Wideman Comparative Glossary of Common Project Management Terms v3.1 is copyright by R. Max Wideman, March 2002.

Please feel free to point to this document. For non-profit purposes you may copy this page, either whole or as whole definitions provided the above copyright notice is attached. For inclusion in for-profit works, please contact the author at

File: PMG_D04.htm generated 12/19/2002 9:25:36 AM
Generated by program: PMGlosGen v1.33 Program Author: Graham Wideman

Introduction | What's New in Version 5.5 | International Recognition
About the Author | Sources and References
Content Index |
Order Your V5.5 Copy Here!

Discipline Maintenance - to - Dynamic Classification

***  prev

Definition     Editor's Choice
Discipline Maintenance
Ensuring the provision of organizational policies and procedures in the best interests of program or project goals and objectives and ensuring that they are followed [D02668]

Discontinuous Activity
An activity in which the interval between the start and finish dates is allowed to exceed its duration in order to satisfy start-to-start and finish-to-finish relationships with other activities. [D00541]

Discontinuous Processing
This option assigns the discontinuous attribute to all activities for a time analysis session, except where overridden by a specific activity type. [D00542]

Discount Rate
The rate of interest which is used to discount to their present-day value earnings arising in the future. With positive interest rates, a sum of money which is invested will increase in value over time and hence the present value of money is less than its value in the future. The size of the discount rate will affect the appraised viability of those projects to which it is applied. Broadly, the higher the discount rate the lower will be the present value of earnings (or benefits) arising in the future and the greater the negative impacts on project feasibility. The discount rate is determined pragmatically by the sponsor. Ideally it should take account of the sponsor's cost of capital, the rate of inflation, interest rates and rates of return on investments throughout the economy.
Note: There is a difference between "real" discount rates and "nominal" discount rates. Real discount rates are used in conjunction with cash flows which are expressed in terms of present-day money values, with no allowance for price inflation. (The cash flows should, however, allow for increments in future over and above price inflation, e.g. real wage increases.) Nominal discount rates, on the other hand, are higher than real discount rates and are applied to cash flows which make specific allowance for future price inflation at an estimated rate. [D04969]

Discounted Cash Flow ("DCF")
A calculation of present value of a projected cash flow based on some assumed rate of inflation or interest. [D02669]

A method for comparing the relative merits of project investments taking into account the value of money, taxation, varying operating costs, earlier cash returns for reinvestment etc. Also known as Internal Rate of Return. Although theoretically not as sound as Net Present Value, it is easier to present and relate to interest rates on borrowed money. Neither DCF nor NPV takes into account project risks. [D03060]

The process of reducing a future amount of money to a present value. [D02309]

Discrete Effort
Tasks that have a specific measurable end product or end result. Discrete tasks are ideal for earned value measurement. See Work Package. [D00543]

Discrete Milestone
A milestone that has a definite scheduled occurrence in time. [D00544]

A milestone which has a definite, scheduled occurrence in time, signaling the start and finish of an activity. Synonymous with the term "objective indicator." [D04632]

Discrete Task
A measurable activity with an output. [D04078]

(Non-discrimination) The requirements imposed on the organization and the procedures implemented by the organization to assure fairness in hiring and promotion practices. [D00545]

Dialogue explaining implications and impacts on objectives. The elaboration and description of facts, findings and alternatives. [D00546]

A pictorial, verbal, written, tabulated or graphical means of transmitting findings, results and conclusions. [D00547]

Disposal of Materials
The getting rid of, usually by sale, of surplus materials no longer required for a project. Usually conducted only at the end of a project or major activity. [D02671]

Disagreements not settled by mutual consent which could be decided by litigation or arbitration. [D00548]

A major interference with the orderly progress of a project or major activity. Usually on the part of a group or individuals who are dissatisfied with conditions as they are. [D02672]

Individuals or forces with potential for or actually causing disruption. [D02673]

The distribution of information to as many people as possible. [D02674]

Distinguishing Constraint
A dummy which distinguishes two activities which may have the same start and finish dates. [D00549]

 CPMUSC 176-8
The results of allocation, division or otherwise spreading around of components such as allocable project overhead costs to their respective activities, or other information such as memos and directives to the parties concerned. [D02675]

Distributed Computing Environment ("DCE")
An environment in which software function and data is distributed across multiple computing resources connected on a local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN) [D04826]

Distributed Processing
An application or systems model in which function and data can be distributed across multiple computing resources connected on a LAN or WAN. See client/server computing. [D04827]

Distribution List
A list of people receiving information for a particular purpose [D00824]

Distribution of Minutes
The circulation to attendees of meeting of a record of their discussion, conclusions and action items. [D02676]

Distribution, of information
The dissemination of information for the purpose of communication, approval or decision-making. [D00550]

Difference, distinctness, variety. [D02677]

Any official or authoritative paper containing instructions, information, evidence, facts and the like. [D02678]

Document Control
A system for controlling and executing project documentation in a uniform and orderly fashion. [D00551]

Document Management
The orderly and appropriate organization, distribution, storage and retrieval of project documents. [D02679]

See Information Management. [D03778]

A display of documented information typically in multi-media format. [D02680]

The collection of reports. user information and references for distribution and retrieval, displays, back-up information and records pertaining to the project. [D00553]

Any kind of written report, including such items as final reports, spare parts lists, instruction manuals, test plans, program code itself, all life cycle milestone documents, project history, and similar project information. [D00552]

 SPM 304-9
Documentation Change Notice
A notification of change to holders of controlled documentation. [D04079]

Documentation Requirements Description ("DRD")
Formerly Data Item Description. The required content of a document. [D04080]

Dog and Pony Show
A project briefing which uses a number of viewgraphs, slides, flip charts, or similar aids, usually with a view to persuading the audience to a particular point of view. [D02310]

An area of knowledge or activity characterized by a family of related systems. [D04828]

See Documentation Requirements Description

See Duration

Dual Concern Model
A graphical display in which the five negotiating strategies are plotted with "Concern about Own Outcomes" (X-axis) against "Concern for Other Side's Outcomes" (Y-axis). [D02736]

 PMH p345
Dual Responsibility
The acceptance of functional responsibility from one person and project responsibility from another. [D03781]

An activity denoting a dependency, but not an action. [D00554]

Dummy Activity
An activity of zero duration used to show a logical relationship in the arrow diagramming method. Dummy activities are used when logical relationships cannot be completely described with regular activity arrows. Dummies are shown graphically as a dashed line headed by an arrow. [D00556]

An activity in a network diagram that requires no work, signifying a precedence condition only. [D00555]

 SPM 304-9
An activity, always of zero duration, used to show logical dependency when an activity cannot start before another is complete, but which does not lie on the same PATH through the network. Normally, these dummy activities are graphically represented as a dashed line headed by an arrow. [D00557]

In an activity on arrow network, an activity representing no actual work to be done but required for reasons of logic or nomenclature.
Note: There are three uses for a dummy activity in "activity-on-arrow network":
  1. Logic
  2. Time delay, and
  3. Uniqueness.

The length of time needed to complete an activity. [D00560]

  1. The number of time units (not including holidays or other non-working periods) required to complete an activity or other project element. Usually expressed as work days or work weeks, or
  2. Calendar elapsed time.

The calendar time it takes to create a deliverable. [D02196]

The actual amount of time that passes before a task is done. Duration equals work divided by resource effort. [D04970]

The planned or actual elapsed time between two events, e.g. between the start and finish of an activity, between two milestones or the whole project. Duration may be measured in units of calendar time, or project calendar time. It can be misleading to measure it in days worked on an activity since calendar and working time may pass with no production. It is totally wrong to measure duration in man-hours or man-days which are units of work, not time. [D04971]

Duration Calculation
The calculation of time required to complete an activity. [D02681]

Duration Compression
Shortening the project schedule without reducing the project scope. Duration compression is not always possible and often requires an increase in project cost. [D00559]

Duty and Tax Administration
Action taken to legally minimize duties and taxes applicable to the goods/services supplied. [D00561]

Dynamic Baseline Model© ("DBM")
A conceptual model framework for:
  1. Exploring the evolution of project management behaviors
  2. Establishing realistic levels of project complexity and expectations, and
  3. Providing a linkage, or matching, between the behavior and the project complexity level.
The model provides the context for discussion and asking the right questions to address the courses of action necessary for improving performance and for identifying learning requirements appropriate to the type of project. [D04369]

Dynamic Classification
A semantic variation of generalization in which an object may change type or role. Contrast: static classification. [D04829]

Definitions for page D04: 57

***  prev
next  ***

Home | Issacons | PM Glossary | Papers & Books | Max's Musings
Guest Articles | Contact Info | Top of Page