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

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Definition     Editor's Choice
See Progressive Acquisition

See Work Package. [D01139]

A general purpose mechanism for organizing elements into groups. Packages may be nested within other packages. [D04863]

See Problem Analysis Report

Parallel Activities
Two or more activities than can be done at the same time. This allows a project to be completed faster than if the activities were arranged serially in a straight line. [D01140]

The specification of a variable that can be changed, passed, or returned by an operation. . [D04864]

Any of a set of physical properties whose values determine the characteristics or behavior of something.
Editor's Note: In project work, typically refers to the range or limits within which the item must work. [D03123]

Parametric Cost Estimating
Appraising the costs of a project based on knowledge gathered from similar, but different projects. Typically uses parameters such as weight, power, lines-of-code, or other characteristics of the system to estimate or to scale development cost or schedule. System complexity and team maturity are also influencing factors. [D04170]

An estimating methodology using statistical relationships between historical costs and other project variables such as system physical or performance characteristics, contractor output measures, or manpower loading, etc. Also referred to as "top down estimating". [D01141]

Parametric Estimating
An estimating technique that uses a statistical relationship between historical data and other variables (e.g., square footage in construction, lines of code in software development) to calculate an estimate. [D01142]

Parent Activity
Task within the work breakdown structure that embodies several subordinate child tasks. [D04587]

Parent, in scheduling
The source from which an activity, i.e. the child, is derived. [D03124]

Pareto Diagram
A histogram, ordered by frequency of occurrence, that shows how many results were generated by each identified cause. [D01144]

A graph, particularly popular in non-technical projects, to prioritize the few change areas (often 20 percent of the total) that cause most quality deviations (often 80 percent of the total). [D01143]

A single piece not subject to disassembly without destruction or impairment of use, such as resistors, transistors, relays, or gears. Level 7, the lowest level, in the system hierarchy. [D01615]

See Stakeholder. [D01146]

Anyone who has a direct part or share in a project. See also Constituent.
Editor's Note: The term is often misused to include those members of the public who are impacted by the project. These people are more properly referred to as Constituents. [D03125]

Those working on, or contributing to, a project. [D01145]

Taking an active part. [D03127]

Parties, to a contract
The persons or companies who sign a contract with one another. [D04468]

An agreement between two or more firms to form a partnership, joint venture or team, to undertake a project.
Editor's Note: In the construction industry, the term "Partnering" has come to mean rather more. A partnership may be formed between an owner and contractor with a view to achieving common goals rather than pursuing traditionally opposing interests. [D03700]

See Partnering. [D03128]

Groups of entities who share or take part with another or others in contracts, especially for business firms who share risks and profits. [D04329]

See Project Assurance Team

Patent Defect
Any defect which exists at the time of acceptance and is evident and hence not a Latent Defect. [D03540]

A series of connected activities.
Editor's Note: Refer to Critical Path Method for information on critical and non-critical paths. [D01148]

A sequence of lines and nodes in a project network. [D01147]

 OTOB 271-4
A set of sequentially connected activities in a project network diagram. [D01149]

Path Convergence
The tendency of parallel paths of approximately equal duration to delay the completion of the milestone where they meet. [D01150]

Path Float
See Float. [D01151]

Path, network
The continuous, linear series of connected activities through a network. [D01152]

In software, a solution template (for structure, behavior) that has proven useful in at least one practical context, or, more likely, in several contexts, to be worthy of being called a pattern. [D04865]

Pay-Back Period
The period over which the total cash flow receipts from a project equal the original investment, without discounting. [D05033]

Monetary return for services rendered or property delivered. Discharge of indebtedness. [D03129]

Payment Authorization
The process of allocated fund transfer to an account from which the supplier can be paid for delivered goods/services as per contractual terms. [D01153]

Payment Bond
A bond that assures payments as required by law to all persons supplying labor or material in the prosecution of the work provided for in the contract. [D03541]

Payroll Burden
Costs in addition to direct wages as required by law and union agreement such as benefits, housing, transportation,
Editor's Note: Usually expressed as a percentage of the direct wage costs. [D05034]

See Program Benefits Review

See Product Breakdown Structure

See Percent Complete

See Physical Configuration Audit

See Project Data Document

See Project Development Life Cycle

See Precedence Diagram Method

PDM Finish to Finish Relationship
This relationship restricts the finish of the work activity until some specified duration following the finish of another work activity. [D01154]

PDM Finish to Start Relationship
The relationship where the work activity may start just as soon as another work activity is finished. [D01155]

PDM Start to Finish Relationship
The relationship restricts the finish of the work activity until some duration following the start of another work activity. [D01156]

PDM Start to Start Relationship
This relationship restricts the start of the work activity until some specified duration following the start of the preceding work activity. [D01157]

See Program Definition Statement

A register recording a line of ancestors, an ancestral line, lineage. A distinguished ancestry. The origin and history of something. [D03130]

Definitions for page P00: 50

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