Project Management Terms- Glossary

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  • Actual duration - The length of time taken to complete an activity.

  • Actual End Date – The real date the project is completed.

  • Agile - The Agile family of methodologies is a superset of iterative development approaches aimed at meeting ever-changing customer requirements. Agile development proceeds as a series of iterations, or sprints, with incremental improvements made in each sprint. Since agile projects do not have fixed scopes, agile methodologies are adaptive, and the iterative work is guided by user stories and customer involvement.

  • Agile project management - Agile project management draws from concepts of agile software development. Agile approaches focus on teamwork, collaboration, and stakeholder involvement, as well as the use of iterative development methods.

  • Closing phase - The final phase of the project management life cycle, in which all aspects of the project are officially completed and closed. This includes making sure that all deliverables have been given to the client, that the team notifies suppliers of completion, and that the team updates stakeholders regarding the end of the project and overall project performance.

  • Current finish date - The most up-to-date estimate of when an activity will finish.

  • Current start date - The most up-to-date estimate of when an activity will start.

  • Current state - A detailed representation of current business processes that is used as a point of comparison for efforts to analyze and improve processes’ efficiency, effectiveness, and outputs.

  • Duration - The amount of time taken to complete an activity or task from start to finish.


  • End user - The person or persons who will eventually use the product of a project. Products are designed with end users in mind.

  • Flowchart - A diagram that lays out the complete sequence of steps in a process or procedure.

  • Gantt chart - A Gantt chart is a type of bar chart that shows all the tasks constituting a project. Tasks are listed vertically, with the horizontal axis marking time. The lengths of task bars are to scale with tasks’ durations. (See also bar chart)

  • Kanban - The word kanban means visual signal in Japanese. Kanban is a visual communication approach to the project management process. It uses visual tools like sticky notes or virtual cards in an online bulletin board to represent project tasks and to track and indicate progress throughout a project




  • Portfolio - A collectively managed set of programs and projects.

  • Scrum - Scrum is an iterative development procedure used in software development projects. Scrum-based projects focus on prioritizing requirements and working towards a clear set of goals over a set time period, called a sprint. The development team thus works through the list of requirements over a number of sprints. Scrum-based projects usually do not have project manager. Instead, the project team meets daily for progress updates.

  • Sprint - In iterative project development, a sprint is a fixed unit of time during which the project typically passes through a complete development life cycle. A sprint is usually a few weeks long.

  • Story point - In sprint-based projects, a story point is a measure of the amount of work required to implement a particular user story. Assigning and totaling story points allows project teams to target a realistic number of user stories for action during an iteration or sprint.


  • Task - In project management, a task is a unit of work or activity needed for progress towards project goals. Typically, a task must be completed by a set deadline. Tasks may be further broken down into assignments or subtasks.

  • Work breakdown structure (WBS) - A Work breakdown structure is a comprehensive, hierarchical model of deliverables constituting the scope of a project. It details everything a project team is supposed to deliver and achieve. A work breakdown structure categorizes all project elements, or work packages, into a set of groups and may be used to form cost estimates.