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 Variance at Completion

Validate Contract
To verify that a contract is legally binding on both parties. [D03382]

As in Project Validation, the process of providing evidence that a system meets the needs of the user, i.e. "Are we building the 'Right Thing'?" (See also Verification) [D02107]

 VPM 55, 90
A term used in C/SCSC to mean approval or compliance with the criteria. [D02106]

The approach to proving the user is satisfied. [D04293]

A term used in C/SCSC to mean "approval" or compliance with the criteria. [D04669]

An assessment of market value of property; determination of value in terms of cost or price, typically for replacement or insurance purposes. [D03383]

Benefit divided by cost. [D04292]

A standard, principle or quality considered worthwhile or desirable. [D02108]

Worth or performance divided by cost. [D03776]

Value Analysis
An activity devoted to optimizing cost performance. It is the systematic use of techniques which identify the required functions of an item, establish values for those functions and provide the functions at the lowest overall cost without loss of performance (optimum overall cost). [D02109]

See also Value Management. [D03096]

Value Engineering
An organized effort to analyze the functions of systems, equipment, facilities, services, and supplies for the purpose of achieving the essential functions at the lowest life cycle cost consistent with required performance, reliability, quality, and safety. [D03580]

See also Value Management. [D03095]

The structured approach to optimizing project value through examination of the project's design. It is concerned with optimizing the design, engineering and configuration aspects of value. [D03774]

A technique for analyzing qualitative and quantitative costs and benefits of component parts of a proposed system. [D04559]

Value Enhancing Project Strategies
Strategies designed to add value to the project deliverable by improving cost effectiveness or features or functionality, often accomplished as part of Value Management. [D03384]

Value Improvement
See Value Enhancing Project Strategies. [D03385]

Value Management ("VM")
A structured means of improving effectiveness in line with the organization's goals. It refers to the overall process of identifying key issues and setting targets; identifying the teams and processes necessary to achieve these; and implementing these to obtain successful results.

It is concerned with the broader optimization of strategic issues, encompasses the value engineering process at the project's strategic definition stage and is generally done via a structured workshop. [D03775]

A structured means of improving business effectiveness that includes the use of management techniques such as value engineering and value analysis. [D02110]

A technique for optimizing cost and/or performance. [D02111]

This technique is a creative, organized approach designed to optimize the total cost and/or performance of the project. Usually applied only to the most significant elements of a project by analyzing their contribution and identifying functionally acceptable substitution.

VM often results in improved performance and/or appearance and simplification at a payoff many times the cost of the VM program. It is best applied in the earliest stages of a project. VM is not popular because of its "real" front end cost compared to "notional" downstream savings. Also because it is seen by designers as a threat to their credibility. See also Brainstorming. [D03094]

An organized effort aimed at analyzing the function of a system or systems, equipment, facilities, and supplies, for purposes of achieving at the lowest overall cost the same required function and/or performance, including reliability, maintainability, delivery and human factors. [D03625]

Value Management Program
A program of required Value Management focused on design and delivery of whole facilities, systems, supplies and materials with essential characteristics at lowest overall costs. It includes the identification of high cost areas for study, the evaluation of function-cost-worth, application of a VM job plan, and a systematic interdisciplinary study of selected areas concurrent with Design Development. [D03626]

Value Management Study
A function-oriented appraisal of all elements of an item, system, or process to achieve essential characteristics at minimum overall cost. The procedure encompasses a number of steps or stages as follows:
  1. Information gathering
  2. Function analysis
  3. Creative solution generation
  4. Judgmental solution evaluation
  5. Development of alternatives
  6. Presentation of recommendation and approval
  7. Implementation of changes
  8. Follow-up reporting of results

Value Planning
A technique for assessing, before significant investment is made, the desirability of a proposal based on the value that will accrue to the organization from that proposal. [D04560]

Value Study Proposal
A formal recommendation for change as a result of a Value Management exercise. [D03629]

See Added Value [D02559]

Qualities in the culture of an organization that are considered to be important such as honesty, integrity, being ethical and forthright, etc. In the project context, values include supportive of team work, productivity, self-direction, and so on. [D03386]

A factor that can assume different numerical values representing different conditions. [D05150]

In software programming
  1. A storage place within an object for a data feature. The data feature is an object, such as number or date, stored as an attribute of the containing object.
  2. A bean that receives an identity at run time. A variable by itself contains no data or program logic; it must be connected such that it receives run-time identity from a bean elsewhere in the application.

Variable Cost
A cost that changes with the production quantity or the performance of services. This contrasts with fixed costs that do not change with production quantity or services performed. [D03706]

A cost that changes over time, such as an hourly rate for resources that rises as the resource continues to work. [D02112]

A quantity that may assume any one of a set of values. [D03387]

In common usage, the difference between a pre-established measure and an actual measure. [D03581]

A discrepancy between the actual and planned performance on a project, either in terms of schedule or cost. [D02113]

Any actual or potential deviation from an intended or budgeted figure or plan. A variance can be a difference between intended and actual time. Any difference between the projected duration for an activity and the actual duration of the activity. Also, the difference between projected start and finish dates and actual or revised start and finish dates. [D02114]

The difference between an actual or estimated cost and an authorized appropriation for the scope of work in a cost class. Variances can be negative (under-run) or positive (over-run). [D02115]

The difference between the baseline and scheduled task or resource information. Variances occur when you set a baseline plan and begin entering actual information into your schedule or cost spreadsheet.

Value minus mean all squared for a point on a distribution curve. [D02231]

Any deviation of project work from what was planned. Variance can be around costs, time, performance, or project scope. [D03733]

 PPS&C p341
Variance Analysis
The analysis of the following: [D02117]

Variance at Completion ("VAC")
The budget at completion less the estimate at completion. A negative result indicates that the project is over budget. [D02118]

Variance Reports
Documentation of project performance about a planned or measured performance parameter. [D02119]

Variance Threshold
The amount of a variance which will require a formal problem analysis report, as agreed to by the contractor and the customer. Variance parameters will differ depending on the function, level and stage of the project. [D02120]

A change in scope or timing of work which a supplier is obliged to do under a contract. [D04561]

Variation Order
Client-approved variation to a contract, bill of quantities, requirement specification or similar. [D02121]

The term used in the construction industry for an approved technical change to the project. [D02122]

A supplier of material or services offered from a catalog or price list and purchased with a purchase order. [D04294]

Vendor Contact
Communication with the seller by the buyer. Under certain circumstances such contact may be considered unethical, such as when offers by competing vendors are being evaluated. [D03388]

Vendor Pricing
Submission of a price list for goods or services on offer by a seller to a buyer. [D03389]

Venn Diagram
A diagram in which closed circles represent separately identifiable sets and their logical commonality or distinction by the inclusion, exclusion, or intersection and overlap of the circles. [D03390]

An undertaking involving chance, risk, or danger, such as a speculative business enterprise. [D03391]

Venture Organization
The form of organization used in some large organizations where a three or four person team, itself functionally organized, is established within the larger organization to develop and commercialize a new product. [D02123]

 SPM 304-9
Verbal Bid
Undocumented quotation by telephone or other verbal means of communication. [D02124]

Something for which the truth, accuracy, or reality can be confirmed. [D03011]

As in Project Verification, proof of compliance with specification performance requirements. Verification may be determined by test, analysis, inspection, or demonstration, i.e. "Are we building the thing •Rightę?" (See also Validation) [D02126]

 VPM 55, 90
The confirmation of data, application of judgment and comparison with other sources and previous monitor results. [D02125]

Proof of compliance with specifications. Verification may be determined by test, analysis, inspection, or demonstration. [D04295]

Verification Plan
A part of the Implementation Plan that describes the approaches and methods of proving performance. Includes the approach to development, integration verification, and qualification testing, and system verification. May be part of the System Engineering Management Plan. [D04296]

Verification Procedures
Step by step instructions that implement the inspection, demonstration, testing, and analysis required by the Verification Plan. They include equipment to be used, calibration requirements, facility requirements, etc. [D04297]

To prove to be true by demonstration, evidence, or testimony. [D05219]

A variant of some artifact; later versions of an artifact typically expand on earlier versions. [D04786]

Vertical Organization
An organization that exhibits a number of levels in its hierarchy and/or produces products that naturally stem one from another. For example, a forestry industry company that includes in its commercial activities from logging, to pulp, to bulk paper, to consumer paper, to related decorative and paper based products. [D03392]

A mode or manner of looking at or regarding something. An opinion or judgment colored by the feeling or bias of its holder. To survey or examine mentally. [D03393]

A simplified description (an abstraction) of a model, which is seen from a given perspective or vantage point and omits entities that are not relevant to this perspective. See also architectural view. [D04897]

Virtual Collocation
An arrangement whereby project team members "meet" as often as necessary through teleconferencing. This arrangement has been made necessary for companies who operate globally, and has been made possible with modern communications technology. [D02330]


See Project Vision. [D03395]

The user's or customer's view of the product to be developed, specified at the level of key stakeholder needs and features of the system. [D04787]

See Value Management

A list or collection of words or of words and phrases usually alphabetically arranged and explained or defined. For example, this glossary of project management terms. [D03396]

  1. The space occupied by a three dimensional object, or
  2. The level of throughput.

Definitions for page V00: 73

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