Project Management Dictionary of Terms

This glossary covers all common project management terminology.
A - Acceptance Criteria to Authority | B - Backward Pass to Business Process Manager (BPM) | C - Change to Customer | D - Decision Tree Analysis to Duration | E - Early Finish Date to Event | F - Failure Mode and Effect Analysis to Functional Organisation | G - Gantt Chart to guidelines | H - Hammock task to Hyperlink | I - i-j notation to ITIL | J - Job Description to Just-In-Time | K - Kaizen to Knowledge | L - Labor, Equipment, Material to Logical Relationship | M - Manage Project Team to Monte Carlo Analysis | N - Near-Critical Activity to Node | O - Operations to Output | P - Parametic to Projectized Organization | Q - Qualitative Risk Analysis to Quantitative Risk Analysis | R - Records Management to Root Cause Analysis | S - Saved Search to System | T - Target Completion Date to Triple Constraint | U - Uncontrollable Risks to User Group | V - Validation to Voice of the Customer | W to Z - War Room to Zero Float

A - Acceptance Criteria to Authority

Activity-On-Node (AON)

Actual Finish Date (AF)

The point in time that work actually ended on a schedule activity. (Note: In some application areas, the activity is considered "finished" when work is "substantially complete.")
Project Managers record the actual finish date of an activity so they can see whether it was finished on time. They enter the finish date into the project's schedule and scheduling software will calculate the impact on the other project tasks. For example, if a task is delivered late Microsoft Project will recalulate the estimated start and end dates of the successor tasks.

Actual Finish date is also important so that you know when resources are available. For example, if Sean the network engineer finishes his task early he may be able to move onto something else ahead of schedule.

Actual Start Date (AS)

The point in time that work actually started on a schedule activity.


A legal document that binds two or more parties to specific and implied obligations, for example, a contract.


Building a common understanding of the project and developing a common view of what the solution will and will not address.

Approved Change Request

A change request that has been processed through the integrated change control process and approved. Contrast with requested change.

Download a Change Request Template.

As-Late-As-Possible ("ALAP")

An activity for which the application sets the early dates as late as possible without delaying the early dates of any successor.

As-Soon-As-Possible ("ASAP")

An activity for which the application sets the early dates as soon as possible. This is the default activity type in most project management systems.


The right to apply project resources, expend funds, make decisions, or give approvals.

Avoid (risk response)

A risk is avoided by changing the project in some way. For example, by changing the project approach, technology, machinery, resources etc.

Methodology specific dictionaries / glossaries