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 - 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

T - Target Completion Date to Triple Constraint

Target Completion Date (TC)

An imposed date that constrains or otherwise modifies the schedule network analysis.

Target Finish Date (TF)

The date that work is planned (targeted) to finish on a schedule activity.

Target Schedule

A schedule adopted for comparison purposes during schedule network analysis, which can be different from the baseline schedule. See also baseline.

Target Start Date (TS)

The date that work is planned (targeted) to start on a schedule activity.


Two or more people working interdependently toward a common goal and a shared reward.

Team Building

The process of influencing a group of diverse individuals, each with their own goals, needs, and perspectives, to work together effectively for the good of the project such that their team will accomplish more than the sum of their individual efforts could otherwise achieve.

Team Members


A group of people working together for a common goal or the skills that enable a person to work well within a group.

The majority of jobs require the ability to work as part of the group or team so being good at working in a team is a crucial skill in the workplace.

Technical Performance Measurement

A performance measurement technique that compares technical accomplishments during project execution to the Project Management Plan's schedule of planned technical achievements. It may use key technical parameters of the product produced by the project as a quality metric. The achieved metric values are part of the work performance information.


A partially complete document in a predefined format that provides a, defined structure for collecting, organizing, and presenting information and data. Templates are often based upon documents created during prior projects. Templates can reduce the effort needed to perform work and increase the consistency of results.


A condition or situation unfavorable to the project, a negative set of circumstances, a negative set of events, a risk that will have a negative impact on a project objective if it occurs, or a possibility for negative changes. Contrast with opportunity.

Three-Point Estimate

An analytical technique that uses three cost or duration estimates to represent the optimistic, most likely, and pessimistic scenarios. This technique is applied to improve the accuracy of the estimates of cost or duration when the underlying activity or cost component is uncertain.


A cost, time, quality, technical, or resource value used as a parameter, and which may be included in product specifications. Crossing the threshold should trigger some action, such as generating an exception report.

Time and Material (T&M) Contract

A type of contract that is a hybrid contractual arrangement containing aspects of both cost-reimbursable and fixed-price contracts. Time and material contracts resemble cost-reimbursable- type arrangements in that they have no definitive end, because the full value of the arrangement is not defined at the time of the award. Thus, time and material contracts can grow in contract value as if they were cost-reimbursable-type arrangements. Conversely, time and material arrangements can also resemble fixed-price arrangements. For example, the unit rates are preset by the buyer and seller, when both parties agree on the rates for the category of senior engineers.


In Project Management Tolerance is the permitted (approved) deviation from planned parameters. Usually this will be increase or decrease from planned cost or time. For example 5% above or below the project budget.


Something tangible, such as a template or software program, used in performing an activity to produce a product or result.

Trend Analysis

An analytical technique that uses mathematical models to forecast future outcomes based on historical results. It is a method of determining the variance from a baseline of a budget, cost, schedule, or scope parameter by using prior progress reporting periods' data and projecting how much that parameter's variance from baseline might be at some future point in the project if no changes are made in executing the project.


Indications that a risk has occurred or is about to occur. Triggers may be discovered in the risk identification process and watched in the risk monitoring and control process. Triggers are sometimes called risk symptoms or warning signs.

Triple Constraint

A framework for evaluating competing demands. The triple constraint is often depicted as a triangle where one of the sides or one of the comers represent one of the parameters being managed by the project team.

Methodology specific dictionaries / glossaries