1. Cost Performance Baseline
    A time-phased representation of what costs are expected and when they are expected. Also known as the budget or S-curve.
  2. Critical Path Method
    A technique of schedule analysis used to identify the critical path.
  3. Critical Chain Method
    A technique for managing a project's schedule developed by Eliyahu Goldratt that estimates individual activities aggressively and then applies one large buffer for the project manager to manage risk and overrun. The Critical Chain Method is based on the Theory of Constraints.
  4. Negative Float
    A situation that occurs when an activity's finish date is before it's start date. It indicated that the schedule is broken, and the logic must be reworked.
  5. Organizational Breakdown Structure
    A chart to relate work packages to the parties in the organization responsible for their completion.
  6. Phase
    A division of the project, traditionally Conceptual, Planning, Construction, Testing, Implementation, and Closure. Phases should not be confused with the five process groups.
  7. PMIS
    (Project Management Information System)

    The system used to support management of the project from beginning to end.
  8. Progressive Elaboration
    The concept that projects are not purely linear and that plans are often developed over time.

    A plan may be progressively elaborated until it is baselined and placed under control.
  9. Project Coordinator
    The project role that is weaker than a project manager in terms of authority. A project coordinator can typically assign project resources but is not authorized to spend project funds.

    Project coordinators typically report to a member of senior management that is responsible for the project.
  10. Project Expeditor
    The project role that has little organizational authority but may have some project authority.

    Project Expeditors ensure that the project is progressing as planned, but they do not have authority to spend project funds.
  11. Project Manager
    The role of the person ultimately responsible for the project. The project manager has the authority to spend project budget and to assign project resources in order to realize the project goals.
  12. Regulation
    A requirement, issued by an authority, that must be followed.
  13. Requirement
    Something that the product or service must do in order to satisfy an underlying need.
  14. Residual Risk
    The uncertainty that remains after planning a response to an identified risk.
  15. Resource Breakdown Structure
    A graphical organizational chart that groups resources together by their function.
  16. Resource Histogram
    A column chart that shows when a project resource will be in use on their project.
  17. Resource Leveling
    A tool for matching the resource requirements to the organization's ability to supply them.
  18. Rework
    Anything done to make product or service conform to specifications
  19. Risk Breakdown Structure
    Abbreviated as RBS.

    A graphical chart showing risks organized by category.
  20. Rolling Wave Planning
    A planning technique that plans activities in the near future in details, while activities further out are only planned at high level.

    When using this technique, wave after wave of planning is repeated throughout the project.
  21. Scatter Diagram
    A chart that plots events against a dependent variable and an independent variable.

    They are used to identify correlations and spot trends.
  22. Three-Point Estimate
    Also called PERT estimate.

    A technique for estimating duration that uses a weighted average for pessimistic, optimistic, and realistic values.


    • Where:
    • P=Pessimistic estimate
    • R=Realistic estimate
    • O=Optimistic estimate
  23. Tornado Diagram
    A graphical chart used in Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis.

    Tornado diagrams show how sensitive the project is to risk by showing the effect of a single risk event while holding all the other factors constant.
  24. Work Authorization System
    Abbreviated as WAS.

    The system used to ensure that work is performed at the right time and in the right sequence.

    The WAS is part of the overall PMIS.
  25. Expert Judgment
    Using knowledgeable people to assist with a decision. Expert judgment is a highly favored technique for the exam.
  26. Communications Model
    The model where a sender encodes a message, selects a method of transmission, sends it, and confirms that it was received and understood. The receiver receives the message, decodes it, and confirms that it was understood. Noise and filters can disrupt or distort the message.
  27. Co-location
    Physically bringing a team together in one space.
  28. Checklist
    A set of procedural instructions to be followed in order to achieve quality.
  29. Buffer
    Extra time or money added to the schedule or budget in order to manage risk.
  30. Brainstorming
    A tool for gathering ideas, performed in a fast and non-judgmental environment.
  31. Baseline
    The original plan plus all approved changes. Baselines may be updated throughout the project.
  32. Assumption
    Anything treated as true for the purpose of planning. Assumptions should always be documented.
  33. Bar Chart
    A chart with horizontal bars representing the length of time for schedule activities. Also known as a Gantt Chart.
  34. Allowable Costs
    Costs permitted under the terms of a cost-reimbursable contract.
  35. Activity Attributes
    Information that accompanies each schedule activity. Activity attributes almost always accompany the activity list.
  36. Acceptance
    The act of approving the deliverables. This is usually performed by the project manager, the sponsor, the customer, and sometimes the functional manager.
  37. Trigger Words
    Words leading you to favored answers on the PMP exam. Potential answers that contain these words may indicate that this is the correct answer.

    • Trigger Words:
    • >Assess
    • >Evaluate
    • >Understand
    • >Investigate
    • >Determine
    • >Research
    • >Find out
  38. Consensus
    Agreement to support an outcome even if all individuals do not agree on the decision itself.
  39. Constraint
    Anything that limits the ability to plan.
  40. Contingency
    The use of buffers of time or money to help manager overruns. Also known as reserve.
  41. Contract
    A legal document that specifies the relationship between the buyer and seller.
  42. Grade
    A way of evaluating the products suitability for use.
  43. Gatekeeper
    The person responsible for evaluating the project deliverables between phases at the phase exit gates.
  44. Free Float
    The amount of time that the finish of an activity can be delayed without delaying the start of any subsequent activity.

    Also known as "free slack"
  45. Fast Tracking
    A schedule compression technique where activities are performed in parallel that would preferably be performed in sequence.

    Fast Tracking usually increases schedule risk.
  46. Exit Gate
    A logical point at the end of a project phase where an independent party reviews that phase's deliverables to determine if the subsequent phase should be initiated.
  47. Dictatorship
    A group decision technique where one person makes the decisions for the entire team.
  48. Delphi Technique
    A form of expert judgement where a group of stakeholders is polled anonymously.

    • Wikipedia: Anonymity of the participants
    • Usually all participants remain anonymous. Their identity is not revealed, even after the completion of the final report. This prevents the authority, personality, or reputation of some participants from dominating others in the process. Arguably, it also frees participants (to some extent) from their personal biases, minimizes the "bandwagon effect" or "halo effect", allows free expression of opinions, encourages open critique, and facilitates admission of errors when revising earlier judgments.
  49. Deliverable
    The result of the project that is presented to the appropriate stakeholders for acceptance.
  50. Root Cause Analysis
    A technique that seeks to understand the underlying reason(s) behind a problem more than the problem itself.

    It is used in quality management to prevent future defects.
  51. Conflict
    Differences of opinion or agenda. Conflict most often occurs between the project manager and the functional manager(s).
  52. Decomposition
    A technique for progressively breaking down the scope into smaller and smaller pieces. The WBS is first decomposed into work packages, and later the work packages are decomposed into schedule activities.

    This tool is used in the processes of Create WBS (Scope) and Define Activities (Time).
  53. Decision Tree
    A tool used in risk management to facilitate decision-making based on analyzing a risk and its expected monetary value (EMV).

    • Formula:
    • EMV=Probability x Impact
  54. Customer
    The individual or organization that will accept the project deliverables.
  55. Criteria
    Objective means of measuring quality for acceptance. The acceptance criteria should always be documented in advance.
  56. Crashing
    A form of schedule compression where additional people and other resources are applied to an activity in order to get it done more quickly. Crashing often increases cost due to the law of diminishing returns.
  57. Control Chart
    A special chart used in statistical process control (a function of quality management) to help determine whether or not a process is in control.

    ie: Rule of Seven: In control charts, if there are seven points on one side of mean, then an assignable cause must be found. Project is said to be out of control.
  58. Corrective Action
    Anything done to bring future results in line with the plan.
  59. Control Account
    Also known as a cost account.

    A control account is a node on the WBS where the earned value is measured and tracked.
  60. Defect
    An issue when the project's product, service, or result does not match the scope or as not met the criteria for quality.
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