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 organization | 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 - parametric 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

R - Records Management to Root Cause Analysis

Records Management

The practice of identifying, classifying, archiving, preserving, and destroying records.


Requirements imposed by a governmental body. These requirements can establish product, process or service characteristics—including applicable administrative provisions—that have government-mandated compliance.


The probability of a product performing its intended function under specific conditions for a given period of time.


The process of producing data for purposes of accountability and decision making in either paper or electronic format.

Request for Information (RFI)

A type of procurement document whereby the buyer requests a potential seller to provide various pieces of information related to a product or service or seller capability.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

A type of procurement document used to request proposals from prospective sellers of products or services. In some application areas, it may have a narrower or more specific meaning.

Requested Change

A formally documented change request that is submitted for approval to the integrated change control process. Contrast with approved change request.


A provision in the Project Management Plan to mitigate cost and/or schedule risk. Often used with a modifier (e.g., management reserve, contingency reserve) to provide further detail on what types of risk are meant to be mitigated. The specific meaning of the modified term varies by application area.

Reserve Analysis

An analytical technique to determine the essential features and relationships of component s in the Project Management Plan to establish a reserve for the schedule duration, budget, estimated cost, or funds for a project.

Residual Risk

A risk that remains after risk responses have been implemented.

Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS)

A hierarchical structure of resources by category and resource type used in resource leveling schedules and to develop resource-limited schedules, and which may be used to identify and analyze project human resource assignments.

Resource Calendar

A calendar of working days and nonworking days that determines those dates on which each specific resource is idle or can be active. Typically defines resource-specific holidays and resource-availability periods. See also project calendar.

Resource-Constrained Schedule

Resource Leveling

Any form of schedule network analysis in which scheduling decisions (start and finish dates) are driven by resource constraints (e.g., limited resource availability or difficult-to-manage changes in resource availability levels).

Resource-Limited Schedule

A project schedule whose schedule activity, scheduled start dates and scheduled finish dates reflect expected resource availability. A resource-limited schedule does not have any early or late start or finish dates. The resource-limited schedule total float is determined by calculating the difference between the critical path method late finish date and the resource-limited scheduled finish date. Sometimes called resource constrained schedule. See also Resource leveling.

Resource Loading

A process to assign resource and estimated quantity to respective schedule activities.

Resource Planning

Determining what resources (people, equipment, materials) are needed in what quantities to perform project activities.

Resource Pool

A flat or hierarchical list to identify available resources within an organization.

Resource Updating

A process to record actual spending quantity and to reflect the estimated quantity to complete.


The duties, assignments, and accountability for results associated with a designated position in the organization.

Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)

A structure that relates the project organizational breakdown structure to the work breakdown structure to help ensure that each component of the project's scope of work is assigned to a responsible person.


An output from performing project management processes and activities. Results include outcomes (e.g., integrated systems, revised process, restructured organization, tests, trained personnel) and documents (e.g., policies, plans, studies, procedures, specifications, reports). Contrast with product and service. See also deliverable.

Retention Schedule

A schedule listing and assigning minimum retention periods to individual records series which is approved for a specific agency by the State Records Committee. A records retention schedule provides the agency for which it is approved continuing records disposition authority.

Risk Acceptance

A risk response planning technique that indicates that the project team has decided not to change the Project Management Plan to deal with a risk, or is unable to identify any other suitable response strategy.

Risk Analysis

An examination of risk areas or events to assess the probable consequences for each event (or combination of events in the analysis), and determine possible options for avoidance.

Risk Assessment

Risk Assessments are a systematic method for controlling risk. Risk Assessments identify and evaluate hazards and take measures to control risks arising from those hazards.

Risk Avoidance

A risk response planning technique for a threat that creates changes to the Project Management Plan that are meant to either eliminate the risk or to protect the project objectives from its impact. Generally, risk avoidance involves relaxing the time, cost, scope, or quality objectives.

Risk Breakdown Structure (RBS)

A hierarchically-organized depiction of the identified project risks arranged by risk category and subcategory that identifies the various areas and causes of potential risks. The risk breakdown structure is often tailored to specific project types.

Risk Category

A group of potential causes of risk. Risk causes may be grouped into categories such as technical, external, organizational, environmental, or project management. A category may include subcategories such as technical maturity, weather, or aggressive estimating. See also risk breakdown structure.

Risk Database

A repository that provides for collection, maintenance, and analysis of data gathered and used in the risk management processes.

Risk Identification

The process of determining which risks might affect the project and documenting their characteristics.

Risk Log

Risk Management

An organized assessment and control of project risks.

Risk Management Plan

The document describing how projectrisk management will be structured and performed on the project. It is contained in or is a subsidiary plan of the Project Management Plan. The risk management plan can be informal and broadly framed, or formal and highly detailed, based on the needs of the project. Information in the risk management plan varies by application area and project size. The risk management plan is different from the risk register that contains the list of project risks, the results of risk analysis, and the risk responses.

Risk Management Planning

The process of deciding how to approach, plan, and execute risk management activities for a project.

Risk Mitigation

Risk Mitigation is the process of reducing the impact of a risk or the likelihood of a risk being realized.

Risk Monitoring and Control

The process of tracking identified risks, monitoring residual risks, identifying new risks, executing risk response plans, and evaluating their effectiveness throughout the project life cycle.

Risk Register

The document containing the results of the qualitative risk analysis, quantitative risk analysis, and risk response planning. The risk register details all identified risks, including description, category, cause, probability of occurring, impact (s) on objectives, proposed responses, owners, and current status. The risk register is a component of the Project Management Plan.

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Risk Response Planning

The process of developing options and actions to enhance opportunities and to reduce threats to project objectives.

Risk Transference

A risk response planning technique that shifts the impact of a threat to a third party, together with ownership of the response.


A defined function to be performed by a project team member, such as testing, filing, inspecting, and coding.

Root Cause Analysis

An analytical technique used to determine the basic underlying reason that causes a variance or a defect or a risk. A root cause may underlie more than one variance or defect or risk.

Methodology specific dictionaries / glossaries