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

 

From i/j numbers to Iterative life cycle

 

i/ j numbers

In activity on arrow networks it is necessary to number the events (or nodes) so that logical relationships can be defined. Each activity can then be described in terms of the event where it starts and the event where it finishes. The start event contains the ‘i’ number and the finish event the ‘j’ number. These are sometimes referred to as the i-node and the j-node, giving rise to the term i/ j network as an alternative to activity on arrow.

Identification

The first phase of a project or programme life cycle where requirements are refined, a preferred solution identified and plans prepared.

In Praxis this phase is managed by the identification process.

In projects, PRINCE2 by the Starting Up a Project (IP) process, in the PMBoK® guide and ISO21500 it is managed by the Develop Project Charter process.

In programmes, MSP manages this phase in Identifying a Programme and in SPgM it is a combination of elements from the 13 Program Definition processes (Note: the Program Definition phase in the SPgM is a combination of the identification and definition phases in Praxis)

Identification process

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This Praxis process manages the first phase of the project or programme life cycle. Its goals are to:

  • develop an outline of the project or programme and assess whether is it likely to be justifiable;
  • determine what effort and investment is needed to define the work in detail;
  • gain the sponsor’s authorisation for the definition phase.

Some initial idea or need for a project or programme will generate a mandate. This can take many forms ranging from a client’s invitation to tender to a strategic objective in a corporate plan or simply a verbal instruction. The term mandate is applied to whatever information is used to trigger a project or programme.

The equivalent process in PRINCE2 is Starting Up a Project (SU). Develop Project Charter is the equivalent in both the PMBoK® guide and ISO21500.

For programme management the equivalent process in MSP is Identifying a Programme and in SPgM it is a combination of elements from the 13 Program Definition processes (Note: the Program Definition phase in the SPgM is a combination of the identification and definition phases in Praxis)

Identify Risks (11.2)

The PMBoK® guide process that identifies risk events, both threats and opportunities. Its output is the risk register.

The equivalent in both Praxis and PRINCE2 is the identify step in the respective risk management procedures.

In ISO21500 the equivalent process is Identify risks.

Identify risks (4.3.28)

The ISO21500 process that identifies risk events, both threats and opportunities. Its output is the risk register.

The equivalent in both Praxis and PRINCE2 is the identify step in the respective risk management procedures.

In the PMBoK® guide the equivalent process is Identify Risks.

Identify Stakeholders (13.1)

This PMBoK® guide process deals with the identification of stakeholders and recording information about them in the stakeholder register.

The equivalent in Praxis are the identify and assess steps in the stakeholder management procedure.

PRINCE2 covers all aspects of stakeholder management as part of the organisation theme.

The equivalent process in ISO21500 is Identify stakeholders.

Identify stakeholders (4.3.9)

This ISO21500 process deals with the identification of stakeholders and recording information about them in the stakeholder register.

The equivalent in Praxis are the identify and assess steps in the stakeholder management procedure.

PRINCE2 covers all aspects of stakeholder management as part of the organisation theme.

The equivalent process in the PMBoK® guide is Identify Stakeholders.

Identifying a Programme

This is the first process in the MSP transformational flow. Its objectives are to undertake outline definition and planning so that a decision can be made whether or not to proceed to the next process – Defining a Programme.

The process starts with the programme mandate and key outputs include an approved programme brief, a functional programme board and a plan for completing the definition process.

It is the programme equivalent of Starting Up a Project in PRINCE2 and as these processes are so similar, Praxis brings them together into the single identification process.

The equivalent in SPgM it is a combination of elements from the 13 Program Definition processes (Note: the Program Definition phase in the SPgM is a combination of the identification and definition processes in MSP)

Impact

Used in qualitative risk analysis as one part of the assessment of a risk event (the other being probability). Impact is an assessment of the effect the risk event would have on objectives should it occur.

The detail with which impact is expressed could be as simple as a subjective ‘high/medium/low’ rating or as a numeric scale with detailed explanations of time and cost consequences.

Impact analysis

A collective term for techniques to assess the impact on the project or programme’s objectives of a risk event, a change request or an issue.

Implementing (ISO21500)

An ISO21500 process group that includes the processes involved in performing the work of the project. These processes can be applied at different levels with the project, i.e. for the project as a whole or for a stage or sub-project.

When viewed from the perspective of the project life cycle, these processes are covered in Praxis by the delivery process, development process and elements of procedures in various functions.

In PRINCE2 the corresponding elements at the project life cycle level are activities within the Controlling a Stage (CS) and Managing Product Delivery (MP) processes.

The equivalent in the PMBoK® guide is the executing process group.

Imposed dates

Start and finish dates for activities in a network diagram are normally calculated from the forward pass and backward pass of critical path analysis. Sometimes it is necessary to take external influences into account. These could include material delivery dates, approval meeting dates, contractual delivery dates and so on.

Imposed finish

An imposed date on the finish of an activity.

Imposed start

An imposed date on the start of an activity.

Inclusive OR dependency

This type of probabilistic dependency indicates that if any one of an activity’s predecessors is completed then the activity can start.

Probabilities can be attached to each of the emerging activities to indicate their chance of occurring. Unlike the exclusive OR dependency, the probabilities do not have to add up to 1.

Independent estimate

An estimate that is externally sourced to check internal estimates produced by the project or programme team.

Independent float

The degree of flexibility which an activity has which does not affect the float available to any predecessor or successor.

Indirect costs

Overhead costs associated with a project which cannot be directly attributed to any activity or discrete group of activities, e.g. the cost of a project support office.

Influence diagrams

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A decision support tool comprising a series of linked nodes. There are various conventions around the shape and colour of the nodes but a basic influence diagram comprises arrows and three shapes.

Rectangles indicate decisions or things that are controllable. Ovals represent uncertainties and diamonds represent values or the required outputs of the system being modelled. Arrows show the way these nodes influence each other.

Influencing

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P3 managers will often be in a position where the exercise of direct authority is either inappropriate or impossible. In these situations the manager must seek to affect the behaviours and actions of others through influence rather than authority. The goals of influencing are to:

  • develop and maintain a high performing team;
  • persuade stakeholders to support the objectives;
  • persuade stakeholders to support the achievement of the objectives.

The APM BoK also contains influencing as a function. The PMBoK® guide mentions it as a technique in Manage Project Team.

Inform

One of the four types of involvement (RACI) in a responsibility assignment matrix.

An ‘I’ is inserted into the table to indicate those who should be advised of a decision or change, typically in the context of activities or documents.

Information Distribution

A SPgM supporting process from the Program Communications Management topic.

As the name suggests, this process deals with the distribution of information to the program’s stakeholders.

In Praxis this work is primarily covered by the stakeholder management and information management procedures, and in MSP by the Leadership and stakeholder engagement theme.

Information management

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Information management is the collection, storage, dissemination, archiving and eventual destruction of information. Its goals are to:

  • capture data accurately and consistently;
  • develop usable information from raw data;
  • maintain information securely and accessibly during its useful life;
  • support effective decision making and communication.

The APM BoK also contains information management as a function. The PMBoK® guide has a section on project information (3.8) although this is more about specific information flows than a general discussion of information management.

Similarly, PRINCE2 contains many references to the handling of specific project documentation but does not have a general explanation of information management.

Information management plan

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There is an information management element to all other management plans that deals with the format and distribution of specific documentation.

This management plan should not duplicate those policies. Rather, it is about general approaches to the creation, storage and dissemination of information.

Information required register

A schedule detailing the baseline, forecast and actual dates for the provision of information on a project.

This is principally applicable where a client, or their agents, are responsible to providing information to a contractor.

Infrastructure

A function in the APM BoK that deals with the overall infrastructure that supports the management of projects, programmes and portfolios. This encompasses concepts such as PMOs, communities of practice, centres of excellence, planning departments etc.

Inherent risk

A term used in PRINCE2 for the exposure arising from identified risk event before any risk response action has been taken.

Initiating (ISO21500)

An ISO21500 process group that includes the processes involved in getting the project underway. These processes can be applied at different levels with the project, i.e. for the project as a whole or for a stage or sub-project.

When viewed from the perspective of the project life cycle, these processes are covered in Praxis by the identification process and elements of individual functional procedures.

In PRINCE2 the equivalent process at the project life cycle level is Starting Up a Project (SU).

The equivalent in the PMBoK® guide is the initiating process group.

Initiating a Project (IP)

This is the second process in the PRINCE2 method. Its main output is the project initiation documentation. This is initially used by the project board to assess whether approval should be given for the first delivery stage of the project and subsequently as a baseline for managing the project.

The equivalent in Praxis is the definition process.

Although the approach in the PMBoK® guide and IS21500 is different, they both contain an integration process that is very similar in scope to Initiating a Project. In the PMBoK® guide this is Develop Project Management Plan and in ISO21500 it is Develop project plans.

Initiating process group (PMBoK® guide)

A PMBoK® guide process group that includes the processes involved in getting the project underway. These processes can be applied at different levels with the project, i.e. for the project as a whole or for a stage or sub-project.

When viewed from the perspective of the project life cycle, these processes are covered in Praxis by the identification process and elements of individual functional procedures.

In PRINCE2 the equivalent process at the project life cycle level is Starting Up a Project (SU).

The equivalent ISO21500 process group is called simply – initiating.

Initiation process

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This is usually a one-off process in Praxis that manages the set-up of a portfolio.
It represents the point at which the host organisation makes the decision to manage its projects and programmes as a portfolio.

The goals of the process are to:

  • decide what type of portfolio is required;
  • design the portfolio infrastructure;
  • obtain senior level approval and commitment;
  • implement the portfolio.

Initiation stage

In PRINCE2 this is defined as the period between the authorisation of initiation by the project board and when they subsequently authorise or cancel the project. This stage is managed by the Initiating a Project (IP) process. The reason PRINCE2 includes this definition is so that initiation is seen as a management stage and therefore invokes associated documentation such as a stage plan.

i-node

The node at the start of an activity in an activity on arrow network. Also known as a start event.

See also i/j numbers.

Integrated assurance

The coordination of assurance activities that are provided by a range of internal, external and specialist assurance bodies.

Integrated cost/ schedule reporting

See earned value management.

Integrated master schedule (IMS)

A schedule defined in the GAO Schedule Assessment Guide as “a program schedule that includes the entire required scope of effort”. (N.B. the use of the term ‘program’ in this guide is not consistent with most other national and international guides and standards)

This schedule combines scheduling information from all participants in the project, including client, main contractor and sub-contractors at summary, intermediate and detailed level.

Integration (ISO21500 subject group)

An ISO 21500 subject group that provides a set of high level processes that co-ordinate the processes of individual subject groups. At the project level these processes align closely with the project life cycle. The processes comprise:

The Praxis processes serve an equivalent purpose when applied to the project life cycle. The same is true of the PRINCE2 processes.

The PMBoK® guide and ISO21500 share a very similar structure and the equivalent knowledge area in the PMBoK® guide is project integration management.

Integrative management

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The topics in this Praxis function do not directly address the fundamental components of delivery, i.e. scope, schedule, cost, risk, change and resource. They are integrative functions that act across those components.

The overall goals of the integrative management functions are to:

  • plan all aspects of the work;
  • develop and maintain the justification for the work;
  • monitor and control performance;
  • ensure information is accurate, current and accessible;
  • establish and maintain a management team;
  • identify and communicate with people affected by the work;
  • ensure that the management of the work is relevant and effective.

The integrative functions are:

The APM BoK has a similar group of integrative functions.

Interface

The APM BoK contains a section called interfaces. This describes general management functions that are not part of the field of P3 Management but have to interface with it. These interface functions are: Accounting, Health and safety; Human resource management; Law; Security and Sustainability. These are considered to be out of scope by the other guides.

It is worth noting that the scope of the APM BoK function on human resource management is organisational - as opposed to the PMBoK® guide knowledge area of the same name which only deals with the management of human resources within the project team.

In the APM PSMC the term is used to indicate a point of contact between two or more parties working on a project, e.g. between client and contractor, prime contractor and sub-contractor or management team and design team.

In effect, managing these is an aspect of stakeholder management. The PSMC specifically addresses interfaces from the planning point of view and their effect on schedules in particular.

Interface activity

An activity that indicates a logical connection to another network diagram or page.

When networks become large they may stretch across multiple sheets of paper. Interfaces are used to indicate the links between sheets. In a complex network, interfaces may also be used to indicate links between activities on a different part of the sheet where a link drawn normally would cross too many other lines.

Interfaces are normally indicated by being drawn with a double line.

Interfering float

See Independent float.

Intermediate schedule

A type of schedule specified in the GAO SAG. It includes all information from the summary schedule together with key activities and milestones and that lead up to achieving the high-level milestones.

Internal rate of return

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When using discounted cash flows, the internal rate of return (IRR) is the discount rate that gives a net present value of zero.

Broadly speaking the IRR is the rate of growth delivered by a project or programme. The higher the IRR the more attractive the business case. In pure financial investment terms, if the IRR for a project or programme is not greater than the return that could be achieved by investing the equivalent sum of cash in the financial markets, it isn’t worth undertaking the work.

Interpersonal skills

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Knowledge

When the complexities of human behaviour are sub-divided into distinct functions it can inevitably become somewhat artificial and theoretical. But P3 sponsors, managers and team members need to understand the mechanisms by which people relate to, and interact with, other people.

Simple models such as the ones referenced in this Praxis function are a useful starting point for each individual as they build their own interpersonal skill-set. The component functions are:

Investment appraisal

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Investment appraisal is a collection of techniques used to identify the attractiveness of an investment. Its goals are:

Investment appraisal is very focused on the early phases of a project or programme and is performed in parallel with the early work on management plans and delivery plans.

The APM BoK also contains an investment appraisal function.

PRINCE2 mentions various related techniques in the business case theme.

The PMBoK® guide mentions investment appraisal techniques in the Plan Cost Management process and while ISO21500 refers to investment appraisal it does not mention specific techniques.

Invitation to bid

See Invitation to tender.

Invitation to tender

A document distributed to prospective suppliers inviting them to provide bids for a package of work. Usually synonymous with the terms request for quotation and request for proposal.

Ishikawa diagram

Also known as a fishbone diagram or a cause and effect diagram, these diagrams are used to relate many causes to one effect.

Causes are grouped under headings on the left side of the diagram with the ultimate effect on the right. Commonly used as a tool for risk identification to identify sources of risk or in quality management to identify causes of product failure.

Island of stability

If a programme is implementing multiple changes in one business area, the programme team should consider planning the schedule so that there are periods of consolidation after major change. The programme should do this by rotating its focus from one area to another and not implementing all the changes to a particular business area at once.

ISO21500

ISO21500 is the guidance on project management published by the International Standards Organisation. The version referred to in this glossary is the first edition as implemented by the British Standards Institute in 2012.

The ISO Guidance is very similar in appearance to the PMBoK® guide  published by the Project Management Institute. It provides a set of processes that are arranged in a matrix to show how they relate to the knowledge and method elements of the P3 management framework.

The key difference between ISO21500 and the PMBoK® guide is that ISO21500 processes do not contain tools and techniques. The standard does therefore not explain what the PMBoK® guide calls tools and techniques, PRINCE2 calls themes and Praxis and the APM BoK call functions.

Issue

An issue is something that has occurred and needs to be addressed (as opposed to a risk, which is something that could potentially occur).

Issues are recorded in an issue register and assessed to determine how they should be dealt with.

Different sources define issues in different ways. Praxis and the APMBoK define an issue as a problem that needs to be escalated to the sponsor, e.g. when progress is outside of approved tolerances.

PRINCE2 has a very broad definition of issues where anything from a major quality failure, through to a routine change request to a stakeholder enquiry, are all classed as issues.

The PMBoK® guide regards an issue as a point of dispute or matter that is under discussion.

ISO21500 has an issues log and often mentions issues without being specific about what constitutes an issue.

Issue log

The PMBoK® guide and ISO21500 term for an issue register.

Issue owner

The person who is responsible for ensuring that an issue is resolved.

Issue register

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The issue register records issues and contains detailed information about the nature, ownership and resolution of issues. In the various guides the exact content of the register will depend upon the particular definition of what constitutes an issue.

Issue report

In PRINCE2, the issue report contains a bit more information about specific issues than is contained in the issue register.

Iterative life cycle

A project life cycle where the overall scope is defined early on but the detail is developed iteratively and incrementally throughout the life cycle.

An iterative life cycle must be supported by correspondingly iterative development methods such as scrum for IT development.

 

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

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