Project Management Office  |  Common Terminology

Business Process: A collection of linked tasks that will accomplish an organizational goal when completed. This process will include multiple defined inputs and a single concrete output or goal. Unlike a project, this series of tasks is usually done repeatedly.

Community Work Group: A group of community members who take an active role in the planning of a project, serving as community liaisons and providing input to the Project Team and Steering Team.

Completion: The point when the project has achieved its anticipated deliverables and all milestones have been met. At this point, the success of the project can be measured and next steps planned. Stakeholders, especially the Project Owner, should be notified.

Critical Path: The sequence of tasks that must be completed on schedule for the project to be completed on time. The longest path through the project; the shortest time to complete the project. All else unchanged, if any task on the critical path is delayed a week the project will be delayed a week.

Deliverable: A tangible outcome produced by a project, which could range from a new building or park to the proper integration of a new piece of software.

Implementation or Execution: The phase when the vision and plan become reality. At this point, a regular cadence of meetings should be taking place. This should almost always be the longest phase of the project.

Initiation: The phase when key stakeholders are identified and interviewed, data is gathered, and feasibility is reviewed. This stage should define a clear purpose and outcome of the project.

Milestone: A significant point or event in a project.

Planning: The phase when tasks and milestones are laid out, all deliverables are defined, the project schedule is built with proper sequence of activities and dependencies, and risks are defined.

Project Baseline: The original scope and schedule of a project, which should be fully defined before the project begins. Once the project starts, the actual process can be compared to the baseline to measure deviation.

Project Management Office: An organizational structure that standardizes project-related governance processes and facilitates sharing of resources, methodologies, tools, and techniques.

Project Manager: The person with the authority to manage a project, defines the work required for a project, the timeframe, and the responsibilities of the Project Team.

Project Owner/Sponsor: A key stakeholder responsible for representing the government function and supporting current and future customer service needs, including defining the scope and vision of a project.

Project Plan: An overview of the processes and expectations to be used to complete the project.

Project Schedule: A listing of a project’s milestones, tasks, and deliverables with anticipated start and finish dates and all the work that needs to be performed to deliver on time.

Project Team: The group comprised of staff from relevant departments who communicate and execute the project plan.

Project: A temporary endeavor with a start and finish undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.

Roll-Out: Especially in IT Projects The phase of a project life cycle in which the new system is delivered to clients/users.

Scope: The work performed to deliver a product, service, or result with the specified features or functions.

Stakeholders: A person or group who is actively involved in the project or is impacted by it. Key stakeholders determine the success or failure of a project.

Steering Team: A Board or Executive appointed committee that works with the Community Work Group and/or Project Team to guide the strategic vision of the project and develop recommendations for the Board.

Contact the Department
Project Management Office
401 McIntire Road
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Email the Department