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

 

From Take corrective action to Tuckman

 

Take corrective action

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

This PRINCE2 activity deals with actions taken by the project manager within the agreed tolerances of a stage or project. There may be input by the project board to any decisions made but this process does not cover the situation where issues have to be formally escalated to the project board.

The equivalent activity in Praxis is the corrective action activity in the delivery process.

The PMBoK® guide process Direct and Manage Project Work makes specific reference to the need to take corrective action but the corresponding ISO21500 process, Direct project work, does not.

ISO21500 prefers to refer to corrective action as an output of individual control processes such as Control resources and Control risks.

Tannenbaum and Schmidt

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Robert Tannenbaum and Warren Schmidt first published their views on leadership styles in 19581 and updated their model in 19732.

The model focuses on the delegation of authority from a manager to the team. In the original 1958 model the language of ‘subordinates’ and ‘superiors’ reflects its age, but the principles hold true.

 

  1. Tannenbaum, R. & Schmidt, W., How to Choose a Leadership Pattern, Harvard Business Review March-April (1958).
  2. Tannenbaum, R. & Schmidt, W, How to Choose a Leadership Pattern, Harvard Business Review May-June (1973).

Target finish date

See imposed finish.

Target schedule

An alternative name for the baseline schedule.

Target start date

See imposed start.

Task

Usually synonymous with activity. Some sources regard a task is a sub-division of an activity, others maintain that the opposite is true.

Team manager

In PRINCE2 the team manager is the person given responsibility for a work package.

Team plan

The lowest level of PRINCE2 plan. Its scope typically covers a work package allocated to a team.

Teamwork

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Teamwork is how a group of people come together to collaborate and co-operate in achieving common objectives. The goals of teamwork are to:

  • create a team from a collection of individuals;
  • develop and maintain the performance of the team.

Teams exist in all walks of life from working teams to sporting teams. The difference between a team and a group of individuals is the team’s collective commitment to agreed objectives. All teams are made up of individuals and regardless of the context of the team, human nature means that they go through similar stages of development and suffer from the same problems.

Teamwork is also a function in the APM BoK. Neither PRINCE2 nor ISO21500 address the subject. The PMBoK® guide has a brief explanation in the tools and techniques part of the Develop Project Team process.

Tender

A document in which a supplier offers a price for completion of a given specification of work.

Termination

The conclusion of the product life cycle where a product is decommissioned at the end of its useful life.

Thamhain and Wilemon

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Thamhain and Wilemon1 conducted a study to investigate the sources of conflict in the project management life cycle.

First of all, Thamhain and Wilemon identified the seven main sources of conflict on a project. These were: schedule, priorities, manpower, technical options, procedures, cost and personality. They then assessed the relative intensity of conflict from these sources at different phases in a four phase life cycle.

 

  1. Thamhain, H.J. and Wilemon D. L., (1975). Conflict management in project life cycles. Sloan Management Review.

Theme

See PRINCE2 themes or MSP themes

Thomas-Kilmann

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Kenneth Thomas and Ralph Kilmann based their conflict style inventory on the managerial grid developed by Blake and Mouton. They arranged five conflict resolution approaches on scales of two individual characteristics: assertiveness and cooperativeness.

They also developed the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument that is used to identify an individual’s natural tendencies when dealing with conflict.

Threat

A risk that could have a negative impact on the objectives of a project or programme.

When most people refer to risk they are actually thinking of a threat but risks can also be opportunities.

Threat response

There are four ways of responding to a negative risk or threat. These are:

Avoid:          Find a way of performing the work that avoids the risk.

Transfer:    Contractually transfer the risk to someone else, e.g. insurance or a fixed price contract.

Reduce:      Find a way of performing the work that reduces the impact it will have should it occur.

Accept:                 Simply accept that there is no cost effective action that can reasonably be taken.

Three duration technique

A method for reducing estimating uncertainty. Three activity durations are estimated: optimistic, likely and pessimistic. Analysis methods such as PERT and Monte Carlo simulation are performed to make statistical estimates of the completion date of the project.

Three-point estimate

See three duration technique.

Tied activity

An activity that must be performed immediately, or within a pre-determined time, after its predecessor.

Time & materials contract

A payment method that is a combination of cost plus and fixed price contracts. Fixed prices can be agreed for component products but because the full scope of the project is not defined, the total cost is not known at the outset. The contractor is paid for their time at an agreed rate and the materials at cost plus a fee.

Time (ISO21500 subject group)

An ISO21500 subject group that provides a set of processes for managing time. The processes comprise:

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

PRINCE2 covers this in the plans theme.

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

Time / Cost / Quality triangle

See triple constraint.

Time analysis

See critical path analysis.

Time chainage chart

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A form of chart that combines line of balance with a physical layout of the work being done.

Time contingency

Time added to the duration of an activity that takes estimating uncertainty into account.

See also buffer.

Time limited resource scheduling

An alternative name for resource smoothing.

Time now date

See progress date.

Time phased network

See time scaled network.

Time risk allowance

A collective term for techniques that allow for estimating uncertainty such as buffers and the three duration technique.

Time scaled network

A network diagram drawn so that the length of the arrows or boxes is proportional to their duration.

If precedence diagrams are drawn against a time scale they effectively become linked bar charts.

Time scheduling

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Time scheduling techniques are used to develop and present schedules that show when work will be performed and products delivered. The goals of time scheduling are to:

  • construct a model for use in numerical analysis;
  • calculate dates for components of work;
  • determine where there is flexibility in the schedule.

Time scheduling is also a function in the APM BoK. The relevant tools and techniques are covered in the PRINCE2 progress theme and the PMBoK® guide project time management knowledge area.

ISO21500 has the processes in the time subject group but doesn’t explain the tools and techniques.

Time sheet

A means of recording the actual effort expended against project and non-project activities by individuals working on the project.

Time tolerance

The permissible deviation in schedule that is allowed before the deviation needs to be escalated to the next level of management.

Timebox

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Timeboxes are used in agile approaches to project management. They represent a period of typically two to five weeks, sometimes referred to as sprints or iterations.

Each timebox starts with a backlog of prioritised products or features.

Time-driven control

A term used in PRINCE2 for a periodic control point, e.g. a monthly progress review.

To-be state

A term used by MSP to describe the ultimate objective of a programme. Also referred to as the end goal.

Tolerance

Effective project or programme control requires management by exception between levels of the management team. The sponsor will delegate authority to the project or programme manager and the manager will, in turn, delegate authority to managers of sub-projects or teams.

When a project, sub-project or work package is delegated, performance criteria for scope, time and cost will be stated. Tolerances define how much the person managing delegated work can deviate from these performance targets before having to report an issue to the level of management above. See also triggers.

Tolerance threat

A term used by PRINCE2. If the status of a stage is such that the project manager is unable to keep the stage plan within agreed tolerances, then the situation must be escalated to the project board. This is known as a tolerance threat.

Top down estimating

Initial estimating is usually performed top down. Before the full work breakdown structure has been developed, estimates are likely to be based on parametric estimating or comparative estimating and be less accurate than estimates that can be produced once all the detailed activities have been defined and bottom up estimating can be performed.

Tornado chart

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A diagram that illustrates the upper and lower bounds of a range of variables resulting from a sensitivity analysis. When the variables are ordered with the most volatile at the top and the most stable at the bottom, the result is similar to a cross section through a tornado.

Total float

The amount of time an activity may be delayed without extending the critical path.

The short formulae often used for calculating total float are:

Latest startearliest start, or

Latest finishearliest finish

However, these formulae are only true for activities with finish to start links. The full formula that works for all types of dependency link is:

Total float = latest finish – earliest start – duration

Tracking

The process of collecting actual time, cost and resource progress information and feeding this back into the project schedule.

Tranche

A group of projects within a programme that produce a distinct component of the blueprint.

Tranches provide a means of breaking a programme up into manageable pieces. It is advisable to construct tranches that deliver a definable set of benefits. The implication of this is that a tranche will have its own business case. At the end of each tranche a benefits review will be performed and the sponsor will consider the business case for the next tranche.

Tranche budget

The budget for a tranche of a programme.

Tranche business case

The justification for investment in a tranche of work within a programme.

Transfer

One of the four possible threat responses.

Transformation

In order to achieve business benefits it is almost invariably the case that business-as-usual needs to be changed in some way. Some guides (such as MSP) refer to this change as ‘transformation’ rather than the more common term ‘change management’.

In the P3 management context this provides a useful distinction between change management and another common P3 management term ‘change control’.

However, most general management literature on the subject of transformational change is labelled as change management so Praxis sticks with the more generally accepted term.

Transformational flow

MSP assumes that all programmes are programmes of business change. It also uses the term ‘transformation’ in preference to ‘change management’. As a result MSP refers to the programme management life cycle as the transformational flow.

Transition plan

In the context of an organisational change programme, the outputs of projects must be delivered and then used in some beneficial way. Work must be done to change the existing operational model to the new operational model. The schedule of technical change and change management activities needed are contained in a transition plan.

Treat risks (4.3.30)

This ISO21500 process evaluates the identified risk events (both threats and opportunities) and decides how best to respond to them. The project management plan will be updated accordingly.

The equivalent in Praxis is the plan risk responses step in the risk management procedure; In PRINCE2 it is the plan step in the risk theme procedure; in PMBoK® guide it is Plan Risk Responses.

Trend analysis

The use of mathematical models to forecast future performance based on historical data. The use of performance indices in earned value to predict eventual cost and completion dates are an example of trend analysis.

Triangular distribution

A statistical distribution that is commonly used in PERT analysis and Monte Carlo analysis.

Trigger

A threshold that is set to determine when an issue should be escalated.

One example of the type of indicators that could be used as triggers are schedule performance index (SPI) and cost performance index (CPI) from earned value analysis. E.g. if a project’s CPI drops below 0.95 the control management plan may specify that this must be escalated to the project sponsor.

Triple constraint

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The triple constraint is one of the fundamental truths of P3 Management. Also known as the ‘iron triangle’, it has spawned many variations but these often dilute the impact of the original.

In its simplest form the triangle shows the relationship between the objectives of the work (scope), the time it will take to produce them and how much it will cost to complete the work.

The significance of the triangle is that it is the most stable geometric shape and emphasises that any attempt to make changes to one corner of the triangle will have an immediate impact on the other two.

Tuckman

More:

Bruce Tuckman first published his model of group dynamics in 1965. It originally comprised the four stages: forming, storming, norming and performing. In 1977 he added the fifth stage: adjourning, and other sources have added a sixth: mourning.

 

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

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