Project Management Dictionaries
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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

W to Z - War Room to Zero Float

War Room

A room used for project conferences and planning, often displaying charts of cost, schedule status, and other key project data.

Wet Signature

A manual signature using a pen and ink (or similar tool) upon a paper (or similar material) document or instrument.

What-If Scenario

Financial calculations that are used to model the possible outcomes to anticipated changes to costs and revenue for analysis and planning purposes.


Sustained physical or mental effort, exertion, or exercise of skill to overcome obstacles and achieve an objective.

Work Authorization

A permission and direction, typically written, to begin work on a specific schedule activity or work package or control account. It is a method for sanctioning project work to ensure that the work is done by the identified organization, at the right time, and in the proper sequence.

Work Authorization System

A subsystem of the overall project management system. It is a collection of formal documented procedures that defines how project work will be authorized (committed) to ensure that the work is done by the identified organization, at the right time, and in the proper sequence. It includes the steps, documents, tracking system, and defined approval levels needed to issue work authorizations.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

WBS Dictionary

The WBS dictionary documents the detailed activity, deliverable, and scheduling information for each component in the WBS. It supports the WBS and may include, the following information (this is not an exhaustive list):
  • Detailed description of the component.
  • Cost code(s) and cost estimates
  • Description of the work
  • Assumptions and constraints
  • Owner and/or responsible organization
  • Associated milestones
  • Resoure requirements
  • Quality and acceptance criteria
  • Any technical references e.g. part numbers

Download a WBS Dictionary template in Excel


A workflow is a series of tasks (a business process) that need to be completed in order to achieve a goal, for example, processing a request for maternity leave, procuring IT equipment or authorising proposals.

Workflow Engine

A workflow engine is a software application, which enables users to automate business workflow.

Workload Balancing

The distribution of work across multiple qualified entities to eliminate or reduce congestion and/or delays.

Work Order (WO)

A written order, signed by the owner or his representative, of a contractual status requiring performance by the contractor without negotiation of any sort.

Work Package

Work Performance Information

Information and data on the status of the project schedule activities being performed to accomplish the project work, collected as part of the direct and manage project execution processes Information includes: status of deliverables; implementation status for change requests, corrective actions, preventive actions, and defect repairs; forecasted estimates to complete; reported percent of work physically completed; achieved value of technical performance measures; and start and finish dates of schedule activities.

Work Plan

A comprehensive, realistic, and deliverable plan to accomplish the team mission and deliver the project. It includes Initiate & Align and Plan the Work elements, including a schedule and a budget.


Zero Float

a scheduling term which describes a instance where there is no spare time between activities or tasks. An activity with zero float is a critical activity, and if the duration of that activitiy is increased, the project finish date will move.

Methodology specific dictionaries / glossaries