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

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FP - to - Fuzzy Front End

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Definition     Editor's Choice
See Fixed Price Contract

See Fixed Price Plus Incentive Fee Contract

A series of self-similar shapes of varying size. Every shape in the series is geometrically similar varying only in size. There are many such shapes in nature including the common garden snail and many sea shells. It is particularly relevant to the project life span wherein the principles of project management are applicable at any level from the whole project down to the individual task level. Only the degree of application changes. [D04903]

A geometric shape having the property that each smaller portion of it can be viewed as a reduced scale replica of the whole.
Editor's Note: Fractal is a common feature of the project management process when viewed from the perspective of a work breakdown structure. That is to say, the principles that are applicable at the highest level of the hierarchy are equally applicable down through the hierarchy to the smallest task. Only the scale of operation changes [D04983]

See Subnet [D00733]

A structure providing support. The structure may be physical as in construction, or notional as in the display of ideas. [D02789]

Free Float
The maximum amount by which an activity can be delayed beyond its early dates without delaying any successor activity beyond its early dates. [D00736]

The amount of time an activity can be delayed without delaying the early start of any immediately following activities. See also float. [D00734]

The amount of time (in work units) an activity may be delayed without affecting the early start of the activity immediately following. [D00735]

The excess time available before the start of the following activity, assuming that both activities start on their early start date. Free float is calculated in the following way: Free Float = Earliest Start of Following Activity - Earliest Start of Present Activity - Duration of Present Activity. On the activity's calendar, free float is the length of time from the end of the activity to the earliest early start date from among all of its successors. If the activity has no successors, the project finish date is used. Since free float is meaningless for hammocks, it is set to zero. For the common case where all lags are finish-to-start lags of zero, the free float represents the number of work days that an activity can be delayed before it affects any other activity in the project. [D02255]

The amount of time an activity may be delayed without causing any knock on delay to successor activities. [D03846]

The delay possible for an activity if all preceding activities start as early as possible whilst all subsequent activities also start at their earliest time - an equivalent (and easier) definition is the delay possible in an activity if it starts at its earliest time and all subsequent activities start at their earliest time. The effect of this free float is to push the total float associated with a chain of successive non-critical activities onto the last activity in the chain. [D04984]

Free Riding
A situation where some project team members do less work than the others. [D02641]

 PMH p319
An undesirable condition in which one or more team members does less work than others, typically with malicious intent to take advantage of other team members or the organization. [D02340]

 PMH p319
Free Slack
The amount of time a task can slip without delaying another task. For a task without successors, free slack is the amount of time the task can be delayed without delaying the finish date of the project. [D00737]

Supplies, goods, and transportable property. [D03506]

The rate at which something is repeated, typically at short intervals. [D02796]

Frequency of Measure
How often data is to be collected and reported. [D04985]

Front End
That part of the project life cycle that is at the very beginning, or even just before.
Editor's Note: Since there is no unanimity of opinion as to when a project starts, this term is ambivalent. [D02797]

See Concept Phase or Opportunity Phase. [D03437]

Front Loading
An attempt by a performing contractor to provide adequate budgets for the near-term work, but at the expense of the far-term effort which will be underfunded. It is an attempt to delay the acknowledgment of a potential cost overrun, in the hope that the contractor may "get well" through changes in the contract statement of work. Front loading is often the result of inadequate or unrealistic negotiated contract target costs.
Editor's Note: Also referred to as Front End Loading. [D04636]

See Forecast to Completion

See File Transfer Protocol

Full and Open Competition
The process by which all responsible bidders are allowed to compete. [D04100]

Full Operational Capability
The attainment of specified performance in the operational environment. [D04101]

Full Time
One who works all of the standard time (on a project.) This is distinct from one who must divide their time between two or more projects. [D02798]

A set of related actions, undertaken by individuals or tools to accomplish a set purpose or end. [D05182]

The intended or official duty of a person or thing. [D04986]

Function Point Analysis
A top down software development estimating technique which was developed by A.J. Albrecht whilst working for IBM. It entails breaking a project down into "Function Points" which are classified by degrees of complexity. Factors are then applied from which time estimates may be developed. [D03847]

Function Points
A software attribute that is described by inputs, outputs, master file inquiries, and system interfaces. Used for cost estimation, sizing maintenance, and evaluating enhancements. [D04102]

Function, project management
The series of processes by which the project objectives in that particular area of project management, e.g. scope, cost, time, etc., are achieved. [D00738]

Functional Analysis
The graphical representation of system functions in a logical diagram (called a Behavior Diagram.) [D04002]

Functional Configuration Audit
An engineering audit of a Configuration Item (CI) or system conducted by the Buyer to verify that the performance test results of the "As-built" item are in accordance with the performance specification of the item. The FCA, with the results of the Physical Configuration Audit (PCA), is the decision point to confirm that the design is ready for either integration or replication. [D00739]

 VPM 291-4
Functional Department Manager
A functional department and project contributor level position responsible for integrating the efforts of project contributors on all projects within their individual department or discipline, primarily through the allocation of resources available within the department to the approved, active portfolio of projects [D04607]

Functional Line Manager
The person accountable for the competency and the usage of personnel resources committed to the execution of assigned portions of a project. [D03782]

Functional Management
The standard departments of a business organization that represent individual disciplines such as engineering, marketing, purchasing, accounting, and so on. [D00740]

 OTOB 271-4
Functional Manager ("FM")
The person responsible for the business and technical management of a functional group. [D00742]

A manager responsible for activities in a specialized department or function (e.g., engineering, manufacturing, marketing). [D00741]

The person you report to within your functional organization. Typically, they are the person that does your performance review. Your project manager may also be your functional manager, but they do not have to be. If your project manager is different from your functional manager, then your organization is probably using matrix management. [D04987]

Functional Matrix
An organization type where the project has a team leader in each functional department and the products are passed from one team to the next. [D00743]

An organizational structure where the project has a team leader in each functional department and the products are passed from one team to the next.
Editor's Note: Sometimes referred to as "Throwing it (the product) over the wall" to the next functional department responsible for the next adding value process. Not recommended in today's global pressure cooker! [D03848]

Functional Organization
The form of organization in which all people with a particular kind of skill (such as engineering) are grouped in a common department, reporting to a single manager for that particular functional specialty. [D00746]

 SPM 304-9
An organization structure in which staff are grouped hierarchically by specialty e.g., production, marketing, engineering, and accounting at the top level; engineering, further divided into mechanical and electrical. [D00744]

The hierarchical organization of a staff according to their specialty. [D00745]

Functional Personnel
Those who work for a functional department such as accounting or marketing and, even though contribute to the work of a project, are responsible to their functional manager for the quality of their work. [D02799]

Functional Plan, administrative
Plans for marketing, production and inventory, and similar functions that are presented in a matrix organization as they would be in a traditional organization. They are drawn up by the resource managers for their units [D02801]

Functional Plan, architectural
In architectural building work, a conceptual layout of a building showing how the total space is allocated to the various activities contemplated within the building. See also Functional Program. [D02800]

Functional Program
A written description of the Owner or user needs that must be fulfilled by a proposed facility. The description generally has a statement of the functions, production capacity and similar criteria. It is a component of the conceptual design. [D00747]

Functional Project Leader
A functional department and project contributor level position responsible for integrating the work of all contributors to their specific assigned projects within each of their respective functions. [D04608]

Functional Requirements
Contract requirement stated in terms of the objectives that must be achieved under the contract.
Editor's Note: In architectural usage, functional requirements are typically displayed as a Venn diagram showing the various activities within a building and their relationships and the relative areas required. [D03507]

Functional Responsibility
An obligation that a Functional Line Manager has accepted from his/her immediate supervisor to manage assigned resources in a designated area, for the purposes of achieving the following objectives:

Resource Competency

Resource Usage

  • Determining and recommending the optimum size and mix of personnel needed to produce the desired results.
  • Assigning tasks and duties to personnel so as to achieve maximum benefits for the organization.

Functional Specification
A document specifying in some detail the functions that are required of a system and the constraints that will apply. [D04441]

The actions that the project deliverables are, or should be, capable of performing. [D02802]

The functions to be performed as specified in the project's product requirements (objectives). The functionality will generate revenue, or make savings, which will repay the financing. The value of the functionality is measured by the ratio of the cost of achieving the functionality to the benefit it delivers. [D02621]

Function-Quality Integration
The process of actively ensuring that quality plans and programs are integrated, mutually consistent, necessary and sufficient to permit the project team to achieve the defined product quality, [D00748]

The status of internal fund allocation, or allocation by an external agency, if applicable, to enable payment for the performance of the project scope. The status of internal or external monies available for performing the work. [D00749]

Funding Profile
Time-phased project funding usually displayed in spreadsheet or graphical format. [D04103]

An estimate of funding requirements. [D00750]

Functionality, Usability, Reliability, Performance, Supportability. Standard headings or categories for assessing product quality: [D04729]

Future Value
The calculation of the value of an asset at some specified time in the future after taking into account the change in value due to interest, appreciation or depreciation over the intervening period. [D02803]

Fuzzy Front End
See Front End, especially the Editor's Note. [D02804]

Definitions for page F03: 61

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