Neither the PMBoK® guide, ISO21500 nor PRINCE2 cover change management.

Change management plan

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The effective management of change is vital in order to generate benefits from outputs.

Changes to business as usual will be included in the scope of most projects, programmes and portfolios. There will always be resistance to change and implementing a clearly documented and consistent approach contributes to dealing with this resistance.

Change manager

A role in MSP that reports to a business change manager and is usually focused on a single benefit.

Change order

An authorisation to make a change, including a change of scope or agreement to accept a design solution that is outside the agreed cost parameters.

Change register

Sometimes used in the same way as change log (i.e. a list of all change requests) but sometimes this refers to a register of approved changes.

Change request

A formal request to make a change to a baseline that triggers the change control procedure.

Change team

Although a business change manager has responsibility for implementing change to achieve a particular benefit, they may need the support of a change team to perform all the transformation and benefits realisation work.

Charter

There are two very different definitions for this term.

In the PMBoK® guide and ISO21500 the project charter is a document that gives the project manager authority to apply resources to the project.

In the UK it may refer to a Royal Charter that is awarded to professional bodies such as the APM and places obligations upon them to promote a profession in the public interest.

Check list model

Check list models use data, typically from post project reviews or post programme reviews, to build a model of the effects of broad categories of risk. The degree to which a risk event typically occurs is indicated with a factor on a numeric scale.

Weighting is applied to indicate to what extent the current project or programme is sensitive to the risk (within the limits defined in the model).

Finally, the factor and weighting are multiplied to give a score indicating the most significant areas of risk that should be examined.

Checkpoint

A PRINCE2 term that refers to a point at which an event-driven review will be performed.

Checkpoint Report

A PRINCE2 term used to describe the report produced by the project team at a checkpoint. Its format is defined at the time that the work package is agreed and provides progress information on the products within the work package.

This report is given to the project manager by the team.

Cialdini

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Robert Cialdini set out his ‘six principles of influence’ in his book ‘Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion’1.  He identified these by observing the behaviours of people in sales, advertising, fund raising etc. to see how these experienced professionals influenced their target audience.

Influencing is a key skill for both P3 managers and sponsors. The ‘assess’ step in the stakeholder management procedure will identify key stakeholders who have the potential to impact the work. The P3 manager and sponsor usually do not have authority over these stakeholders and must use influencing skills to gain support for the work.

 

  1. Cialdini, R. B., (1995), Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion, Quill, New York.

 

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14.Feb.2017Updated to version 1.3 including the PMI's standard for program management

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