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
Money paid as compensation for labor or services usually according to contract and on an hourly, daily, or piecework basis. [D03398]

A document stating a cancellation or reduction of a requirement. [D05220]

See also Concession [D00273]

Buyer action that grants contract relief from achieving specified performance. Usually applied when the required performance is not worth the cost and/or schedule to achieve full compliance. [D04298]

  1. The examination of the quality of an operational procedure or test by simulating the actual execution but bypassing high risk or expensive operations. It ensures that personnel and equipment are ready to carry out the real thing, or
  2. A peer group mentally stepping through software design and logic flow with test cases to identify errors.

War Room
See Communication Room. [D02485]

A promise or affirmation given by a contractor to the government regarding the nature, usefulness, or condition of the supplies or performance of services furnished under the contract. [D02127]

 FAR 46.701
Watch List
A tool for capturing those things that may affect project performance but are not significant enough to enter a formal risk management process. The items on the list should expire as the results of each risk become known (happened, did not happen, or are resolved). [D05142]

A name given to a particular form of presentation of the project life cycle. Rather than being broken into distinct periods of controlled phases, all activities appear as one long hierarchical succession. [D03399]

Waterfall Model
A phased development approach for hardware and software that requires milestones, products, and reviews at each phase transition. [D04300]

See Work Breakdown Structure

WBS Coding
See Code of Accounts. [D03400]

WBS Dictionary
A document that describes each element in the WBS including a Statement of Work (SOW), describing the work content of the WBS element, and a Basis of Estimate (BOE), describing how the budget of the element was developed. Additional information about each WBS element might include the responsible organization, contract number, and so on. The WBS Dictionary will often result in the project or contract statement of work (SOW). [D02128]

Web Server
The server component of the World Wide Web. It is responsible for servicing requests for information from Web browsers. The information can be a file retrieved from the server's local disk or generated by a program called by the server to perform a specific application function. [D04898]

Web Site
See Project Web Site. [D02486]

The process of assigning "weights" to different objects, especially to competing tenders, according to some established criteria for evaluating their relative merits or value and hence for making a logical and justifiable selection. [D03401]

Well Managed Project
One that is optimized for effectiveness in its planning phases but emphasizes efficiency in its implementation phases that include commissioning, startup and close out. [D02129]

Wet and Dry Test Runs
A procedure for testing plant and equipment prior to full commissioning. Dry test runs imply tests without product throughput, e.g. the testing of electrical power systems for continuity and integrity without applying the main power supply. Wet test runs imply running the equipment up to full load or higher with product, e.g. running pumping station tests and observing the flow of water, vibration, tendency towards cavitation and so on. [D03402]

What Market Will Bear
A condition where the seller pushes the price of its product up to a point where sales are still viable, but beyond which buyers become reluctant to buy the product and sales start to fall. [D03403]

What You See Is What You Get ("WYSIWYG")
A way of describing a computer user's interface in the early days of changing from a command text-based interface to a graphical user interface (GUI). [D04899]

What-If Analysis
The process of evaluating alternative strategies. [D02130]

What-if Simulation
Changing the value of the parameters of the project network to study its behavior under various conditions of its operation. [D04562]

Whole Life Costing
See Product Life Cycle Costing. [D02631]

Whole Product
The complete project deliverable including all of its components, spares, technical documentation and so on. [D03404]

When both parties are better off in the outcome after a negotiation has been completed. [D02131]

 OTOB 271-4
One or both sides withdraw from the conflict. [D02132]

Withdrawal, in negotiating
The termination of negotiations without any agreement. [D02734]

 PMH p344
The effort spent on an activity or task. Effort x Time.
Editor's Note: Scientifically speaking, "effort or work = force x distance". However, "work" is often used in the sense of "work done" as in "work-to-date" (spent) on an activity or task. Hence: effort spent over a period of time. [D02176]

Exertion of energy, physical or mental; effort directed to some purpose or end; an undertaking or enterprise; task; that which is done; the act of producing; toil; etc. [D02133]

The total number of hours, people or effort required to complete a task. [D02134]

The expenditure of effort, physical and/or mechanical, in the course of an activity or task. [D02183]

The performance of any useful service for which payment is to be made. [D03409]

  1. As a noun, an object or thing, or
  2. As a verb, synonymous with activity in the sense of the combining of resources and operational procedures to produce a particular output.

Work Acceptance
Work is considered accepted when it is conducted, documented and verified as per acceptance criteria provided in the technical specifications and contract documents. [D02135]

Work Authorization
Process of sanctioning all project work. [D02136]

Work Authorization/Release
In cases where work is to be performed in segments due to technical or funding limitations, work authorization/release authorizes specified work to be performed during a specified period. [D02137]

Work Breakdown
A technique for representing all the components, software, services and data contained in the project scope statement. It establishes a hierarchical structure or product oriented "family tree" of elements. It is used to organize, define and graphically display all the work items or work packages to be done to accomplish the project's objectives. [D03097]

A structure for breaking a large project into smaller work components. [D02138]

 CPMUSC 176-8
A task-oriented "family tree" of activities which organizes, defines and graphically displays the total work to be accomplished in order to achieve the final objectives of the project. [D02139]

Work Breakdown Code
A code that represents the •family treeê of an element in a work breakdown structure. [D02140]

Work Breakdown Structure ("WBS")
A task oriented detailed breakdown, which defines the work packages and tasks at a level above that defined in the networks and schedules. The WBS initiates the development of the Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS), and the Cost Breakdown Structure (CBS). It also provides the foundation for determining Earned Value and activity networks. [D03777]

A product-oriented family tree of elements that completely organizes, defines and graphically displays the components, software, services and data to be produced, as well as the work to be done, to achieve the specified project outcome. See Work Breakdown [D02141]

A basic project diagram that documents and describes all the work that must be done to complete the project. The WBS forms the basis for costing, scheduling, and work responsibility. [D02143]

 OTOB 271-4
A product-oriented 'family tree' of project components which organizes and defines the total scope of the Project. Each descending level represents an increasingly detailed definition of a project component. Project components may be either products or services, and 'intermediate' or 'final'. [D02145]

A task-oriented 'family tree' of activities which organizes, defines and graphically displays the total work to be accomplished in order to achieve the final objectives of a project. Each descending level represents an increasingly detailed definition of the project objective. It is a system for subdividing a project into manageable work packages, components or elements to provide a common framework for scope/cost/schedule communications, allocation of responsibility, monitoring and management. [D02146]

A tool for defining the hierarchical breakdown and work in a project. It is developed by identifying the highest level of work in the project. These major categories are broken down into smaller components. The subdivision continues until the lowest required level of detail is established. These end units of the WBS become the project activities. Once implemented, the WBS facilitates summary reporting at a variety of levels. [D02147]

Activities required to complete a project, arranged in a hierarchical structure. [D02142]

A family tree, usually product oriented, that organizes, defines, and graphically displays the hardware, software, services, and other work tasks necessary to accomplish the project objectives. [D02144]

 SPM 304-9
Way in which a project may be divided by level into discrete groups for programming, cost planning and control purposes. See also Work Package.
Note: The WBS is a tool for defining the hierarchical breakdown of work required to deliver the products of a project. Major categories are broken down into smaller components. These are sub-divided until the lowest required level of detail is established. The lowest units of the WBS become the activities in a project. The WBS defines the total work to be undertaken on the project and provides a structure for all project control systems. [D04563]

Work Breakdown Structure Dictionary
A narrative document which describes the effort to accomplish all work contained in each WBS element. The WBS Dictionary will often result in the project or contract statement of work (SOW). [D04670]

A publication that describes in detailed narrative form each element of a work breakdown structure, the elementês products, work content, unique master code identifier and other pertinent information. [D02148]

Definitions for page W00: 51

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