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Community College of Rhode Island

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Glossary of Terms

Acceptance Management – Deliverables produced by the project are reviewed and accepted by the customer as meeting the specific requirements of the project.

Acceptance Planning – Identifying the milestones, criteria and standards for the acceptance of the project deliverables by the customer.

Acceptance Testing – Testing infrastructure components to ensure that requested changes and/or approved designs fully meet the functional and performance requirements of the user, data steward and business unit.

Approach - A chosen method of accomplishing the requirements of the project.

Build – The process of developing new IT infrastructure systems.

Business Analysis – Analysis performed to determine the likelihood of success, the request's significance to the business units, and estimate the resources required.

Business Case – An element of the Project Charter that outlines the justification for the project.  The charter includes a description of the business problem or opportunity, a list of available solution options, and a preferred option for approval.  It establishes the merits and desirability of the project and justifies the commitment of resources to a project. This is the information necessary to enable approval, authorization and prioritization by the collective advisory group to assess a project proposal and reach a reasoned decision.

Business Unit – A CCRI department or organization responsible for carrying out the business of the college, with appropriate data stewardship and access control of business activities and related data.

Central Repository - A central repository provides a place where project documentation, lessons learned and best practices can be archived for use by all Project Managers in the organization.  Over time, as more and more information is added, it will become part of a knowledge base that, when leveraged, will translate into tremendous improvements on all projects.

Change Control - The review, approval/disapproval, implementation, tracking, closure, and status reporting of proposed changes to an item.

Change Management – The process by which changes to the project scope, deliverables, timescales or resources are formally defined, evaluated and approved prior to implementation.

Communications Planning – The process of identifying the type, regularity and distribution schedule of information to be provided to all project stakeholders to keep them informed of the progress of the project.

Configure – The process of applying specific values to adjustable parameters in IT infrastructure components to ensure that the component functions as required.

Configuration / Release Management – An IT organizational function that maintains the integrity of one environment or a group of environments. The IT Change Management Team is empowered to approve the promotion and deployment of IT infrastructure components from one environment to the next in the change management process.

Configuration Audit - A check to ensure that all deliverable items on a project conform with one another and to current specifications.  It ensures that relevant quality assurance procedures have been implemented and that there is consistency throughout project documentation.

Contingency Plan - An alternative for action if things don't go as planned or if an expected result fails to materialize.

Cost of Quality - The cost of quality planning, control, assurance and rework.

Deliverable – A quantifiable outcome of the project which results in the achievement of the project objectives.

Dependencies - A relation between activities, such that one requires input from the other.

Financial Planning – The process of identifying the financial resources required to undertake the project.  This includes a list of the types of costs to be incurred on the project (e.g. labor, equipment, materials and administration costs) and an official quote accompanying the proposed project.

Governance – The collective advisory groups structure contributing to the guidance and approval of IT-related activities, policies and procedures.  Governance is responsible for steering the Department of Information Technology in regard to student, faculty and staff support and technology delivery.

Infrastructure – The computers, physical hardware to connect computers and users, transmission media, lines, cables, routers, and software used to send, receive, and manage data and information being transmitted.  Infrastructure is everything that supports the flow and processing of information.

Initiation - The process of preparing for, assembling resources and getting work started on a project and may apply to any level (e.g. program, project, phase, activity or task).

Integration Testing – The process of testing infrastructure components to ensure that they interoperate as designed.

Interdependencies - A relationship between activities, such that multiple activities have dependencies on other activities.  Several entities must be up and running before a final application works.

Issue – An event that is currently affecting the ability of the project to produce the required deliverables requiring resolution as soon as possible.

Key Goals – Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that are determined at the beginning of the project for each team member that reflect directly on the key objectives of the project.

Milestone – An important event within the project, usually the achievement of a key project deliverable.

Mitigation - Working to lessen risk by lowering its chances of occurring or reducing its effect if it occurs.

Product/Service Life Cycle - The complete history of a product through its concept, definition, production, operation, and obsolescence or disposal phases.

Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) - A project management technique for determining how much time a project needs before it is completed. each activity is assigned a best, worst, and most probable completion time estimate. These estimates are used to determine the average completion time. The average times are used to figure the critical path and the standard deviation of completion times for the entire project.

Performance Testing – Testing the reliability, scalability, and capacity of infrastructure components under normal and elevated conditions to ensure an acceptable level of business capacity.   Performance testing is also intended to diagnose failure modes of systems above expected levels of stress.

Procurement Planning – Identifying the products to be sourced externally and the methods for acquiring them.

Product – A good or service which is acquired from an external supplier to assist with the production of a project deliverable.

Project – A unique venture with a beginning and an end, undertaken by people to produce a set of deliverables within clearly specified times, costs and quality constraints. 

Project Activity – A set of project tasks which usually results in the partial or full completion of a project deliverable.

Project Charter - A document consisting of a background, purpose, benefits, goals, objectives, scope, assumptions and constraints of a proposed project.  The charter clearly documents project definitions in order to bring a project team into necessary agreement.

Project Lifecycle – A series of project events, from beginning to end, which are undertaken in either sequential or parallel order in the completion of a project. 

Project Management  - The application of management techniques and systems to the execution of a project from start to finish, to achieve predetermined objectives of scope, quality, time and cost, to the equal satisfaction of those involved. 

Project Plan – A document which lists the activities, tasks, timeframes and resources required to complete the project.

Project Schedule – A series of planned dates within which activities and tasks must be completed to achieve project milestones.

Project Task – A specific work item to be undertaken which usually results in the partial or full completion of a project deliverable.

Quality – The level of conformance of the final deliverable(s) to the customer's requirements.

Quality Assurance – The preventative steps taken to provide adequate confidence that the item, product or project deliverable conforms to established requirements.

Quality Control – The steps taken to eliminate any variances in the quality of the deliverable produced.

Quality Management – The process by which the quality of the deliverables and management processes is assured and controlled for the project.

Regression Testing – The process of testing changed or enhanced infrastructure components to ensure that the changes to one component are compatible with other technology or infrastructure components.

Relevant Stakeholder  - A stakeholder is one who has a stake or interest in the outcome of the project or one who is affected by the project. 

Resource – The labor, equipment and materials used to complete the activities in the project.

Resource Planning – Identifying the resources required to complete the project including the types of resources required and a project schedule providing the use of and activities undertaken by each resource.

Risk – Any event which is likely to adversely affect the project to achieve the defined objectives.  Risk is the cumulative effect of the chances of uncertain occurrences and the degree of exposure to negative events and their probable consequences. 

Risk Management – The process by which risks to the project (e.g. to the scope, deliverables, timescales or resources) are formally identified, quantified and managed during the project. 

Risk Matrix - A matrix with risks located in rows, and with impact and likelihood in columns.

Scope - The bounded set of verifiable end products, deliverables or outputs, which the project team undertakes to provide to the project sponsor. 

Scope Creep - As some projects progress, especially through the definition and development phases, requirements tend to change incrementally, causing the Project Manager to add to the project's mission or objectives without getting a corresponding increase in the time and budget allowances.  Scope creep should be avoided at all costs.

Solution – A set of deliverables which, once combined, solve a particular business problem.

Solution Specifications – Given a set of solution requirements, the qualitative and quantitative characteristics necessary to meet the desired functionality and performance of request.

Sponsor - Individual or business unit for whom the project is undertaken.

System Testing – The process of testing all of the infrastructure components to ensure that the complete system interoperates as designed.

Stakeholder - One who has a stake or interest or is affected by the outcome of the project.

Technical Analysis – Analysis performed to determine its impact on system dependencies, technical feasibility, and to define the resources required for the project.

Testing – Processes by which approved designs and/or requested changes are reviewed to ensure that functional and performance requirements of the user are met. 

Unit Testing – The process of testing the lowest level functionality of an IT infrastructure component, without regard to its interoperability with other infrastructure components.

Work Breakdown Structure - A task-oriented detailed breakdown defining the activities and tasks at a very low level.

Workgroup - This could be a project team or a subgroup of the project team.

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Last Updated: 5/5/11