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

 

From Gamma distribution to Hypercritical

 

Gamma distribution

A statistical distribution which some practitioners maintain is more accurate than the beta distribution when used in PERT analysis.

Gantt chart

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Henry Gantt was an American engineer working at the Frankford Arsenal in the early part of the 20th century. In 1917 he developed the Gantt Chart which still bears his name today.

Also known as a bar chart, the Gantt Chart simply shows bars on a horizontal time scale. The basic format is applicable at all levels in the P3 environment. At the project level, the bars represent activities; at programme level they primarily represent projects and at a portfolio level they primarily represent projects and programmes.

On the simplest of projects it may be sufficient to schedule activity simply by drawing a Gantt Chart but on most projects the chart would be showing the results of critical path analysis, including highlighting critical activities and float.

GAO Schedule Assessment Guide

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) first published its Schedule Assessment Guide in December 2015. It is subtitled ‘Best Practices for Project Schedules’.It is common for the points between phases or stages in a life cycle to be used to review the status of the project or programme and make a go/no go decision on whether or not it should continue. These decision points are usually known as gates.

Gate

It is common for the points between phases or stages in a life cycle to be used to review the status of the project or programme and make a go/no go decision on whether or not it should continue. These decision points are usually known as gates.

Gate review

A review of the business case performed at the end of a phase, stage or other key decision point. This review will confirm that the business case is still valid or, if it is not, reshape or cancel the project or programme.

Gated review

The MSP term for a gate review.

Generalised activity network

A form of probabilistic network.

Give ad hoc direction

This activity from the PRINCE2 Directing a Project (DP) process is concerned with the help and assistance that the project board give to the project manager as and when required. Hence the term ‘ad-hoc direction’.

In Praxis this is covered by the provide management support activity in the sponsorship process.

Giver/Receiver

A GAO term that refers to dependencies between different schedules, e.g. where a product is completed in a sub-contractor’s schedule and is handed over to then appear in the main contractor’s schedule.

Go/ no go

The form of control used at a decision point where a choice is made whether to continue a course of action or stop.

In projects and programmes, the points in where a go/no go decision is made are usually known as gates. These occur at the end of each phase and stage or tranche and the decision is based on whether or not the business case remains viable.

Goals

Every function and process in the Praxis Framework have a set of goals. These explain the purpose of the function or process but are also important aspects of capability maturity. The Praxis capability maturity model is based on the CMMI® approach in which the achievement of goals is an indicator of level 1 capability and maturity.

The goals are also restated in each competency, providing a baseline across the four areas of knowledge, process, competence and capability maturity.

Governance

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The word ‘governance’ clearly derives from the practice of governing a political state by its government. In recent years the concept of corporate governance has taken the term and applied it to the commercial world. There are many different definitions of governance but they all include certain key elements, all of which can be adapted and applied to the governance of projects, programmes and portfolios. The goals of P3 governance are therefore to:

  • provide a system of good practice by which projects, programmes and portfolios will be managed;
  • balance the differing needs of all stakeholders;
  • monitor the actions of management to mitigate the risk of inappropriate actions;
  • clearly define roles and responsibilities and ensure they are performed by competent people;
  • ensure ethical behaviour and promote transparency.

Governance process

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In Praxis, this portfolio management process brings together all the governance and professionalism functions and applies them across the portfolio. Its goals are to:

  • provide sponsorship of the objectives of the portfolio;
  • oversee assurance of the portfolio;
  • promote the discipline and profession of P3 management.

Governance Board

A SPgM board responsible for supporting the program management team and authorising key aspects of the program. It is also ultimately responsible for ensuring the program meets its stated goals.

The nearest equivalent in MSP is the sponsoring group. In organisation management Praxis refers to different roles and structures with governance being primarily the role of a sponsor (which may be an individual or a board).

Governance Management

A SPgM term for the provision of “a robust, repeatable decision-making framework” for a program. This function will be primarily performed by a Governance Board.

Both Praxis and MSP have collections of functions that are collectively known as ‘governance’.

Graphical Evaluation and Review Technique

A more complex form of PERT where probability distributions are used to represent the current state and ‘transitions’ (rates of progress) of activities. This form of network diagram also allows probabilistic dependencies.

Group resource

See skill group.

Hammock

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An activity that spans between two points in a network diagram. It has no duration of its own but derives one from the time difference between the two points to which it is connected.

Hand over

The formal transfer of ownership of a deliverable from the project to the customer. This should include confirmation that all the acceptance criteria have been met.

In the case of the handover of a programme or project’s final output it should also include agreement on a list of outstanding items to be completed even though the project or programme has been formally closed.

Hand over products

The activity in the PRINCE2 Closing a Project (CP) process which is the main focus for the handover of the project’s final output. Although this appears in the closing a project process, PRINCE2 recognises that handover may be staged.

The equivalent activity in Praxis is the hand over activity in the closure process.  
Instead of hand over, the PMBoK® guide refers to the ‘transition of the final product’ that is an output of the process Close a Project or Phase.

ISO21500 makes no specific reference to the transfer of ownership of the project’s products but this should be seen as implicit in Close project phase or project.

Hertzberg

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Frederick Hertzberg first described his two-factor theory in his book ‘The Motivation to Work’1. In it, he identified the principle that the factors that create dissatisfaction at work are not the same as, and not opposite to, those that create satisfaction.
Herzberg classified the things that mainly affect dissatisfaction as hygiene factors. The name reflects the medical analogy that good hygiene can prevent illness but doesn’t necessarily improve health. The factors that produce satisfaction are known as motivators.

If hygiene factors are poorly addressed on the project, they can make the team member dissatisfied. However, if they are well addressed they do not necessarily motivate. Conversely, if motivational factors are well addressed they motivate but their absence does not necessarily produce dissatisfaction.

 

  1. Hertzberg, Frederick (1959) The Motivation to Work, Wiley, New York.

Hierarchy of networks

Networks, whether they are precedence or activity on arrow, can become very large. One way to manage this is to develop a hierarchy of networks, which ideally will reflect the work breakdown structure.

At the highest level, boxes in the network represent major sections of work. Each of these is broken down into a sub-network where the boxes represent smaller sections of work, which are in turn broken down. At the lowest level the boxes represent activities.

In a critical path analysis the duration of a higher level box (and hence its early dates and late dates) will be calculated from the dates at the beginning and end of its sub-network.

Highlight Report

A PRINCE2 report prepared by the project manager at intervals determined by the project board. It reviews progress to date and highlights any actual or potential problems which have been identified during the period it covers.

Praxis and ISO21500 both refer to progress reports.

Histogram

See resource histogram.

Holiday

All scheduling software packages provide calendars for activities and/or resources. These usually allow the definition of a standard working week, e.g. Monday to Friday. A holiday is then any non-working day which is normally part of the working week, e.g. national holidays.

Horizontal integration

A term used by the APM PSMC to refer to one aspect of the assurance of a project schedule.

This form of schedule assurance follows the paths through the network diagram to ensure, for example, that there are no missing dependency links, the schedule covers the full scope of the project and all necessary interfaces are included.
Referred to as horizontal traceability in the GAO SAG

See also vertical integration.

Horizontal traceability

The GAO SAG term for horizontal integration.

Host organisation

The majority of projects fall into one of two environments. Some projects are performed by one company (the contractor) on behalf of another (the client).

Most projects are performed by an organisation for itself using mainly internal resources. This is the host organisation.

Human resource management plan

A PMBoK® guide document that sets out the policies and procedures to be used in the project human resource management knowledge area. It is a section within the project management plan.

Hygiene factors

See Hertzberg.

Hygiene theory

See Hertzberg.

Hypercritical

See supercritical.

 

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

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