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

 

From Safety management plan to Solutions development

 

Safety management plan

The element of a project management plan that defines how safety management is to be implemented on a project.

Schedule

A collection of reports showing the timing of activities, the resources allocated to them and associated costs.

Schedule baseline

The schedule at the point where it is baselined. Once the baseline is approved it can only be changed through agreement between the manager and the sponsor.

Schedule compression

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There are many reasons that you may need to compress a schedule at some point in a project. It may be that you have been delayed and are missing an important deadline; it may be that new factors have arisen that change a customer’s requirements or it may be that you can realise additional benefits if you complete a deliverable earlier than planned.

Schedule management

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A schedule is a timetable showing the work involved in a project, programme or portfolio. It is a dynamic document that is created and maintained throughout the life cycle. Schedules can be created for different aspects of the work and these are an important means of communication with all team members and stakeholders.

The goals of schedule management are therefore to:

  • determine timescales for the work;
  • calculate profiles of resource demand;
  • present schedule reports in a format suitable for different stakeholders.

In Praxis, schedule management is divided into two functions – time scheduling and resource scheduling.

The equivalent in PRINCE2 is the progress theme; in the PMBoK® guide it is the processes, tools and techniques in the project time management knowledge area and in ISO21500 the processes in the time subject group.

Schedule management plan

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Scheduling is often taken for granted as a routine well established procedure that would not justify a management plan of its own. Where simple projects are regularly performed this may well be the case although scheduling approaches should still be documented at a programme or portfolio level and assured against this standard.

As more complex projects and programmes are undertaken, more thought should be given to the range of techniques available for both time scheduling and resource scheduling. This is particularly important where different parts of the work may need to use different techniques but still facilitate consolidation to produce high level schedules.

The scope of this document is very similar to that of the basis document in the GAO Schedule Assessment Guide.

Schedule narrative

A document described in the GAO SAG that accompanies an updated schedule to explain what changes have been made and their effect on the schedule.

Schedule performance index (SPI)

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An earned value management ratio that indicates how well the project is performing in terms of time. An index of less than 1 indicates that the project is performing worse than planned.

An index of more than 1 indicates that it is performing better. Indices have the advantage over variances of being independent of the overall size of the project.

Schedule risk analysis

A GAO SAG term for statistical analysis of a schedule’s completion date. This would encompass techniques such as Monte Carlo and PERT.

The guide includes ‘key risks’ as well as general uncertainty in this statistical analysis which differentiates if from the APM PSMC term ‘quantitative schedule risk analysis’ which only refers to general uncertainty and excludes risk events.

Schedule variance (SV)

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An earned value management term that indicates how work is progressing in relation to the baseline schedule. It is the value of the work done less the value of the work which should have been done by now.

A negative number shows that less work has been done than was expected in the baseline schedule. A positive number shows that more work has been done than had been planned at this point in the project.

Schedule visibility activity

An activity in a network diagram that performs the same function as a lead, lag or dummy. The difference is that these activities will show up on a computer generated Gantt chart whereas leads, lags and dummies do not.

Schedule visibility task

The APM PSMC term for a schedule visibility activity.

Schedule/ cost /performance triangle

An alternative term for what is more commonly known as the time/ cost/quality triangle.

See also triple constraint.

Scheduled finish date

The date an activity is scheduled to finish must take into account many different influences. The earliest finish dates from critical path analysis only take durations and dependency links into account.

Activity dates may be altered by resource scheduling and imposed dates.

The scheduled finish is the earliest realistic date for completion of the activity taking all influences into account.

Scheduled start date

The date an activity is scheduled to start must take into account many different influences. The earliest start dates from critical path analysis only take durations and dependency links into account.

Activity dates may be altered by resource scheduling and imposed dates.

The scheduled start is the earliest realistic date for starting the activity taking all influences into account.

Scheduling

Determination of the best means of achieving a project’s general and specific schedule objectives.  This involves identification and optimisation of resource availability, constraints and dependency links.

Scope

The sum of all products to be delivered by the project.

Scope (ISO21500 subject group)

An ISO 21500 subject group that provides a set of processes for managing scope. The processes comprise:

The equivalent in Praxis are the scope management functions and their component procedures.

PRINCE2 doesn’t have a section devoted to scope and the subject is covered in a variety of areas including the progress theme and product-based planning in particular. The control of scope change is covered by the change theme.

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

Scope baseline

The defined scope of the project at the point where it is baselined. Once the baseline is approved it can only be changed through formal change control.

Scope creep

The term often used to describe the continual extension of the scope of a project due to poor or inadequate change control.

Scope management

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Scope management identifies, defines and controls objectives, in the form of outputs, outcomes and benefits. Its goals are to:

  • identify stakeholder wants and needs;
  • specify outputs, outcomes and benefits that meet agreed requirements;
  • maintain scope throughout the life cycle.

Scope is the totality of outputs, outcomes and benefits that should be delivered. The complexity of the scope is the main distinguishing factor between work that is managed as a project, a programme or a portfolio.

For more complex projects and programmes, scope management is divided into:

The APM BoK includes a very similar function. In the PMBoK® guide this area is covered by project scope management and in ISO21500 by the scope subject area.

Scoring methods

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Scoring methods are used in investment appraisal. They have two primary purposes. Firstly they are useful where benefits are difficult to quantify objectively; secondly, they can be used to aggregate the results of multiple appraisal methods to provide an overall comparison.

Scrum

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The scrum process is a commonly used development process for agile projects. It was created by Jeff Sutherland in 1993 using an analogy from the sport of Rugby to represent a highly integrated, cross functional team

Scrumban

An approach to agile development that combines scrum and kanban.

S-curve

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The nature of the development of projects and programmes is that the levels of activity increase to a peak during the delivery phase and then tail off towards closure. This means that the consumption of money and resource similarly builds up to a peak and then declines.

When this is calculated cumulatively and represented graphically it usually has the shape of a horizontally stretched ‘S’ hence the term ‘S-curve’.

Secondary risk

A risk event that comes about as a result of planning a response to another risk.

Secondment matrix

See strong matrix.

Select suppliers (4.3.36)

An ISO21500 implementing process that is concerned with obtaining bids from suppliers, selecting suppliers and awarding contracts.

In Praxis these are all covered by steps in the procurement and contract management procedures.

The PMBoK® guide equivalent is Conduct Procurements.

PRINCE2 does not cover this kind of external procurement in any detail.

Select the project approach and assemble the project brief

An activity from the PRINCE2 Starting Up a Project (SU) process that performs two functions. Firstly, it determines how the work to develop the project’s objectives will be approached. For example, whether there will be a bought in solution or something developed in house.

This part of the activity is dealt with by the solutions development procedure in Praxis.

There is no direct equivalent in the PMBoK® guide but it could be considered implicit in the Define Scope process. Similarly with Define scope in ISO21500.

The second part of this PRINCE2 activity prepares the project brief. The equivalent in Praxis is the prepare brief activity in the identification process.

The nearest equivalent in the PMBoK® guide is Develop Project Charter and in IS21500 also Develop project charter.

Seller

The PMBoK® guide term for a person or company that supplies goods or services to a project.

Referred to in Praxis, PRINCE2 and ISO21500 as the supplier and in the APM BoK as a provider.

Senior responsible owner

The MSP term for a programme sponsor.

Senior supplier

This is a role on the project board of a PRINCE2 project.  It is the role that has the required knowledge and experience of the main discipline(s) involved in developing the project’s specialist products. The senior supplier represents the interests of suppliers who provide resources to the project.

Senior user

This is a role on the project board of a PRINCE2 project.  It is the role that represents the interests of the users of the project’s deliverables. This includes ensuring that specifications accurately reflect user needs and that the specialist products meet those needs.

Sensitivity analysis

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One of the problems with PERT and Monte Carlo is that their view of uncertainty in a project is fairly simplistic. For example: if a UK company were evaluating a project to build a factory in Eastern Europe there may be several areas of uncertainty, including currency fluctuations, raw material inflation and interest rates.

The simplest form of sensitivity analysis looks at each factor in turn and analyses the model based on upper and lower estimates. If the analysis is based on cost we would end up with variances in overall project cost in relation to each variable.

The results of sensitivity analysis are often represented as a tornado chart.

Sequence activities(4.3.21)

This ISO21500 process deals with the preparation of a network diagram. It involves deciding how activities are dependent upon one another and identifying any leads or lags between activities.

The equivalent in Praxis is the build model step in the time scheduling procedure.

The PMBoK® guide also has a Sequence Activities process and PRINCE2 addresses the subject in the identify activities and dependencies step of the plans procedure.

Sequence Activities (6.3)

This PMBoK® guide process deals with the preparation of a network diagram. It involves deciding how activities are dependent upon one another and identifying any leads or lags between activities.

The equivalent in Praxis is the build model step in the time scheduling procedure.

ISO21500 also has a Sequence activities process and PRINCE2 addresses the subject in the identify activities and dependencies step of the procedure in the plans theme.

Set up the project controls

This is the activity in a PRINCE2 project where the principles and mechanisms of project control are established.  It is included in the Initiating a Project (IP) process.

It includes establishing decision making authorities, ensuring that role descriptions include the necessary control responsibilities and monitoring resources are available.

The outputs of this activity are included in the project initiation documentation and constitute what Praxis would call the control management plan that would be prepared in the prepare governance documents activity in the definition process.

ISO21500 and the PMBoK® guide do not explicitly mention a control management plan but the equivalent can be taken as implicit in the project management plan.

Setting

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In Praxis, this topic covers the inherent nature of a project, programme or portfolio that is derived from its objectives and how they will be achieved.

It has three component topics:

Severity

Sometimes used as an alternative term for impact in qualitative risk analysis and sometimes used to represent the product of numerical values for impact and probability of a risk event.

Share

One of the four possible opportunity responses.

Shared float

Float that is shared between all the activities on a particular path in critical path analysis.

If consecutive activities have 4 days’ float this does not mean that both activities could be delayed by 4 days. The float on these two activities is shared between them. If the float is used on the first it ceases to become available to the second and vice versa.

Also known as path float.

Shell

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Richard Shell1 identified five styles of negotiation which are closely based on the Thomas-Kilmann conflict model. This in turn was based on the Blake and Mouton managerial grid. Not only does this highlight the importance of negotiation in conflict management but it also shows that anyone’s innate characteristics show themselves in different ways in different contexts.

 

  1. Shell, G.R., (2006), Bargaining for advantage, Penguin Books, New York.

Shewhart cycle

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The Shewhart cycle is also known as the ‘plan-do-check-act’ cycle and was popularised by Edwards Deming who attributed it to W.A. Shewhart.

The cycle is a form of cybernetic control in a production environment but particularly lends itself to P3 management.

The cycle has four steps: Plan, Do, Check, Act. These steps are reflected in most project management methodologies.

Should-cost estimate

An internal estimate of the likely cost of a product or service to be used as a check against supplier quotations.

Site overheads

Overhead costs of a construction project. Generally referred to as ‘prelims’ in the UK.

Situational leadership model

See Hersey and Blanchard.

Skill group

Some computer packages allow the definition of group resources or skill groups. The resource scheduling algorithm then chooses the most appropriate resource from the group, for an activity, based on its availability and efficiency.

Slack

Originally the flexibility in the dates of an event in an activity on arrow network i.e. late event time - early event time. Now frequently used synonymously with float.

Slip chart

A schedule showing the slippage of activities or milestones. The chart normally shows the baseline next to the latest forecast so that the slippage can be easily seen.

Slippage

The time difference between the latest scheduled dates for an activity and the baseline dates.

Slippage report

A report highlighting the time difference between current scheduled dates and the original baseline dates.

SMART

An acronym for the characteristics of well-defined delegated objectives. The letters stand for:

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Achievable.
  • Realistic.
  • Time-constrained.

Solutions development

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Solutions development determines the best way of satisfying the requirements for an output. Its goals are to:

  • evaluate baseline requirements and alternative solutions to achieve them;
  • select the optimum solution;
  • create a specification for the solution.

Requirements management produces a clear set of stakeholder requirements but does not explain how to meet those requirements. Solutions development investigates the technical options for meeting the requirements and will work in conjunction with investment appraisal that investigates the financial implications of the different options.

The APM BoK also contains a function for solutions development. In PRINCE2 this is implicit in the selection of the project approach.

The PMBoK® guide combines solutions development with requirements management in the Collect Requirements process.

ISO21500 makes no specific reference to solutions development, so this should be seen as implicit in the Define scope process.

 

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

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