Project Term Definitions

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Adaptability – effective Capability directed at shortening the duration of shifting to a contingency route

Alpha – 1st stage of complete QA testing cycle, entrance and exit criteria determined with emphasis on respective Project Requirements/Customer quality standards

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Beta – 2nd stage of complete QA testing cycle, exit criteria determined with emphasis on respective Project Requirements/Customer quality standards – exiting Alpha is the sole criteria for entering Beta

Bi-Product – secondary result of a Project, usually referring to a change in the Project Management Process itself

Bug – systems glitch, can cause system to crash if severe enough

  • Global Bug Solution – a correction that addresses a systems problem in multiple areas simultaneously
  • Meta-bug – acknowledges a problem over multiple systems or platforms

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Capability – collection of skill sets or features

Component – a discrete, self-contained sub-part of a system, code set or product (e.g. a connector, a chord, and internal wiring can all be components of a cable)

Constraint – limitation that can be detrimental (restriction to action) or beneficial (used as a guide for focused progress)

  • PMI teaches to level of 3 constraints (see “Triple Constraint)
  • I advocate strict acknowledgment and use of 2 additional constraints, which others sometimes call “soft” constraints:
    • Adherence to Methodology
    • Communication Channel

Correction – means off handling a problem/issue/risk item

  • Fix – (a.k.a. “bandaid”) must be re-introduced at each re-occurrence
  • Patch – incorporated into next iterative update (e.g. NTM6.5.2)
  • Solution – fully integrated process change; can be result of meta bug correction

Critical Chain – connected resource assignments over a series of Critical Path tasks; utilized specifically by Program Managers for effective resource leveling

Critical Path – series of dependency paths which must be accomplished in order to reach a project goal

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Dependency – a relationship between two tasks, such that one absolutely must be completed (the predecessor task) before another (consumer task) can be started. At the larger task level (stage), the complete set of predecessor tasks must be completed in sufficiently address the “exit criteria” for the respective stage.

Diligence (a.k.a. Due Diligence) – Discipline specifically applied to the Discovery phase, uncovering hidden dynamics, requirements, variables, risk items through an appropriate level of investigation and interview

Discipline – an “attitude” that positively effects behavior if used appropriately – PMs utilize discipline in methodology adherence to positively affect this “soft” sub-constraint to Quality

DMAIC – Six Sigma professional methodology for addressing process quality

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Enterprise – can be same as Portfolio, can be collection of Portfolios (at subsidiary level)

Execute v. Implement – we execute projects and implement procedures to achieve results

  • multiple procedure results realize a task
  • multiple task results realize a milestone or phase
  • multiple milestones/phase results realize a project
  • successful execution of a project/program realizes a product or service at a version level
  • successful execution of multiple projects/programs realizes a platform

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Flexibility – advanced accumulation of effective Capabilities

Form Factor – type of physical product.

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Issue – pre-defined/anticipated risk item

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Lessons Learned – list of specific Suggestions, Issues and/or Problems accumulated from specific Project; used as basis for implementing Project Process Improvement

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OEM – “Original Equipment Manufacturer” – produces/manufactures completed products. The final business entity in the supply chain, just prior to merchandising. ClearSight Networks is an OEM, as is Sony, Toshiba, etc. OEMs can potentially also serve in a vendor capacity, if their product is used as a component in a larger, more complex product.

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Path – series of routes

PDLC – Product Development Lifecycle

Phase – set of project processes that define particular desires

PLC – Product Lifecycle

Product Development Manager – Functional Manager (direct involvement in revenue stream) who is infrastructure-dependent with product-centricity

PM (Project Manager) – Non-functional Manager who is process-dependent with adaptive/variable-centricity

PMI – Project Management Institute – can refer to the professional body and/or the methodology for effective Project Management

PMLC – Project Management Lifecycle

Problem – project-specific concern or worry which may cause delay or increase cost; can be unexpected; a repeated problem over multiple projects becomes an “issue” – the lack of addressing repeated problems increases unwarranted risk

Procedure – set of discrete instructions

Process – a set of routines that provide structure and flow; a tool for Project Managers to provide concentrated effort over a discrete period with high quality results

Process-Centric Project Management – incorporates multiple methodologies and processes for efficient, high quality, speedy, successful results

  • utilizing processes allows the manager to build on previous work, manage a flow, and validate work being performed
  • flaws in quality, procedure, and methodology-fit are highlighted, making them more visible and correctable (proactively)
  • Documentation builds upon itself
    • Product/Service (Project Result) is answer to Project Proposal
    • Project Final Report is answer to Project Charter
    • Project Process improvement is bi-product of Project completion

Procurement – the act of acquiring product or system components, or resources

Product – the result of a Project, can be a change in Process, physical Product, or Service

Project – collection of concurrent, similar Tasks, with same goal and common resources – highly effective tool for off-line (non-revenue stream) change advocacy; finite in both budget and scheduling aspects

Project Types

  • Short term (3 weeks to 2 ½ months in duration)
    • also known as “Special,” “Fast-track,” “Derivative,” “Iteration,” “Patch,” etc.
    • minor enhancements/requirements
    • can be managed by Project Manager or Product Development Mgr
  • Long term (3-to-11 months in duration)
    • Also known as “Major,” “Regular,” “Dedicated,” etc.
    • complex requirements
    • Must be managed by Project Manager
  • Program – collection of concurrent, similar Projects, with same goal and common resources – highly effective if attempted as a singular effort; utilizes “critical chain method” for resource management
  • Portfolio – collection of concurrent, similar Programs, with same goal and common resources – rarely effective if attempted as a singular effort, preferred to be implemented as a collection of Programs feeding up to a Portfolio over time

Project Lead – Functional Department (e.g. QA, Engineering) representative, who leads task implementation respective to that department, from Functional perspective

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Resource – person (internal or external by way of vendor) who completes individual tasks or specific procedures

Resource Leveling – acknowledging and addressing resource limitations in terms of discrete availability and availability over time; used to spread the work effectively

RACI Chart – one of the cornerstones of the Communication Plan
Responsible (person directing project/program/task) – must be 1 person
Accountable (person(s) the Responsible party reports to)
Contribute (person(s) actually doing the work
Inform (person(s) kept in the loop with information)

  • Also called a “RASCI” Chart – adding in “S” for SMEs – which will be the form used here at ClearSight Networks

Risk Item – an issue that is (hopefully) anticipated, and when activated [a.k.a. “triggered”], sets a contingency route into motion

Risk Management – the effective transformation of investment into revenue

Risk Taking – the unwarranted decision-making that leads to failure, often the unintended bi-product of poor planning

Route – established (planned for) set of resources to accomplish a given task

RUP – Rational Unified Process; an SDLC developed by IBM that is an effective “attitudinal” tool when used as an overarching project methodology

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Scalability – Capability to rapidly increase growth (can be in terms of revenue, process, organization, influence)

Scope – a set of parameters defining what is to be worked on; defined using the BRD/POR, and used to support only those requirements. “Out of Scope” means that the requested task/procedure/feature has not been added via the charter, and therefore does not have the support of that particular project. Adding in features or tasks arbitrarily is known as “Scope Creep.” The opposite of Scope Creep, being the removal of necessary tasks that are in support of chartered requirements, means, by definition, an unwarranted loss in quality standards.

“Scoping Out” – developing the WBS to meet the needs of chartered requirements.

SDLC – “systems development life cycle” refers to methodologies that allow for effective systems-building, for example:

    • RAD – Rapid Application Development
    • Waterfall
    • Agile

SME – Subject Matter Expert, someone who can be used as a reference for product or process guidance

Stakeholder – someone who has a viable interest in the project result [can be listed either as an “A” or an “I” on the RACI/RASCI Chart].

Supply Chain – the link from the smallest self-contained components (step up from raw material), through more complex components, into final products. A series of vendor/consumer relationships up through the final OEM, just prior to the merchandiser.

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Task – set of procedures with two expectations:

  • rate of accomplishment for each subsumed procedure
  • expected level of quality

Task Manager – Same as Project Lead, from Project perspective

Testing Types:

  • UAT (User Acceptance Testing) – specific user testing of project results
  • Development Partner Testing – duration testing at customer site
  • SIT (Systems Integration Testing) – testing of incorporation of new functionality into existing system (adding a new program or capability set)
  • QA (Quality Assurance)
    • Test Stage/Cycle: a complete run through all QA testing (1st stage Alpha, 2nd stage Beta). The specific list of tests to be conducted can be unique to each project/product.
    • QA Test Criteria: a list of tests to be conducted in a given cycle.
    • Entrance/Exit Criteria: a specific task level predecessor which must be completed in order to enter or leave a QA Test Cycle/Stage.
    • Acceptance testing: Testing conducted to enable a user/customer to determine whether to accept a software product. Normally performed to validate the software meets a set of agreed acceptance criteria.
    • Ad Hoc Testing: A testing phase where the tester tries to 'break' the system by randomly trying the system's functionality. Can include negative testing as well.
    • Functionality Testing: 1) Testing the features and operational behavior of a product to ensure they correspond to its specifications. 2) Testing that ignores the internal mechanism of a system or component and focuses solely on the outputs generated in response to selected inputs and execution conditions.
    • Compatibility Testing: Testing whether software is compatible with other elements of a system with which it should operate, e.g. browsers, Operating Systems, or hardware
    • Integration Testing: Testing of combined parts of an application to determine if they function together correctly. Usually performed after unit and functional testing. This type of testing is especially relevant to client/server and distributed systems.
    • Installation Testing: Confirms that the application under test recovers from expected or unexpected events without loss of data or functionality. Events can include shortage of disk space, unexpected loss of communication, or power out conditions.
    • Localization Testing: This term refers to making software specifically designed for a specific locality.
    • Performance: Testing conducted to evaluate the compliance of a system or component with specified performance requirements. Often this is performed using an automated test tool to simulate large number of users. Also know as "Load Testing".
    • Automation: 1) Testing employing software tools which execute tests without manual intervention. Can be applied in GUI, performance, API, etc. testing. 2) The use of software to control the execution of tests, the comparison of actual outcomes to predicted outcomes, the setting up of test preconditions, and other test control and test reporting functions.
    • Customer Beta Testing: Testing of a release of a software product conducted by customers – not to be confused with 2nd stage internal QA “Beta” testing, which follows Alpha. Recommend that this be referred to instead as Development Partner Testing.
    • Usability: Testing the ease with which users can learn and use a product.
    • Regression Testing: Retesting a previously tested program following modification to ensure that faults have not been introduced or uncovered as a result of the changes made.
    • Stability/Soak testing: Running a system at high load for a prolonged period of time. For example, running several times more transactions in an entire day (or night) than would be expected in a busy day, to identify and performance problems that appear after a large number of transactions have been executed.
    • Endurance (Duration): Checks for memory leaks or other problems that may occur with prolonged execution.
    • Stress: Testing conducted to evaluate a system or component at or beyond the limits of its specified requirements to determine the load under which it fails and how. Often this is performance testing using a very high level of simulated load.
    • Sanity: Brief test of major functional elements of a piece of software to determine if its basically operational.
    • System Testing: Testing that attempts to discover defects that are properties of the entire system rather than of its individual components.
    • Full-Feature of Functionality Testing: Through out tests are performed that covers entire software product.
    • Unit Testing: Testing of individual software components

“Time to Market” – Marketing phrase used to define relevance of new features and/or project results

Triple Constraint – comprises 3 Constraints which have direct/indirect relationships

      • Quality – defined and measured as a metric in terms of adherence to specific product, function, market and customer requirements
      • Time – a quantity, measured in hourly, daily, weekly, etc. units, calculated by adding the discrete task workload end-to-end over the critical path series
      • Cost – an investment expressed in monetary value, measures the amount paid for components and resources in order to accomplish a project result
  • Note the following assumptions:
    • As quality goes up, time and cost go up (direct correlation)
    • As time goes up, cost goes up
  • Very important point to be considered: As Charles Deming instructed – increase in quality of process (adherence to methodology) will both increase the quality of the project result and simultaneously decrease the cost and time constraints!
    • “Haste Makes Waste” is only a consideration if process improvement and planning are not actively considered
    • Increasing process quality and planning allows for higher adaptability, quicker time to market, and higher quality products

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Vendor – a business entity that sells or delivery product components or resource services.

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WBS – “Work Breakdown Structure.” The work to be done in order to successfully realize a chartered requirement/feature. The WBS becomes the skeleton, the framework, upon which we build out a Project Plan.

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