Project Management Concepts


Purpose of this article is to list out all the possible terms in project management so that interested reader can dig further into this and gain complete knowledge about the project management.

Project Scope

Everything that needs to be done as part of the project – comes under project scope. Within the project scope their will be roles and responsibility defined for various stakeholders including customer.

Tasks / Activity

A task or an activity has a beginning and an end and it covers part of the overall project scope. Project plans are made up of activities.

Task Dependency

Task dependency is a relationship between two linked tasks, which are often linked by a dependency between their finish and start dates. There are four kinds of task dependencies

  1. Finish-to-Start [FS]
  2. Start-to-Start [SS]
  3. Finish-to-Finish [FF] and
  4. Start-to-Finish [SF]

Predecessor Tasks

Predecessor task is a task that must start or finish before another task can start or finish

Successor Tasks

Successor task is a task that cannot start or finish until another task starts or finishes.

Change Control Board

A Change Control Board (CCB) is a committee that makes decisions regarding whether or not proposed changes to a software project should be implemented. The change control board is constituted of project stakeholders  or their representatives. The decisions reached by the change control board are often accepted as final and binding.

Risk

A risk is a particular  situation, if it materializes, will adversely affect the project. Once a risk gets materialized, we start calling them problem, incident or issue. Look into our blog about managing risks for more detail.

Assumptions

An assumption is something which positively affect your project by reducing effort and ensuring resources.

Constraints

Constraints are boundaries in which your project must work. If you fail to identify constraint then it becomes a problem and similarly, if an identified constraint does not exist then it becomes a bonus for the customer.

For more detail about Constraints and Assumptions, refer to our previous blog on Assumption Vs Constraints.


Payback Period

This is a period in which the benefits will fully recover the project cost. You can look at the project estimation blog to understand how to calculate project cost.

Dependency

A dependency is a relationship between two activities in which one activity cannot start or end until the other has started or ended.

Lag Time

Lag time is a delay between tasks that have a dependency. For example, if you need a two-day delay between the finish of one task and the start of another, you can establish a finish-to-start dependency and specify a two-day lag time. It is many times asked by the customers specially when they are taking deliverable in small releases. It is also used by few managers to avoid delay in delivery when there may be severe penalty for delay. Sometimes people call it play-days.

Lead Time

Lead time is an overlap between tasks that have a dependency. For example, if a task can start when its predecessor is half-finished, you can specify a finish-to-start dependency with a lead time of 50 percent for its successor.

Slack Time

Slack time is the amount of time left after a job if the job was started now.  Let’s consider an example where two developers are working on Task A and Task B respectively. Integration of these tasks need to start 15 days after today. Task A will take 10 days while task B will take 15 days. In such case task A has 5 days of slack time.

Critical Path

A task is on critical path when it has zero slack time. Any delay in such task will cause the pipeline tasks to get delayed. In above example – task B is on critical path.

Milestones

A milestone is a specific date in the project when some clearly defined work will have to be delivered. The purpose of milestone is to identify if we have any problem with schedule slippage and functional deviations. Many times it is even linked with payment terms to get the milestone based payments from the customer.

Gantt Chart

A Gantt Chart is a graph of activities against time. In its basic for, it consists of a line for each activity that runs along the date scale.

Resource Leveling

It is the process of assigning right resource to the right activity for the right duration.

Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled (WCWS)

The effort effort that you have planned to expend at this point in project.

Budgeted Cost of Work Performed (WCWP)

The effort that you planned to expend to complete the work that has actually been done.

Actual Cost of Work Performed (ACWP)

The effort that you have actually expended at this point in the project.

Schedule Variance

It is the difference between what you have planned to expend for the work that has actually been done and what you had planned to expend at this point in the schedule.

Schedule Performance Index (SPI)

It is the ratio of what you had planned to expend for the work that has actually been done and what you had planned to expend at this point in the schedule. An SPI greater than one means project is ahead of schedule.

Cost Variance

It is the difference between what you had planned to expend for the work that has been done and what you have actually expended.

Cost Performance Index (CPI)

It is the ratio of what you had planned to expend for the work that has actually been done and what you have actually expended. A CPI of less than one means that the project is over budget.

Estimate at Completion (EAC)

This is the original estimated total number of hours for the project divided by the SPI. It gives projected total hours for the project is current trends continue.

Budget at Completion (BAC)

This is the original total project labor costs divided by the CPI. It gives projected total costs for the project if trends continue.

Lessons Learned

This is an important stage in the project which allows us to further strengthen our strong areas and help us in minimizing the issues / risks from next time.

Walking Tree has strong experience in developing Project Management Solution for effective Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). We have implemented our EagleRP for managing project management for various industries including Constructions and Acoustics.

Posted in General
One comment on “Project Management Concepts
  1. Rakesh Kumar says:

    Hi
    Thanks for your effort to making this blog. These concepts are very clear to how to complete your projects. Points are explained very well. I also agree that these concepts are one point that is easily looked by both project managers and clients alike. It’s the public or team accountability that works best.

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