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

 

From j-node to Loop

 

j-node

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

See also i/j numbers.

Kanban board

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Kanban is a Japanese word that can be literally translated as signboard or billboard. In the 1950s Taiichi Ohno at Toyota developed a production control system using cards that provide a visual signal to trigger an action.

Originally this was used to maintain high levels of efficiency in production lines and for the implementation of ‘Just in time’ (JIT) production.

Katzenbach and Smith

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Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith1 define a team as:

“a small group of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and approach for which they are mutually accountable”.

This simple definition brings together team role models such as Belbin and Margerison-McCann (complementary skills) with P3 management (common purpose and performance goals) and models of leadership such as Hersey and Blanchard and McGregor (mutually accountable).

 

  1. Katzenbach, J. R. and Smith, D.K., (1993), The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-performance Organisation, Harvard Business School, Boston.

Key event schedule

See milestone plan.

Key performance indicators (KPIs)

Measurable indicators, chosen to reflect performance in working towards the main objectives of the project or programme, which will be used to report on progress.

Any indicator can be chosen provided it is a key factor in the performance of the project. For example, performance indices based upon time and cost performance are a function of earned value management.

Kick-off

An event where those participating in a piece of work (e.g. project, stage, work package etc.) assemble for the first time.

Knowledge area (PMBoK® guide)

See project management knowledge area.

Knowledge management

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Knowledge management involves the systematic identification, recording, and distribution of insights and experiences that enables their adoption in new situations.

The goals of knowledge management are to:

  • capture useful knowledge from the management of projects, programmes and portfolios;
  • make tacit knowledge from experienced practitioners available to all;
  • support capability maturity management and continuous improvement in P3 management.

Knowledge management is also a topic in the APM Body of Knowledge but is not covered in the PMBoK® guide, ISO21500 or PRINCE2 other than indirectly through references to the capture of lessons learned.

Kotter

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In ‘Leading Change’, John Kotter1 introduced his “eight steps to transforming your organisation”.

The eight steps can be placed in three categories: plan, deliver and embed. These correlate to the phases and processes of the project/programme life cycle. The planning steps align with the identification process and the definition process, the deliver steps are synonymous with the delivery process and embed is a key element of the benefits realisation process.

 

  1. Kotter, J. P., (1995), Leading Change, Harvard Business School Press, Boston MA.

Ladder

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When drawing a network diagram it is common to come across a situation where activities are performed in parallel. For example if a new cable were being laid in a trench, the three activities: Dig Trench, Lay Cable, Backfill, may not run sequentially. This is called a ladder.

Lag time

Dependency links in a precedence diagram can have time allocated to them in order to indicate a waiting period between the points connected by the link. This time is referred to as a lag. Some sources use the term to apply specifically to the time allocated to finish to start or finish to finish links, preferring the term lead for time allocated to a start to start link.

Dummies in an activity on arrow network can similarly have time allocated and these are generally referred to as lags.

Late event time

The latest time an event could occur. Calculated during the backward pass of critical path analysis.

Latest finish

The latest time an activity can finish. Calculated during the backward pass of critical path analysis.

Latest start

The latest time an activity can start. Calculated during the backward pass of critical path analysis.

Lead contractor

See prime contractor.

Lead time

Commonly used to represent the waiting time between order and delivery of materials.

Also used to refer to time allocated to a start to start link in a precedence diagram. See also lag time and ladders.

The APM PSMC glossary states that a lead is “A negative lag. By definition an illogical condition”. However, the text of the guide additionally uses the term in its more conventional meaning described above.

In agile the lead time may represent the time taken between taking an item from the backlog and delivering a product. In traditional planning terms this is not dissimilar to an activity duration but arises from the similarities between agile and a production environment. An alternative term is cycle time.

Leadership

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The verb to lead is derived from the word laed, a term common to ancient Northern European languages. It means a path, road, journey or course of a ship at sea. By implication a leader is one who guides those travelling the path.

Leadership has many definitions because it is exercised in so many different contexts. In simple terms in the context of P3 management, leadership is best defined by its goals, which are to:

  • provide focus and promote commitment to objectives;
  • inspire team members to successfully achieve the objectives.

The APM BoK also contains a function on leadership. The PMBoK® guide has a brief section on leadership in the tools and techniques section of the Manage Project Team process.

Neither PRINCE2 nor ISO21500 address the principles of leadership.

Leadership and stakeholder engagement (MSP theme)

MSP combines leadership and stakeholder management into this single theme.

The theme is primarily about stakeholder management and MSP uses the term ‘engagement’ to refer to the entire stakeholder management procedure.

The leadership aspects of the theme are concerned with the leadership of the stakeholder community rather than of the delivery team.

Learning and development

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Learning and development encompasses the continual improvement of competence at all levels of an organisation. The goals of learning and development in an organisation are to:

  • develop competent individuals;
  • encourage an environment of continual professional development;
  • promote the contribution of learning and development to the capability maturity of the organisation.

The APM BoK also has a function for learning and development but it is not covered by PRINCE2, ISO21500 or the PMBoK® guide.

Lessons learned

Knowledge gained in the course of performing work that can be recorded and disseminated to improve the management of projects, programmes and portfolios in the future.

Lessons learnt

See lessons learned.

Lessons log

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A lessons log for a particular project or programme will have two distinct sections. The first is created in the review previous lessons activity during the identification process where lessons learned from previous work that are applicable to the current work are logged. The second section records lessons that have arisen in the conduct of the current work and may be applicable in the future.

Lessons report

In Praxis, a lessons report is a section of a progress report or event report. It is a review of what went well, what went badly and suggestions for lessons to be included in the lessons log.

In PRINCE2 the lessons report is derived from the end project report that is produced by the evaluate the project activity of the Closing a Project (CP) process.

The PMBoK® guide does not specify a similar document but makes general references to lessons learned documentation.

ISO21500 defines the lessons learned document as an output of the Collect lessons learned process.

Level of effort

A type of activity in earned value management that represents an activity that does not produce a specific end product and is measured by the passage of time.

Level of quality

An agile term relating to the overall quality level of a project’s outputs. For example, in PRINCE2 Agile this is defined by the customer’s quality expectations and acceptance criteria in the project product description.

Lewin

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Lewin’s1 model for the management of change is one of the simplest, comprising three steps: unfreeze, change and refreeze. These align closely with the ‘prepare, implement and sustain’ steps in the Praxis change management procedure.

 

  1. Lewin, K., (1951), Field Theory in Social Science, Harper and Row, New York.

Life Cycle

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A P3 life cycle illustrates the distinct phases that take an initial idea, capture stakeholder requirements, develop a set of objectives and then deliver those objectives.

The goals of life cycle management are to:

  • identify the phases of a life cycle that match the context of the work;
  • structure governance activities in accordance with the life cycle phases.

The APM BoK also has a function for the life cycle. PRINCE2 doesn’t explicitly describe a life cycle but the process model implicitly supports the typical life cycle by having a process for each phase.

Similarly, in the PMBoK® guide the processes in the project integration management knowledge area support the typical life cycle. The same is true of the processes in the integration subject group of ISO21500.

Life cycle cost

The cost of a project over the whole of its life cycle.

Life cycle costing

When considering alternative projects, life cycle costing considers all the associated costs of the whole product life cycle, including acquisitions, operation and termination (or de-commissioning). When considering costs over a long period of time, the cost of money must be taken into account for valid comparisons of cost and revenue.

Likelihood

Used in qualitative risk analysis as an alternative term to probability.

Likely cost

The middle of the three cost estimates used in PERT/ Cost. In the view of the estimator this is the most likely cost of the activity.

Likely duration

The middle of the three duration estimates used in PERT. In the view of the estimator this is the most likely cost of the activity.

Line of balance

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A time scheduling technique that is typically used in situations where skilled resources are performing the same activity on multiple products within a project.

Line of balance charts are sometimes combined with physical layouts of the work on the vertical axis, and may be referred to as a time chainage chart.

Linear sequential model

See waterfall.

Linked bar chart

A Gantt chart that shows the dependency links between activities. On all but the simplest bar charts this format becomes very confusing.

Unfortunately many scheduling software packages do not offer network diagrams and the linked bar chart is the only way of viewing dependencies.

Links

See dependency links.

Logic density

The average number of dependency links per activity in a network diagram.

Logic diagram

An alternative name for a network diagram.

Logic link

See dependency links.

Logical relationship

See dependency links.

Logistics planning

The planning of movement of physical resources such as materials, plant and equipment.

Longest path

The GAO SAG identifies the potential difference between the longest path in a network diagram and the critical path.

Although these are usually the same, it is possible that the use of imposed dates could mean that the critical path is not the same as the longest path through a network. The longest path does not take account of imposed dates and may not be the path that determines the final completion date.

Loop

A circular sequence of activities which cannot be resolved as part of a critical path analysis.

Some forms of network diagram (e.g. GERT) allow loops in order to model repeated sequences of activities. These must allow the number of repetitions to be defined or a condition that allows for exit of the loop.

 

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

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